Market: what's for sale at the Paris Rétromobile auctions?

The classic car will be watching the highs and lows of the 2018 sales at Artcurial, RM Sotheby's and Bonhams in France in February. Here are the ones to watch

A total of 396 classics will be market-tested in four days in the French capital, around the Rétromobile show, and the sale stats will reveal whether or not vendors’ reserves have been realistic. Potential buyers and sellers throughout the EU will certainly be checking out the prices – and the drama has already started for some...

Artcurial, 9-10 February

Two weeks before its high profile appearance in a Retromobile auction, the 1964 Le Mans-winning Ferrari 275 Prototype has been withdrawn by the heirs of Pierre Bardinon.

Auctioneers Artcurial cite the ongoing proceedings concerning the deceased estate for the suspension of their signed sales agreement with the Bardinon family. Bardinon acquired the 275P in 1970. The Parisian auction house sold the Ferrari 335S Scaglietti from his collection for €32.1m at their Retromobile sale in February 2016.

It will be left therefore to this 1958 250GT S1 Cabrio – the 23rd of only 40 to be crafted by the automobile sculptors at Pininfarina and forecast to cost the next investor €7m-9m – to wave the Maranello flag at Artcurial’s Friday 9 February flagship sale.

Among the other gems from seven collections coming to market in the Porte de Versailles exhibition halls will be a 1964 Tour de France-exercised Porsche 904GTS with €1.4m-1.8m expectations. Meanwhile, €2.8m-3.6m is sought for the J-R Roger Collection 1954 Maserati A6 GCS/S3 Spyder (below) that raced for 1000k on Italian roads in the 1955 Mille Miglia.

130 cars will be auctioned in the Paris firm’s 2pm session on Friday 9 February session. The following day, on Saturday 10 February, 76 classic bikes and early motor-assisted cycles will be offered from 2pm, followed by 47 automobiles from the Broual family collection starting at 5pm sans reserve. Among them is this unique 1956 Riffard Renault Tank Record, below, guided at €15,000-25,000.

RM Sotheby's, 7 February

Headlining in the RM Sotheby’s upmarket auction tent pitched in Place Vauban, where the auction action commences early evening on Wednesday 7 February, will be a Ferrari 166 MM Spider. The fifth of 13 V12-powered 166 MMs with five-speed gearboxes built for the 1953 season was raced in the 1953 Mille Miglia by Alberico Cacciari and Bill Mason, father of Pink Floyd drummer and noted Ferrari collector Nick Mason.

Employed in the production of the 1953 Shell film about the epic event, directed by Bill Mason, chassis 0273M then did the 1954 Mille Miglia, during and after which in post-production in the US it played a supporting role with Kirk Douglas in the MGM movie The Racers. A major retro-event future awaits a buyer with the necessary €3.7m-4.5m.

Also likely to turn heads at the 84-collector-vehicle event will be the eighth of just ten ‘riveted’ 1964 Iso Grifo A3/Cs, which were hand-made in the Modena workshops of Piero Drogo in ‘avional’ – a special alloy of aluminium, copper and magnesium, which, though light and easy to shape, is difficult to weld, hence the rivets.

Iso’s AC/3 was a class winner at Le Mans in 1964 and 1965. First owned by the late musician Johnny Hallyday, and subsequently resident in a French castle for 24 years followed by a 15-year spell in a museum, chassis B0209 has only 27,000km on the clock and is estimated at €2.5m-3m.

Bonhams, 8 February

The next afternoon in Le Grand Palais, where the first Paris Motor Show was held 117 years ago, 135 cars and a 36-litre V12 800bhp Hispano-Suiza racing hydroplane, which clocked 159kmh on the Seine right outside the venue in 1938, will go under the Bonhams gavel from 2pm on Thursday 8 February.

A Bugatti Type 57T, specially built for BRDC Chairman Earl Howe in 1935 and later raced by Pierre Levegh, who died at Le Mans in 1955 when his Mercedes crashed into the crowd killing 83 and injuring more than 180, is forecast to fetch €780,000-1.3m.

€750,000-950,000 has been suggested for a London to Brighton Run regular 1904 FIAT Tipo 24/32 Veteran and €650,000-850,000 should buy an all-matching numbers 1926 Bentley 3-Litre Speed Model ‘Red Label’ with original Vanden Plas coachwork.

Four Lamborghini models in the auction are led by a 1968 Lamborghini Miura P400S Coupe, arguably the first supercar, which has €1.2m-1.4m on the screen. A 1975 Countach LP400, one of 157 ‘Periscopo’ versions, seeks a bull fighter with €600,000-800,000, a 1966 400GT 2+2 Coupe has been guided at €520,000-580,000 and a 1996 Diablo VT may cost a buyer €215,000-255,000.

A Lancia works team 1986 Delta S4 Group B Recce car with Abarth Classiche certification will hope to raise €580,000-780,000 and an Abarth-maintained 1974 Fiat X1/9 Group 4 Rally Car will be sold without reserve. A 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Touring, originally owned by HRH Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, has been pre-sale priced at €650,000-850,000.

A total of 396 classics will be market-tested in four days in the French capital and the sale stats will reveal whether or not vendors’ reserves have been realistic. Potential buyers and sellers throughout the EU will certainly be checking out the prices.

Images courtesy of Loic Kernen, Xavier de Nombel, Dirk de Jager, RM Sotheby’s, Bonhams

Classic Cars for Sale