Artcurial injects some French flavour into its Le Mans Classic Sale

Artcurial returns to La Sarthe this weekend for its biennial Le Mans Classic Sale, which comprises a healthy mix of road and, more appropriately for the mammoth motorsport extravaganza, historic racing cars…

If you can drag yourself away from the action on the historic Circuit de la Sarthe this Saturday afternoon, you’re sure to be entertained in customary Artcurial fashion at its Le Mans Classic Sale 2016. There is something for everyone in the 114-lot catalogue, including a smattering of tantalising historic racing cars, many of which turned their wheels in anger at Le Mans in period.  

Topping the billing is the sensationally beautiful 1961 ex-Paris Motor Show Ferrari 250 GT ‘SWB’, which has resided in the same French ownership for the last 47 years. Though the car is not in its original, and in our opinion more desirable, shade of light blue, it does boast matching numbers and a fine history. Artcurial has not divulged its pre-sale estimate – probably a wise move given the current economic climate in Europe. Other just as stylish, but considerably less expensive, GT cars offered include the second ever Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster to be fitted with disc brakes (est. 700,000-1.1m euros), complete with its factory hardtop, and the ultra-elegant 1949 Delahaye 148L, estimated to fetch 200,000-280,000 euros. 

Aptly for a sale taking place at one of, if not the world’s most famous racetrack, Artcurial is bringing a mouth-watering selection of historic competition cars to La Sarthe. There are rally-bred machines such as the rorty French blue Alpine A110 1600S (80,000-120,000 euros), Can-Am monsters like the extremely original 1966 McLaren M1B (200,000-260,000 euros) and special post-War sports cars including the gorgeous 1947 Delage Biplace 3L Compétition Usine (1.2-1.4m euros), itself with ex-Le Mans history. No doubt you’ll be looking at the image of the 1966 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport (60,000-100,000 euros) on the East Africa Safari Rally and wondering why more people haven’t rally prepared their ’Vettes. Over nine days, this car averaged 190kph on the trying and stiflingly dusty stages. It’s offered with no reserve. You can find the entire catalogue for Artcurial’s Le Mans Classic Sale 2016, taking place on Saturday 9 July, listed in the Classic Driver Market. 

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