Auctions and Brokerage
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.