FEB 10th 2014

Records tumble at Retromobile and Grand Palais sales

Ferrari and Porsche were the stars for Bonhams and RM Auctions during Retromobile week in Paris, although the biggest price paid was for a 1956 D-Type Jaguar…

RM Auctions reckoned theirs  to be ‘one of the best production D-Types in existence’, and so it proved with a total sale price of £3.07m – a record price for a D-Type. Not content with that record, RM set another when they sold a Rothmans-liveried Porsche 956 – the one which came in third in Porsche’s famous 1-2-3 victory at Le Mans in 1982 – for £1.96m.

Continuing the Porsche theme, RM had a couple of other highly significant examples to offer; a 904GTS and one of the fearsome 917/30 Can-Am cars. Despite attracting a high bid of £1.66m the 917/30 didn’t sell, however the GTS romped to £1.07m.

RM had one standout Ferrari – and what a Ferrari – an ex-Phil Hill/Carroll Shelby 750 Monza which sold for £1,960,000. A good price, but not quite enough to earn RM the bragging rights as the best price for a Ferrari during Retromobile week…

The dust had barely settled following the news that Tom Hartley had sold that Ferrari Testa Rossa for £24m when bidders took their seats at Bonhams’ latest sale. The bidding frenzy we predicted at the Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grandes Palais event for their Ferrari 275 GTB/4 saw the car clear its upper estimate (just) and set a new record for the model. £2,103,442 was the full price paid (including premium) for the pretty blue Berlinetta which Bonhams confidently reckoned was one of the best available. It represented the biggest sale of the auction after the Mercedes-Benz 500K failed to sell, although there were a number of other results which demand consideration.

It was a good day for Aston Martin, with an original, unrestored DB5 realising a strong £645,374, and a fully-restored DB4GT almost clearing a million at £984,763, whilst French sprits will have been lifted at the sight of a Delage D6 Grand Prix car finding a new owner at £908,304.

Other notable sales were the 1929 Bugatti Type 35B (£1,338,554) which had been bought new for a 21 year-old, a 1961 flat-floored Jaguar E-Type (£162,538), and a Ferrari C126 F1 car (£401,566). Given that eventually all ex-Scuderia cars end up being in great demand, the C126 might even be viewed as being decent value.

So, a good week for Porsche and Jaguar, and still no sign of the Ferrari bubble bursting. Will it still be intact when the 375-Plus is offered at Bonhams’ Festival of Speed sale?

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