JUN 10th 2014

Ex‑Le Mans Cobra to star at Le Mans Classic auction

The ground will still be shaking after the 2014 Festival of Speed when the motoring world’s focus shifts one week later to France and the Le Mans Classic. Almost 500 cars will be taking part in the seventh annual running of the event, and the action tends to be on the spectacular side, but today we’re taking a look at some of the lots in Artcurial’s auction catalogue. If anybody has any funds left after Bonhams’ Festival of Speed sale there will be some stunning cars to fight over…

We’ll kick things off with this Fiat Dino Spider. It scores good rarity points for its detachable hard top and 2.4 litre motor (making it one of just 420 examples). Between 80,000 and 120,000 Euros is the estimate, which some will consider to be good value compared to other Dinos.

DINODONE   As rare as the Dino is though, it’s a common thing in comparison to this Panhard HBR5 Coupe which competed three times at Le Mans, finishing twice. Since then it appears to have spent all its life in France and has benefited from some top-notch restoration work. 160,000 Euros is the top estimate. It’s a cool car, although with just 848cc to call upon it’s not exactly a fire-breather.


Although, if you are in the market for something with a little more pep, there are a number of lots which will fit the bill. In fact , Articurial has somewhat mischievously place the following two cars on opposing pages of the catalogue, and with identical reserve figures! Lot 226 is this Bizzarini 5300 GT Strada with sought-after aluminium bodywork. the mileage of just 39,000 is believed genuine, and the car has spent the last 30 years taking things easy on the Cote d’Azur. The Lamborghini 400GT has been sympathetically restored at great expense, and now lives in an air conditioned garage. Two gorgeous Sixties GTs with two different ways of doing things, but the same estimate of between 450,000 – 550,000 Euros. Which would you go for…?


Personally I’d go for the Bizzarini, although there are a couple of other notable American-engined lots on offer: A DeTomaso Mangusta and a genuine ex-Le Mans Cobra. The Mangusta is described as ‘immaculate’ having been extensively restored, whilst the Cobra has a huge amount of history (which is worth reading in full) including participation in Le Mans. Articurial reckon you’ll need between 180,000 and 200,000 Euros for the Mangusta, whilst the Cobra will be more like 1.3m – 1.7m Euros.


As you’d expect, the list of lots is extensive and makes for a fascinating browse. You can see the full catalogue HERE for more of the same, including impressive hauls of Ferraris, Porsches, and Lancias.


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