Yesterday Bonhams enjoyed yet another record-breaking sale, this time at the Grand Palais in Paris. Refreshingly for a top international auction event, Ferraris didn’t dominate the list of big hitters!
The Grand Palais on the Avenue Winston Churchill in Paris is, quite frankly, one of the very finest venues in the world to hold a car auction. This Victorian leviathan of a building is a blend of Beaux-Arts styling, exquisite masonry and strong, heavy metalwork topped-off with a huge, ornate glass roof. Light floods in to the vast, open space, dominated each year at this time by a temporary auction room erected by Bonhams.
By the time the auction had ended yesterday, there was a new record price for an Aston Martin DB5 and Bonhams had enjoyed its most successful event in Continental Europe. The potential buyers strolling along the avenues of cars prior to the sale had travelled from all over the world to be there, and when James Knight kicked-off proceedings it was apparent that they weren’t there to take in the pleasant surroundings.
Biggest of the big-hitters was a 1965 Aston Martin DB5 Convertible which ended up almost bang-on its high estimate at £1,430,715, followed by a gorgeous Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport (£893,113) and a 1962 Aston Martin DB4 Convertible at £791,602.
An AC Cobra (£699,211), Isotta Fraschini 8A (694,922), Maserati 3500GT Spyder (£592,150) and a veteran 1904 Panhard et Levassor 35HP Sport (£557,823) followed on the big-money list, after which were a trio of Ferraris: a 1990 F40 at £541,052, a 1970 365 GTB/4 Daytona Spider at £485,230 and a 1958 259 GT Coupé which made £412,231.
Other notable lots were the ex-Ayrton Senna DAP Kart which made £43,355 – just shy of double its estimate, and a Harley Davidson Heritage Softail once gifted to Pope Emeritus Benedict which similarly fell just short of doubling its estimate at £34,684.
As ever, the full list of results makes for an entertaining browse and can be seen here. As for Bonhams, with very successful Las Vegas, Scottsdale and now Paris auctions under its belt for 2015, all eyes now look to the next event at Amelia Island in Florida and then the 73rd Members’ Meeting…
Photography: Tom Shaxson