Open Roads, The European Summer Auction | Lot 127
1976 Inaltera GTP-Cosworth
The Richoz Collection
€374,000 EUR | Sold
| Montreux, Switzerland
14 - 22 July 2020
- Offered from the Richoz collection
- The first of three Inalteras built to contest the 1976 and 1977 24 Hours of Le Mans
- Finished 4th overall and 1st in class at the 1977 24 Hours of Le Mans
- Owned by Mr. Richoz since 1977
- Accompanied by an incredible assortment of spare parts, as well as a detailed history file
Please note that this lot will need to be collected from Montreux, Switzerland.
Based on the GTP regulations created by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest in 1976, this prototype is the first Inaltera chassis of three built. These cars were built by Jean Roneau and his team, with the help of a daring CEO, Mr. Charles James, who was in charge of Inaltera, a wallpaper company. Inaltera unveiled its plan to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans by presenting this Inaltera officially at the salon of “Jours de France” in Paris on February 25, 1976.
According to information provided by Thierry Rondel of l’Association Jean Rondea, this car, chassis number 001, carried out the first tests on various tracks from March 1976 onwards. These included the famous circuit Mas du Clos and Paul Ricard. At the same time as these tests, two other chassis were being built. However, chassis 001 did not race in the 24 Hours of Le Mans that year. The car was classified as a T-car and presented at the official weigh-in as a mule with race number T2.
At Le Mans in 1976, only chassis number 002 and 003 participated in the race, with chassis number 002 driven by Henri Pescarolo and Jean-Pierre Beltoise finishing 8th overall and 1st in class. Behind them was chassis 003 with Jean Rondeau Jean-Pierre Jaussaud, and Christine Beckers finishing 21st overall and 3rd in class.
The following year, all three chassis would be entered in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Chassis number 001 wore race number 88 and was driven by Jean Rondeau and Jean Ragnotti, finishing fourth overall and first in class, as well as being the first French-built automobile to cross the finish line that year. The other two Inalteras finished 11th and 13th overall.
After the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1977, Inaltera withdrew from motor racing and all three cars were sent to Switzerland. Later that year, all three cars were acquired directly from Inaltera by Mr. Richoz. While chassis number 002 and 003 were both subsequently sold (with chassis number 002 now residing in the Museum of the 24 Hours of Le Mans), chassis number 001 has been retained by Mr. Richoz ever since. With him, the car was rarely used and occasionally entered in local events in Switzerland and most recently, the car appeared at the 2016 Le Mans Classic. Importantly, the car is accompanied by an incredible assortment of spare parts as well as a detailed history file, which includes information on the car’s current technical set up.
Le Mans class winners are hard to come by and finding such a car that has remained with its current owner since the year it won its class is near impossible. Offered for the first time since 1977, this is an opportunity not to be missed.