The annual pilgrimage to Paris, winter weather be damned, was put off this year by CoViD.
The gigantic Rétromobile show months ago postponed to June 2-6 hoping to catch the CoViD slipstream – a hope that is increasingly ephemeral. The auctions that orbit Rétromobile from Artcurial Motorcars, Bonhams and RM Sotheby’s were left to follow their own devices.
Artcurial, most identified with the Rétromobile show, elected to retain the original date with a much smaller one-day live/online auction. Set in its private garage just off the Champs Elysée, there were just 42 lots offered.
That restricted consignment, however, was offset by the headline lot, the 1972 Le Mans 24 Hours winning Matra MS 670 prototype being sold by Matra to generate funds to pay a €4.2 million court judgment. The urgency of the pending judgment may have influenced Artcurial’s decision to keep the February date despite having scheduled another auction during the postponed Rétromobile show in June.
The numbers below differ significantly from those released by Artcurial. In part the difference can be traced to slightly different exchange rates. Artcurial (and other auctions) has to have a fairly current rate to populate its currency conversion screen during the auction. I have the luxury of waiting for the weekly release of conversion rates by the New York Federal Reserve Bank. A single source means that comparisons across years of data are consistent.
The more glaring difference in the 2021 numbers is a consequence of the way the Value Added Tax (currently 20% in France) is treated.
For years Artcurial and some other UK/EU auctions have added VAT on the buyer’s premium to the reported results. The effect usually is small, but for very large transactions can reach six figures. VAT can be refunded for lots shipped out of the taxing jurisdiction, however, and in the interest of closer parity between VAT and non-VAT auctions it has always been backed out of the reported results.
Which brings us to the Le Mans-winning Matra. It was sold by the manufacturer, Matra, and was therefore classified as a “new car” for tax purposes imposing the full 20% VAT on the successful hammer bid. Artcurial then applied its graduated Buyer’s Premium (16% of the first €900,000 and 12% of any amount over €900,000) to the full purchase price including “new car” VAT.
In other words, Artcurial reports a much higher price than one that doesn’t include VAT.
Specifically, while the Matra MS 670 transaction below shows a final price of $6,782,926 (€5,636,000) Artcurial reports it as $8,312,815 (€6,907,200) including VAT on the purchase price, a difference of over $1.5 million.
By the way, Artcurial’s inclusion of VAT on the hammer price circumstantially confirms that the lot went to an EU-based private owner.
Also, note as an aside that EU regulations may define even a car bought from a private owner as “new” if: a) it has been in use no more than 6 months; or it has been driven no more than 6,000 kilometers. A Pagani Huayra with 600 km on the clock bought from a collector in Monaco? It’s “new” for European Union VAT purposes.
That explanation is a bit arcane, but will explain why you may see a major difference between what you read here and what you may read elsewhere.
Here are the numbers (all excluding VAT):
|Year||Cars Sold/ Offered||Sale %||Sold < Low Est||Sold > High Est||Average Sale||Median Sale||Total $||Exchange Rate|
This report is based upon Artcurial Motorcars online descriptions and photographs and were prepared by Andrew Newton and Rick Carey. Lots are sorted in lot number order.
Photographs are © and courtesy of Artcurial Motorcars. Photographer credits are noted where applicable.
Lot # 4 1973 Alpine A110 1600 SC/VD Coupe; S/N A1101600VD20154; Engine # 807124774; Alpine Blue/Black leather, cloth; Estimate $108,315 – $156,455; Older restoration 3+ condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $102,298 plus commission of 16.00%; Final Price $118,665. – 1800-cc engine, Weber 45 DCOE carb, 5-speed, Autobleu exhaust manifold, Michelin XAS tires, Schroth harnesses, leather-wrapped steering wheel, rally timers, original roll bar. Comes with spare wheel and original exhaust. – Represented as one of 481 examples of the 1600 SC version of the A110, which was built from 1973-75. Older restoration with a specially prepared 1800-cc block. Interior looks original with light general age, plus some dirt in the footwells and on the pedals. Light discoloration on the white headliner. Orderly, lightly run engine bay. Some marks and scratches on the wheels. The paint and badges look decent, but the gaps are a little uneven. A solid A110 that looks like a perfect tour or vintage rally car. – Light weight, rear engine, snappy handling, and fantastic looks thanks to Italian pen-for-hire Giovanni Michelotti, the Alpine A110 is one of France’s greatest ever performance cars and one of the all-time rally greats. It won the first World Rally Championship title in 1973, despite its basic design being already a decade old. Although only around 10,000 A110s were built, they enjoyed a long production run with plenty of improvements along the way. Later ones are quicker, and this car’s 1800-cc engine is a welcome addition even if it isn’t original to the car. It sold for a sensible amount given the age to its restoration.
Lot # 5 1972 Matra MS 670 Endurance Racer; S/N 67001; Engine # MS7620; Blue, Lime Green #11/Black; Estimate $4,814,000 – $9,026,251; Competition restoration 3+ condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $6,017,500 plus commission of 12.72%; Final Price $6,782,926. – MS76 Matra V12, Porsche transaxle, black alloy wheels, Avon tires, full width rollbar, Marchal lights, Moto-Lita leather rim steering wheel. – Winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1972 driven by Henri Pescarolo and Graham Hill. Raced in the 1973 World Championship with a win at the Zeltweg 1000 km driven by Pescarolo and Larrousse. 1973 nose and Le Mans long tail. Restored in 2008 by EPAF, updated in 2020 and now offered by Matra to settle a court judgment of some €4.2 million in favor of former workers at Matra’s Romorantin factory. Spare Le Mans 1973 engine and Porsche gearbox fitted. Scratched up steering wheel, wrinkled seat cushion, display car paint, orderly engine compartment and chassis, shown running well recently. The underlying Matra MS 670 is the 1972 Le Mans winning chassis but much of the rest is assembled from various Matra parts, bodywork and spares. Even the racing number and livery displayed are from Zeltweg in 1973. 20% VAT added to the successful hammer bid and the Buyer’s Premium based upon the hammer bid plus VAT for an EU private (non-dealer) purchaser. – The mixed origins of the bits making up this Matra, not to mention the mixed origins of its livery, are qualifications that seemed to have little effect upon the bidders at Artcurial. Bidding was slow and measured, moving in Euro 50,000 increments from €4.1 million and solely on the phones. The opportunity to own an outright Le Mans winner is never to be dismissed lightly, particularly one that has never left the hands of its builder and entrant and for a French Le Mans winner at a Parisienne auction the allure is heightened. Woe, however, to an EU buyer for whom the transaction is painfully expensive: €5 million hammer plus €1 million VAT plus an effective 12.6% commission, a total of €6,756,000 ($8.1 million) plus 20% VAT on the €756,000 commission. Artcurial quotes the all-in price (“to join a private collection”) including taxes at €6,907,200, $8,312,815 using the exchange rate in this report, confirming sale to an EU buyer with the heavy VAT burden. But if you want it (and two people really did) this is what it took to own it.
Lot # 6 1986 Ford RS200 Coupe; S/N 015; White, Blue/Black; Estimate $300,875 – $481,400; Competition car, original as-raced 3 condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $385,120 plus commission of 16.00%; Final Price $446,739. – 1803-cc turbocharged Cosworth BDT four, 5-speed, all-wheel drive, Sabelt harnesses, Momo steering wheel. – Works Group B rally car with which Kalle Grundel took third at the 1986 Swedish Rally. That was the best finish in the World Rally Championship for the RS200, which was a monster of a car but also one that arrived too late to the Group B party. RS200s only competed in a few rallies before the series was banned. Long displayed in a museum and will reportedly need sorting before driving. It took part in only three events in period and is unrestored but with no major signs of damage or deterioration. – In recent years serious collectors have started to recognize the significance, clever engineering, and sheer insanity of the Group B era in the World Rally Championship, paying larger and larger prices both for the rally cars themselves and the devilishly quick Group B road cars built purely for homologation. Despite its limited participation in the series, the Ford RS200 is among the most desirable Group B cars. Its potential was obvious from the start and it went on to great success in rallycross. This car is arguably the most desirable of the works RS200 rally cars given its event-winning history and despite its condition, so it isn’t a bad value at this price. Another RS200 works rally car, which finished 5th at the RAC Rally, also sold for £264,58 (about $350,800 at the time) at Goodwood in 2016. Other RS200s, meanwhile, have sold for more, with an “Evolution” model selling for $550,000 at Quail Lodge in 2017, another Evo model sold or $522,500 at Amelia Island in 2016, and yet another Evo sold for $539,000 at Pebble Beach in 2015.
Lot # 7 1985 Peugeot 205 Turbo 16 Evo 2 Hatchback; S/N VF3741R76E5200009; White, Blue, Red, Yellow graphics/Dark Blue; Estimate $722,100 – $962,800; Competition restoration 3+ condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $986,870 plus commission of 16.00%; Final Price $1,144,769. – 1775-cc turbo four, 5-speed, all-wheel drive, Sparco seats, Sabelt harnesses. – Won the 1986 Tour de Corse (Corsica) with Bruno Saby. Also driven by Timo Salonen at the 1986 Swedish Rally. One of 19 Evo 2 models built with improvements like integrated roll cage, lighter weight, 430 horsepower (up from 350), and power steering. After Group B was banned, it sold to Peugeot Finland for rallycross competition, where it was very successful. Later restored in its original livery in the 1990s. Since run only occasionally, and not driven, so like the other rally cars in this collection it will need recommissioning. – The Audis, Lancias, and Fords were arguably more exciting to watch, but if we’re going by pure numbers the Peugeot 205 T16 was the undisputed champ of the Group B era, with 16 overall wins and two World Championships (1985 and ’86). Despite being down on power, the Peugeot took full advantage of Group B’s regulations (or lack thereof) and was both lighter and nimbler than the Audi Sport Quattro. This 205 T16 is also the most successful out of all the Group B cars offered at this Artcurial auction, being the only one to take a WRC victory. So it makes sense that it was the most expensive of the bunch save for the stupefying sum paid for the never-raced Audi. Even so, it’s a record for the model, well over its high estimate, and about twice what other 205 T16 rally cars have sold for in recent years.
Lot # 8 1986 Lancia Delta S4 Hatchback; S/N 227; White, Martini graphics/Dark Blue; Estimate $722,100 – $962,800; Competition restoration 3 condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $818,380 plus commission of 16.00%; Final Price $949,321. – 1759-cc turbocharged and supercharged (“Twincharged”) four, 5-speed, all-wheel drive, Sparco seats, Sabelt harnesses. – Finished second at the 1986 Memorial Bettega rally with Miki Biasion but Group B was banned shortly after. Then bought by Bruno Saby and campaigned in the 1988 French Rallycross Championship. Later restored to its works Lancia Martini livery. Since used sparingly during its time on museum display and will need recommissioning. The interior looks largely original and the engine bay is a bit dirty, but a rally car shouldn’t be too shiny, anyway. – Lancia’s Delta S4 was perhaps the most extreme and the most clever car of the Group B era. The first Lancia rally car to embrace all-wheel drive with a state-of-the-art three-differential rear-biased system, it also features a twin-charge system for the engine that combines a Volumex supercharger for boost at lower rpms with a KKK turbocharger for boost at higher revs. Legend has it that during testing for the Rallye de Portugal, an S4 lapped Estoril fast enough to qualify in the top 10 for that year’s F1 race. The S4 is also the car that effectively killed Group B, as Henri Toivonen’s fatal crash at the 1986 Tour de Corse was the straw that broke the camel’s back. On the collector car market, the Delta S4 was the first Group B era car to sell for seven figures, with a like-new road car selling for €1,040,000 ($1,166,000) at the RM Sotheby’s Essen sale in 2019. Otherwise, though, high six figures has been the norm, and this result looks like a very strong number given the car’s limited competition history and all the attention that it needs. For reference, the S4 that won the 1985 RAC Rally sold for £764,375 (about $979,000 at the time) at RM Sotheby’s London in 2019 and the car that won the 1986 Halkidiki Rally sold for €770,000 ($885,115) through an RM “Online Only” auction last year.
Lot # 9 1988 Audi Quattro Turbo Sport S1 Coupe; S/N 85ZGA905016; White, Gray, Red, Black stripes/Gray; Estimate $1,203,500 – $1,564,550; Competition car, original as-raced 3+ condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $2,076,038 plus commission of 14.09%; Final Price $2,368,488. – 2110-cc five, 5-speed, all-wheel drive, Recaro seats, Sabelt harnesses, Momo steering wheel. – Never rallied in anger in period, but did take part in the 1988 Race of Champions, which was a tribute to the late Group B driver Henri Toivonen. Bought directly from Audi by the current owner. In a museum since. Perfectly presentable but certainly not immaculate, it will need sorting before any serious driving. – All the Group B rally cars out of this collection sold very well, a few of them for surprisingly high numbers, but this is in a different ballpark. Its final price is nearly two times the low estimate and the most expensive Group B era car we’ve ever seen sell at auction. Remember, it doesn’t have a period race history, and yet it sold for twice as much as the Peugeot out of the collection, which was both a works car and a rally winner. Someone just had to have it.
Lot # 10 1985 MG Metro 6R4 Hatchback; S/N SAXXRWNP7A0570016; Red, Yellow/Black cloth; Estimate $336,980 – $433,260; Competition car, original as-raced 3 condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $246,718 plus commission of 16.00%; Final Price $286,192. – LHD. 2991-cc V-6, 5-speed, all-wheel drive. – Winner of the 1986 French Rally Championship. Converted to left-hand drive in period, although the gauge cluster is still on the right side of the car. Put into storage after the Group B ban but went into a museum in 1989. Still in as-raced condition with chips, scratches, and scrapes, plus some dirt and dust. Will require mechanical attention before being driven in anger. – Austin Rover took the wrong approach to the Group B regs, opting for a larger displacement naturally aspirated engine instead of forced induction like the rest of the teams. The 6R4 was therefore never a WRC front-runner, but some of them (like this car) were successful in regional rally series, and in rallycross after Group B’s ban. The 3.0-liter mid-mounted V-6 also makes a great sound, and it got a new lease on life with two turbos a few years later in the Jaguar XJ220. This one came in below its presale low estimate but it’s still the most expensive 6R4 we’ve seen sell at auction. Another one was a £400,000 (about $527,000 at the time) no-sale at a Silverstone auction last November, but that was an ex-works WRC car. Others typically bring under 200 grand.
Lot # 11 1985 Renault 5 Maxi Turbo Hatchback; S/N PT8220E00001; White, Yellow, Black/Black; Estimate $481,400 – $722,100; Competition restoration 3+ condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $673,960 plus commission of 16.00%; Final Price $781,794. – 1527-cc turbo four, 5-speed, rear-wheel drive, Sabelt harnesses, magnesium gearbox, dry sump. – One of two cars campaigned by Renault Spain and Carlos Sainz in the 1986 Spanish Rally Championship (he finished second that year), then converted to four-wheel drive for the Spanish Gravel Rally Championship, then converted back to its 1986 specs and colors and sold to a museum. Dull and dusty from sitting, but not deteriorated. – The Maxi was the ultimate evolution of Renault’s hottest of hot hatches – the R5 Turbo. Although it wasn’t quite a match for the fire-breathing all-wheel drive monsters of the Group B era, the rear-drive Renault was still competitive in regional rallies, and this one had success in the early career of 1990 and 1992 World Champion Carlos Sainz. Given that history and its ultimate specs it deserved an ultimate price, but this result was still surprisingly high. The only thing remotely close was the 1982 French Rally Championship winning Group 4 (predecessor to Group B) car that sold for £337,500 ($444,700 at the time) last November.
Lot # 12 1985 Lancia 037 Coupe; S/N ZLA151AR000000412; White, Martini graphics/Dark Blue; Estimate $601,750 – $962,800; Visually maintained, largely original 3+ condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $553,610 plus commission of 16.00%; Final Price $642,188. – 2111-cc supercharged four, 5-speed, rear-wheel drive, Sparco seats, Sabelt harnesses. – Evo 2 model with larger engine. Unverified period competition history, but repainted in Martini colors in the late 1980s so at least it looks just right. Like the other Group B cars out of this collection, it’s dull and dusty from sitting, and needs sorting before any sort of hard driving. – Lancia’s nimble supercharged 037 was the last rear-wheel drive car to win the World Rally Championship, in a thrilling David-beats-Goliath 1983 season. Lancia was on a shoestring budget and campaigning a flawed car. Audi was backed by tons of corporate money and had its cutting edge all-wheel drive Sport Quattros. But, at the end of it all, Lancia took the title by two points. By the ’84 season, however, it was clear that all-wheel drive turbos were the way of the future even if the 037 was still competitive on tarmac stages. 30-plus years later, the 037 is among the most valuable cars of the Group B era. Stradale (street) versions are less extreme but more usable than the rally cars, and several have sold for serious money, including a €770,000 ($870,000) car at Essen in 2019 and a €451,000 ($588,000) car through one of RM’s “Online Only” auctions last year. Probably the most direct comparison to this car, though, was another Evo 2 model painted in Martini colors but with no period competition history that sold through a Dorotheum auction in 2019 for €406,200 ($490,000). Given this car’s mechanical needs, then, its price was very strong.
Lot # 14 1954 Peugeot 203A DS3 Torpedo Tour de France, Body by Peugeot; S/N 1700045; Ivory, ”L’Equipe”/Black vinyl; Black vinyl top; Estimate $72,210 – $120,350; Visually maintained, largely original 3- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $58,972 plus commission of 16.00%; Final Price $68,407. – 1,290/44hp hemi-head inline 4-cylinder, column shift 4-speed, Marchal headlights, hubcaps, blackwall tires, trafficators, special Peugeot-built 4-seat body with no doors, cut down sides and mounts on the rear deck for bicycle racks, hand rails above the windshield, rear wheel mud flaps. – One of twelve built by Peugeot to support the 1954 Tour de France Cycliste based on the DS3 convertible. Neglected old engine compartment, sound older paint and upholstery. A museum car for a number of years and the catalog notes that there is corrosion evident on the underbody of the unit body structure. – Its corrosion issues aside, showing up on a stage of the TdF Cycliste driving this relic, even if not wearing a Superman cape, will make mouths drop and foster many new friendships. The bidders were circumspect and showed respect for the corrosion issue highlighted by Artcurial Motor Cars with this bid but other than shoring up some floors and stringers it is usable and enjoyable as-is and brought a realistic price.
Lot # 17 1990 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5 Evo II 4-Dr. Sedan; S/N WDB2010361F737876; Engine # 10299210000324; Dark Blue/Black leather; Estimate $216,630 – $240,700; Recent restoration 2 condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $198,578 plus commission of 16.00%; Final Price $230,350. – 2,463/235hp inline 4-cylinder, 5-speed, air conditioning, power sunroof, RDS cassette stereo, power windows, 6-spoke alloy wheels, splitter, wing, Momo leather rim steering wheel, #194 of 500. – Restored with 140,000 km and now showing 2,496 km. The paint, upholstery, interior trim, gauges, switches are essentially like new. Two owners from new. – This is an astute and reasonable result for a meticulously restored and presented 190E Evo II. Today 235hp in a compact 4-door doesn’t sound like much (and it isn’t) but in 1990 it was heroic and the DTM wars provided some of the best “stock” body road racing in the world with some of the best drivers. It is a good value at this price and probably needs nothing except fluids and an inspection certificate.
Lot # 18 1957 Messerschmitt KR 200 Cabriolet; S/N 64710; Engine # 2256724; Ruby Red/Black; Black cloth top; Estimate $42,123 – $60,175; Recent restoration 2+ condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $36,105 plus commission of 16.00%; Final Price $41,882. – 191/10hp two-stroke Fichtel & Sachs single, 4-speed sequential gearbox, hubcaps, luggage rack, picnic basket, dual mirrors. – Sound original upholstery, very good paint with light orange peel, chrome and cast aluminum bits. Quality three-layer top. Excellent engine and drivetrain. It wasn’t this good when it left Regensburg. – Very well done, if only to Messerschmitt standards and a desirable cabriolet without the handicap on a bright, sunny summer day of enduring the smothering heat of the usual plexiglass bubble canopy. This is a sound buy for a bubble top and a good value for the more rare cabriolet.
Lot # 20 1957 Porsche 550A Spyder, Body by Wendler; S/N 550A0118; Engine # 90111; Silver/Black; Estimate $4,573,300 – $5,295,400; Competition restoration 2- condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $4,212,250. – 1,498/140hp, dual downdraft Weber carburetors, 4-speed transaxle, driver’s head fairing, woodrim steering wheel, dual outside mirrors, fire system, full width Plexiglas windscreen, headlight stoneguards. – Represented as the matching numbers engine. First owned by Ernie Erickson in Chicago, raced in Midwest SCCA races and Nassau in 1957, then successfully in 1958 with many wins. Next owner Frank Campbell finished 3rd in the 1958 Nassau all-Porsche race. The next owner, Ted Baumgartner, sold it to Bob Wilke, owner of Leader Cards and multiple Indy 500 team owner, for Rodger Ward to drive along with Bruce Kessler and Buzz Hahn. After a string of subsequent owners it was acquired by George Barber and later Gerry Sutterfield. Restored in the 80’s in Germany for Wolfi Zweifler. Sold at auction in Monaco in 2001. Highly original (confirmed by a 2017 inspection report by Marco Marinello) and in excellent condition cosmetically and mechanically, done to highly presentable historic racing standards with attention to preserving its originality. – Sold by Brooks at Monaco in 2001 for 3 million FF ($442,803 at the time), cataloged as chassis number 550-0118, fresh from restoration. RM sold 550A-0116 at Monterey in 2018 for $4,450,000 hammer, $4.9 million all-in. It, too, had a prominent U.S. racing history but it had a replacement engine and some condition issues that called its restoration into question. There are no such issues with 0118, nor was there much enthusiasm among today’s bidders, starting at 3 million €and proceeding slowly by €100,000 increments to this result. 2021 is not 2018, however, and it might have been appropriate to give more consideration to the reported high bid here.
Lot # 21 1960 AC Ace Bristol Roadster; S/N BEX1160; Engine # 100D21028; Dark Red/Black leather; Estimate $361,050 – $421,225; Older restoration 3- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $252,735 plus commission of 16.00%; Final Price $293,173. – 1,971/125hp Bristol six, later 5-speed, stainless side-exit exhaust, painted wire wheels, dual mirrors, Moto-Lita woodrim steering wheel. Comes with original side curtains, tonneau cover and jack. – From the “So British Collection.” One of 466 Ace-Bristols built. Sold new in the U.S., although it currently has a metric speedo. By the 1980s it was still Stateside and fitted with a V-8. Later restored in the 1990s with its original engine. In aged condition today with a shabby-looking but complete engine bay. Worn steering wheel and shifter. Sound but wrinkled leather. Rough-looking exhaust. Ding on the filler cap. Very old Dunlop Racing tires. Artcurial recommends a thorough servicing, so it has been sitting for a while. – Assuming the attention this car needs is the straightforward kind, this was a driver-quality Ace sold for driver-quality money. And for someone who wants an AC for driving and touring, it is a much better value than the barn find Ace Bristol that Artcurial sold at its December sale for €359,000 (about $437,000 at the time). It opened at €200,000, attracted no more bids and closed later in this post-block negotiated transaction.
Lot # 22 1960 AC Aceca Bristol Coupe; S/N BEX795; Engine # see text; Light Grey/Red leather; Estimate $120,350 – $180,525; Visually maintained, largely original 3- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $114,333 plus commission of 16.00%; Final Price $132,626. – 1,971/128hp, 5-speed, three Solex carburetors, chrome wire wheels, Dunlop Racing tires, woodrim steering wheel, wood dashboard panels, green translucent sun visors. – 100D engine block, 100 B2 cylinder head (# 100 B2 4011), original valve covers with the original engine number 100 D2 1084. Superficial old repaint, cracked original upholstery, older replaced interior trim and carpets. The engine compartment is aged, dirty and highly original; there are no photos of the chassis but it is probably consistent with the engine compartment. Tires are aged, dirty and cracked. The body panels look straight. Carpets are scruffy and the chrome is weak. The 5-speed’s shift lever and pattern appear to be from Japan. An intriguing car but with many replacements and work-arounds that detract from its appeal even as a restoration project. – There wasn’t much love at Artcurial for this Aceca Bristol which opened at 90,000 €and advanced only one increment to the final bid. Restored to beyond perfect trailer queen condition it might bring $200,000 in the States with its mixed up engine and gearbox and it won’t get from here to there for the $68,000 left after paying this much for it. It is an expensive indulgence.
Lot # 23 1965 Aston Martin DB5 Vantage Coupe; S/N DB51767L; Engine # 4001754V; Midnight Blue/Blue leather; Estimate $722,100 – $962,800; Visually maintained, largely original 3- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $818,380 plus commission of 16.00%; Final Price $949,321. – 3,995/325hp, three dual choke Weber carburetors, ZF 5-speed, chrome wire wheels, woodrim steering wheel, Blaupunkt multiband radio, power windows, power antenna. – Described as the matching numbers engine. Frayed shoulder belts, stretched and creased seats with wear on the driver’s seat bolster. Sound old paint but with edge chips, scrapes and swirl. Weak, rusty chrome; rusty chrome wire wheels. Dirty engine compartment with fuel and other dribbles. Good gauges. Described as displayed at the 1965 Paris Auto Show, but a saleroom notice corrected that to being displayed at the importer’s showroom. Restored in the early 90’s for the present owner in the current color. Little used since then but it also has been neglected and needs comprehensive attention before being driven, let alone being presented on a show field. – Despite picking away at the multitude of condition issues, this is a sound and complete DB5 Vantage in the most desirable 5-speed configuration. Its needs are more of neglect than of mistreatment and should be in large part remedied without spending more than it is worth. It is a sound value in this transaction.
Lot # 24 1965 Aston Martin DB6 Short Chassis Volante; S/N DBVC2315L; Engine # 4002309; Autumn Gold/Tan leather; Beige top; Estimate $1,444,200 – $1,925,600; Older restoration 2- condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $1,173,413 plus commission of 15.69%; Final Price $1,357,548. – LHD. 3995-cc six with triple Webers, 5-speed, chrome wire wheels, dual mirrors, Normalair air conditioning, woodrim steering wheel, power windows, Smiths dash clock, aftermarket Blaupunkt cassette stereo, tan leather boot cover. – From the “So British Collection.” Shown at the 1965 Los Angeles Motor Show. Rare “Short Chassis Volante,” which combined the mechanical upgrades of the DB6 with the chassis of the DB5. Aston built just 37, including 12 in left-hand drive and just one in this Autumn Gold color. Restored in the early 1990s. Tidy interior. Lightly run and maintained engine bay. The door gaps don’t look quite right. Presents as what it is, a lightly driven and aged old restoration. This color is a bit odd but it is rare. – The rarest of the five desirable Astons from the “So British Collection,” this Short Chassis Volante is a perfect example of a transitional model and how carmakers (particularly British ones) changed things as they went along rather than model year by model year. The age of this one’s restoration and possibly the color hindered it here, enough for a modest price relative to what others have sold for. It was proclaimed for sale at a bid of €950,000, one bid below its ultimate result.
Lot # 26 1961 Aston Martin DB4 Coupe; S/N DB4704L; Engine # 4001958; Metallic Blue/Red leather; Estimate $288,840 – $385,120; Visually maintained, largely original 3- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $252,735 plus commission of 16.00%; Final Price $293,173. – 3,995/282hp, 5-speed, chrome wire wheels, dual outside mirrors. – 4-litre DB5 engine with SU carburetors, 5-speed. The front seats have been recovered but the rear seat is original, as is much of the interior trim and the aged carpets. The paint is old, blotchy, nicked and chipped. The bumpers and other chrome are rusty and thin. The engine compartment is orderly but aged with old, probably original, paint. All there but aged and with multiple needs. – Discounted by Artcurial in the estimate range, then again by the bidders, the DB5 engine may offer 42 more horsepower plus the driving enjoyment of the 5-speed but the departure from original specifications is a powerful handicap to value exacerbated by the neglected old condition. In the end, this is a realistic compromise between the intrinsic value of a DB4 and the condition and departure from original specs of this example.
Lot # 27 1959 Aston Martin DB4 GT Coupe; S/N 0138R; Engine # 3700210GT; Bright Green/Black leather; Estimate $1,925,600 – $2,888,400; Older restoration 2- condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $1,384,025 plus commission of 15.13%; Final Price $1,593,434. – 3,670/302hp, triple Weber 45 DCOE 9 carburetors, ZF 5-speed, chrome wire wheels, Talbot fender mirrors, heater, Moto-Lita woodrim steering wheel, metric speedo but Imperial engine gauges. – Factory replaced engine in the 1960’s and later updated to the ZF 5-speed. Converted to lefthand drive in the U.S. during a late 80’s repair following a racing incident. Creased upholstery with scuffed driver’s seat bolster and piping. The catalog description says 5-speed but the shift lever shows only four. The paint is very good with some stone chips on the front valence and around the fuel filler caps. Provenance includes Nick Soprano and Peter Livanos. Some racing incidents in its past but expertly repaired and attractively presented. Good enough to own proudly, but also not too good to be driven as it should be. – It’s an odd bright green color that may lie within the spectrum of the described “Aston Racing Green” but pushes the envelope. So, too, the checkered history. It was announced “for sale” at €1.1 million and attracted only one more tiny bid to €1.15 million where it was promptly sold. Said to be thoroughly documented in a book by Stephen Archer and Richard A. Candee, the result here speaks of significant doubts.
Lot # 28 1958 Arnolt Bristol Deluxe Roadster; S/N 404X3131; Engine # BS1MKII3131; White/Black leather, Grey piping; Estimate $264,770 – $336,980; Visually maintained, largely original 3- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $180,525 plus commission of 16.00%; Final Price $209,409. – 1,971/130hp, 4-speed, dual exhaust, steel wheels, hubcaps, woodrim steering wheel, bucket seats, grille-mounted driving lights, no bumpers, full weather equipment. – Color changed from Ruby Red to the present white in the early naughts. Leather covered bucket seats added during restoration, original seats included. Tidy engine compartment with paint loss on engine ancillaries. Only 17 photos provided make further evaluation impossible. – A disappointing car typical of this auction’s “So British” collection that has a superficial restoration and little, if any, attention in many years. The result here is magnanimous for this car’s condition. Christie’s cataloged it for its 1997 Pebble Beach auction but it never crossed the block.
Lot # 29 1955 Bristol 405 Drophead Coupe; S/N 4054515; Engine # 100B3609; Dark Metallic Green/Tan leather; Black top; Estimate $120,350 – $180,525; Older restoration 4+ condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $174,508 plus commission of 16.00%; Final Price $202,429. – LHD. 1,971/105hp, triple Solex carburetors, 4-speed, floor shift, steel wheels with hub caps and trim rings, wood dash, Smiths gauges. – From the “So British Collection.” Represented as one of 43 built and as matching numbers. Sold new in France. Much older restoration and has sat for a while, so will need sorting prior to further use. Paint looks decent but the chrome is faded, and the gaps on the doors are uneven. The leather looks old and dry. The steering wheel, dash, and switchgear all look old and worn, but the gauges are clear and bright. Grubby engine bay, but nothing is missing. A straightforward project and a very rare car in any condition, but as a left-hand drophead it’s the kind of thing we almost never see. – Vintage Bristols are rare, elegant, hand-built, and well-engineered English grand tourers of the best sort, and they do have a loyal following. But they’re also obscure, and when they come to market they don’t usually fetch very high prices unless they’re show-ready concours queens or one-off coachbuilt specials. This car is neither of those things, which is why its price is so staggering. At least two bidders fell in love with it, realizing that another left-hand drive drophead will probably never pop up for sale, and threw everything they had at it. The bidding opened at €70,000, went through 21 more bids before selling with this result to an online bidder.
Lot # 30 1913 Brasier 16hp Limousine, Body by Marcel Guilloux; S/N 212; Engine # 21216C; Black/Beige cloth; Estimate $48,140 – $72,210; Visually maintained, largely original 3- condition; No Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $30,088. – RHD. 3.2 litre/16hp four, kerosene sidelights, folded bulb horn, electric headlights, wood spoke wheels, jump seats, JM rear spring dampers, front friction shocks, single side mount spare, pull up side widows, jump seats, pull down rear window shades, smoker’s and vanity kits, – Walled up by its first owner before the Great War, from which he didn’t return and not discovered until the 70’s. Never restored other than a preservation quality repaint. Tender original upholstery and interior trim with some (but surprisingly little) moth damage. Brush painted chassis. Awash in choice details and the epitome of preservation class quality. – This old girl has been around a while including being offered by Bonhams at Paris last year where it was reported bid to $59,287 (€54,000 at the time.) This bid is only €25,000, less than half as much giving the consignor something to think about. Despite being listed as a No Reserve consignment it was given an opening bid by Artcurial (which they’re permitted to do by the auction statutes) at €25,000 and never attracted another bid, thus being passed. It deserves better.
Lot # 31 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster, Body by Vanvooren; S/N 55204; Engine # 5; Light Blue, Burgundy accent/Burgundy leather; Beige cloth top; Estimate $4,814,000 – $7,221,000; Older restoration 3+ condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $3,971,550. – RHD. 2,262/130hp supercharged inline eight, 4-speed, alloy wheels, Marchal headlights, rear-mounted spare. – Represented as the original engine, mostly original chassis with matching numbers axles, bonnet, cam boxes and gearbox. Winner of the 1947 Lyon-Charbonnieres Rally driven by Pierre Daligand. A checkered career followed in France including with Pierre Bardinon at Mas du Clos who had the engine transferred to a Type 51 GP replica. Years later it was clothed with this restoration of its original body, then reunited with its original engine in the Twenty-Teens. Quite a history, but never parted out and substantially original although through many travails. Very good paint, good bright trim and older upholstery with some miles despite the 9 km showing on the odometer. – Not a Super Sport nor a Jean Bugatti roadster, this is nonetheless a desirable Type 55 with rare Vanvooren coachwork. It’s had its travails but has been returned to attractive largely original condition and has an intriguing early rally history. Artcurial offered this car at Retromobile in 2015 with a low estimate of €1.3 million ($1.472 million at the time). It wasn’t reported sold but apparently changed hands after and then was reunited with its original engine. It attracted little love today, opening at €3 million and making only one advance to the final bid of €3.3 million, a result that doesn’t beggar its history or configuration.
Lot # 32 1955 Chrysler ST Special Coupe, Body by Ghia; S/N N558769; Engine # NE559171; Ivory, Blue roof/Ivory leather; Estimate $240,700 – $361,050; Visually maintained, largely original 4+ condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $216,630. – 331/250hp, automatic, chrome wire wheels, whitewalls, power steering and brakes, multi band radio. – Cracked and mildewed original leather upholstery and interior trim. Dirty original engine with rusty inner hood and compartment. Tired older repaint with flaws, pimpled chrome. Barely more than derelict. Color changed from bright blue. – Not usable in its present condition and needing substantial work in all respects, the bidding opened at €150, advanced in one bid to €180 and stalled. there was little interest and if the reported high bid was real money the seller should have grabbed eagerly with both hands and been gratified with the result. The reported high bid was all the money for this relic and its many needs. The restoration it so desperately needs will be lengthy and expensive and there are other Thomas Specials out there that don’t need anywhere close to as much.
Lot # 35 1954 Bentley R-Type Continental 4.9L Fastback Coupe, Body by HJ Mulliner; S/N BC56LC; Engine # BCC55; Dark Blue/Red leather; Estimate $1,684,900 – $2,166,300; Older restoration 2- condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $1,540,480. – LHD. 4,257/153hp six, dual SU carburetors, floor shift 4-speed, fender skirts, badge bar, air conditioning (upgraded to a modern system), aftermarket Blaupunkt CD stereo set into the bottom of the dash. Comes with jack and tools. – Represented as one of 23 examples with LHD and floor shift. Sold new in the U.S. Restored in the 1990s. Lightly worn leather but very sound interior wood. Clean but not overly detailed engine bay. A straightforward older restoration that shows its age, but that takes little away from the R-Type Continental’s inherent good looks. – And the going rate for those singularly handsome automobiles is in the low- to mid-$1M range. It’s also been the going rate for some time, so this car should have sold at the reported high bid if there was money close to it. And, to judge from Matthieu Lamoure’s dash off the dais to take the phone with the underbidder then vigorously encourage another bid a bump more to €1.3 million might have closed the deal, as it should have. A missed opportunity for everyone.
Lot # 36 1955 Lancia B24 Spider America Roadster, Body by Pinin Farina; S/N B241039; Engine # B241038; Red/Beige leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $812,363 – $902,625; Cosmetic restoration 3- condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $577,680. – RHD. 2,451/118 hp V-6 2-barrel Weber carburetor, 4-speed, ivory steel wheels, Michelin tires, hubcaps, woodrim steering wheel, jack, Carello headlights. – Sound older paint showing some age, edge chips and nicks. Attractive upholstery, interior trim and gauges. The seat piping has some cracks but the coverings are sound. Weak chrome. The engine compartment is well-presented and orderly. An attractive but cosmetically restored car. – There was clear disconnect between the bidders’ opinion of this B24 Spider America and the auction’s opinion. It wasn’t a very good car, at least in presentation, and bidders believed their eyes and bid with their brains. Bidding opened at €400K and advanced only once to the reported high bid of €480K before failing. Lack of interest is a good indication of problems.
Lot # 37 1956 Lancia Aurelia B20GT S5 “Laboratoire” Coupe; S/N B20S1355; Engine # B204778; Blue, Silver roof/Blue leather; Estimate $210,613 – $270,788; Older restoration 3 condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $156,455. – 2,451/118hp V6, Weber 40 DCZ5 downdraft 2-barrel carburetor, 4-speed, front disc brakes, dash mounted Hanhart stopwatches, bolt-on alloy wheels, Vredestein tires. – The intriguing aspect of this Lancia is that its body and some mechanical details like the front disc brakes and fully-synchro gearbox are unlike any other Aurelia. While it looks like an Aurelia B20 GT, the profile is more refined, the roof shape is different and according to the restorer all the body panels are unique. Its oral history is that it was acquired from Lancia by a company engineer in the 60’s, passed through several hands in Switzerland, then was restored in Germany in the 90’s. Chipped and stone chipped paint, poor chrome, good upholstery with some use, creasing and stretch. Good interior trim, dirty carpets. Orderly but aging engine compartment. A good driver quality car that suffers from a nebulous origin and history. – The bidders did not give much credence to the suggestion that this might be a Lancia prototype or a coachbuilder’s proposal. The opening bid was the only one made.
Lot # 39 1995 Ferrari F355 Challenge Coupe, Body by Pininfarina-Scaglietti; S/N ZFFPA41B000101338; Rosso Corsa/Red cloth; Estimate $168,490 – $216,630; Unrestored original 3- condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $198,578 plus commission of 16.00%; Final Price $230,350. – 3,495/380hp, 6-speed, white painted one piece Speedline alloy wheels, roll cage, carbon fiber wing, two seats, SF shields, Sparco fire system, OMP seats and 4-point belts, power windows, AstraTech timing transponder. Assembly No. 18234. – Well used despite having only 18,748 km. Dirty engine compartment with some fluid splashes. Soiled, discolored driver’s seat. New windshield and repainted wheels. Due for an engine-out belt service. – Announced as being for sale at a bid of €130,000, two bidders went after this well-used F355 Challenge, disregarding the catalog announcement that it needs a full engine-out belt service and bidding it up to this generous price. It will swallow many more € before it’s track ready and is expensive at this price.
Lot # 41 1980 Ferrari 512BB Berlinetta, Body by Pininfarina; S/N 30717; Verde Germoglio, Black/Black leather; Estimate $240,700 – $361,050; Visually maintained, largely original 3+ condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $228,665. – 4,943/360hp, 5-speed, Cromodora wheels, Michelin XWX tires, power windows, air conditioning. – Sold new in France. Represented with 82,000 km (50,952 miles). Major service in 2016, and repainted in this sharp-looking Verde Germoglio (Day-Glo Yellow-Green) color. Lightly worn switchgear. Good leather. Clean-looking body. Tidy engine bay. A lightly used and resprayed carbureted BB. – The reported high bid is a reasonable number for a solid driver-quality Boxer and with commission a final result would have been well within the presale estimate range. Why the car didn’t change hands is a mystery if there was real money at the reported high bid.
Lot # 42 1982 Ferrari 400i 2-Dr. Sedan, Body by Pininfarina; S/N ZFFEB06B42519; Grigio Scuro/Sand leather; Estimate $72,210 – $96,280; Visually maintained, largely original 3+ condition; No Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $72,210. – 4,823/340hp, 5-speed, air conditioning, power windows, Pioneer CD stereo, 5-spoke alloy wheels. – Good older repaint. The original upholstery on the driver’s seat is surface cracked and worn. The passenger’s seat is better and the rear seats are nearly untouched. The engine compartment is surprisingly clean and orderly, even given that the engine was rebuilt about ten years ago. Stated to be 78,500 km from new and looks better than might be expected for its nearly four decades. – Listed as No Reserve but never advanced beyond the 60,000 €opening bid and not sold. Even with the 5-speed manual transmission this is asking a lot as a starting bid, particularly as it is the low end of the estimate range. It was a tactical mistake on the part of the auctioneer, proving that even the experienced and highly respected Herve Poulain sometimes makes a mistake. The end of “Parisienne” was a discouraging segment, with eleven of the final twelve lots failing to sell. This lot was one of four No Reserve lots (out of sixteen No Reserves) that didn’t sell during this sale although one of them was sold post-block.