The prime suspects from this year’s RM Sotheby’s Paris sale

RM Sotheby’s will descend on the City of Light on 5 February for its annual Paris sale at the Place de Vauban. We’ve singled out the cars from the 79-lot catalogue that we think are worth watching come auction day…

The showstopper

Champagne flutes will momentarily lower and silence will quickly envelop the Place de Vauban saleroom when RM’s headline lot, the magnificent 1955 Jaguar D-type, crosses the block. Just the seventh customer D-type delivered and once owned by racing legend Richard Attwood, the British Racing Green beauty boasts a princely pre-sale estimate of 5.9–6.4m euros. 

The fashionistas 

Über-rare modern hypercars are hot property right now. RM will be hoping that its ‘as-new’ 2015 Lamborghini Veneno Roadster, the second of just nine produced, will reach the dizzying heights that Bonhams’ example did at its Bonmont auction last September. It’s not our cup of tea, but with a mighty pre-sale estimate of 4.5–5.5m euros, it’s clearly a car that appeals to today’s collector. Much more to our taste is the 2012 Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, a low-mileage example that looks fantastic in its white-and-blue colour combination (est. 1.2–1.8m euros).

The beautiful one 

Headed back to the Hôtel de Crillon on the Place de la Concorde or to one of Paris’s countless chic hotspots after the sale? There’s no car from the catalogue in which we’d like to be seen more than the 1972 Ferrari 365 GTS/4-A Daytona Spider, one of just 19 European-spec factory examples (2.4–2.6m euros). And once we’d had it repainted in its original shade of Rosso Dino and reupholstered with its period-correct beige leather, we’d probably return to Paris to show it off during next year’s Rétromobile week as well. Who says a convertible is only for the summer? 

The athletes

Are you planning on hitting the track in 2020? There are two polar-opposite means of doing so thanks in the RM Sotheby’s Paris sale. For a more leisurely pace there’s the hulking-great 1969 Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3 ‘Red Pig’ replica (150,000–200,000 euros), while if you’d prefer a car that will set your heart on fire simply by looking at it let alone hammering it around a circuit, the lithe 1964 Porsche 904 GTS is the car for you. A matching-numbers car (though it’s currently fitted with a searing 906 flat-six), it’s estimated at 1.6–1.8m euros.

The value proposition

Beaten and battered – isn’t that how all old Land Rovers are supposed to look? This Defender 110 from 1993 is estimated at 8,000–10,000 euros but crucially without reserve. Sure, it’s seen better days. But how cool is it that it was painted to match its owners Delahaye 135 Cabriolet and loyally served his family for many years? 

Ze Germans 

German ‘sleeper’ super saloons from the 1980s and ’90s that don’t allude to their earth-shattering performance – they’re all the rage at the moment, particularly those that were built in tiny numbers and, somewhat bizarrely, barely driven. Take RM’s 1993 BMW Alpina B12 5.7 Coupé, for example. One of just 57 examples of the 412bhp 5.7-litre V12-powered 8 Series built, this car has the desirable manual gearbox and, having only covered 9,000km, presents we imagine like it did when it was in the showroom new. Its estimate is remarkable: 300,000–350,000 euros. It’s not the Alpina we’d take home, however – that honour goes to the fantastic green 1982 B7 S Turbo Coupé. It’s rarer than the 8 Series and, at 175,000–225,000 euros, markedly cheaper, too. 

The one we’d drive home

Simple: the 1982 Porsche 924 Carrera GTS. Why? Because it’s one of the naughtiest looking homologation specials Porsche built and just 59 GTS versions ever saw the Stuttgart sunlight. Who doesn’t love pinstriped velour and arches broader than Grace Jones’ shoulder pads? 

Photos: RM Sotheby’s © 2020 

You can find the entire catalogue for the RM Sotheby’s Paris sale, taking place on 5 February at Place Vauban, listed in the Classic Driver Market.