16 - 17 February 2007 Christie’s at Rétromobile - Review
Despite the postponement of the Auto Union, Christie’s sold a total of EURO 7,241,925 at last weekend’s Parisian event. One of the higher sellers was this 1969 Ferrari 365 GTC, for EURO 198,250, while surprise of the night was the c.1890 De Dion Bouton et Trepardoux Dos-A-Dos Steam Vehicle sold for EURO 709,750 - that’s over five times its low estimate.
The feeling in the saleroom was that the 1951 Talbot-Lago T26GS Barquette (a multiple Le Mans entry), estimated at EURO 1,400,000-1,600,000, was even better in the metal than catalogued, and that it represented a nice way of competing in the world’s top early-50s racing series in a big, powerful motor car. The final selling price of EURO 1,331,250 was ever so slightly on the low side, but still very good money for buyer and seller alike. The other Talbot-Lago, a 1952 T26 Grand Sport Berlinette sold for EURO 152,750.
The open Talbot-Lago was, in fact, the highest-selling car, although the superb 1936 Mercedes-Benz "Interim" 540k Cabriolet A by Sindelfingen ran it a close second at EURO 1,221,250. Its sister car in the sale, the 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet B selling for EURO 396,250. And while on the subject of the Stuttgart marque, EURO 146,875 for the 1971 Mercedes-Benz 280 3.5 Litre Cabriolet was high but represented a premium for the high cost of restoration of this superbly-prepared car.
The two older single-seater racing cars went well (ex-Hulme 1967 Brabham-Repco BT20 F1 car for EURO 407,250, and EURO 41,125 for the 1971 Tecno Formula 2), however none of the more recent F1 cars (2 x Ferrari and the 1982 Renault) found buyers.
Another car going way over-estimate was the 1961 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II Drophead Coupé. With a guide price of EURO 130,000-170,000, the superb, very ‘Grace Kelly’ boulevardier was eventually sold to a European private buyer for EURO 220,250, EURO 50,000 or so above top estimate.
The Ferrari Daytona didn’t sell - unusually for a very ‘in-vogue’ car - but the beautifully presented 1964 Ferrari 500 Superfast Series 1 - ex-Brussels Motor Show car did, for EURO 401,750. The pastel green 1954 Jaguar Xk120 Drophead Coupe looked nice, and duly sold for EURO 88,125, as did the 1974 Citroen DS 23 IE Cabriolet, for EURO 176,250 - another walloping price for one of these ultra-chic French cars.
The Aston Martin DB6 Volante was withdrawn, as were the Chevrolet Corvette and Ford Galaxy cabriolet.
Rupert Banner, Head of Christie’s International Motors Cars and Philip Kantor Director, said -
The ex- Pierre Levegh, 4 times Le Mans 1951 Talbot-Lago T26GS Barquette headed tonight’s successful Retromobile sale which spanned over a century of important motor cars. The one owner from new 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Cab. A sold for EURO 1,221,250 to applause in the presence of the original owner. The oldest car of the sale was the 1890 De Dion et Trepardoux which sold for over 5 times its low estimate. We now look forward to the June Greenwich Connecticut sale - 3/6/2007 - to which a barn-find discovery Bugatti Type 57C Atalante has already been consigned.
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Text: Steve Wakefield
Photos: Classic Driver
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