1979 Sunhill Buggy Paris-Dakkar Buggy
Est: 35000 - 45000 EUR
Icon of the 1st Paris-Dakar 1979, winner of the 1st Dakar Classic 2021
Performing, reliable and easy vehicle
Sold overhauled, ready to compete
French historic registration title
Châssis n° 1102610268
In the 1970s, African rallies were all the rage and made a whole generation of adventurers, backpackers and drivers dream. Yves Sunhill, a designer with a degree in Beaux Arts, who made his fortune with a designer bottle opener, was a bit of all three.
Chassis n° 1102610268At the age of 19, he was already driving a Porsche, and shortly afterwards brought back a buggy from the United States. In 1968, he created the ASA Auto Verte in Montlhéry, and opened his first garage in Linas, with Beltoise and Jabouille, before moving his tools to Paris, then to Courbevoie. He imported and sold buggies, and soon tried his hand at competition, notably by entering the 2nd AbidjanNice Rally, the famous Côte-Côte, in 1976, at the wheel of a single-seater buggy of his own design. The worm is in the fruit... 24th December 1978, Trocadero Gardens, start of the 1st Oasis Paris-Dakar Rally, Thierry Sabine waves the flag. Yves Sunhill is at the wheel of a very beautiful red and white buggy (patterns of a fabric created by Louis Féraud, a fashionable fashion designer and Yves’ father-in-law), powered by an Alpine 1,800 cc engine prepared by Mignotet, co-piloted by Jean-Paul Sevin. But after a good start in the Saharan stages, the crew broke its radiator when entering Niger, during the stage between Asamaka and Arlit.
They were not equipped to weld aluminium, so they left the buggy with an expatriate who was to bring the buggy back to France later on. At the beginning of 1981, another expatriate, a motor sport enthusiast, discovered it, covered with sand and used as a nesting place for Bengalis. He in turn decided to bring the buggy back to France and return it to Yves Sunhill. He replaces the radiator, restarts the car, repaints it in white and fits Land Rover shock absorbers.
In August 1981, he met Yves Sunhill in Paris to propose the repatriation of the buggy. Sunhill didn’t believe in it anymore, and offered to give the buggy away in exchange for the repatriation of the engine. Deal! This is how the Buggy began its second African life, with a Peugeot 504 Ti engine. Simple and efficient, with parts available locally. In 1982, our amateur driver took part in a few local races, before deciding to return to France, driving the buggy. After several breakdowns and many adventures, he crossed paths with Yves Sunhill and Jean-Paul Sevin, who couldn’t believe their eyes, during the 1983 Dakar. After a 3,000 km journey, the strange crew reached Grenoble, under the snow. In 1983, the buggy was sold to a garage owner in Toulouse, who left it in a dormant state.
It was not until 2006 that two local enthusiasts gave it a new lease of life, with a VW 4-cylinder engine, and entered it in the TransAfricaine Classic, organised by Patrick Zaniroli. This buggy, built from a very nice home-made tubular chassis and Volkswagen running gear, will then be fully restored and prepared (engine developing about 100 hp) by the Nantes Prestige Autos garage to take part in the very first Dakar Classic, in 2021, in Saudi Arabia, which it will win! This vehicle, icon of the 1st Paris Dakar, is the perfect mount to take part in the next Dakar Classic, where it is highly eligible. Performing and proven, magnificent with its period decoration inspired by the Louis Féraud haute-couture collection, it is the ideal buggy for amateur or confirmed drivers to take part in the Dakar myth, and why not win it again...