Artcurial Auction 'Automobiles sur les Champs', Paris, 30 October 2011: Review

Parisian luxury: Mercedes-Benz, Bentley and Rolls-Royce

For a self-professed ‘small’ sale, Artcurial’s gross figure of 2.8m euros is not bad going, aided more than a touch by the top-selling (531,378 euros) 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL 'Gullwing'.

The auction cars were on display in a stylishly ‘window-dressed’ parking area for the Hôtel Marcel Dassault, just off the Champs-Élysées, home to Artcurial, one of the leading French auction houses. On the night, the sale itself was conducted in the regular offices upstairs.

With many cars offered Sans Réserve, it was a useful opportunity for many collectors to add to their garages. And these entries were not all at the lower end, either – the 1972 Jaguar E-type V12 Roadster achieved 44,080 euros, the historic racing 1967 Renault 8 Gordini 52,420 euros (crikey!) and the 1964 Ford Thunderbird 53,611 euros.

The ex-Jean-Paul Belmondo 1963 Morgan 4/4 Plus Four created much pre-event publicity, duly selling for 32,167 euros. Another icon of French popular culture, Johnny Hallyday, was featured in the catalogue as his old 2003 Triumph Thunderbird Sport 900 motorcycle was to go under the hammer, eventually selling for 16,679 euros.

1963 Facel II - Sold for 204,455 euros 1989 Ferrari Testarossa - Sold for 53,611 euros

At 131,050 euros, the 2009 599 GTB Fiorano led the charge of the Ferraris, with all bar the 1972 365 GTC/4 finding new owners. No such luck, though, for the ‘Art Car’ 2008 Aston Martin DBRS9 GT3, or the endearing 1960 Porsche 356 B Cabriolet T5 ‘Polizei’. Maybe the latter was not quite so endearing in period, should you be a little too enthusiastic behind the wheel of a big Mercedes or Bentley, though...

And, speaking of which, of the three Bentleys two found new owners, while all three Rolls sold - the ever-stylish 1968 Mulliner Park Ward Coupé going for 19,062 euros.

1970 Mercedes-Benz 280 SL 'California' - Sold for 29,784 euros 1954 Lancia Aurelia B20 GT 4 Series - Not Sold

Prior to the motor cars, a variety of automobilia and art was offered, much of which sold including a bronze Mercedes-Benz 300 SL ‘Papillon’ for 8926 euros.

Artcurial Auction 'Automobiles sur les Champs', Paris, 30 October 2011: Review Artcurial Auction 'Automobiles sur les Champs', Paris, 30 October 2011: Review Artcurial Auction 'Automobiles sur les Champs', Paris, 30 October 2011: Review

For 2012, Artcurial Motorcars has an ambitious programme which includes sales at Rétromobile, Paris on Friday, 3 February and at the Le Mans Classic, on Friday 6 July. Early entries to the Paris sale include an amazing (and huge) 1913 Delaunay Belleville (400,000 – 500, 000 euros), while the Le Mans sale will include an ex-factory Peugeot 905 EV13 sold Sans Réserve (estimate 700,000 – 1,200, 000 euros).

1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL 'Gullwing', sold for 531,378 euros

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Text: Steve Wakefield
Photos: Classic Driver

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