15/01/2012 Artcurial Auction, Paris Rétromobile, 3 February 2012: Preview
1959 Ferrari 250 GT Spider California with factory hard-top: 'On Request'
Pity the poor postman over the next few days; Artcurial’s forthcoming Paris sale catalogue is a whopper. The quality of the entries more than matches the thickness of the over-350-page tome, headed, of course, by the ex-Roger Vadim 1959 Ferrari 250 GT Spider California.
Much has been written about this car. It’s ‘Refer Department’ for estimate and should really sell well. At this level, though, the exchange rate of the US Dollar, Swiss Franc and Euro will have a big effect on its price, as will the success – or otherwise – of the Arizona sales the week before.
The superb Ferrari comes from the collection of the French arch-Ferrari fanatic Jean-Claude Bajol. The late Monsieur Bajol was clearly a man of deep pockets and great taste, as any one of the entries from his estate is ‘Classic Driver’ to the core. Take the 1964 Lancia Flaminia Sport Zagato (100,000 - 140,000 euros), the alloy-bodied, 320,000 - 420,000 euros 1967 Bizzarrini 5300 GT Berlinetta Strada or the 1960 Maserati 3500 GT Spyder Vignale (red… hmmm… with factory hard-top, for 200,000 - 300,000 euros), great cars all.
1954 BSA Avenger: 8,000 - 12,000 euros: No Reserve
Other entries in the sale likely to have your Editor’s heart a-flutter include the 1961 Porsche 356 B Super 90, a ‘no reserve’ car for 25,000 - 30,000 euros, the 1968 Maserati Ghibli 4.7-litre coupé (45,000 - 75,000 euros) and the 1984 Lancia Rallye 037, 130,000 - 180,000 euros – surely a classic in the making.
In the same vein as the Lancia Rallye is what presents in the catalogue as an immaculate 1977 Fiat 131 Abarth Rally (50,000 - 60,000 euros), and where would a French sale be without an Alpine-Renault? The evergreen (French racing blue en actualité ) model is a 1969 A110 1600, one of the many ‘No Reserve’ cars in the auction and carrying an estimate of 50,000 - 70,000 euros.
1938 Horch 853 Cabriolet: 320,000 - 380,000 euros
It’s not all post-War material. Far from it. A highlight of the sale is Lot 322, the 1913 Delaunay Belleville Type O6 8L. Looking as if it had jumped straight from the pages of ‘Babar’, the 400,000 - 600,000 euros tourer not only comes from the same family that bought it new, but also carries its original, partinium-coated body. ‘Partinium’, by the way, is an alloy of aluminium and tungsten. Illuminating things, auction catalogues.
Also on the pre-War front is a sporting-looking 1935 Bentley 3 Litre Sport (135,000 - 160,000 euros), a 1932 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Coupe de Ville by Fernandez et Darrin (70,000 - 120,000 euros) and two truly magnificent, high-powered German cabriolets. Coming from the same Italian ownership, the 1937 Mercedes 540 K Cabriolet B (450,000 - 550,000 euros) and the 1938 Horch 853 cabriolet (320,000 - 380,000 euros) are real ‘Pebble Beach’ material and a real coup for the Artcurial motor car team.
As you’d expect, given the location, the catalogue abounds with sophisticated French grand routiers from the immediate post-War period, right up to a pair of Facels (a 1964 Excellence Series 2 Export Berline for 120,000 - 160,000 euros and a 70,000 - 90,000 euros, 1961 HK500). Both the 1948 135 M Cabriolet 'Malmaison' (280,000 - 400,000 euros) and the 1947 135 MS Cabriolet by Franay, at 500,000 - 600,000 euros, are superb Delahayes and potential concours entries.
All in all, a terrific catalogue. Prior to the motor cars, over 200 lots of automobilia, six watches and five attractive motorcycles will come under the hammer.
Artcurial’s 3 February sale will take place at the Salon Rétromobile, Porte de Versailles, Paris, with automobilia commencing at 14:00. Watches, bikes and motor cars will follow at 19:00.
1961 Facel Vega HK500: 70,000 - 90,000 euros
1961 Porsche 356 B Super 90:25,000 - 30,000 euros, No Reserve