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The prime suspects from Bonhams’ at the Grand Palais in 2020

Bonhams returns to the magnificent Grand Palais in Paris on 6 February for its annual Les Grandes Marques de Monde sale during the Rétromobile festivities. We’ve perused the catalogue and picked out the cars we’ll be keeping an eye out for next week…

The picture of beauty 

For a company known for producing opinion-polarising designs, Zagato’s Lancia Flaminia Sport 3C Coupé is a thing of unquestionable beauty, treading the line between demure and dramatic with sporting finesse and grace. It also has a particularly prominent ‘double bubble’, which looks especially good from behind and in combination with the pert Ferrari Short-Wheelbase-like tail. Bonhams’ fastidiously maintained car is one of just 205 Zagato-bodied Flaminias produced and has been in its present ownership since 1991. 

The headline acts

It’s difficult to underestimate the significance of Bonhams’ 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Supersport, which was driven for the Works by Louis Chiron and Count Quintart at Le Mans in 1932 and has spent the last 56 years in the ownership of British Bugattiste Geoffrey St John. Its pre-sale estimate of 4–7m euros will attest to that. But we have to admit, our heartstrings were tugged more by the sultry 1966 Ferrari Dino 206S/SP, which was raced by its original Italian owner Clemente Ravetto and for a period resided in the legendary Bardinon Collection in France. As open 1960s prototype racing cars go, we’d say the ‘baby P3/4’ is about as good as it gets. 

The enigma 

Compared to the comparatively frumpy cars previously produced by Glas, one of Germany’s smallest carmakers that was bought by BMW, this one-off 3000 V8 Fastback Coupé prototype was a real looker. Penned by Pietro Frua and encompassing many aesthetic cues from the Maserati Mistral he’d also designed, this dashing Grand Tourer did the European motor show rounds in the late 1960s, but alas, BMW customers preferred the 3.0 CS and that put paid to that. Sure to be a conversation-starter at any number of the events for which it’s eligible, this unique BMW-Glas is estimated to fetch 250,000–350,000 euros. 

The three mucky-teers 

A trio of wonderful Lancias form Bonhams’ rally contingent: a restored Stratos HF Stradale from 1976 (400,000–500,000 euros), a low-mileage two-owner Delta S4 Stradale from 1988 (550,000–650,000 euros) and an unrestored ex-Works Delta HF Integrale 8V Group A (280,000–320,000 euros). Driving the latter, Markku Alén won the Rally Costa Smeralda. We all know Lancias are hot property at the moment and here’s a chance to own a small, Martini-liveried piece of the legend. 

The brute 

There’s something quite menacing about this angular Alfa Romeo 75, which has been prepared to Turbo Evoluzione A1/IMSA specification with its ground-hugging splitters and boxy flared arches. Only 500 were built to homologate the Group A touring car, though many of those 500 wound up being put to work on the racetrack including this example (est. 120,000–180,000 euros). 

The one we’d drive home

A tricky one, but that mantle would probably go to the utterly beautiful 1966 Porsche 911 2.0 ‘SWB’, a sought-after matching-number first-series example that benefits from an exquisite restoration. Aga Blue will never not look good on a 911! 

Photos courtesy of Bonhams © 2020 

You can find the entire catalogue for Bonhams’ Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais auction, taking place on 6 February, listed in the Classic Driver Market.