Venturi 400 GT

1996 Venturi 400 GT

Offered by Artcurial | Le Mans, France | July 7, 2018

Photo – Artcurial

As Venturi is among our favorite exotic marques, this 400 GT was an easy pick from Artcurial’s upcoming Le Mans Classic sale. It’s a rare bird too, with just 13 examples produced between 1994 and 1996. It was much rarer than its racing counterpart, the 73 unit 400 Trophy.

Because it was based on the 400 Trophy race car, the GT shares the same twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6. In street form, it’s good for 408 horsepower. Top speed is 180 mph – pretty good for a V-6 street car from 1996. In fact, upon introduction, this was the fastest French production car in history.

This example is the fourth 400 GT built and the catalog lists it as a 1998 but says it was first registered in 1996. It’s a 43,000 km car with two owners since 2002. It’s been well-preserved and taken care of – not something you can say about all high-end sports cars of this era. It should bring between $210,000-$280,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

April 2018 Auction Highlights

We’re kicking off April with a sale from Artcurial. The top sale was this 1939 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS Spider for $337,628.

Photo – Artcurial

The Citroen DS 21 Cabriolet we featured sold for $156,745 and the Bristol brought $38,167. Click here for complete results.

Next up, Brightwells Bicester Classic & Vintage sale. The De Dion-Bouton and Scripps-Booth both failed to sell, but the ultra-rare Palladium Sports brought $13,342. The overall top seller was $113,242 for this 1933 Alvis Speed 20 SA Vanden Plas Sports Tourer. Click here for everything else.

Photo – Brightwells

Onward to Barrett-Jackson in Palm Beach. Both of our feature cars sold: the Kaiser Club Sedan brought $44,000 and the DeSoto Fireflite sold for $225,500. The top sale was this 2012 Lexus LFA Nurburgring Edition for $770,000. With a price like that, expect to see more of these at auctions soon. More results can be found here.

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

Now we have Osenat and a small selection of modern cars. We didn’t feature anything, but this $177,745 2012 Ferrari FF was the top seller. See everything else here.

Photo – Osenat

And finally, H&H Classics’ Pavilion Gardens sale. We didn’t feature anything here either but this 1960 Daimler SP250 Dart topped the charts at $60,282. Click here for other results.

Photo – H&H Classics

Bristol 401

1950 Bristol 401

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | April 8, 2018

Photo – Artcurial

When WWII ended, it left some companies wondering what they were going to do – especially those who were focused 100% on wartime production like the Bristol Aeroplane Company was. But if you’ve mastered production of vehicles (be it airplanes or trucks), cars are a logical next road to go down. And that’s just the path Bristol took.

Their first car was the 400 and this 401 two-door sedan was their second automobile. The first Bristols were sort of based on BMW models, which is probably why this thing looks a lot like a BMW 327. The 401 was available from 1948 through 1953 and a convertible variant, the 402, was built in 1949 and 1950 only. Only 611 examples of the 401 were built.

The aluminium body is by Touring and the engine is from the BMW 328. It’s a 2.0-liter straight-six making 85 horsepower. Bristol is still out there, barely, as one of the most exclusive car companies on the planet. To get your hands on this one will run you between $50,000-$75,000. Click here for more info and here for the rest of Artcurial’s lineup.

Update: Sold $38,167.

DS 21 Cabriolet d’Usine

1968 Citroen DS 21 Cabriolet d’Usine

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | April 8, 2018

Photo – Artcurial

The Citroen DS is one of the classic French cars. In production for 20 years (from 1955 through 1975) it was offered in a variety of submodels and body styles. The DS 21 was introduced for the 1965 model year and featured a few improvements over the original DS 19 models, namely it offered electronic fuel injection – one of the first mass market cars to do so.

The DS 21 also had a larger engine: a 2.2-liter straight-four making 109 horsepower. It would later be one-upped in 1973 by the 141 horsepower DS 23. The DS is also famous for its hydropneumatic suspension: there aren’t springs at each wheel but rather, a hydraulic accumulator. The effect was akin to floating down the road. For extra weirdness, the DS came with a single spoke steering wheel. Why not?

Most DS models were sedans, but Citroen did offer a factory convertible (or “Cabriolet d’Usine”) which was actually bodied by Henri Chapron. It was only sold between 1958 through 1973 and in very limited numbers – just 1,365 factory convertibles were built. and this is one of only 95 built in 1968. Chapron bodied some other DS convertibles outside of these “factory” cars and they are even more expensive.

The consignor has owned this car since 2000 and it was restored since that acquisition. DS Cabriolets are some of the most common-looking big money French cars out there. This one is estimated to bring between $160,000-$250,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $156,745.

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.