Analyze That! Twin studies at the Rétromobile sales

As the collector car collective continues to watch the auction market with ever-increasing scrutiny, everyone is looking for themes and correlations between sales. We’ve had a look through the upcoming Paris catalogues and spotted some parallels…

Ask the head of any auction house to explain their strategy behind which cars they consign, where they sell, and when they sell, and they will all tell you that their team thinks independently, sets trends, and moves ahead of the curve. This is generally the case, but at this year’s Rétromobile sales, RM Sotheby’s and Artcurial may end up looking like the slightly embarrassed guests who have arrived at the soirée in the same haute couture dress, as both firms are selling remarkably similar examples of various models, with some even in the same colours. This upcoming week provides observers with a rare opportunity to directly compare the sale of comparable models in one weekend…

Two’s company

The similarities between the offerings of both auction houses are quite remarkable. Most anticipated will probably be the ever-popular Ferrari 599 GTO, as two examples, both in Rosso Corsa with matte Silverstone Grey roofs, will be offered under the Parisian sky. Differentiated externally by a few options, and under the bonnet by mileage, Artcurial’s 11,700-kilometre example is estimated between 500,000 and 700,000 euros, while the RM Sotheby’s 17,000-kilometre car has a narrower estimate of 525,000–600,000 euros. Two 1973 Porsche 911 2.7 RS Tourings, both Light Yellow and authentically restored, will also cross the block, as well as two Ferrari 250 GTE 2+2s, again both matching in their original colours of Grey with Red interiors, two White-over-Blue Fiat 600 Multiplas, two factory rally Renault 5 Turbos (three including Bonham’s offering), two Ferrari 250 GT Pininfarina Cabriolets, two Aston Martin DB6 Vantages, and even two examples of the largely unloved Lamborghini Jarama.

What goes up…

We are officially in the era of the million-euro 1990s Porsche. Or at least, that’s what RM Sotheby’s — and no doubt the owners, who are no longer able to safely drive their cars due to the dollar signs in their eyes — is trying to convince us. Based on the 1994 Porsche 993 Turbo Cabriolet, one of only 14, special-order Porsche Exclusive-produced examples, with a startling estimate of 850,000–1m euros, it’s safe to say RM Sotheby’s is not disheartened by the no-sales of the much-hyped 993 GT2s at the Arizona sales. Aside from the recently consigned Swiss collection, Porsche is prominent across the board, with the Steve McQueen tribute 2016 911 R especially capturing the interest of collectors who are keen to justify their passion with a charitable contribution.

The British have landed

Perhaps aiming to please the slew of UK-based dealers and collectors descending on the Porte de Versailles, there are a number of British specimens throughout all catalogues. Of course, there is the usual spread of Jaguars, including one of the last SS 100s produced (385,000–445,000 euros), but also many Aston Martins. At the top of the pecking order is the 1935 Aston Martin Ulster from Bonhams, one of seven Works cars and a Le-Mans veteran, estimated at 1.6–1.8m euros. While the Zagato-bodied DB7 (350,000–400,000) and V12 (625,000–675,000) from RM Sotheby’s will also prove worthy of following. Continuing the pair theme, there are also two top-flight Austin Healeys on offer — one from RM Sotheby’s and the other Bonhams — both concours-restored 100M ‘Le Mans’ models, estimated at 170,000–210,000 euros and 200,000–250,000 euros, respectively.

Photos: RM Sotheby's / Artcurial 

You can find the full RM Sotheby's and Artcurial catalogues listed in the Classic Driver Market.