Auctioneers Coys are sending a Ferrari owned by British boxing legend Sir Henry Cooper OBE under the hammer, along with over 40 classic and sports cars at their 'True Greats' auction on 5 December.
The 1973 Ferrari 365 GT 2+2 was owned in the early 1980s by Sir Henry Cooper, famous for the power of his left hook, or 'Enry’s ‘Ammer' and his knockdown of a young Muhammad Ali on 18th June 1963.
Coys took the car to the Fellowship Inn on the Bellingham estate in South London, where local boy Cooper lived and trained before the fight against Ali. The Fezza caught the attention of locals who turned out to see it, take pictures and share stories about the boxer.
Cooper later became friends with Ali, who admitted he was hit so hard that fight that “his ancestors in Africa felt it.” Following his retirement from the sport, he continued his career as a television and radio personality and to date remains the only boxer to be awarded a knighthood.
Chris Routledge, CEO of Coys, said: “He loved his cars, was a great motorsport enthusiast and at one point even did some club racing alongside his great friend Graham Hill."
The Fellowship Inn, now in semi-derelict condition, is set for a £4m restoration with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to bring it back to its former glory. The grant was secured by Phoenix Community Housing.
Councillor for Lewisham Alan Hall said: “The project will secure the future of the community pub while creating more than 70 jobs and lots of training and volunteering opportunities. Henry Cooper is a Bellingham local legend, it was great to see the car back in the area where he grew up and the interest it created amongst locals - hope it’s a knock out sale!”
The Councillor brought a model of a statue of Sir Henry Cooper that the Members of the London Ex-Boxers Association are planning to erect in Bellingham in 2017 in recognition not only for what he achieved in boxing but for the great contribution he made to many charities and more important as an example to young people. Coys will auction the model statue to raise funds for the London Ex-Boxers Association. The reserve is £1,000 - dig deep, it’s for charity!
The car is one of only 55 right hand drive examples produced. Under the bonnet is a 4.4 litre V12 unit producing 400 bhp at 7,000rpm, making it, at the time, the world’s most potent full four-seater. Despite its 1,450kilos, the car sprinted from 0 to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds and was capable of a top speed of 165 mph. The V5 shows Henry Cooper as the keeper, listing his home address in Hendon, North London. It has an estimate of between £55,000 to £70,000.
The auction also features a number of highly sought after Ferraris including a 1979 512 Berlinetta Boxer (estimated at £200,000 to £250,000), a 1968 330GTC Berlinetta (£550,000-£600,000), a 1972 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spyder (£500,000-£600,000), an original right hand drive 1974 246 GT – E series (£270,000-£300,000), a 2005 430 (£65,000-£75,000) and a 2000 Ferrari 550 Maranello ex- Maranello press car at no reserve.
Also on offer is a rare 1969 Porsche 911 S/T raced by Kent Frohde in the Swedish racing series in the early 1970s. It was sold to Frohde on 22th September 1971 and the engine - an original 2 Litre– was tuned to 242bhp. According to Frohde, this was the strongest 2 litre engine that Porsche had tuned at the time. This is one of the most sought after 911s in the world and surely worthy of a place in any Porsche museum or at any significant worldwide motoring event. It is estimated at£700,000 to £900,000.
The sale takes place at the Royal Horticultural Society in London, 5 December.