The prime suspects from Artcurial’s Rétromobile 2020 sale
The Jack of all trades
Everybody knows the traffic in Paris is insufferable, so why suffer it? With this 1963 Amphicar DWM Schwimmwagen, you could set sail on the River Seine and spear south towards Monaco, where the playful convertible was originally registered. The recipient of a comprehensive two-year restoration, this Amphicar is expected to sell for 55,000–75,000 euros, a small price to pay for offsetting the apoplectic rage induced by Paris’s frenetic road users.
With a mighty pre-sale estimate of 6–8m euros, Artcurial’s Rétromobile trump card is undoubtedly the 1929 Mercedes-Benz 710 SS Sport Tourer bodied by Fernandez & Darrin in France. As adept on a twisting Alpine pass as it is stopping jurors in their tracks at a prestigious concours d’elegance, the 710 SS was about as good as it got in the late 1920s/early 1930s.
There is a raft of magnificent Citroën’s in Artcurial’s Rétromobile catalogue, but the one we were drawn to the most was this project DS19 Cabriolet from 1965. Following a rear-end collision in the 1970s, the car’s original owner, a plumber from Normandy, tucked the car away with the intention of restoring it. Alas, the repairs were never carried out and today, the drop-top goddess is among the very few examples on the planet that have not been recommissioned at all. Its pre-sale estimate is 70,000–100,000 euros but, crucially, the car is offered with no reserve. The restoration this Citroën deserves won’t be cheap, but the satisfaction of owning one of the most original and authentic DSs in existence will surely be worth the expense.
We think there can be no denying that the most aesthetically pleasing car in the catalogue in the short-nose 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB 6C (est. 2–3m euros). The matching-numbers Grand Tourer boasts an extraordinary period competition history having competed in over 40 international races. Its finest hour was its GT class victory at the 1966 Monza 1,000km. Now presented in its Rallye Lyon-Charbonnières specification, a concours queen this is most definitely not. Enzo would bloody love it.
The pride of the paddock
While the beautifully preserved 1966 Porsche 906 (1.4–1.8m euros), 1993 Jaguar XJ220 C that started Le Mans twice (900,000–1.3m euros) and race-winning 1983 Ferrari 126 C3 are all spectacular cars whose significance cannot be downplayed, we think the trio of ex-Team Warsteiner TOJ prototypes would make the biggest waves in the historic racing paddock. The striking gold cars of the lesser-known German team raced in the 1974, ’75 and ’76 seasons with moderate success. After sealing the winning bid, our first port of call would be to track down the period TOJ race transporter and team apparel. Why not go the whole hog?
For the flamboyant Hungarian-American actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, an ‘off-the-peg’ Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II just wouldn’t cut it. Having taken delivery of her rare long-wheelbase Roller, she promptly sent it to Hollywood’s beloved car customisation guru George Barris for a makeover in the manner only he knew how to execute. Need we say any more?
The one we’d drive home
Ferrari built just 10 European-spec 599 GTBs with a six-speed manual transmission, of which this silver example from 2007 is one. A socking-great Ferrari V12 coupled with the metallic ‘click-clack’ of the marque’s legendary open-gate gearbox is a life-affirming combination to experience and this is among the very last cars to offer it. What’s more, the specification is wonderful – titanium over beige leather and fitted with the star-shaped launch wheels. For the life of us, we can’t work out why more people didn’t option them because they suit the voluptuous proportions of the handsome Grand Tourer down to the ground. It’s estimated at 240,000–280,000 euros.
Photos courtesy of Artcurial © 2020