Djet III

1964 Rene Bonnet Djet III

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 2024

Photo – Artcurial

Fun fact: the Rene Bonnet Djet was the first rear-mid-engined production car. There were four series of Djet produced by Bonnet before production was taken over by Matra in 1965. They would continue producing various versions for the next few years.

The Djet III was produced between about 1962 and 1964 and featured power from a Gordini inline-four that in this example has been rebuilt to 1.1 liters and is capable of 105 horsepower. This car features a tubular trellis frame and is one of 15 Djet IIIs produced. Other series of cars had more conventional frames.

Bodywork is fiberglass, and this one was restored about 15 years ago, with the work apparently fresh enough that the engine still requires break in. It now has an estimate of $85,000-$110,000. Click here for more info.

Delaunay-Belleville HB6

1912 Delaunay-Belleville HB6 Coupe-Chauffeur

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 2024

Photo – Artcurial

Based north of Paris, Delaunay-Belleville was one of France’s – and the world’s – most lauded marques prior to WWI. These were top-tier luxury cars that sat at the very top of the market. Many of their cars were coachbuilt, including this one, with the body here thought to have been produced by Audineau.

The company’s fortunes dipped during the 1920s and they lost some of their brand cachet. Somehow, the company survived WWII and even offered cars up until 1950, presumably on a by-order basis.

The HB6 (not to be confused with cross-town rival Hispano-Suiza’s later H6B), was a pre-WWI model powered by a 4.5-liter inline-six rated at 25 taxable horsepower. Just 1,308 examples were built from 1911 through 1914. This one remained unsold until 1919, when it was purchased new by the current owner’s grandfather, who used it during his wedding four years later. The car was then laid up in stables for 90 years. It now has an estimate of $162,000-$271,000. Click here for more info.

The Guidomobile

1939 Guidobaldi Guidomobile

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 2024

Photo – Artcurial

If someone said “Guidomobile” to you, chances are this is not what you pictured. This car was built – from scratch – by Francois Guidobaldi, an inventor and former cycling champion. After winning a cycling championship in the 1900s, he went on to patent a carburetor, a gas generator, and and more into the 1970s. But in 1939 he was working on this, which very much looks like a period Auto Union grand prix car.

Most incredibly, he built the engine from scratch. And it is an eight-cylinder two-stroke unit measuring 1,357cc in displacement and shaped like a star. It has dual ignition, two Roots-type superchargers, and a self-designed carburetor. It is said to have been capable of 180 horsepower. It resides right behind the driver.

Guidobaldi died in 1971, and the current owner purchased it out of a museum in 2009. It was only later, during a restoration, that the body was finally crafted in aluminum based on sketches by the original constructor. This one-off piece of madness has an estimate of $285,000-$395,000. More info can be found here.

Phantom II Experimental Dual Cowl Phaeton

1930 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Dual Cowl Sports Phaeton by Whittingham & Mitchel

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 2024

Photo – Artcurial

The Phantom II was produced by Rolls-Royce between 1929 and 1935, upping the ante over the original Phantom and eventually being replaced by the Phantom III. Of the 1,681 produced, apparently nine were “experimental” chassis. This is one of those.

Powered by a 7.7-liter inline-six, this chassis was originally fitted with Park Ward limousine bodywork. It was later used as a factory test car before being sent back to the factory in 1933 to be modified to “normal” Phantom II specs. Later that year its next owner sent it to Whittingham & Mitchel of London to be re-bodied.

And that bodywork is striking and very unconventional for a Rolls. The low beltline, tiny rear doors, swept fenders… it’s a sporty Rolls for sure. The estimate here is $175,000-$260,000. More info can be found here.

1909 Bobrie

1909 Bobrie Torpille

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 2024

Photo – Artcurial

Here’s a relative unknown. Leonce Bobrie was a mechanic who worked for Barre before building his “Torpille” between 1907 and 1909. The car is actually longer-looking than the photo above shows, and it has two left-side doors hinged in the middle. Seating is in tandem, and the car has one central headlight up front.

It’s a cyclecar in spirit, even if it predates the cyclecar craze. It’s thought that about a dozen were built prior to WWI, and this one has remained with the Bobrie family since new. Engines were sourced from Ballot and were four-cylinder units rated at either six or eight horsepower.

Even the Beaulieu encyclopedia doesn’t have an entry for this car. However, they do have an entry for Torpille, a French three-wheeled tandem-seater from 1920. This is the only Bobrie-built car left, and it has an estimate of $32,000-$54,000. Click here for more info.

Amedee Bollee Sport

1914 Amedee Bollee Type F

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 2024

Photo – Artcurial

Amedee Bollee specialized in steam cars and was one of the world’s pioneers of automobiles, with his first vehicle doing a run between Paris and Le Mans in 1873. His son, also named Amedee, set up an automobile company in 1898 and continued building cars, at some points almost upon request and never more than 50 a year, until 1923. His brother Leon would have his own car company.

This “Type F” was built in 1916 and is powered by a 6.3-liter inline-four. Around 1930 the car is known to have been bodied as a sedan, a style it still wore in 1988 when it was purchased by an owner, directly from the Bollee family.

It was then restored and fitted with the body you see here. Bollee cars (from either brother) don’t pop up very often, and Amedee’s are much rarer. This one has an estimate of $88,000-$132,000. More info can be found here.

Maserati 3500 GT Coupe

1960 Maserati 3500 GT Coupe by Touring

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | October 22, 2023

Photo – Artcurial

The 3500 GT debuted at the 1957 Geneva Motor Show, with production of a Touring-penned coupe starting later that year. Spyders followed, as did some coachbuilt examples. Eventually a limited-run 5000 GT also joined the Maserati lineup before both cars were supplanted by cars like the Sebring and Mistral.

This car was sold new in January 1960 to a Swiss-born racing driver in California. It returned to Italy in 2007 and was later restored in Austria. It’s finished in white with a contrasting burgundy roof over a tan leather interior.

Power is provided by a 3.5-liter inline-six that was rated at 217 horsepower. Not overpowered for sure. Fuel injection would come along later and increase output by some degree. But this was a grand tourer, not a race car. If you’re in the market, this one will likely set you back $150,000-$190,000. More info can be found here.

Donkervoort D8

2013 Donkervoort D8 GTO Premium Edition

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | October 22, 2023

Photo – Artcurial

The most amazing thing about this car is that this is what happens when you are a company that builds Lotus Seven replicas and you just keep iterating on the same idea. You can certainly see a little bit of Lotus Seven left in there, but not much.

Donkervoort is a Dutch company that was founded in 1978. Their first car, the S7, was a basic Seven replica. This has been the same basic formula for all of their cars, but things started to get weird when the original D8 went on sale in 1993. By the late 2000s, the design evolved into something more like this. The wild D8 GTO was sold between 2013 and 2022.

It’s powered by a turbocharged 2.5-liter Audi inline-five that was rated at 400 horsepower. It’s a rocket. This one is #7 of 25 Premium Edition cars built – and they all came with black magnesium wheels, carbon bucket seats, carbon doors, and an upgraded exhaust. The estimate is $160,000-$210,000. More info can be found here.

Panhard CD

1964 Panhard CD Rallye

Offered by Artcurial | Le Mans, France | June 30, 2023

Photo – Artcurial

This was Panhard near the end: swoopy sport coupes with sad engines to make them move. The CD was designed by Charles Deutsch (of DB) who was recruited by Panhard to design a successor to his HBR 5. This was the result, and you can see the DB’s influence.

The CD would be available from 1962 through 1965 before being replaced by the Panhard 24, which looked like an evolution of this design but much more restrained. Power is from a 848cc flat-twin. This Rallye version features two carburetors and an increased power output: 60 horsepower.

Amazingly, only about 180 of these were produced. And just 57 were Rallye versions. This one has a pre-sale estimate of $71,000-$93,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $78,274.

Nissan R90CK

1990 Nissan R90CK

Offered by Artcurial | Le Mans, France | June 30, 2023

Photo – Artcurial

Nissan’s Group C program gave us some pretty spectacular prototype race cars. Especially those in their red, white, and blue livery. The R90C was their car for the 1990 World Sportscar Championship season, and there were a few subvariants.

This is an R90CK, which featured a low nose and two massive inlets up near the base of the cockpit. It’s powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V8 that could produce up to 1,000 horsepower in qualifying trim. This chassis is the last of 13 R90C cars built and is one of six of the R90CK variety. The race history for this chassis, #07, includes various races in the All Japan Sports Prototype Championship in addition to the:

  • 1992 24 Hours of Daytona – 8th (with Volkert Weidler, Mauro Martini, and Jeff Krosnoff)
  • 1993 1,0000km Suzuka – 2nd (with Martini and Heinz-Harald Frentzen)

For that last one, the car had been upgraded to R93 specification, but afterward Group C was pretty much done. The car was put away for about a decade before being purchased by someone looking to race it in historic events. It now has an estimate of $550,000-$875,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $587,060.