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Christie's at Jack Barclay Showroom, London 7th December 2004 - Review

The 1954 Aston Martin DB2/4 in action

A quieter than usual motor car auction – following an excellent sale of automobilia – nevertheless produced some good results for Christie’s. Marque experts and historic racers alike were surprised at the £64,625 achieved for the 1954 FIA-papered Aston Martin DB2/4.

Proving that well-prepared competition cars of good provenance and the all-important paperwork will always sell well, the Aston must set some sort of benchmark for the model for a car with no contemporary racing history, but a very impressive recent record at the Tour Auto, Carrera Panamericana and various AMOC events. It is, by all accounts, a very fast car and will give its new owner a lot of fun. The other Aston, the 1933 1.5 Litre Le Mans Special 4 Seater, ex-London Motor Show car, also sold very well for £76,375. It was beautifully presented, with just the right degree of aging and patina.

Of the competition Lancias, the 1986 Delta S4 Road Car looked a very nice car ‘in the metal’ and sold for a deservedly good price of £34,075, while the 1980 Beta Monte Carlo Turbo Group 5 ‘Martini’ racer never really got the saleroom going and failed to sell. Neither did the 1936 Delahaye 135 S, a car that perhaps required too much re-commissioning for the money. As we previewed, this car had been rebodied twice since its successful racing career in 1936 and probably the best solution would be to restore the car to this period – an expensive process.

The 1997 Land Rover Defender Wolf, originally commissioned for the British explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, sold for £22,325 and looked absolutely spotless, while the 1988 Porsche 959 Comfort Model went for £109,750. The two E-Type Roadsters went well, the Red 1961 SI 3.8 for £47,000, and the Opalescent Blue 1969 SII 4.2 for £30,550. Always slightly in the shadow of its older SI brother, the later car looked particularly attractive in the saleroom – perhaps it’s the colour.

1988 Porsche 959 Comfort Model - Sold for

Of the automobilia, many of the lots were sold over-estimate such as the ‘Earl Howe & Personalities’ a group of approximately 25 pre-war b/w photographs selling for £3,760 (£300 – 400). The delightful Ferrari P2 ½-scale working car went for £4,700 and the gorgeous Theo Fennell silver limited edition D-Type Jaguar more than doubling its estimate at £8,812.

After the sale Rupert Banner, Director and Head of Christie’s International Motor Car Department, said ‘Bidding in tonight’s sale was selective. We were pleased to find new private homes for many of the lots, the large proportion of which went to the home and European market. This completes a record breaking year for our new team, with sales of £16 million. We look forward to continued growth in 2005, and our first sale at Rétromobile in Paris on 12 February 2005.’

For the full results, please CLICK HERE.

Christie's Auction at Rétromobile 2005 starting to take shape

Paris – On Saturday 12 February 2005, Christie’s International Motor Cars Department will stage a sale within the confines of Rétromobile, one of Europe’s most important and popular collector’s car exhibitions. This sale, now famous among classic car collectors, will consist of race and road cars with a worldwide reputation, most with unique and fascinating histories.

Highlighting the sale is a 1982 Porsche 956, chassis number 004, in distinctive Rothmans livery (estimate: €800,000-1,200,000). This is one of only ten Works models ever built by the Porsche factory, and provides 620bhp through a 3 litre V6 turbocharged engine, with a weight of only 840kg. This example finished third overall and won its class in the Le Mans 24 Hour Endurance race of 1982, a famous year which saw the entire podium filled by Porsche. Impressive results were also later achieved by chassis no 004 at the 9hr Endurance Races at Kyalami and Brands Hatch and the 1000km at Spa, with drivers of the car including such motor racing legends as Jacky Ickx and Stefan Bellof. This example was extensively restored at the Porsche Factory in Weissach between 1991 and 1992, and is sold complete with FIA papers.

Another racing car to be offered in this sale is the ex-René Trautmann 1964 Lancia Flavia Sport « Competizione », with coachwork by Zagato (estimate: €50,000-70,000). Zagato, one of Italy’s most famous coachbuilding firms, is famous for combining conceptual design with technical and aerodynamic precision. This example, which displays these attributes as well as any, has a competition history in the hands of René Trautmann, the famous French racing driver of the 1960s.

Also featured is the inspirational 1972 Maserati Boomerang concept car (estimate: €700,000-900,000). This car, designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, went on to inspire a generation of automotive design, with concepts from the Boomerang apparent in such iconic motor cars as the Volkswagen Golf and, more obviously, the Lotus Esprit. The purity of design and audacious lines of this car were first admired at the 1971 Turin Motor Show in the form of a non-functioning prototype. By the 1972 Geneva Motor Show, this fully functional example had been engineered and it went on to star at motor shows in Paris and London until 1974. The car then moved to Spain, where it spent a number of years in storage. After a comprehensive restoration, the car made a nostalgic appearance at the 1990 Bagatelle Concours d’Elegance, where Giugiaro famously hand-signed the rear of the Boomerang. With welcome invites to all the world’s great motoring events, this car still wins regular prizes with its pioneering shape. In recent times, the Boomerang has undergone further restoration enabling it to be fully functional and roadworthy, a stark contrast to the normally static concept car examples.

In the same year that the Boomerang was unveiled in Geneva, the eccentric Aston Martin Ogle made its debut at the Montreal Motor Show. With a design that epitomised the 1970s, the car was based on the chassis of a DBS V8 with a pioneering brake light system that increased the light intensity dependent on the pressure applied to the brakes. This example, which was featured at the Montreal Motor Show, is one of two known to exist (estimate: €50,000-80,000). The other model was ordered by an Aston Martin client and custom built for him in 1973.

This sale will also offer an important private collection of automobilia, including original works of art by artists including Geo Ham, Rob Roy, René Vincent and Emmanuel Zurini.

Christie's International Motor Cars Ltd
The Jack Barclay Showroom
2-4 Ponton Rd
Nine Elms
London SW8 5BA

Tel: + 44(0)20 7389 2851
Fax: + 44(0)20 7627 8917
[email protected]

Text - Steve Wakefield
Photos - Christie's