A former DTM 155 will be auctioned in Paris early next year, and it looks resplendent with its eye-popping orange Jagermeister livery
In stark contrast to the off-the-shelf GT3 machines currently used in the series, DTM cars of the mid-noughties were highly bespoke and enormously expensive to make. Having dispensed with Group A regulations, DTM adopted a very loose rule book that allowed teams the freedom to go wild with the cars, departing further and further from the production vehicles they were kinda/sorta based on.
Just take the Alfa Romeo 155 V6 TI. Its 2.5-litre six-pot engine (the maximum size and cylinder count permitted in DTM) shared little with its road-going counterpart, and it was mounted longitudinally, not transversely like in the road car.
Capable of revving to nearly 11,800rpm and kicking out over 400bhp, the V6 went into a shell made from carbon fibre, giving a weight figure of just 1040kg. Unusually for a touring car, that V6 was tasked with powering both axles, albeit with the rear wheels biased heavily.
Along with carbon fibre, other exotic materials on the menu included magnesium and titanium. Alfa was far from the only manufacturer chucking big buckets of money at its DTM car, and something had to give. Amidst a spending war, Alfa Romeo and Opel pulled out of the series at the end of the 1996 season, leaving only Mercedes remaining.
Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft was done, disappearing for several years before a revival in 2000 involving much more cost-effective but far less interesting silhouette racers. The legacy of those bonkers years remains, however, for anyone with deep enough pockets to indulge.
The oh-so orange, Jagermeister-liveried ball of fury you see here is a 1995 155 TI, set to be auctioned via RM Sotheby’s on 2 February in Paris. Chassis number 05 was built by Alfa Corse and supplied to satellite outfit Euroteam, which fielded Michael Bartels on driving duties. Despite being hampered by reliability issues later in the season, strong results including a couple of wins at Diepholz helped Bartels secure 10th place in the championship, ahead of all the factory Corse drivers. Awks.
1996, which saw DTM combine with the ITC (International Touring Car Championship) for one season only, went less well for TI 05 – Bartels eventually finished 21st in the standings. In the 2000s the car was shuttled between a few owners, in that time getting engine and suspension rebuilds to the tune of nearly €170,000.
The only use the V6 and gearbox have seen since rejuvenation involves a little dyno work. There are various options out there for any buyers wanting to race the Alfa, including the Youngtimer Trophy and DTM Classic, which will run as a support series for the modern DTM starting next year.
No estimate is provided, but to give you an idea of how much it might end up costing, RM Sotheby’s auctioned a Martini-liveried 155 V6 TI for €792,500 earlier this year.