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Rétromobile guide 2014: What not to miss in Paris

The big Rétromobile week in Paris is almost upon us – and promises numerous special exhibits, a diverse range of cars for sale, and no fewer than three major auctions. We summarise what you shouldn’t miss at the show…

Special show themes: Land speed records, Alpines and Maharajas

In addition to the offerings of numerous dealers, some very special visitors are waiting in the wings of the Paris spectacular. One display will see daring mid-20s land-speed drivers John Parry-Thomas and Malcolm Campbell honoured: the streamlined machine ‘Babs’ (in which Parry-Thomas tragically lost his life) will show off its military bomber-sourced 27-litre V12, while Campbell’s 500HP Bluebird Napier will provide a static hint of its proven 175mph potential.

Elsewhere, paying tribute to Alpine founder Jean Rédélé, 13 prominent road and competition cars will be gathered from the collections of marque enthusiasts. The exhibition of Maharaja cars from the 20s and 30s promises to be even more majestic, with the famous ‘Swan Car’ heading up a list of 15 of these impressively customised creations. For further information, see

Purchasable jewels – The best cars on sale

More than 420 exhibitors will present their wares, which include not only classic cars but also motorcycles, art, books, scale models and collectables. In anticipation, we’ve asked the dealers what they intend to bring to the floor here.

RM’s auction on Wednesday 5 February 2014

Although Artcurial has traditionally hosted the Rétromobile auction, 2014 will see RM attempt to gain a large slice of the action. The Canadian auction house will bring 10 Le Mans-style cars back to the country that hosts the world-famous endurance race – you can read more here. The previews take place on Tuesday 4 (11:00 – 22:00) and Wednesday 5 February (9:00 – 17:00), with the auction commencing at 19:00 on Wednesday.

All lots from RM’s Paris auction can be found in the Classic Driver Market.

Bonhams’ auction on Thursday 6 February 2014

The British auction house has previously used the Rétromobile sale as a springboard into the classic car season, and this year is no different. Notable lots include a lavishly restored 1968 Ferrari 275 GTB/4, a 1929 Bugatti Type 35B Grand Prix, and a 1989 Porsche 962C wearing Brun Motorsport’s Jägermeister livery. The consigners have also shown their humorous side, as you will see in our round-up of the oddest offerings from the Paris auctions.

Pre-sale viewings take place between 9:00 and 17:30 on Wednesday 5 February, and again on Thursday 6 February from 8:00 until the auction start. Automobilia lots begin at 10:30, with motorcycles at 12:30 and motor cars at 14:00.

All lots from Bonhams’ Paris auction can be found in the Classic Driver Market.

Artcurial auction on 7 and 8 February 2014

The final auction of the week is a double-header from Artcurial. The first day will see a 200-lot automobilia sale followed by a car and motorcycle sale at 16:00, with highights including a Ferrari 166MM with racing history and a rare Citroën SM Cabriolet. Adding to the list of more unusual cars being sold in Paris will be the mustard yellow Fiat Shelette by Philippe Stark.

All lots from Artcurial’s Paris auction in the Classic Driver Market.

The next day at 15:00, the intriguing ‘Solo Alfa’ auction will take place. More than 40 prominent cars from the marque’s history will go under the hammer, with highlights including a 1929 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 SS and a 1965 Giulia TZ Coupé.

All lots from Artcurial’s ‘Solo Alfa’ auction in the Classic Driver Market.