16/01/2012 Bonhams 'The Paris Sale', Paris 2 February 2012: Preview
Winner of the 2005 Tour Auto Regularity Class, 1961 Aston Martin DB4GT: 1,100,000 - 1,400,000 euros
Bonhams’ 2012 Paris sale – to be held on Thursday, 2 February now, please note – has as its leading entry a LHD 1961 Aston Martin DB4GT.
The rare (in left-hand drive, just 30 of the 75 '4GTs built in total) GT carries an estimate of 1,100,000 - 1,400,000 euros and has been prepared for mild rally/racing on events such as the Tour Auto. With extensive work completed by marque specialists that include RS Williams Ltd, the silver car appears ready to go on similar events this year. A realistic estimate, I believe, especially considering the desirability of LHD.
Other Astons catalogued are a LHD, 1952 DB2 Vantage Saloon (circa 1,300 miles since restoration, for 150,000 - 190,000 euros) and I’m not sure what the French equivalent of the expression ‘barn-find’ is, but the LHD 1958 DB Mk III is a part-finished ‘Sports Saloon Project’ and estimated at 130,000 - 150,000 euros.
Originally owned by entertainer Sammy Davis Jr, 1968 Maserati Ghibli: 50,000 - 70,000 euros
In addition to the Magnum-esque 1983 Ferrari 308 GTS Qv Targa (40,000 - 50,000 euros), Bonhams has four 250 GT Ferraris (ranging from the 1961 250 GTE, at 95,000 - 135,000 euros, to the Mille Miglia-eligible 1957 250 GT Berlinetta by Boano for 350,000 - 450,000 euros). There’s also a rather fun 1978 FIAT 900T Ferrari Service Van, formerly the property of Garage Francorchamps, for 6,000 - 9,000 euros.
Seven collectible Morgans from the collection of Froilan Gisbert appear as consecutive lots from 257 to 263, and another collector, tantalisingly named only as ‘Monsieur L.’ gives up three sizeable Rolls-Royces including a 1960 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II LWB Saloon (45,000 - 75,000 euros) once owned by the President of Portugal.
1966 AC Shelby Cobra '427' Roadster: 450,000 - 550,000 euros
If you are more of a Bentley man, the catalogue lists a 1962 Continental Drophead Coupé by Park Ward (65,000 - 80,000 euros) in addition to a couple of fine Petersen recreations, and a 1929 Bentley 6 1/2 / 8 Litre Tourer for 600,000 - 700,000 euros.
It is Paris so, unsurprisingly, Bonhams Europe’s chef d’equipe Philip Kantor has made sure that the quality, 310-page catalogue features many entries to make the Gallic breast swell with pride.
There’s something about early post-War French cars that I really like and falling into that category are the 1950 Delahaye 135M Coupé (90,000 - 120,000 euros), the 1946 Delahaye 135M Cabriolet (130,000 - 175,000 euros) and, finest of all, the ex-works, ex-Louis Rosier, 1956 Talbot-Lago T14 LS Spécial Coupé, a nice Aston or Alfa alternative for 140,000 - 180,000 euros.
Custom-built, by Chapron, Citroëns have always done well at Bonhams’ Paris sales, and in 2012 such gems as the 1972 DS 21 Prestige converted by Chapron (55,000 - 65,000 euros) and the US-delivered when new, 1965 DS21 Décapotable at 160,000 - 190,000 euros are to be offered.
Those interested in the recent rise in collectors’ car prices will know that, outside blue-chip Alfa 8C/Bugatti T35/’Blower’ Bentley territory, it’s the post-War GTs that have made the running. A glance at the lotlist reveals several cars that more than fit this bill.
There’s a 1966 Maserati Mistral 4000 Spyder (190,000 - 240,000 euros), a 1966 AC Shelby Cobra '427' (450,000 - 550,000 euros) and a 1968 Lancia Flaminia Super Sport 'Double Bubble' Coupé by Zagato for 135,000 - 165,000 euros.
While Maserati Ghibli Spyders have seen a tremendous growth in value recently, the model's coupé brother remains an affordable alternative to a ‘Daytona’ or, nowadays, even a chrome-bumper 911. Bonhams has two examples, a 1968 version once owned by ‘Rat Pack’ legend Sammy Davis Jnr. for 50,000 - 70,000 euros and a 1971, non-celebrity car for a more affordable 40,000 - 60,000 euros.
Finally, if you fancy an entry to the Tour Auto or Le Mans Classic but are a little bit lacking in the finances, Bonhams has the answer. There are two RS2600 competition Capris up for grabs, one a 1971, genuine ex-Cologne ‘plastic’ car for 85,000 - 125,000 euros, the other prepared to Group 2 regulations and realistically estimated at 45,000 - 65,000 euros.
You never know, it’s Rétromobile show week and you might bump into Sir Jackie Stewart or Jochen Mass, who might well give you some driving tips.
Prior to the motor car lots, the catalogue features an extensive selection of automobilia and over 30 motorcycles.
Bonhams' Thursday, 2 February sale will be held at the La Halle Freyssinet, 55 Boulevard Vincent Auriol, Paris 13e (Quai de la Guerre or Chevaleret Metro stations). Automobilia 14:30, motorcycles 16:00 and motor cars 17:00.