The gigantic Airfix sculpture was recently unveiled to the public at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire when Coys hosted its annual Concours d’Elegance and auction at the historic venue – and there to see it unveiled was Ayrton Senna’s former manager, Dennis Rushen.
Rushen, who was team manager in Ayrton’s formative years, said, “I was really impressed with the Senna sculpture. Such a clever idea and it really stands out as something really different. Often at race meetings Senna would fly his radio controlled helicopter. He was really into models and he would have appreciated the concept.”
There has been huge renewed interest in Ayrton Senna since the film “Senna” went on general release at cinemas a few weeks ago and the auction house have received a huge amount of interest in the sculpture since they pictured it in their catalogue.
Officially endorsed by McLaren, this artwork was created by renowned artist Jay Burridge using Ayrton Senna’s Championship winning 1991 McLaren MP4/6 F1 car given to him personally by Ron Dennis.
Jay Burridge was a sculpture student at Central Saint Martinís college of Art and Design from 1990 to 1994. Whilst in his second year his tutor passed on a letter he had received from McLaren International offering a student a unique opportunity to make a sculpture using one of their cars.
Jay met with Ron Dennis the next day and was shown a car being dismantled from the previous season and Jay commented that it was like taking apart the world’s most expensive Airfix kit and immediately knew what he wanted to do with it. Next Jay drew up plans and submitted them to McLaren; the simplicity of the concept appealed to McLaren and respectfully complemented the cars construction.
Upon completion Jay invited Ron Dennis to Central St. Martins to view the sculpture and he was so impressed with it and agreed for it to be displayed in the reception of Marlboro’s advertising agency in London.
The sculpture was put into storage and upon Senna’s death in May 1994 Jay received a phone call from Ron Dennis’s office asking if the sculpture could remain in storage for two years, so out of respect he did not use Senna’s death to sell the sculpture.
Time passed and in June 2004 the sculpture was featured as a central part of the ‘Remembering Ayrton Senna’ tribute exhibition at the Goodwood Festival of Speed where McLaren offered to clean and restore the body work to look its best for the occasion.
“It will be sold at our auction at the Nurburgring on August 13th,” said Chris Routledge from Coys. “It really is a fantastic sculpture that would not be out of place in a design or motor museum or on the wall of a corporate office. We believe that it will sell for between £30,000 and £50,000.”
For more information, visit www.coys.co.uk.
[Source: Coys; photo credit: Adam Jacob’s photography]