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Dunlop Bridge

Donington’s iconic Dunlop Bridge to go under the hammer

The iconic Dunlop Bridge, which used to span the world-famous Donington Park circuit, is being auctioned by Bonham’s, one of the world’s leading auction houses to raise money for Hope Against Cancer on Saturday, 15th September along with three other legendary Donington displays.

The four Donington Park landmarks, to be sold ‘in situ’, are:

  • The individual sections of the fibreglass bridge, each as big as a large garden pond. Buyers can choose whether they want the individual letters or the whole bridge to spell out Dunlop, along with side supports.
  • The Dunlop advertising signage which hung below the bridge until its demolition in 2009.
  • The old timing clock once branded to Pirelli, which currently sits on the Old Hairpin bridge.
  • The wind tunnel model, from the 1970’s, of the World Land Speed Record car, Project Blue Star, which also sits on the Old Hairpin bridge.

World famous tyre company, Dunlop originally paid for the bridge to be erected over the Donington track 30 years ago, but during the previous operator’s ill-fated 2009 attempt to rebuild the circuit layout, the steel structure was knocked down and the metalwork was sold for scrap. The Dunlop tyre profile fibreglass lettered sections have recently been recovered and are now to be sold by Bonham’s.

Christopher Tate, Managing Director at Donington Park, said: “These iconic items will mean a great deal to thousands of racers, bikers, spectators – and all the staff and officials who have worked at Donington Park since 1977. The time has come when the Dunlop panels need to make space for new developments in the paddock area.

“The famous clock and the LSR car model – which is nine metres long – were to be moved this winter as our programme of track refurbishment continues. The lots aren’t going anywhere until after they are sold though – a good sized crane will be needed for that!”

Money raised from the auction will be donated to Leicestershire-based Hope Against Cancer, a charity passionately supported by the late owner of Donington Park, Tom Wheatcroft. Tom’s son and now circuit owner and chairman, Kevin, is keen to see this excellent cause benefit from the sale.

The auction is being held at the Goodwood Revival race meeting on September 14th, 15th and 16th in Sussex. Any likely bidders keen to secure a piece of Donington Park’s fabled racing history can inspect the items prior to the auction by arrangement with the circuit management.

Christopher added: “In working with Bonham’s, the leading car and automobilia auction house, we decided the time had come to offer these motoring landmarks to the market – and to support Tom and Kevin Wheatcroft’s favourite charity in doing so. We think there will be some strong interest and we hope that they will all find enthusiastic new homes!”

Ian Allkins
Ian Allkins

15th April 2014

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