Press Release

The Estate Collection of Respected Privateer Racer William M. Wonder Coming to Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach Auctions

This August, the auction house will present offerings from the estate of the legendary William M. Wonder, including a 1999 Ferrari 333 SP, a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing, and a 1990 Spice SE90P GTP.

Santa Monica, Calif. (June 16, 2022) — The official auction house of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, Gooding & Company, is honored to present The William M. Wonder Collection at its world-renowned, record-setting signature event this August. The late Mr. Wonder, who was a legendary and well-respected name in the world of American privateer racing, collected a number of significant competition cars, which will cross the block at Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach Auctions taking place on Friday, August 19 and Saturday, August 20. 

A strongly passionate enthusiast, William M. Wonder was a racer at heart, and dedicated over 50 years to his craft, partaking in some of the most legendary American races, including Sebring, Daytona, and Bridgehampton, and he raced in FIA, SCCA, Trans Am, and Can-Am events. Throughout his robust driving career, Mr. Wonder participated in over 75 races, working and acquainting himself with some of motor sport’s greatest names, including A.J. Foyt, Juan Manuel Fangio, Carroll Shelby, and Ken Miles. During this time, Mr. Wonder raced some of the most famous and diverse cars, including MG competition cars and the Ford GT40. 

In his daily life, Mr. Wonder was a skilled commercial air pilot, where he served for over 38 years since beginning his flying career in 1951. However, Mr. Wonder was self-admittedly “addicted to racing,” and had a keen eye and deep interest for some of the world’s most innovative and significant competition cars. 

“Bill Wonder was well known in racing circles as the ultimate privateer and gentleman racer, successfully competing with the greatest drivers of his era and leaving a broad and accomplished on-track resume during his 50-plus years behind the wheel,” said Gooding & Company President and Founder, David Gooding. “His incredible taste and persistent curiosity led him to own a wide range of remarkable automobiles, from the ultra-desirable Ferrari 333 SP, to a German icon in the 300 SL Gullwing, and it is our great honor to offer many of them at this year’s Pebble Beach Auctions.”

1999 Ferrari 333 SP (Estimate: $4,500,000 – $5,500,0000) As the first competition prototype introduced since the development of the 312 P, the 333 SP signified Ferrari’s return to endurance racing as its last sports racing prototype. Developed in partnership with Dallara, the car was an important hallmark in the legacy of the Italian marque, particularly in the late 1990s. This car, chassis 025, was delivered new to Fredy Lienhard, the Swiss gentleman racer  who owned LISTA, the Swiss-based cabinet manufacturer and major motor sport sponsor. Chassis 025 was prepared and run by Kevin Doran, who entered the car under Doran-Lista Racing. The Ferrari was subsequently raced during the 1999 and 2000 seasons, primarily in the US, where it was driven by some of the era’s greatest drivers, including Didier Theys, Mauro Baldi, Arie Luyendyk, Ross Bentley, and of course, team owner Fredy Lienhard. 

During its active racing career, this 1999 Ferrari 333 SP wore LISTA sponsorship and racked up several notable results, including 8th Overall at the 1999 24 Hours of Daytona, 2nd Overall at the 1999 ALMS Grand Prix of Road Atlanta, 1st Overall at the USRRC Grand Prix at Lime Rock, as well as 5th Overall at the 12 Hours of Sebring. It also achieved 1st Overall finishes at Homestead and Road America in 2000. Following its accomplished racing career, this 333 SP was completely restored by Kevin Doran, and has been a fixture in the William M. Wonder Collection since it was acquired in 2004. During its time in Mr. Wonder’s collection, it has not been displayed publicly, and has seen limited use, primarily consisting of private track days. As an incredibly important late 1990s sports car, and an outstanding example of the last endurance racing car built by Ferrari, this 333 SP proves an exceptional opportunity for collectors passionate about motor sport history.

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing (Estimate: $2,000,000 – $2,500,000) The epitome of Mercedes-Benz design and engineering excellence, the Gullwing variant was the ultimately refined version of the 300 SL race car. This unique 1955 Gullwing was built to order for young American sports car enthusiast Richard Wolfe of Columbus, Ohio. The Wolfe family owned a number of major media outlets, including The Columbus Dispatch newspaper, and several television stations in Columbus and Indianapolis, as well as a number of midwestern radio stations and other corporate interests. In addition to this special Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing, Wolfe also went on to own several exclusive Ferraris, including a 410 Superamerica and a 365 GTB/4 Daytona. 

This Gullwing was special-ordered by Richard Wolfe with a number of noteworthy features, including Rudge knock-off wheels, a high-performance NSL engine, sport suspension, and a Becker Mexico radio. In effect, Mr. Wolfe created a steel-bodied Gullwing with the special mechanical features typical of an alloy-bodied variant. The car was finished in the same classic color combination as seen today, silver with blue leather. In the present day, the car remains in lovely condition, appearing to have been well maintained, but never needing a full restoration. Serious collectors will surely appreciate this uniquely specified Gullwing coming to auction with exceptional provenance.

1986 Ford Mustang Probe GTP (Estimate: $350,000 – $450,000) This exceptionally rare 1986 Ford Mustang Probe GTP is one of just six cars built as part of a collaboration between Ford and German racing team Zakspeed, founded by Erich Zakowski in 1968. This example, chassis GTP 86 - 05, was the fifth car built, and was driven by Klaus Ludwig, Doc Bundy, Lyn St. James, Tom Gloy, and Pete Halsmer during its time on the track. As a noteworthy and special competition car, it enjoyed a robust racing career, and was crowned the winner of the Monterey Triple Crown Camel Grand Prix event at Laguna Seca in 1986. Powered by a potent 2.1-liter four-cylinder engine, this 650 hp example wears eye-catching 7-Eleven livery.

1990 Spice SE90P GTP (Estimate: $400,000 – $500,000) In the 1980s and 1990s, British racing team Spice Engineering, founded by Gordon Spice and Raymond Bellm, developed several successful competition cars, including this 1990 SE90P GTP. Initially sold new to Hotchkis Racing, this car was then purchased by Mr. Wonder directly from Hotchkis in 2006, giving it just two owners from new. Powered by a 6.5-liter Pontiac V-8 engine and wearing vibrant livery, this special sports car will make a unique addition to the next collection it will call home.

1985 March 85G GTP (Estimate: $250,000 – $350,000) This 1985 March 85G GTP, a model designed by legendary British engineer Adrian Newey, is a Chevrolet-powered example finished in iconic Budweiser livery. Sold new to DeAtley Racing, the team of businessman and financier Neil DeAtley, this mid-80s competition car holds an impressive period race history. A veteran of the 1985 12 Hours of Sebring, this March 85G GTP also participated in races at Daytona, Laguna Seca, and Road Atlanta. In 1985, this chassis achieved a career highlight by placing 2nd at the 1985 Grand Prix of Miami. Having been driven by notable names in motor sport, including David Hobbs, Darin Brassfield, and Arie Luyendyk, this distinctive March 85G GTP is a competition thoroughbred in all respects. 

1972 AAR Gurney Eagle Indy Car (Estimate: $250,000 – $350,000) As the definitive 1970s USAC Championship Race Car that revolutionized the sport entirely, the Eagle Indy Car developed by Dan Gurney’s All American Racers is integral to American motor sport history. Designed by Roman Slobodynskyj, the 1972 Indy Eagle was the fastest car of the year, and without a doubt the most popular customer Indy car of its time. This particular example, chassis 72-11, is one of only 28 believed to be built, and was driven by Mel Kenyon in the 1973 and 1974 Indianapolis 500 races, finishing a respectable 4th in 1973. Powered by the legendary Ford four-cam V-8 engine, this remarkably historic Indy Car is sure to be a favorite among racing enthusiasts and collectors alike.

Pebble Beach Auctions Date: Friday, August 19, at 5 p.m. PDT, and Saturday, August 20, at 11 a.m. PDT Location: Pebble Beach Parc du Concours Public Preview: Wednesday, August 17 through Saturday, August 20 Auction Catalogues: $100, includes admission for two to the viewing and the auction General Admission: $40, includes admission for one to the viewing and the auction Bidder Registration: Live Auction Broadcast:  Facebook:  Twitter: @goodingandco #GoodingPebble Instagram: @goodingandcompany #GoodingPebble YouTube:  Phone: +1 310.899.1960

About Gooding & Company Gooding & Company is celebrated for its world-class automotive auctions, private brokerage, and unparalleled service in the international collector car market, achieving over $2.5 billion in sales since the company’s inception. The auction house continues to deliver market-leading results through both its live auctions and Geared Online platform, setting new trends and world records with best-of-category cars across numerous verticals. Gooding & Company consistently presents the highest quality consignments while operating with openness and integrity, providing the company a reputation of trust and respect unmatched in the industry. Offering a wide range of services including private and estate sales, appraisals and collection management, the auction house is ready to assist you with numerous collector car services.

Media Inquiries:  Pauline Pechakjian  +1 (310) 383-7437

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