The headlining Ferrari 275 P may have been withdrawn from the sale but there were plenty of other big-ticket cars at France’s major collectors’ car sale, the Artcurial Retromobile auction in Paris on February 9-10.
A drop-dead gorgeous 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Atalante was the star of the show, as well as the beauty queen, just as this actual car had been 80 years before at the Geneva Motor Show. The Bugatti coupe sold for €2.9 million, short of the €3.5 expected but still a world record auction price for this model.
It wasn’t the only record-setter. Artcurial says there were 13 new world record auction prices, with 86 per cent of all lots going to new homes – 40 per cent of them selling for above their presale estimates.
The sale achieved a total of €31.8 million – ironically what that sole ex-Bardinon collection Ferrari would have been likely to go for – and gets the 2018 collectors’ car year off to a positive start, the sale being widely regarded as a barometer for the market.
The Bugatti wasn’t the only prewar car to do well. A pair of Delage D8s with bodies by Chapron set auction records, a 1938 model selling for three times its presale estimate. But the sale wasn’t all about the golden oldies. Runner-up in the value stakes was a 2007 Ferrari FXX. The track-only Ferrari, of which just 38 were made, has covered only 100km and is said never to have been in top gear. It sold for €2.7m, an FXX record.
The remainder of the top five were a 1954 Maserati A6 GCS/53 Spyder Fiandri & Malagoni which sold for €2.5m, a 1964 Porsche 904 GTS went to an American collector for €1.8m and a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing similarly beat its estimate by selling for €1.1m.
And the cars we highlighted in our preview? The rare and unusual Citroën DS 21 Chapron Le Dandy coupe, one of many Chapron-bodied DS specials in the sale, sold for a record €262,240 and Renault Clio Williams No 1 – the very first car given to Renault’s Formula One engine boss Bernard Dudot – sold for €41,720. The 1952 Gordini Type 16 Formula 1, expected to make €900,000-1.4m, failed to find a buyer.
And what of the world’s ugliest car, the 1947 Dolo Type JB 10? Yes, even this hideous French flop found a new home to go to, selling for €27,400.