The Grand Palais is fantastic, a vast high ceiling glass roofed spectacle with ornate ironwork (visible in the background of some of the shots of the cars) where early automobile shows were held at the beginning of the 20th century.
Nowhere was the history of the Grand Palais more clear than at Bonhams auction this year where the magnificently original, ornate, luxurious 1907 Minerva Type K Transformable was among the offerings.
It had been bought here in the Grand Palais off the stand of the French importer of Minervas in 1907 and was introduced on the block by the granddaughter of the original owner, 111 years of automobile history in retrospect. In most places the confluence of history has been superseded by modern expediency, but at the Grand Palais it persists, making this one of the best auction venues extant.
The bathrooms are clean, too.
It was snowy and slushy outside, but somehow they managed to keep the vast volume of the Grand Palais comfortable, if not ‘warm’. At the top of the dome the rising warm air must have brought the temperature to 30 degrees C.
This was the view of the Petit Palais across Avenue Winston Churchill from the steps of Le Grand Palais when the sun briefly poked its way out on Thursday.
Here are the numbers:
|Year||Cars Sold/ Offered||Sale %||Sold < Low Est||Sold > High Est||Average Sale||Median Sale||Total $||Exchange Rate|
This was Bonhams best-ever Paris auction yet remarkably accomplished without a single million-dollar sale. The sale total and individual transaction values expressed in dollars was boosted by the fading US$, down some 13% from last year’s rate as shown in the table above. It should be noted, on the other hand, that the US$ in 2017 was unusually strong. Either way, Paris US$ prices were skewed higher by the exchange rate and give a distorted perspective to individual transactions and the overall sale total.
The selection of early cars from Jacques Vander Stappen’s collection of Belgian cars was revealing: rarely seen marques largely preserved in nearly original condition and lovingly presented.
31 of the 102 cars in the sale were from before 1930, 30% of the consignment, and they were nearly universally appreciated by the bidders, fifteen of them bringing six-figure prices. 83.9% of the old crocks sold, well above the sale rate for the Grand Palais auction as a whole.
On what evidence do pundits opine (or do pundits “pund”?) that the market for really old cars is passé? Definitely not on the evidence from Bonhams sale at the Grand Palais.
The evidence follows, sorted on lot number order:
Lot # 303 1924 Turcat-Mery SG 15/25 Hp 4-Dr. Sedan; S/N 6316; Burgundy, Black fenders/Black leather, Beige cloth; Estimate $24,476 – $30,595; Visually maintained, largely original, 3- condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $25,700 plus commission of 15.00%; Final Price $29,555. – RHD. Black wire wheels, dual sidemounts, jump seats, pulldown shades. – The front seat upholstery is worn and stiff but the fabric in the rear is in good shape. Paint and brightwork are old and functional. The engine and chassis are aged and dirty. It’s an unusual vehicle (and marque) in museum displayed condition and will need careful recommissioning before being driven. – This transaction will be the market bellwether for Turcat-Mery for some time. The fairly large 3-liter engine should be a decent performer and the coachwork is nothing if not elegant. Encounters with another Turcat-Mery will be few and far between.
Lot # 304 1906 Cadillac Model M Osceola Coupe; S/N 9386; Blue, Black fenders/Grey-Blue cloth; Estimate $22,028 – $30,595; Rebodied or re-created, 3 condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $46,504 plus commission of 15.00%; Final Price $53,480. – RHD. 98 cubic inch single, 10hp, chain drive, self-generating acetylene headlights, kerosene sidelights, pullup side windows. – A rebodied replica of Henry Leland’s ‘Osceola’ coupe, a concept that tested the idea of an enclosed coupe. Built on a genuine Model M Touring car chassis. The wood body paint is dull, like primer. The drive chain has been removed (but is included), upholstery and interior trim are very good. Sound brass. An interesting telephone-box on wheels. – This is an example of how ‘cute’ sells, and this Osceola replica is very cute. It attracted a steady stream of onlookers during the preview and brought a generous price for a rebody. The original Osceola is in the Cadillac Museum in Michigan.
Lot # 306 1910 Renault Type AIB 35 CV Limousine, Body by Moore & Munger; S/N 24057; Green, Black fenders/Black leather, Green cloth; Estimate $85,666 – $110,142; Unrestored original, 3 condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $167,661 plus commission of 15.00%; Final Price $192,810. – RHD. Warner speedometer, pullup side windows, jump seats, leather mudguards, Ducellier acetylene headlights and kerosene sidelights, Bleriot kerosene opera lights, roof rack, speaking tube, sliding division, boa constrictor bulb horn, triple rear-mounted spares. – Delivered new in New York, bodied locally, bought by Henry Ford himself in 1936 and displayed in Dearborn until 1975. Ford’s note says it was ‘Brought over by Mrs. Lathrop, Leland Stanford’s sister-in-law.’ Museum displayed since. Gorgeous, elaborate probably original rear compartment interior is worth the price of admission, as is the stuffed mouse in the boa constrictor’s mouth. Highly original but presentable and deserves to be left alone after careful mechanical attention and some brass polish. – This is a marvelous thing and miraculous that it has survived with its magnificently appointed interior intact, undamaged by rodents or moths. The bidders in Paris appreciated it, as they should have, paying a superior but fully deserved price for its magnificence and preservation.
Lot # 307 1931 Delage D8C 3-pos. Drophead Coupe, Body by Figoni; S/N 34786; Burgundy, Cream sides/Parchment leather; Black top; Estimate $146,856 – $183,570; Visually maintained, largely original, 3- condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $116,261 plus commission of 15.00%; Final Price $133,700. – RHD. Marchal headlights, replaced engine, Black wire wheels, dual rear-mounted spares, spotlight, windshield visor. – Handsome short chassis coachwork with helmet fenders, step plates, suicide doors and rollup windows with blind rear quarters. Indifferent quality old repaint, tired chrome, stiff but sound old upholstery and interior trim, poorly varnished interior wood and gauges with faded, dirty faces. Grungy engine. Museum displayed since 1996 and in need of comprehensive attention but sound and complete. – Although its condition leaves much to be desired, this Delage is a quality automobile from a famed coachbuilder and at this price will be the basis for an honest and realistic restoration project.
Lot # 308 1936 Alta 2-Liter Sports; S/N 64S; Blue/Red leather; Estimate $305,950 – $367,140; Competition restoration, 3 condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $367,140 plus commission of 15.00%; Final Price $422,211. – Twin cam 1960cc/160hp supercharged Alta engine, 4-speed Wilson pre-selector, red wire wheels, outside exhaust headpipes, single aeroscreen, underslung chassis frame, Bluemels 4-spoke steering wheel, modern tach and some gauges. – One of five built with this engine/body combination, four surviving, and the only one that is lefthand drive. Sleek 2-seat bodywork with cycle fenders. Restored 44 years ago and consistently maintained and historic raced since, it is far from pristine but consistently maintained and raced through last year. The tach is redlined at 5500 rpm, 500 rpm below the power peak but amazing for a car built in 1936. Said to be the original engine. – The potential uses for this Alta are myriad. Its condition builds confidence. Its rarity and pedigree are impeccable. It may have changed hands at the top of Bonhams pre-sale estimate but even in weak US$ terms this is all of a half-million dollar car.
Lot # 309 1935 Bugatti Type 57 Torpedo Tourist Trophy; S/N 57264/57222; Engine # 224; Light Blue/Brown; Estimate $954,564 – $1,590,940; Rebodied or re-created, 3 condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $758,756 plus commission of 15.00%; Final Price $872,569. – RHD. Folding windshield, single aeroscreen, Marchal headlights, cycle fenders with front fender struts – Original crankcase, gearbox and both axles. Raced by Earl Howe to 3rd place in the 1935 RAC Tourist Trophy. The original chassis number 57222 was changed by Bugatti to the current 57264. Later owned by Pierre Bouillin, known by the racing name Pierre Levegh, and raced in 1937. Went to Australia in 1938-39 and was raced and modified there. Bought by the current owner in 1958 who restored it in its 1935 form with new bodywork (the original having been discarded in the early 50’s.) The cylinder block has been replaced but the original, along with many other original or period parts, come with the car. Its history is even longer than this, but the end result is an outstanding Bugatti with traceable, if erratic, history right back to Earl Howe and the Ards circuit in Ulster in 1935. Restored, but not over-restored, its best and highest use is preservation. – Taken apart, shortened, lengthened, bodied a number of times, this Bugatti has led a checkered history while remaining surprisingly complete with its most important parts intact. In 1957, 22 years after it was built, it raced in the Australian GP, something its contemporaries from the Thirties could only dream about. The resurrection in its original 1935 configuration is impressive and it is a piece of history that should have a high probability of invitations to important events at a realistic price.
Lot # 311 1928 Salmson GS8 Roadster, Body by Weinberger; S/N 21004; Engine # 21004; Light Grey-Blue/Blue; Estimate $152,975 – $183,570; Recent restoration, 2 condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $121,492 plus commission of 15.00%; Final Price $139,716. – RHD. Dark Blue wire wheels, twin cam 1,100cc/40hp engine, folding windshield, teardrop fenders, rear-mounted spare, electric radiator fan. – Sold new to Germany, bought by a U.S. GI, dismantled in 1954 and remained that way until last year. Excellent paint, chrome and interior. Freshly restored to showroom condition. – This is a sweet little voiture with impressive eligibility and a fresh, crisp restoration that brought a serious but still modest price here at the Grand Palais and is a sound value.
Lot # 312 1925 Hispano Suiza H6B Brougham de Ville, Body by Kellner; S/N 11038; Black/Black leather, Beige broadcloth; Estimate $428,330 – $550,710; Older restoration, 3+ condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $354,902 plus commission of 15.00%; Final Price $408,137. – RHD. Wheel discs, single sidemount, lavish rear compartment with vanity and footrest, Cuban mahogany trim, bone handles, formal razor edge blind quarter open front coachwork, Bleriot dipping headlights, SEM sidelights, speaking tube, rollup division, detachable trunk with fitted cases. – Delivered to Pierre Lorillard Ronalds of the Lorillard tobacco family. Preserved largely complete and in good condition in Paris until acquisition in 1967 by Alain Balleret, restored in 1971 and today in excellent if aged condition. Sound upholstery front and rear, good paint, brightwork and interior wood, crisp gauges and a clean, orderly engine compartment and chassis. – Superbly elegant coachwork on a high quality chassis and preserved well nearly five decades after it was restored, this is an automobile that will be proudly owned and driven. Its Pebble Beach days are behind it, but that is hardly a knock on its quality and preservation.
Lot # 317 1907 Minerva Type K Limousine/Torpedo Transformable, Body by Belvallette; S/N 2072; Engine # 2075; Red, Black/Burgundy leather; Estimate $428,330 – $550,710; Unrestored original, 3+ condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $642,495 plus commission of 15.00%; Final Price $738,869. – RHD. T-head six, roof rack with spare wheel container, wood spoke wheels, Bleriot acetylene headlights, Ducellier kerosene sidelights, snail shell bulb horn, kerosene opera lights, speaking tube, pullup side windows, sliding division. – ‘Transformable’ body with a lift-off fixed upper roof and windows to convert it to fully open in fine weather. Introduced on the block by Odile Fulchiron, granddaughter of the original purchaser, Joseph Fulchiron of St. Etienne, who recounted how it had been bought from the Minerva stand at the Paris Salon de l’Automobile in 1907 by her grandfather, who had been disappointed at the wait time for the Silver Ghost he intended to buy. Stored in 1914 at the beginning of the First World War where it stayed until 1966 when it was bought by Jacques Lefranc who retained it in his museum until 1981 and acquired in 1995 by Jacques Vander Stappen, the seller here and its third owner from new. Presumable re-lacquered once or twice but otherwise fabulously original and in outstanding condition, there are numerous paint flaws that do nothing to detract from its originality. – The condition and preservation of this Minerva is nothing short of astounding, but all that pales beside the story of its acquisition and long slumber in the hands of caring, sympathetic long term owners. Its quality and history propelled it through Bonhams pre-sale estimate range to an epic result that no one should claim is excessive.
Lot # 334 1928 Minerva Type AK Landaulette, Body by Hooper; S/N 58339; Black/Black leather, Beige broadcloth; Estimate $85,666 – $122,380; Visually maintained, largely original, 4+ condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $67,309 plus commission of 15.00%; Final Price $77,405. – RHD. Black wire wheels, single sidemount, sliding division, jump seats, sleeve valve 6 liter six. – A tired, neglected old car with mismatched upholstery in the rear compartment, poor old paint and an orderly but seriously old engine compartment. Needs everything. – This is an expensive restoration project.
Lot # 335 1934 Aston Martin 1 1/2 Liter Mark II Sports, Body by Bertelli; S/N C4406S; Red/Black leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $281,474 – $342,664; Older restoration, 3+ condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $232,522. – RHD. Short wheelbase chassis, silver painted wire wheels, rear-mounted spare, folding windshield with wind wings, outside exhaust. – Single family ownership in the U.S. 1988-2016. Very good paint, brightwork and upholstery. Clean, orderly engine compartment and chassis. An older restoration with miles, shows and some historic racing under its belt, with the attendant chips and scratches but still presentable and eminently usable. – This is more car than the Grand Palais bidders were willing to pay for it, an unfortunately missed opportunity to acquire a quality Aston with an unbroken history of owners who took good care of it. It crossed the block at Gooding’s Scottsdale auction two years with a reported high bid of $350,000, a missed opportunity, but if the consignor has to keep living with a car, this is a good one to live with.
Lot # 336 1928 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport; S/N 40717; Engine # 139; Blue/Black leather; Beige cloth top; Estimate $367,140 – $489,520; Unrestored original, 3 condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $562,948 plus commission of 15.00%; Final Price $647,390. – RHD. Blue wire wheels, single sidemount, Marchal headlights, cycle fenders, tool roll, jack, wheel wrench. – One family owned from new until 1999. Repainted once, many years ago, otherwise nearly completely original with a known history from new. New cylinder block with hardened valve seats (original block with a crack between two valve seats is included), new exhaust system (original included). Dull brass radiator shell, original (really) top. The paint on the wheels was probably applied in Molsheim in 1928 and could be better but it would be a travesty to repaint them. An amazing survivor in miraculous condition. – To say there was excitement over this Bugatti would be an understatement. Onlookers, both informed and amazed, pored over it. Its preservation was hard to conceive, but there it was almost completely as it left Molsheim in 1930. Bugatti built some 787 of these little gems with 45hp 3-valve single overhead camshaft engines. This result is all about originality, as it should be, but even better it can be driven and enjoyed (carefully) without hazarding its condition. It is expensive, as it deserves to be, even 15% over Bonhams high estimate.
Lot # 337 1926 Bentley 3-Liter Red Label Speed Model Tourer, Body by Vanden Plas; S/N LM1342; Engine # LM1348SS; Black/Black leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $795,470 – $1,040,230; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $746,518 plus commission of 15.00%; Final Price $858,496. – RHD. Special body with aluminum panels and short windshield, rear-mounted spare, tools, manuals. – Class second at Pebble Beach in 2015, which pretty much confirms the quality of its 2015 restoration and the fact it shows barely any evidence of use or age since then. – This is a real, documented, 3-Liter Speed Model with its original coachwork and all of its original bits, a car than has never been scattered about and reassembled. It is marvelous and even in this week’s fading US$ is still a sound value.
Lot # 338 1939 Horch 853A Sport Cabriolet; S/N 854375; Black/Grey leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $734,280 – $979,040; Concours restoration, 1 condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $611,900. – Horch-branded headlight lenses, chrome wire wheels, dual sidemounts, fog light, spotlight/mirror, folding luggage trunk arms, modern Getrag 5-speed gearbox and ZF power steering – A derelict, rusty, rotten discovery restored by Horch Classic 2102-17. New body framing and panels. A spectacular car, but overdone to a fare thee well. Sheared steering box shaft, not particularly reassuring. – The result for this Horch and the one at Artcurial on Friday is a contrast in two nearly identical cars. This is meticulously and fabulously restored with subtle updates like the Getrag gearbox and power-assisted steering. Artcurial’s was original, dirty, chipped and grimy but all there as-new. It brought $751,654 all-in (Euros 530,000 on the hammer) while this reconstructed showpiece stalled at $611,900 (Euros 500,000 on the hammer), a good example of the allure, and value, of originality.
Lot # 339 1909 Renault Type BH 50hp Roi-des-Belges, Body by John Mitchell; S/N 16580; Blue, Dark Blue fenders/Blue leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $122,380 – $159,094; Rebodied or re-created, 3+ condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $95,456 plus commission of 15.00%; Final Price $109,775. – RHD. Bleriot acetylene bullseye headlights, wood spoke wheels, kerosene sidelights, electric horn, electric starter. – Replica body built after years of film use in California with a variety of coachwork. Good older paint, interior, brass and wood. Said to have seen extensive use on road tours, covering over 20,000 miles, which has affected its condition only a little. – An authentic chassis with appealing replica coachwork and a history of recent extensive use but also good care and attention, this is a good value in this transaction.
Lot # 345 1934 Chauviere Rafale V Motorboat; Blue, Wood/Black leather; Estimate $734,280 – $979,040; Older restoration, 3 condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $611,900. – 36 liter Hispano-Suiza aircraft V12, 28′, two hydroplane steps. – Originally named ‘Aurora’ for the wife of the original builder, Emile Picquerez, director of Tecalemit, later named ‘Rafale V’ by second owner Commodore Gerard. Hidden in a barge on the Seine during WWII and rebuilt over many years, but not in the water for a long time. – Once raced on the Seine outside the Grand Palais, which must have been a spectacular, rafter-rattling demonstration, this is a marvelous, ridiculous, beast. What’s it worth? Based on this result, no one knows.
Lot # 348 1912 Regal Model N Underslung Speedster; S/N Engine No. 2722; Engine # 2722; Grey/Black; Estimate $146,856 – $195,808; Recent restoration, 3 condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $110,142. – RHD. Cylinder bolster tank, dual rear spares, L-head 4-cylinder engine, no fenders, rear wheel brakes, cord-wrapped steering wheel. – Restored from a derelict chassis and engine found in 1999. Deliberately dull paint, no road equipment, oil streaked engine and chassis. Estate of Jan Bruijn. – Oil probably leaks from this Regal like lava from Vesuvius, but that’s part of its character and its appeal. Bonhams got $165,000 for a similar Model N Regal Underslung at the Simeone Museum last November but came up short with another one at Scottsdale in January which was bid to $78,000. The bid here is realistic for a reconstructed derelict car and should have been accepted with only minimal regret.
Lot # 349 1935 BMW 315 Veritas 2000 Roadster; S/N 48904; Engine # ?660; Silver/Black; Estimate $367,140 – $489,520; Rebodied or re-created, 3+ condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $281,474 plus commission of 15.00%; Final Price $323,695. – Driver’s head fairing, centerlock alloy wheels, dual aeroscreens, banjo-spoke steering wheel. – Built up from a 1935 BMW 315 Roadster, engine enlarged to 2 liters with three Solex carbs, reproduction Veritas-style coachwork. Attractively done to historic racing standards. Estate of Jan Bruijn. – Not what it wants to be, but more intriguing than the BMW 315 on which it is based and marginally acceptable to various event organizers, the Grand Palais bidders didn’t get too excited about this faux-Veritas, although the result converted to US$ is more than reasonable.
Lot # 356 1958 Jaguar XK 150S 3.4 Roadster; S/N S831116DN; Dark Red/Beige leather; Beige cloth top; Estimate $183,570 – $244,760; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $232,522 plus commission of 15.00%; Final Price $267,400. – Chrome wire wheels, overdrive, woodrim steering wheel, JDHT certificate documented (but color changed.) – Excellent paint, chrome and interior. Show polished engine, fresh interior. Said to have been restored at a cost of Euros 213,000, the effort lavished on it is apparent in its condition. – It may be a Euros 213,000 restoration, but it’s not a Euros 213,000 Jag even in this concours condition. The result is all the money for a 3.4 liter XK 150S, a free car with an expensive restoration that brought a realistic price in Euros but is expensive in today’s weak US$.
Lot # 358 1962 Lotus Elite S2 Coupe; S/N U563EB1795; Dark Green/Green leather; Estimate $134,618 – $183,570; Older restoration, 2- condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $110,142. – Climax FWE engine, later ZF 5-speed (original gearbox included), Mallory electronic ignition, 4-point belts, Borrani wire wheels, Pirelli tires, woodrim steering wheel. – Known history from new including racers Gregory Noblet and Bernard Consten. Engine rebuilt in 2016. Lightly stretched upholstery, good interior trim, crisp gauges. The engine compartment is impressively clean and orderly. A carefully and consistently maintained enthusiast-owned Lotus. – The new owner should derive some confidence that any build quality problems have been worked out during its enthusiast ownership but the reported high bid, in Euros and certainly in US$, is appropriate to its condition and history.
Lot # 360 1967 Citroen DS21 Convertible, Body by Chapron; S/N 4600099; Carrara White/Dark Green leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $220,284 – $269,236; Visually maintained, largely original, 3+ condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $214,165 plus commission of 15.00%; Final Price $246,290. – Semi-automatic transmission, wheel covers, multi-band radio, Chapron Attestation. – Repainted two decades ago and showing some age. Very good original interior, decent chrome. A 2-owner, babied, used car. – Significantly more rare and valuable than Citroen-built decapotables, the Chapron version is highly prized as the result here shows. Even in today’s soft US$ it is no more than reasonably expensive given its reassuring 2-owner history and consistently maintained condition.
Lot # 361 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS Touring Coupe; S/N 9113600738; Engine # 6630702; Light Ivory/Black leather, cloth inserts; Estimate $795,470 – $1,040,230; Recent restoration, 2 condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $673,090. – Fuchs wheels, power sliding sunroof, headrest sport seats, comes with many spare parts including decklid and engine cover and three sets of wheels. – Delivered new to Prince Aga Khan in Switzerland. Freshly restored by Porsche Centre Geneva and in showroom condition although the original Pumpkin colored seat inserts were changed to a more sedate black. – Even without the royal ownership history this immaculately restored Porsche (at a reported cost of CHF 300,000) is worth more than the reported high bid, although perhaps not as much as the optimistic pre-sale estimate range.
Lot # 371 1956 Porsche 356A 1600 Speedster, Body by Reutter; S/N 82474; Black/Cognac leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $416,092 – $465,044; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $361,021 plus commission of 15.00%; Final Price $415,174. – U.S. spec, bumper overriders, coupe seats, beehive taillights, fitted luggage. – Represented as the matching numbers engine, Porsche CoA documented. Restored in the U.S. in 2014 with excellent paint and chrome and nearly pristine upholstery. – This is a very good Speedster with a U.S.-style restoration that is unusual in Europe that may help explain why it brought such a generous price, particularly when converted to US$. It would be misleading to attribute a larger significance to this transaction.
Lot # 373 1027 Maserati 3500 GT Spyder, Body by Vignale; S/N AM1011027; Gunmetal Grey/Black leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $819,946 – $954,564; Cosmetic restoration, 3 condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $722,042. – Chrome spoke Borrani wire wheels, Motorola radio, tool roll, jack, Cibie halogen headlights and fog lights, front disc brakes, alternator. – Repainted in the late 90’s and still in very good condition. The upholstery was redone at the same time, but is surface cracked and stretched. The dashboard is labeled with red Dymo tape. The engine compartment is aged and dirty, as is the underbody and chassis. Cosmetically and mechanically restored some time ago and described as running well enough to be used as a daily driver, which its condition endorses as what it has experienced. – Sold by Coys at Silverstone in July 1997 for just $43,406 in good older restored condition before the 1998 mechanical rebuild, repaint and reupholstery, the reported bid here in Paris is more than appropriate for this 3500 GT’s condition.
Lot # 374 1965 Jaguar XKE SI 4.2 Roadster; S/N 1E12100; Engine # 7E6978-9; Silver/Pumpkin leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $146,856 – $183,570; Older restoration, 3+ condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $159,094 plus commission of 15.00%; Final Price $182,958. – Chrome wire wheels, tool roll, jack, wheel wrench, pushbutton multi-band radio. – Represented as the original engine block and head. Sound paint, attractive upholstery and interior trim, show polished engine. Restored a decade ago and holding up very well. – This is a sound E-type with a good older restoration and it brought a realistic price for what it is.
Lot # 375 1956 Tojeiro-Butterworth AJB Sports Racer; S/N TAD354; Dark Green/Dark Green leather; Estimate $110,142 – $159,094; Competition restoration, 2- condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $91,785. – RHD. Yellow brake drums with wide pattern 5-bolt wheels, Dunlop Racing tires, full width Plexiglas wind screen, driver’s head fairing, 4-spoke woodrim steering wheel, side outlet exhaust. – Special built on a John Tojeiro rolling chassis with four-cylinder air cooled opposed 1.5 liter engine designed by Archie Butterworth, MG transmission and fiberglass nose by Micron and aluminum tail for Major Ronald Clare Clifford Palmer. Palmer couldn’t get the engine to run right using Amal carbs and gave up, storing it for some three decades. Discovered in the 80’s, it was acquired by David Wenman and eventually restored and got running with help from Archie Butterworth using Porsche type Solex downdraft carbs. Little used since and in excellent cosmetic and mechanical condition backed up by lots of documentation, notes and correspondence. – Sold by Bonhams at the Goodwood Revival in 2011 for $73,637 (Euros 53,400 at the time, today’s bid is Euros 75,000.) The engine has been rebuilt since with various other work and has been used in historic races and events since but maintained in very good condition. Is Euros 22,000 and several years of enjoyment reasonable compensation? It would seem so and declining the high bid here is a signal of unreasonably high expectations.
Lot # 378 1968 Lamborghini Miura P400 S Coupe, Body by Bertone; S/N 3474; Engine # 1896; Yellow, Black sills/Dark Blue vinyl, cloth inserts; Estimate $1,468,560 – $1,713,320; Visually maintained, largely original, 3 condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $1,223,800. – Centerlock alloy wheels, power windows, fire system. – Originally built as a P400, crashed when nearly new and replaced using the P400 chassis number, with this P400S using the original engine 1896. Displayed for a dozen years at the Schlumpf Museum and never restored although it was mechanically rebuilt last year. Good probably original upholstery and interior trim. Waterspotted dash top. Clean, orderly engine compartment and chassis. Decent paint. – A bit of a mixed bag with its P400 engine in the P400 S chassis, the reported high bid is P400 S money and should have been enough to see it change hands.
Lot # 389 1961 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider, Body by Pininfarina; S/N AR170384; White, White hardtop/Black vinyl; Black top; Estimate $61,190 – $85,666; Unrestored original, 3- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $55,071 plus commission of 15.00%; Final Price $63,332. – Steel wheels, no hubcaps, soft top and factory steel hardtop, steering lock. – Tired original paint with edge chips. Pitted chrome trim, scuffed bumpers, sound original interior. Messy engine compartment. Single family owned from new until 2016. – Sold by RM in London in 2016 from the family of the original owner for $74,698, Euros 66,500 at the time. The Euro price here is 51,750. The originality is impressive, but not impressive enough to encourage bidding beyond this modest level. The condition is disappointing.
Lot # 394 1974 Jaguar XKE SIII V12 Roadster; S/N UE1S23762BW; Red/Tan leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $55,071 – $79,547; Visually maintained, largely original, 3- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $56,295 plus commission of 15.00%; Final Price $64,739. – Automatic, chrome wire wheels, Alpine CD stereo. – Quick old repaint with some overspray in the wheel wells. Worn and lightly soiled original upholstery and interior trim. Scuffed chrome. Messy engine compartment. Old tires. An unattractive XKE that’s been sitting for two years (and who can tell how much before that) and is soon to become a restoration project. – The result here in Euros is appropriate although the conversion into today’s US$ is remarkably expensive.
Lot # 406 1974 FIAT X1/9 Coupe Groupe 4 Rally, Body by Bertone; S/N 0010014; Red, Acid Green/Black cloth; Estimate $36,714 – $48,952; Competition car, original as-raced, 3+ condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $13,462 plus commission of 15.00%; Final Price $15,481. – Full Rally equipment, Sparco Alcantara rim steering wheel, Abarth tach redlined at 8500 rpm, braced roll cage, fire system, halogen headlights and fog lights, wide alloy wheels, flared wheel arches, dual carburetors. – Described as having a new engine which is what it looks like in the engine compartment. Dull matte finish paint, sound interior. Valid FIA HTP. A purposeful rally car that has been used but also maintained. – This was the first of a series of four rally cars and its lackluster reception by the bidders does not bode well for what’s to come. This result is probably less than the cost of the new engine and getting it installed and the final result is a bargain for the new owner.
Lot # 407 1973 FIAT 124 Abarth Rallye Spider, Body by Pininfarina; S/N 124CSA0064120; Red, Matte Black/Black leatherette, cloth inserts; Estimate $85,666 – $110,142; Competition car, original as-raced, 3 condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $71,592 plus commission of 15.00%; Final Price $82,331. – Two downdraft Weber carburetors, 4-point Momo belts, Momo leather rim steering wheel, alloy wheels, matte black hardtop only, braced rollbar, bucket seats with headrests. – Sound original paint, chrome and interior. Orderly largely original engine compartment. An interesting little car that should be a blast to drive. – Its value has nothing at all to do with values of regular FIAT 124s, that’s for sure. The Grand Palais bidders paid well for it, getting a rare, original, high performance FIAT at a realistic price.
Lot # 408 1988 Lancia Delta Integrale 8V Rally Coupe Group A; S/N ZLA831AB000425550; White, ‘Martini’/Black cloth; Estimate $208,046 – $269,236; Competition car, original as-raced, 3+ condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $171,332. – Full roll cage, OMP seats, all the rally bells and whistles including a 6-speed transmission and comes with supplemental front lighting not installed at the auction. – Clienti model that participated in the Turkish Rally, but then back to Italy and in France won the 2017 Rallye Terre de Diois. The hood is papered with tech stickers from various rallies. Abarth Classiche certified. Presents well, particularly mechanically, and is probably ready to go right out in the snowy streets of Paris and have some fun. – Unfortunately, it didn’t sell so that experience will have to wait.
Lot # 409 1975 FIAT 124 Abarth Rally Group 4, Body by Pininfarina; S/N 124CSA0092695; Matte black, Yellow ‘Oliofiat’/Black cloth; Yellow hard top; Estimate $244,760 – $305,950; Competition car, original as-raced, 3 condition; With Reserve; Hammered Sold at $185,344 plus commission of 15.00%; Final Price $213,146. – 16-valve engine, slide throttle fuel injection, wide 13-inch wheels, flared fenders, six lights, rear fender brake cooling scoop, roll cage, leather rim 2-spoke steering wheel, fuel cell, tool roll. – One of seven factory rally team cars, sold to a privateer, Cuniolo, when new. This is a serious rally car and it has been used seriously which shows in its presentation and under the hood. Based on the tech stickers it doesn’t appear to have been used since 2012 and will probably need recommissioning. – 8 more valves and fuel injection instead of carburetors and this factory built competition car is worth two and half times the 8V sold two lots earlier, which is about what the difference in competition history and performance warrants.
Lot # 410 1986 Lancia Delta S4 Groupe B Rallye; S/N 0051; White, ‘Martini’/Blue cloth; Estimate $709,804 – $954,564; Competition car, original as-raced, 3+ condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $550,710. – Supercharged/turbocharged 1759cc/400+hp engine with double intercoolers, all-wheel drive, full roll cage, quad headlights with four auxiliary lights, – Registered new to FIAT and according to Abarth probably a reconnaissance car with no actual Group B rally history. Abarth Classiche certified. Original and unrestored with only a replaced (for safety) fuel tanks. Still has the seats marked for Marku Alen and Ilkka Kivimaki. A rare, unmolested survivor from the last year of the infamous ‘Killer Bees’. It has subsequent historic event history and is in rally-ready condition. – There are enough lumens on the front of this Delta S4 to melt the paint off cars in front. Even with the absence of competitive World Rally Championship history its origin on the factory team and use by the front line Lancia drivers for stage reconnaissance is enough to confer ‘works rally’ stature without the stress (and accidents) of actual competition. The ‘Killer Bees’ still inspire respect, and even awe, and the seller’s decision to turn down even this half million dollar offer is understandable.
Lot # 411 1988 Ford Sierra RS Cosworth Hatchback; S/N WFOEXXGBBEGG36522; Zandvoort Blue/Grey cloth, checked inserts; Estimate $48,952 – $73,428; Unrestored original, 2- condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $34,266 plus commission of 15.00%; Final Price $39,406. – Alloy wheels, Ford cassette stereo, sunroof, Recaro seats, books and manuals, 5-speed, power windows. – Three owners from new, 29,296 km and in impeccably preserved original condition with unblemished paint and only lightly stretched seat upholstery. – One of the hottest of the hot hatches and impressively preserved in nearly showroom condition after thirty years, this is a sound value in a desirable auto.
Lot # 412 1995 Ferrari F355 Challenge Berlinetta; S/N ZFFPA41B000101736; Yellow/Charcoal, Yellow cloth; Estimate $171,332 – $220,284; Competition restoration, 2- condition; With Reserve; Not sold at Hammer bid of $134,618. – White Speedline 5-spoke wheels, roll cage, CD stereo, 6-speed, OMP seats, books and race history, road legal. – Raced in the Ferrari Challenge Italy from 1995-1999 by Beppe Schenetti, championship winner in 1995, 10 race wins, 14 additional podium finishes, winner of the World Final at Vallelunga in 1999, the last Challenge race for the F355. Freshly restored with very good paint and interior, a remarkably pristine example of an ambitiously campaigned car. Engine out serviced last year. The catalog posits that it is one of the most successful racing Ferraris of all time, a contention hard to dispute. – The reported high bid is a reasonable premium for this car’s Challenge history, its surprisingly good condition and the fresh engine service. A little bit more wouldn’t be excessive.
Lot # 425 2011 Abarth 500 Assetto Corse 2-Dr. Sedan; S/N 00264005; Grey carbon fiber/Black cloth; Estimate $30,595 – $42,833; Competition car, original as-raced, 2 condition; No Reserve; Hammered Sold at $20,805 plus commission of 15.00%; Final Price $23,925. – Faux carbon fiber wrap with military-style markings on the doors, full roll cage, wing, air dam, 1.4 liter/200hp turbo four, 6-speed, 17-inch one piece alloy wheels, full roll cage, gutted interior, Brembo 4-piston front brakes, two seats, Sabelt 4-point belts, Sabelt Alcantara rim steering wheel, Abarth attestation. – Track use only, one of 85 built for the Abarth Trophy series. One owner, never raced and nearly like new.
– It was inevitable that FIAT would do something like this with the modern 500 and its purpose is clear, even if the carbon fiber pattern wrap is useless weight. The performance from the 200hp turbo engine should be exhilarating and it is nothing if not a hot deal at this price.