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16.3m-euro California Spider rounds up barn-find frenzy at Artcurial sale

From the outset, the lure of Artcurial’s ‘forgotten’ classics was evident, with some of the dilapidated lots fetching more than ten times their estimates – before the headlining California Spider charted a stunning €16.3m (including premium) result…

In hindsight, Artcurial’s estimates might have been a little conservative due to a lack of precedence, but the champagne will certainly be flowing in the 15th arrondissement this evening. Whether four or seven figures, estimates were beaten lot after lot – with tenfold increases not uncommon. Take the case, early on, of a 1923 Voisin Type C3 estimated to fetch a mere €1,500 – €2,000 that sold for €44,000. Soon afterwards, the 1963 Porsche 356 SC coupé made €75,000, against a predicted €20,000 – €30,000. Paving the way for the Ferrari finale, the trend continued with big-money lots such as the Saoutchik-bodied Talbot Lago T26 Grand Sport, which commanded €1.45m off the back of a €400,000 – €600,000 estimate. Oh, and these results are ‘on the hammer’, without the premiums added, just in case they weren’t impressive enough.

Then came the Italians. A 1982 Ferrari 308 GTSi in need of a ground-up restoration (estimate €5,000 – €10,000) made €29,000, while a 400 GT (estimate €12,000 - €16,000) went for €45,000. But, of course, all eyes were on the Maserati A6G 2000 Gran Sport and the SWB California Spider. The former whizzed past its high estimate of €1.2m within 10 seconds of bidding, before settling at €1.72m, while the Ferrari was strung out to €14.2m (which is €16.3m including premium) – a new World Record.

Photos: Rémi Dargegen for Classic Driver © 2015