February 2018 Auction Highlights

February means Retromobile, which has become one of the most important sale weekends of the year with the quality of cars on offer rivaling the annual Monterey weekend. First up from Paris is RM Sotheby’s. The only sub-$100,000 car we featured was the AGS Panhard that brought $39,452. The top sale was this 2017 Bugatti Chiron for $4,072,358. If people are willing to pay that much, maybe Bugatti should charge more to start with?

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The OSCA we featured approached the million dollar mark, bringing $970,994. The Bizzarrini brought $260,667, the big Mercedes $197,262, and the one-off Magnate Barchetta $109,198. Click here for complete results.

The next sale here was Bonhams. We featured quite a few cars with another Bugatti, the Type 57 Torpedo sharing top sale honors with this big 1904 Fiat Type 24/32 Rear-Entrance Tonneau at $873,567 each.

Photo – Bonhams

We featured six Minervas from this sale and they all sold. From most to least expensive we have: the 1907 Open-Drive Limousine for $744,906, the 1910 Type S for $205,736, the 1912 Model CC for $156,075, the 1938 Limousine for $99,320, the Model Z for $87,969, and the Type AK (the only one not to blow away its reserve) for $78,037.

Two cars didn’t sell: the Imperia and Tojeiro. The other sedans we featured sold, with the Turcat-Mery bringing the least: $29,796. At the other end of the spectrum was the Hispano-Suiza which sold for $411,472. The De Dion sold for $227,019 and the Renault Limousine $194,385.

The other three cars we featured sold and their results are: FN Tourer for $35,471, Zedel for $53,917, and Pipe Cabriolet for $39,728. Complete results can be found here.

Artcurial held the third Retromobile sale in Paris and we featured even more cars from this sale than we did from Bonhams, so let’s get to it. Remarkably, yet another Bugatti was the top sale at this auction – Bugatti ruled the weekend. In this case, it was this 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Atalante for $3,556,420.

Photo – Artcurial

Some of the big-dollar feature cars we had from this sale included the two Hispano-Suizas, with the J12 Sedan bringing $788,508 and the K6 Sedan $350,448. The other Vanvooren-bodied car we featured was the 1912 Panhard which sold for $365,050 (the wild Voisin brought the same amount).

The Sbarro GT1 supercar sold for $116,816 and the rare Monica Sedan $131,418. The Alfa Romeo 6C 2500, the Gordini, the Rene Bonnet Aerodjet, and the Simca Barquette all failed to sell. The other two race cars both sold: Chenard et Walcker Tank ($94,913) and Riffard Tank ($70,090).

Now on to all of the weird ones. These were all from the same collection:

Click here for everything else.

A quick 12 hour flight from Paris is Los Angeles, where Mecum held their sale in February. The top seller was this 2006 Ford GT for $327,500.

Photo – Mecum

Less than half of the feature cars we had from this sale sold, with the Dodge Spectator and the Corvair Wagon both having been withdrawn from the sale (the third wagon, the Bel Air, sold for $13,200 and looks like it will be appearing at Motostalgia’s Amelia Island sale in a few weeks). The Olds 442 also failed to sell. But the Facel Vega was a star, bringing $214,500 – one of the largest amounts of the sale. Click here for the rest of the results.

And finally, the first of back-to-back sales from Silverstone Auctions. This was the “Race Retro” half and the top sale was $254,566 paid for this 1990 Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500 Group A race car.

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

The Fairthorpe Electron we featured brought $31,428. Click here for more results.

Four Racers from Artcurial

Four Racers from Artcurial

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 9, 2018

1949 Simca 8 Barquette by Motto

Photo – Artcurial

The Simca 8 was a family car built by Simca in France between 1937 and 1951. It was offered in a variety of body styles and two engines were offered, one before 1949 and a slightly larger one after 1949. This 1949 car originally featured a race-prepped version of the earlier, 1.1-liter straight-four.

It was originally a road car, but was transformed into a racing barquette by a racing driver in 1950. The body was built in aluminium by Motto, an Italian coachbuilder. Once race-ready, the owner promptly registered it for the road! It was entered for the 1951 24 Hours of Le Mans but never showed up, though it did compete in some other French sports car races in the early 1950s.

Discovered again after 2000, it was restored and the engine was redone and enlarged to 1.2-liters. It’s just destined for the historic circuit with its new owner. It’ll likely bring between $275,000-$335,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.

1930 Chenard et Walcker 1500 Type Y8 Tank

Photo – Artcurial

Here’s my pick of these four. The Chenard & Walcker Y8 was introduced at the 1927 Paris Motor Show and was built through 1930. It’s powered by a 1.5-liter straight-four and it’s called a “Tank.” Chenard & Walcker were famous for their tanks, which were kind of squared off yet aerodynamic cars that were mainly destined for the track. Bugatti also built some racing “tanks” around this era as well.

This is a two-seat convertible and it probably doesn’t have racing history, but plenty Chenard tanks saw track action. It’s been in collections for decades and is largely original. No one knows how many of these were built, but there aren’t that many around. This one should bring between $85,000-$160,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $94,913.

1963 Rene Bonnet Aerodjet LM6

Photo – Artcurial

When Rene Bonnet left Deutsch-Bonnet in 1961, he set up shop building cars under his own name. His first new model was the Djet and what we have here is a racing version of the road car. It’s powered by a Renault-Gordini 1.1-liter straight-four and the body is fiberglass.

This car was raced at the 1963 24 Hours of Le Mans with Bruno Basini and Robert Bouharde behind the wheel. It finished the race, but did not complete the minimum distance, ultimately resulting in an official “Not Classified” result, but more realistically they were 14th.

The current owner bought the car in 1989 and it was restored, with a 1.3-liter Gordini striaght-four installed in place of the original. Only three of these longtail LM6 Aerodjets were built and this is the nicest, most original one left. It should sell for between $300,000-$425,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.

1956 Riffard-Renault Tank Record

Photo – Artcurial

I’m just going to go ahead and say it: this looks like one of those tin toys that kids played with in the 1950s. In reality, it started life as as one of two custom-built Guépard race cars that were built in 1952 and 1953. Both competed in a race in 1954 and this one crashed.

The owner took it and while repairing it, decided to turn it into a World Speed Record car. Designed by Marcel Riffard, it’s a sleek, Renault-powered streamliner with a body by Heuliez. The engine is a 750cc four-cylinder and it’s unknown if it ever attempted any records, but it did do a speed run in 1998 after decades in a private collection. It’s a unique car and should bring between $18,000-$30,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $70,090.

Four More from Artcurial

Four More from Artcurial

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 9, 2018

1931 Villard Type 31A

Photo – Artcurial

Sté de Automobiles Villard existed in France between 1925 and 1935. They were primarily known for building a three-wheeled cyclecar. They sold some four-wheeled cars in 1927 and in 1931 introduced this as their “export” model. The intent for this particular model was to be sold in the United States, but it seems unlikely Villard ever moved many of them there.

It’s powered by a 500cc V-4. It’s said that this is the only such Villard known to exist, which might mean that it is the original prototype (which was known to have survived after successfully finding its way to the U.S.). In all, only 20 Villard automobiles of any type are known to exist. This one, in relatively good shape, should bring between $9,500-$15,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $21,903.

1922 EHP Type B3

Photo – Artcurial

EHP, which stands for Établissememts Henri Precloux, after the man who founded it, built cars out of La Garenne-Colombes, Paris, between 1921 and 1929. EHP cars are notable for being shaft-driven and also for their competition outings, something many cyclecar manufacturers did not do.

This Type B3 is powered by a 893cc SCAP straight-four. A tiny, two-seat coupe, this car is in need of a full restoration. EHP cars aren’t seen often and this one should bring between $7,000-$12,000. Interesting note… there were all these guys who founded car companies before 1930 and when they failed, no one really knows what happened to them. Well it turns out that, in the 1960s, Henri Precloux was working as a welder in Paris. Fun fact. Click here for more about this car.

Update: Sold $26,284.

1925 Monet & Goyon Type VM2 Cyclecar

Photo – Artcurial

Here is a cyclecar from a cycle manufacturer. Monet-Goyon was founded in 1917 by Joseph Monet and Adrien Goyon in France. As a motorcycle manufacturer, the company existed until 1959 – which is a fairly long time and their post-war bikes are fairly common. But few remember that for a few years in the 1920s they experimented with light automobiles.

The Type VM2 is powered by a 350cc single-cylinder Villiers engine making six horsepower. It has chain-drive and is apparently very light. Not many examples of Monet & Goyon’s four-wheeled vehicles still exist and few are as complete (if not as original) as this. It should bring between $7,000-$15,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $7,301.

1911 Renault CB Surbaisse

Photo – Artcurial

We’ve done a couple of these posts the last few weeks featuring really obscure marques of cars. While this may be a Renault, it is too bizarre to pass up. The Type CB was introduced in 1911 and was Renault’s mid-range model, featuring a 12 horsepower straight-four.

The body is a Victoria-type with an uncomfortable front bench for the chauffeur (featuring no seat back… good posture required). The rear has a convertible top, which only does you any good if the sun is behind you. Otherwise you’re A) still getting burned by the sun; B) still getting wet and; C) still getting hit with bugs. This honestly just looks like a horse-drawn carriage you’d find in Central Park but with a big air-cooled motor up front. It’s unusual and should bring between $42,500-$67,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $36,505.

Two Single-Seaters at Rétromobile

Two Single-Seaters at Rétromobile

1952 Gordini Type 16

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 9, 2018

Photo – Artcurial

Amédée Gordini started working on cars in the 1930s. He built his first single-seaters right after WWII and now the Gordini brand is owned by Renault. As a team, Gordini competed in Formula One between 1950 and 1956. This is their 1952 racer… or at least that’s when it debuted.

The Type 16 was developed as a Formula 2 car for the 1952 season, which was what the regulations were for the World Driver’s Championship that year. It’s powered by a 2.0-liter straight-six and it was the third example built, debuting at the 1952 French Grand Prix. This car’s lengthy race history includes:

  • 1952 French Grand Prix (Reims, F2) – 1st (with Jean Behra)
  • 1952 French Grand Prix (Rouen, F1) – 7th (with Behra)
  • 1952 Italian Grand Prix – DNF (with Maurice Trintignant)
  • 1953 Argentinian Grand Prix – DNF (with Carlos Menditeguy)
  • 1953 Dutch Grand Prix – DNF (with Harry Schell)
  • 1953 Belgian Grand Prix – DNF (with Behra)
  • 1953 French Grand Prix – DNF (with Trintignant)
  • 1953 British Grand Prix – DNF (with Trintignant)
  • 1953 German Grand Prix – DNF (with Trintignant)
  • 1953 Swiss Grand Prix – DNF (with Trintignant)
  • 1953 Italian Grand Prix – 5th (with Trintignant)
  • 1954 Argentinian Grand Prix – DQ (with Behra)
  • 1954 Belgian Grand Prix – DNF (with Behra)
  • 1954 French Grand Prix – 6th (with Behra)
  • 1954 British Grand Prix – DNF (with Clemar Bucci)
  • 1954 German Grand Prix – DNF (with Paul Frère)
  • 1954 Swiss Grand Prix – DNF (with Bucci)
  • 1954 Italian Grand Prix – DNF (with Bucci)
  • 1954 Spanish Grand Prix – DNF (with Jacques Pollet)
  • 1955 Argentinian Grand Prix – DNF (with Pablo Birger)

Wow. That’s a lot of F1 races for one chassis over four different seasons (with some pretty big names from the era as well). The car was not necessarily competitive at the end of its career as F1 advances at a pretty breakneck pace, but it was still out there, grinding laps. The car was acquired in the 1970s by Christian Huet, who wrote the book on Gordini. The car was offered to him by Gordini himself before passing away.

It’s well-documented and currently has a different engine installed, although a 2.0-liter F2 engine does come with it. Apparently, Gordini only built 33 single-seater cars and 14 of those are in the Schlumpf hoard. This one should bring between $1,100,000-$1,700,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

1950 AGS Panhard Monomill

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 7, 2018

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Here’s a strange, one-off single-seater. Called the Atelier Guérin Special, or AGS, this car was built by Pierre Guérin in Grenoble, France. It’s based around a Panhard car of the era and, quite unusually for an open-wheel race car, features front-wheel drive.

It’s powered by an 850cc Panhard twin. Apparently it was raced in period, but it isn’t really known where, though it did compete in some hillclimb events in Italy more recently and that’s probably where its specialty lies.

It finally left its hometown in 1990 and its then-new owner kept the car for 20 years. A few others have enjoyed it since then and now it’s on the open market. It’s a unique, period-correct time attack car waiting for a new owner to take it to the track. It should bring between $30,000-$40,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $39,452.

Alfa 6C 2500 Speciale

1942 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Cabriolet Speciale by Pinin Farina

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 9, 2018

Photo – Artcurial

The 6C was a long-lasting Alfa Romeo model, having been built in a variety of different series between 1927 and 1954. What we have here is a 6C 2500, which were built between 1938 and 1952. It was the ultimate 6C model as the 6C 3000 never really went beyond the prototype stage.

This 6C 2500, which is powered by a 2.4-liter straight-six making 90 horsepower, was delivered as a bare chassis to Pinin Farina in 1942 (along with 13 other chassis). The first owner, a wealthy Milanese woman, had Pinin Farina body it for the first time in 1946. The body was an instant hit, winning awards at car shows upon introduction.

It had a slew of American owners later on before being faithfully restored between 2008 and 2013. This is an extremely stylish car wearing a unique, one-off body that was way ahead of its time (for comparison, here is what the standard Pinin Farina Cabriolet looked like from this same era). As a rolling piece of art, this car is expected to bring between $1,225,000-$1,600,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Artcurial.

Update: Not sold.

Voisin Lumineuse

1927 Voisin C11 Berline Lumineuse

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 9, 2018

Photo – Artcurial

Gabriel Voisin’s cars are usually a little on the wild side, this one being no exception. Dubbed “Lumineuse,” or light, you can see from just the lone picture above how strange this car appears. The greenhouse bows inward as it rises and the use of glass on this car is one of the most original I’ve ever seen. The front windscreen folds outward, the windows retract inside the car (but not inside the door). It makes it look like the top just lifts right off (but it doesn’t).

The engine is a 2.3-liter Knight sleeve-valve straight-six. The interior is, of course, some strange pattern that suits the car perfectly. The exterior is done in an almost-military-brown and it’s quite understated as well. The wheels sit at the four corners of this car, with practically no overhang from the body, which is all aluminium, making it very light. And I love the weird forward-facing spotlight hanging off the rear of the car.

It sounds as if there has been ongoing work on this car since 1973. It certainly isn’t fresh but it does look quite nice and is evidently quite usable. The C11 was the most-produced Voisin product but only three Lumineuse-bodied examples are known to exist. It’s quite creative and very cool. It should bring between $305,000-$425,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $365,050.

Four Oddities from Artcurial

Four Oddities from Artcurial

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 10, 2018

1907 Chameroy Tonneau

Photo – Artcurial

What? Never heard of a Chameroy Tonneau? Artcurial is presenting a collection of true oddball cars at Rétromobile and I love it. Automobiles Chameroy of Le Vesinet offered automobiles for only four years, from 1907 through 1910.

This 1907 model features a V-4 engine making “at least 9 horsepower.” It is likely an Aster engine and probably the largest car Chameroy built (which would likely make it the Type D, but that’s just an inference on my part). Chameroy was apparently more famous for their own special “non-skid tires” and may have had more success with them. As it is, this is the only known example of their cars to survive. It should bring between $12,000-$18,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $33,585.

1907 Louis Pouron 8HP

Photo – Artcurial

This little two-seat French roadster was not built by an automobile company. Instead, it was built by a French railway employee, likely while he was on strike (just kidding!).

It’s powered by an eight horsepower De Dion single-cylinder engine from 1903. Not much else is known about the car’s history or its builder. The collection of Michel Broual, of which this is being sold from, acquired it after many years of waiting as the car wound up in a shed that had sort of been made smaller around the car so it could not be removed. The owner refused to allow anyone to trample his garden and someone else snuck in and bought it out from under Broual who would have to wait years to buy it from that gentleman. Kind of weird story. But hey, it’s kind of a weird, one-off car. It should bring between $12,000-$18,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $16,062.

1907 Contal Mototri Type B

Photo – Artcurial

Camille Contal’s Mototri was a forecar built in France. Unlike many of its counterparts, this was not a motorcycle fitted with a front-facing chair. It was designed from the ground up as a tri-car.

First introduced at the 1905 Paris Auto Salon, the Contal would be sold to the public in 1907 and 1908. 1907 was a good year publicity-wise for the firm as one of their Mototris competed in the Peking-Paris race (even if it didn’t do very well). The Mototri could be had as you see here or as a delivery wagon. Compared to many of the cars in this collection, this one seems to be in quite decent shape. It should bring between $18,000-$30,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $65,709.

1925 SIMA-Violet Type VM

Photo – Artcurial

Ah, the SIMA-Violet. When I think “cyclecars” this is one of the first cars to come to mind (this is a close second). SIMA-Violet’s name comes from SIMA (Société Industrielle de Matériel Automobile) and the last name of the company’s founder: Marcel Violet.

The company produced their unique take on the cyclecar between 1924 and 1929. Most are two-seaters with the seats offset so that the driver sat farther forward than the passenger. They were all powered by a 497cc two-stroke twin designed in-house that was geared to do 60+ mph (no thank you). If you ever want to see a great example of one of these up close, head to the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville. The blue example on offer here should sell for between $10,000-$15,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $32,124.

Sbarro GT1

1999 Sbarro GT1

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 9, 2018

Photo – Artcurial

Here is a one-off supercar from the wacky world of Franco Sbarro. The purpose of this car was to pay tribute to the awesome Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR and the car you see here actually wears a Mercedes emblem up front.

Part of the reason for that is that it is Mercedes-powered. It has a 7.4-liter Mercedes-Benz V-8 making 450 horsepower. It’s sleek and light which means it is reportedly capable of 201 mph and sprinting to 60 in just 4.9 seconds.

If this looks a little like a car designed by committee, keep in mind two things: 1. Sbarro runs a school for automotive design called Sbarro Espera and this car was designed as part of the school’s experience and 2. when examined closely this car looks really well put-together. It was first shown at the Geneva Motor Show and purchased off the Sbarro stand. It’s a legitimate one-of-one supercar with the looks and performance to back it up. It should sell for between $120,000-$240,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $116,816.

Three Hispano-Suizas

Three Hispano-Suizas

Offered during Rétromobile 2018 | Paris France

1925 Hispano-Suiza H6B Coupe De Ville by Kellner

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 8, 2018

Photo – Bonhams

The H6 was a line of Hispano-Suiza automobiles that were built in France (for the most part) between 1919 and 1933. The H6B was introduced in 1922 and could be had through 1929, even though the more powerful H6C was also on sale for most of that time.

The H6B features a 6.6-liter straight-six making 135 horsepower. This car was bodied by Kellner of Paris and sold new to a Parisian owner. In 1967, it was discovered in a French warehouse in all-original condition and was then restored. Refurbished in Switzerland in 2003, the current owner has had the car since 2008. Tell your chauffeur to get their hat ready, because this car is expected to bring between $420,000-$550,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams.

Update: Sold $411,472.

1937 Hispano-Suiza J12 Sedan by Gurney Nutting

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 9, 2018

Photo – Artcurial

Imposing. That’s the word I would use to describe this beautiful Hispano-Suiza. And imposing was probably the point as it was ordered new by a Maharaja. This was Hispano-Suiza’s grandest automobile, produced in limited numbers between 1931 and 1938. How limited? They only made between 100 and 120 of these cars – all sold as bare chassis only. The owner got to have the car’s body custom built.

This one wears a huge, sweeping sedan body by Gurney Nutting. The J12 is powered by a massive 9.4-liter V-12 that normally makes 220 horsepower. An upgraded engine displacing an additional 1.9-liters was available and it brought an additional 30 horsepower. It is believed that this car carries one of those very rare engines.

Formerly part of the Blackhawk Collection, it is being sold with a beautiful restoration. The interior on this thing is mint: the front bench seat is pristine black leather and the rear passenger compartment looks like a red velvet bordello. Listed as “one of the most desirable examples of the Hispano J12 in the world,” it should bring between $730,000-$1,100,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $788,508.

1937 Hispano-Suiza K6 Pillarless Sedan by Vanvooren

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 9, 2018

Photo – Artcurial

Hispano-Suiza’s H6C was last produced in 1929. The massive J12 could be had between 1931 and 1938 and the K6 was introduced alongside the J12 in 1934. It was built through 1937 with just 204 examples produced.

Vanvooren actually bodied nearly half of all K6s built and this Pillarless Sedan is quite beautiful. It actually almost requires a double take to see that it is in fact a four-door sedan with those tight rear doors hugging the rear fenders. The engine is a 5.2-liter straight-six good for 120 horsepower.

This was one of the last K6s built and one of the last cars to leave Hispano-Suiza’s factory before they closed and turned to military production. Hidden during the war, it changed hands first in the 1950s before making its way to Sweden and then it’s next owner put it in a museum. Restored after 2010 in Germany, this well-traveled Hispano-Suiza has been on museum duty for the last few years. But it should still bring a healthy $220,000-$315,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Artcurial.

Update: Sold $350,448.

Panhard by Vanvooren

1912 Panhard et Levassor X14 20CV Torpedo by Vanvooren

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 9, 2018

Photo – Artcurial

Artcurial is offering a collection of Vanvooren-bodied automobiles at their Rétromobile sale. It’s one of the most packed auction catalogs I’ve ever seen and we will be featuring more cars from this sale than just about any other sale in the past seven years.

This big, beautiful Panhard is a Type 14, which was introduced in 1911. It features a 4.4-liter straight-four which was rated at 20 taxable horsepower. It’s a big Torpedo tourer and one of the earliest Vanvooren-bodied cars in the world.

Sold new to a customer in Buenos Aires, this car later made it’s way back to Europe. Unbelievably, it is 100% original (the up-close patina is incredible) and since 1995, it has been either in large private collections or museums. Because of it’s museum stints, it has not seen the road in quite some time and will require a little work to get it roadworthy. It should bring between $215,000-$315,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Artcurial.

Update: Sold $365,050.