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Lot 154

2018   |   Scottsdale Auctions 2018

1956 Deutsch-Bonnet HBR5

SOLD $47,300

Estimate

$100,000 - $130,000| Without Reserve

Chassis

852

Car Highlights

Owned by Legendary Designer Brooks Stevens for 40 Years
Raced in the 1957 12 Hours of Sebring
Eligible for Numerous Vintage Racing Events Worldwide
Appropriately Finished in Dark French Blue Paintwork
A Rare and Fascinating French Gran Turismo

Technical Specs

848 CC Overhead Valve 2-Cylinder Engine
Zenith/Stromberg NDIX Carburetor
Estimated 65 BHP at 7,000 RPM
4-Speed Synchromesh Manual Transaxle
4-Wheel Hydraulic Drum Brakes
Front Independent Suspension with Transverse Leaf Spring
Rear Independent Suspension with Torsion Bars
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Formerly the Property of Brooks Stevens | Raced at the 1957 12 Hours of Sebring

Deutsch-Bonnet is best known today among vintage race aficionados, having garnered a reputation as a strong track competitor in the postwar years. Named after partners Charles Deutsch and René Bonnet, this French marque made its name by producing lightweight race cars that competed at Le Mans and in the Mille Miglia. By the mid-1950s, buoyed by race experience, the company’s efforts turned toward road-going gran turismos like this example.

Carrying a lightweight fiberglass body, the diminutive HBR5 weighed about 1,400 lbs. and when coupled with its two-cylinder, four-cycle engine producing approximately 65 BHP, it was a capable performer, on or off the track. This HBR5 was originally purchased by designer Brooks Stevens and he retained it for 40 years. During Mr. Stevens’ ownership, it was piloted by Guy Storr and Hal Ullrich at the 1957 12 Hours of Sebring, sharing the track with the likes of Juan Manuel Fangio, Stirling Moss, Briggs Cunningham, and Carroll Shelby. Unfortunately, it failed to finish due to an engine issue. Additional racing credibility was earned at Watkins Glen, New York, with François Crouzet at the wheel.

Finished in dark French blue as originally delivered, it is a worthy candidate for all manner of vintage racing events. Opportunities to acquire a Deutsch-Bonnet are rare, and even more so for an example with noteworthy ownership and racing history such as this.