Written by Rosemarijn Atalante Veenenbos
We have all been waiting for the legendary sale of the Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti, or as my mom called it, that “little red car” of the auction. The Retro week was quite busy with three major auctions, but for sure Artcurial stole the show in a typically passionate French way. A large collection went under the hammer, and 80% sold for a total of €56 million, a European record, of which the 335 is claimed to be the world record for a motor car at auction. The 335 sold for €28 million, but with premium added, it actually yielded €32.1 million! A price unaffordable except for the few. Four automobiles were sold over a million, so enough ‘bargains’ still.
The big and black room downstairs was incredible and very very busy! The auctioneers knew how to fill the space with their voices/songs, and even if they made a mistake, I still like them. The 335 was one big spectacle. The lights were switched off and then… A movie started showing in full song the excitement of the 335. It took a while to smash the hammer down, and I look forward to seeing the new owner driving it.
What I really loved about the auction was that in the big halls around the sale I heard the engines start, and smelled the exhaust fumes. This made the experience just perfect! The only pity was that when I was asked by Pierre Novikoff when I was finally going to bid, I had to say no thanks. I would have loved to raise my hand for the dans son jus Miura, but sadly the money is in and still going into my Amilcar CGS. Some of you don’t want to hear too much Ferrari talk, but as I like to be unruly I will mention just one other Ferrari. The Daytona is one that deserves a spot in this report. Two of them were present. The 1971 Ferrari Daytona 365 GTB/4 Spider (conversion by Straman) was a no go for €550,000, but the 1972 365 GTB/4 Daytona was a big GO for €953,600. I also prefer the coupé edition.
It is clear that the 335 was the highlight of the show, but let’s not forget the other iconic cars like the 1954 Vega 54 Prototype V, which sold for €500.640. The other million cars were the 1986 Ferrari Testarossa Spider Valeo, ex Gianni Agnelli, that made €1,210,100, the 1963 Aston Martin DB4 convertible Series 5 that sold for €1,473,200 and then one is still missing… The last one was not a car, but the stunning 1903 Moonbeam III, the “Moonbeam of Fife” boat, which sold for €1,107,100.
Obviously the classics, and especially Ferraris did very well again, no surprise. Some I really enjoyed were the Dinos: a 1973 (€357,600) and a 1971 (€357,600) 246 GT, no mistake just exactly the same prices! Not to forget the neglected Miura S (hightest bid €870,000, but not sold). Also the 1966 Lamborghini 350 GT Touring is one I appreciate, but €620,000 was just not enough to sell. The other supercars that are great fun are the 1971 De Tomaso Mangusta (hammered down for €327,800), and the 1975 Lamborghini Countach LP 400 coupé Periscopio, which is a big boy, because it sold for €1,072,800!
There were many Porsches, which I did not expect at all, and they looked great, but too many to mention all of them, so I will only recall this striking and fast 1997 Porsche 993 GT2 Evo, which did not sell for a bid of €350,000.
My dad loved the cars that are not so well known but very fine ones nevertheless. The 1947 Stanguellini 1100 coupé Motto (€190,000, unsold) and the 1951 Simca Huit Sport Coupé (sold for €65,560). Two great sporty cars that deserve more credit. Stanguellini is a marque that is less known, but much appreciated by those who love Etceterini’s.
Classics that have quickly gained popularity, and that also featured at the auction, are the 1968 Maserati Ghibli. A 4.7L model (lot nr. 220, which did not sell for a highest bid of €220,000), and a 1971 4.9L SS Ghibli, which I cannot find in the results. The catalogue shows lot nr.135, which fetched €135,000, but that cannot be. The Espada, of which two went under the hammer (the 1969 series I had a highest bid of €140,000 and the 1971 series II €135,000). Two Ferraris 330 GT 2+2 remained unsold (highest bid €280,000 for the 1964 model, and the 1965 model with a highest bid of €260,000). Around the room I saw multiple Ferraris 250 GT. At the auction the 1960 Pinin Farina cabrio did not sell for €1,200,000, but the 1958 Pinin Farina coupé sold for €524,480, two lovely classics.
Alfas Giulia or Giulietta are high in demand, or perhaps not? The very sought after 1962 Giulietta Sprint Zagato Coda Tronca did not sell for €500,000. The 1965 Giulia Sprint Speciale Bertone did, for €131,120. The unrestored 1956 Giulietta Sprint fetched €45,296, and the popular 1965 Giulia Sprint GTA sold for no less than €441,040.
The 1951 Talbot Lago T26 Record Dubos convertible did sell for €262,240, despite the fact that it had been hidden somewhere in a corner of Artcurial’s showroom upstairs. Its later bro, the 1956 Talbot-Lago Sport 2500 (€381,440) is also a very fine sports coupé. The 1950 Talbot-Lago Record cabriolet by Graber reminded me a bit of our Delahaye 135MS Chapron cabriolet and went for €202,640.
One of the highlights at the Bonhams auction was a Lancia Aurelia, and Artcurial had a fine 1952 B20 GT series 2, which sold for €149,000. Bonhams also had a fave of mine, a dans son jus Maserati Sebring by Vignale, and Artcurial had a Sebring as well, a 1963 3500 GTi, which went for €327,800.
Fun cars were the unique 1999 Bugatti EB112 berline (not sold for a highest bid of €1,900,000) and the 1993 Lancia Hyena (did not sell either for a highest bid of €190,000). What they had in common is not only that they are extremely rare, but also that they are not very pretty… What some call a plastic car, did sell very well. The 1995 Bugatti EB110 Super Sport sold for €929,760 and his brother, the impressive 1995 Bugatti EB110 SS Sport Competizione Le Mans sold for €941,680. I think they look like impressive mouses.
Facel Vega was king in Paris, because I saw many of them and even the delicious prototype. The 1958 Facel Vega FV4 left to its new owner for €214,560, and the 1960 Facel Vega HK 500 sold for €107,280. The 1957 Facel Vega FV4 went for €226,480 and last but absolutely not least, THE… get ready for the long description: 1954 Vega 54 Prototype V par Facel, Châssis n° FV-54-0002 – Première Facel Vega, jamais produite – Véhicule impo, yielded €500,640.
We all love barn finds and Zagato, so to me it was a surprise that the 1960 Lancia Flaminia Sport Zagato 2.5L did not sell; the highest bid was €175,000. The Maserati Mistal is one fine Maserati, but the 1965 Mistral Spider did not sell either (highest bid €450,000).
For the Aston Martin lovers especially, there were two DB4’s and a DB2/4. The 1961 DB4 went for €536,400, the 1963 DB4 Convertible Series 5 for €1,473,200 and the 1957 DB2/4 MkIII coupé for €274,160. Astons are doing extremely well these days.
There was a blue little monster I saw passing by many times: the blue Alpina rally car. This was the 1970 Alpine A110 1600 S Groupe IV, ex Jean Saurel, which sold for €116,816.
Of course I have a special prewar selection as well. The 1926 Bentley 6,5 L Tourer Vanden Plas did not sell for €700,000. It seems that almost all the prewar cars I liked were not sold, so this is promising for me for the future. The 1929 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Super Sport did not sell either for a highest bid of €1,260,000, but the 1920 T13 Brescia did sell for €357,600. The huge 1931/2012 Buccialli, based on a Cord type L29 chassis, went for €596,000. One I definitely need to mention is the scruffy 1927 Amilcar CGSs biplace, nothing like my Amillion, which sold for €45,296.
You probably expect me to complain that I have not seen a Hispano-Suiza, but I will forgive on that since I saw two gorgeous Delahayes, and a Salmson that I was very surprised about. The 1951 Salmson G72 coupé by Saoutchik… A Salmson with Saoutchik coachwork? I had no clue this existed, but it was a wonderful car and surprisingly cheap, as it sold for €184,760. I recently saw its heavier brother, a four door, in fine condition offered in France two months ago for as little as €11,000!
Then Delahaye time, and again another one of my fave coachbuilders: Henri Chapron. The 1952 Delahaye 235 special coupé Chapron went for €298,000. But the other 235 was a striking 1952 Ghia bodied coupé with enclosed wheels, ex Shah of Iran, and a car brought once from Iran to the Netherlands by a KLM pilot. I loved it, and the new owner was lucky to pay only €160,920 for it; I am jealous!
Weirdos of the show were to me the purple 1999 Lamborghini Diablo VT Roadster 5.7 (did not sell for €210,000), and the ugliest was a 1941 Pierre Faure Type PFA Biplace électrique. It had come out of a barn right away and sold (€20,264)! Next to the mouses there was also a predator. Not a cat, but a shark, the gorgeous 1939 Graham Paige Type 97 supercharged cabriolet by Pourtout, which sold for €166,880. Not a weird one, but one that reminds me of the Louis de Funes movies, was the fat American 1949 Cadillac Series 62 cabriolet, which went for only €38,144. Then there was an unusual aircraft wing, the 1949 Georges Irat cabriolet by Labourdette, and it went for €57,216.
I will end with the best one, to me the winner of all and even still available! The 1963 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta, just WOW! A bid of €7,800,000 was way under the lowest estimate of €9 millions. If I was not a ‘poor man’s Bugattiste’, I would have taken short wheelbase God home without any doubt. But I am afraid that for the next couple of years a ‘bargain car’ will suit me better. There were some ‘Hanssome’ bargain examples, like the 1965 ASA 1000 GT coupé (sold for €135,888) and the 1963 Italia 2000 (sold for €89,400).
Usually you preview the cars to be auctioned before the auction, but this time I thought it would be fun to do everything reverse. I took all my pics from the rear/side of the cars as you can see and previewed them after the auction, just fun to be unruly. As you see I really like auctions, so a fine and long report this was.
I did not join the automobilia auction, but below you see some of the collection that went under the hammer.
The prices include premium and the Citroen sale is not included in this report, because I did not join that auction. Next up more Retro craziness to come. Click on the Artcurial banner to find out more about the results, because I did not mention them all. Also many thanks to the Artcurial team, they gave us a wonderful show and did a great job. I also am very thankful for the great seat I had in from of the stage.