Mike Stevens | Mar 22, 2012

Ayrton Senna's first Formula 1 car, the Toleman TG184-2, is to be put up for auction by Silverstone Auctions in May. It's the first time the car has hit the market in 16 years.

The 1984 car was Senna's first F1 race ride, a car he hauled to second on the podium during the rain-hit 1984 Monaco Grand Prix and third at the British Grand Prix.

Racing cars are generally valued by taking several factors into account, among them: who drove it, whether the car won or placed on the podium, and in how many races, and how original the car is.

Online F1 car broker F1-sales.com has a car from perennial back marker Arrows. The FA-14 from 1993 is available with a Hart 3.5 litre V10 for £100,000 (around $150,000). A Mark Webber 2002 Jaguar R3 could be yours for £299,500 ($455,000).

A Ralf Schumacher Williams FW21 with the wrong engine can be had for £255,000. Ferrari will even sell you a car only two years old as long as you are deemed worthy of its Corse Clienti program.

Although only moderately successful, Senna's old car will be particularly valuable as so few of his race cars will ever be available for sale, at least as long as Ron Dennis' heart is beating.

The Brazilian raced for Toleman (which became Benetton, then Renault and now Lotus, for whom his nephew Bruno raced in 2011) for the 1984 season. He moved to the old Team Lotus and then McLaren before his ill-fated departure to Williams.

Ron Dennis famously refuses to sell any McLaren race cars and, given Senna spent six very successful seasons at the British race team, the most-prized championship-winning chassis will remain under lock and key for some time to come.

Senna's only Williams, the FW16 chassis number 02, was destroyed by the Williams team after receiving the wreckage back from Italian authorities more than ten years after his fatal crash.

"We are thrilled to bring this iconic race car to auction as its undoubtedly one of the most important lots we've ever offered under the hammer," Nick Whale, Silverstone Auctions managing director, said.

The same auction house saw a helmet used by Senna go for almost £75,000 ($114,000) and a race suit for close to £36,000 ($55,000)

The auction will take place on May 16. No price range for the car is given.

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