Market: Bugatti and Maserati top RM Sotheby's Paris sale

21st century supercars top the RM Sotheby’s Paris prices during Rétromobile as all three classic headliners fail to sell

After a weighty dump of overnight snow had fallen on the see-through roof of one of the European market leader’s upmarket auction tents and safe viewing of some of the cars had to be delayed on sale day, a well-attended evening event saw bidders from 34 countries buy 83% of the lots for 23.75m euro (£21.13m).

After the Ferrari 166MM Spider that did the Mille Miglia in 1953 and 1954 ran out of gas at a below reserve €3.45m and a GTO Engineering-restored 1965 275 GTB Alloy with desirable ‘long-nose’ also failed to achieve €2.4m, it was down to a 2017 Bugatti Chiron (above) to be the night’s top seller in the RM Sotheby’s auction tent in Place Vauban.

With no less than 1500bhp on tap and a top speed limited electronically to 420km/h, the Slovakian registered supercar – with less than 1000km on the clock – powered to a premium-inclusive €3.32m (£2.96m) result. This is a record for the Chiron at auction.

One of 50 Maserati MC12s meanwhile, a 2005 road-going version of what essentially is a street legal GT1 race car, with 12,500km on the clock, was offered without reserve and achieved €2,001,875 (£1,781,669), the second highest priced car.

A still-quite-original 1958 BMW 507 Series 2 Roadster from single German ownership for over four decades, which had been maintained by the same factory-trained mechanic since new, rounded off the top three by realising €1,581,419 (£1,581,419).

Another post-WW2 Bugatti also fared well under the gavel. The 25-year-old EB110 SS prototype with UK V5C and only 3300km from new in 1993 seduced several bidders until hammered for €1,152,500 (£1,025,725), another new auction record and the sale’s fourth highest price.

With the Ferrari 166 (parked front of house) and the 275 both failing to sell, the top-priced Prancing Horse was therefore a ‘no reserve’ F40 – a late production car with catalytic converter and adjustable suspension from 1992 and fuel tanks replaced in 2017.

It sold for €933,125 (£830,481). Other cars to make the top ten were a race-winning in 1954 Osca 2000S with Barchetta bodywork by Morelli at €792,500 (£705,325), one of only 37 1967 Maserati Mistral 4.0 Spyders at €736,250 (£655,263), one of 125 1970 Ghibli 4.7 Spyders at €708,125 (£630,231), one of 14 1995 Porsche Exclusive 911 Turbo Cabriolets at €680,000 (£605,200) and one of just 54 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadsters at €646,250 (£575,163).

Among other standout valuations here were the €516,875 (£460,019) paid by the buyer of an apparently meticulously restored and Classiche-certified 1962 Ferrari 250GTE Series 3 2+2 Coupe that soared past its €430,000-470,000 pre-sale estimate.

A 1988 RUF CTR Clubsport, believed to be the only CTR in Porsche RS Mint Green, also exceeded €275,000-325,000 expectations to sell for 348,125 euro (£309,831). An Italian-delivered in 1995 ‘Dealers Collection’ Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evo 2 convincingly overtook the €90,000-120,000 guide to fetch €161,000 (£143,290).

Another record buster was a Triumph TR3A that had been a member of a four-car works team on the 1958 Monte Carlo Rally, finished second on the Circuit of Ireland and been a Tulip Rally class winner in the same year. By selling for a more than top estimate €184,000 (£163,760), the Coventry sports-car with hardtop and bend-spotting Lucas roof light has become the valuable TR3 ever auctioned.

Largely ignored by most was a 50,137km 1965 Porsche 912 with nearly three decades of undisturbed storage dust. But after it was announced from the rostrum that this recently-discovered sleeper had been first owned by a Dutch Royal, the project was keenly contested until finally taken on for €92,000 (£81,880), more than double the lower estimate.

Although the reserves of the two star Ferraris were not met and the 1964 Iso Grifo A3/C formerly owned by Jean-Philippe Smet (the late French pop idol ‘Johnny Hallyday’) failed to pick-up a fan with the €2.5m or more suggested, this was not only a confidence-inducing sale in depth for stake holders, but a positive starter for what would be a four-course auction menu during Rétromobile week in the French capital.

Next up: Bonhams in Paris.

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