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  • Two full seasons in the World Championship in 1988 & 1989. Vice Champion in 1988 and 4th in 1989

  • Two participations in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1988 & 1989

  • A high-performance Spice C2 Cosworth with 13 podium finishes in historic races

  • Fresh Richardson engine - Interesting spare parts package

  • Sensibly priced

  • Eligible for Group C, Dubai GP Revival, Le Mans Classic

Gordon Spice, a successful British racing driver, gets his cars into production thanks to General Motors

Gordon Spice began his racing career in the mid-1960s. He went on to develop Tiga cars before setting up his own manufacturing company, Spice Engineering, in 1986. In 1985, after a full season in C2 (with five wins in seven races in a Tiga GC84/Spice-Tiga GC85), Gordon Spice won a contract to build chassis for General Motors to be fitted with a Pontiac block for the Camel Lights championship (the equivalent of C2 in IMSA). And so the Spice Pontiac Fiero (named after the road car from which the prototype would borrow some of its features) was born. 

In his Silverstone workshops, Gordon Spice considered the idea of building an adapted version of this car for Group C. He did so by producing a C2 version which became the SE86C (chassis 001). This new Group C - with a body similar to that of the Spice Fiero - enabled Gordon Spice to once again excel in the 1986 World Sportscar Championship. Immediately, the first Spices, with a honeycomb aluminium monocoque chassis topped with carbon fibre, became the benchmark in the 'small' prototype endurance category. And this superiority would remain undisputed for several seasons.

In 1987, with the added support of the first privateer team, Chamberlain Engineering, another show of strength was on the cards. 


In 1988, the bodywork of the Spice C2 evolved considerably and outperformed the competition

For 1988, the contract with General Motors no longer required the use of a body derived from the Fiero. As a result, the design of the SE was reworked, with a departure from the road-going Pontiac. The position of the headlights, the front end as a whole and the design of the rear section, particularly the spoiler supports, were all rethought. This is the configuration of SE88C chassis 002 that we offer for sale.

So the 1988 cars were radically different, with new bodywork and new aerodynamic packages, and they were always on target. Gordon Spice won his fourth consecutive Drivers' World Championship (1985, 1986, 1987 and 1988). A record at the time, he equalled Juan Manuel Fangio (at the time the only four-time winner and consecutive Drivers' Champion). 


SE88C-002, Vice-Champion 1988 and 4th in 1989 and two 24 Hours of Le Mans entries

SE88C-002 was the first SE88C sold to a private customer. The two cars officially entered by Spice Engineering in 1988 were chassis 001 and 003. Jean-Louis Ricci bought the prototype and entrusted its entry to the Chamberlain Engineering team. He shared the wheel with his friend Claude Ballot-Léna, with Jean-Claude Andruet as third driver in the 1988 24 Hours of Le Mans. 

The 1988 season ended with three podium finishes in the championship and the title of vice champion. The SE88C-002 shone at Jarama (2nd) and Jerez and Monza (3rd). The C2 shared the track with Jaguar XJR-9s, Sauber-Mercedes C9s and Porsche 962 Cs. And the comparison is possible: the Spice SE88Cs are getting noticed. "These cars mix well with the C1s, as evidenced by the sixth and seventh place finishes achieved by either Spice-Bellm or Copelli-Thyrring at every outing [before Le Mans]," says the 1988 Le Mans 24 Hours Yearbook.

Unfortunately, the trio retired at Le Mans. After an initial scare in the first hour with a short circuit caused by a fire extinguisher being emptied into the passenger compartment, Ballot-Léna returned. The extinguisher was replaced and then the driver was retired at Indianapolis. A problem with the cylinder head gasket led to his retirement. 

It's worth noting that the 002 livery was designed by Jean Fougerol. He also designed the livery for the Cachia Porsches entered in 1977 and for Charles Pozzi's Ferrai 512 BB in 1979. 


In 1989, Jean-Louis Ricci entered the car under the name of his own team, France Prototeam, and once again took part in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This time the 002 not only finished on the podium, but also won the Supercup round at the Nürburgring. 

2nd at Dijon and Jarama, 3rd at the Nürburgring, 5th at Brand Hatch and Mexico, the Spice enabled France Prototeam to finish 4th in the C2 team standings, behind a podium that was 100% British... and Spice! Proof that the SE is the benchmark. 

At the Le Mans 24 Hours, the adventure was more complete than in the 1988 edition, with a retirement only halfway through the race. This time there were no mechanical problems. Raymond Touroul hit an object on the track which made it impossible to drive. The C2 category saw a number of retirements this year. Pierre de Thoisy, who completed the crew with Bernard Thuner, saw another category victory slip through his fingers. He had already won two C2s, including one in 1988.

When SE88C 002 became a Spice-Audi "school car" in Pescarolo's hands

After a career in competition, the car was fitted with an Audi engine block. Initially, the car was to be entered in the United States. Bob Wollek, who was close to Jean-Louis Ricci, is said to have suggested the idea. But in the end it never happened. 

From 1993, the car was used to launch the track at the Folembray circuit. Together with Henri Pescarolo, the Group C served as a demonstrator for the Pilot Club, which organised driving courses. 

A number of improvements were made for this purpose. Fred Stadler (Audi-ROC) replaced the Cosworth V8 engine block with a 3.6-litre Audi V8 producing 250 bhp. The Spice's power output was thus reduced by around 50%, a choice which at the time allowed enthusiasts looking for a thrill to get into a real racing car.

In the June 1993 issue of Échappement magazine, in which 10 Spice-Audi internships were up for grabs, journalist Yves Bez-Rozet recounted his experiences behind the wheel. He drove in Folembray and said it was "an unforgettable experience". In particular, he talks about the power of the Audi block, which in his opinion is already sufficient: "The standard 3.6-litre engine develops 250 bhp with maximum flexibility. This means that everyone has the chance to experience the joys of the dog-leg gearbox, driving on the right-hand side of the track at ground level, the tiny steering wheel with no assistance, the warming up of the tyres and brakes... which happens long after the driver has done so. It's easy to work up a sweat, but what a rush!

When the car was sold in the early 2000s, it was restored to its original configuration, with the 1988 season and 24 Hours of Le Mans livery. The engine was no longer the Audi block, but a Cosworth DFR V8 prepared by Richardson, as in the 1988 and 1989 seasons. The comments and certificate issued by John Deller, managing director of Spice Racing Cars Ltd, confirm that the entire restoration of the car has been carried out to the highest standards and in accordance with the original specifications.


Back on the track in historic Group C races

At the wheel of this 02 Spice SE88C, its owner has enjoyed a string of successes. Prepared by MEC Auto and put through its paces on the track, it proved to be fast and reliable. With 13 podium finishes in 18 races, it has proven its competitiveness. It recently raced at Paul Ricard. So it's a very well-built SPICE C2 that we're offering for sale at a reasonable price. A great opportunity to drive a Spice in one of the most prestigious historic events, including Le Mans Classic!

Photo crédit 1988 : Claude Parpex

1989 : Luc Joly 



Keyword Search Terms:

SPICE, Group C, Le Mans Classic, Cosworth, DFR, V8


Item Location: Gazeran/France
Seller: ASCOTT
Joined January 2014
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Country: France
City: vaucresson
Phone: +33967334843
Condition Rebuilt
Trade or Private: Private
Price: £POA
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Added: 19/02/2024
Views: 2851

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