500K Cabriolet B

1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Cabriolet B by Sindelfingen

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 8, 2019

Photo – Artcurial

Of the three in-house cabriolets offered on Mercedes’ 500K chassis, the four-seater Cabriolet B is the most common, with 296 examples produced (between the 500K and 540K). Why is it then that this is the first 500K version I can remember coming up for sale? I mean there were more than double the number of these made compared to the Cabriolet A and Cabriolet C – and those are both better-looking cars.

The 500K was built between 1934 and 1936 and is powered by a supercharged 5.0-liter straight-eight capable of 160 horsepower. This particular car was one of the final 500Ks built and was actually equipped from the factory with the 540K’s 5.4-liter, 180 horsepower engine.

This car, which was once owned by Donald Healey, features a rebuilt engine with its original body and interior. It is one of 342 500K examples built and should bring between $675,000-$900,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta

1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Touring Berlinetta

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 8, 2019

Photo – Artcurial

Now here is something special. First, a quick recap of the Alfa 8C: it was introduced in 1931 in 2300 guise. 1933 brought the 2600, followed by the 2900 in 1935. There were also race cars sprinkled in there for good measure. The 2900B started production in 1937 and these were as grand as cars got before WWII. There are only 32 examples of the 2900B, and we featured the drop-top version of this car back in 2016.

Two wheelbases of the 2900B were offered: Corto (short) and Lungo (long). I believe this is a long-wheelbase car, but the auction catalog is frustratingly unclear on that point. Only five Berlinetta versions were built by Touring, and this is number two.

The engine is a supercharged 2.9-liter straight-eight making 180 horsepower. They were sporty in their day. No one is sure who owned the car first, but it was exported to the UK in 1939 and was purchased by the current owner in 1976. It has never been restored. The Lungo Spider sold for just under $20 million… the estimate on this car is $18,000,000-$25,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $18,997,883.

Serenissima Agena

1967 Serenissima Agena

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 8, 2019

Photo – Artcurial

Here is another car from Serenissima, though this one was not one of the original run of a handful of road and race cars. This is an unregistered prototype that was built by Giovanni Volpi, and it is unclear if the prototype was ever officially shown.

It features tubular subframes and a look similar to that of the Lamborghini Miura and DeTomaso Mangusta. Power is from a 3.5-liter twin-cam V8, and it was modified with a revised front end at some point including covered headlights instead of the original louvered units. Period photos also show the car fitted with a large rear spoiler which has since been removed.

The car was never used all that much, even when new. It is being sold in need of a recommissioning by Volpi himself and should bring between $450,000-$675,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $500,360.

1911 Rochet-Schneider

1911 Rochet-Schneider 12HP Torpedo 10 200

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 8, 2019

Photo – Artcurial

Rochet-Schneider was one of France’s oldest carmakers. Edouard Rochet’s bicycle company was joined by Theophile Schneider in 1894 and cars followed the next year. Into the 1920s they began to focus more on commercial vehicles and their last passenger car debuted in 1931. Berliet bought them out in 1932.

This example is powered by a 12 horsepower straight-four engine and wears a nicely-painted green Torpedo touring body. The story on this car is that its first owner was killed during WWI, and the car remained in the barn he had left it until the 1980s when it was rediscovered. The next owner took 10 years to track down the rightful inherited owners and finally bought it in the 1990s.

It was restored to the condition you see here, with the work wrapping in 2003. It is now being offered at no reserve with a pre-sale estimate of $40,000-$55,000. Find out more about it here and see more from this auction here.

Update: Sold $35,160.

Two Racing Cars from Artcurial

1958 Talbot-Lago T14 America Barquette

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 8, 2019

Photo – Artcurial

Fun fact: Talbot-Lago won Le Mans outright in 1950. Anthony Lago entered two sporty cars again in 1956 but didn’t pull off the victory. So he went back and tried to build some more road cars, though the company would ultimately be taken over in 1958.

A Talbot-designed inline-four was put into a new car called the T14 and it was not very good. So they turned to BMW, who supplied a 138 horsepower, 2.5-liter V8. The steering wheel was moved to the left side, for the first time in company history, as they were aiming to move these cars in North America. They even renamed the export model the America.

When the company was taken over by Simca in 1958, there were some unfinished T14s lying around. Former factory driver Georges Grignard scooped them up – along with some spare engines. With funding from a pair of French brothers, a short run of six Talbot Sports were finished much later on. This car is one of those and it was completed in the 1980s with a hand-crafted bare aluminum body in the style of those 1956 Le Mans-losing racers. It’s road-legal and pretty cool. It should sell for between $160,000-$205,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1954 Panhard X86 Dolomites by Pichon Parat

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 8, 2019

Photo – Artcurial

The Panhard Dyna was not an inherently sporty car. It was a front-wheel drive subcompact powered by a two-cylinder engine. It was very French. But the French love their racing, and the car you see here is proof that anything can become a pretty bad-ass looking race car.

This X86 is based on the Dyna 120 and was built as a Dolomites race car by coachbuilders Pichon and Parat. It was campaigned around France in period and was at one point damaged in an accident. The large front grille opening the car now wears is the result of crash repairs.

The engine was updated by a later owner to an 851cc flat-twin. It’s probably eligible for a bunch of historic events and should sell for between $115,000-$150,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $108,186.

1952 Dick Tricycle

1952 Dick Tricycle

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 8, 2019

Photo – Artcurial

Well, with some confidence I can truly say I never thought I’d type out the words “Dick Tricycle.” But alas, here we are. Dick was a French coachbuilder… and I can find no other information about them.

But apparently in 1952 they bodied this diminutive three-wheeler. Power is from a horizontal Ducati 175cc single-cylinder engine. The rear wheel is the driven wheel, and interior seating is a one-by-one arrangement with the passenger behind the driver.

This unique one-off was restored long ago and can now be yours for between $11,000-$17,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Sold $12,171.

Serenissima Spyder

1966 Serenissima Spyder

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 8, 2019

Photo – Artcurial

Giovanni Volpi was a Venetian who operated a racing team called Scuderia Serenissima (La Serenissima was an Italian name used to describe the Most Serene Republic of Venice). Volpi’s team competed in F1 and some sports car stuff. He was closely aligned with Ferrari. Until…

Some ex-Ferrari people, namely Carlo Chiti and Giotto Bizzarrini, bolted from Ferrari and founded a company called ATS, which Volpi helped finance. Ferrari was not pleased and refused to sell Serenissima any 250 GTOs.

So what’s an enterprising Italian to do? In 1963, Volpi founded Automobili Serenissima to build his own cars. Supposedly, eight were built in total and only five survive. Well, Volpi is still alive and apparently is selling three of them at auction in a few weeks, including this car, which is chassis no. 5.

It appears that chassis no. 5 may have started life as a Serenissima Jungla – a closed coupe that was later turned into a spyder and shown in road car form. It’s powered by a 3.5-liter V8 and was turned into a racing car shortly after its introduction. It raced at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans with drivers Jean-Claude Sauer and Jean de Mortemart. A broken gearbox in the fifth hour led to the car’s retirement from the race.

The car is presented in as-raced condition and is not currently running. It is the only Serenissima car to race at Le Mans (they intended to race the Jungla GT but it did not appear). Even still, it should command between $1,500,000-$2,000,000. Click here for more from Artcurial.

Update: Sold $4,786,229.

October 2018 Auction Highlights, Pt. III

Continuing in a busy October we come to RM’s Porsche 70th Anniversary sale held in Atlanta. The Rothmans-liveried 959 rally car was the top sale at $5,945,000. We will certainly have to award Most Interesting to this 1956 Porsche 356 A Training Chassis that sold for $112,000. Click here for more results.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Mecum’s Chicago sale also had a Porsche bring the biggest money. In this case, it was a 1979 Porsche 911 Turbo (originally owned by Walter Payton) that sold for $324,500.

Photo – Mecum

The Ford Burma Jeep we featured sold for $8,800 – a steal. Final results can be found here.

Now we’ll jump back across the Atlantic, to Italy, and Bonhams’ Padua sale. The Alfa 155 GTA Stradale was withdrawn, and our featured Horch failed to sell. The top sale was $576,549 paid for this 1960 Ferrari 250 GT Series II Coupe, and more results can be found here.

Photo – Bonhams

Now we start with November’s sales, beginning with Artcurial. The Delaunay-Belleville we featured failed to sell, though the Ligier brought $91,897. Overall, the top seller was this 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster for $1,131,027. Click here for more results.

Photo – Artcurial

Finally, we have Silverstone Auctions’ NEC Classic Motor Show sale. The McLaren we featured failed to sell, and the VW XL1 brought $132,465. The top sale was this 1966 Aston Martin DB6 for $275,176. Click here for expanded results.

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

Ligier JS2

1974 Ligier JS2

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | November 4, 2018

Photo – Artcurial

Guy Ligier was a semi-professional rugby player and later raced at Le Mans and in Formula One. Who said racing drivers aren’t athletes? Not only did he race some cars, but he also built them too! Equipe Ligier was an F1 team between 1976 to 1996. They also built cars for Le Mans, and sports cars and microcars for the street.

The JS2 was a mid-engined sports car built between 1972 and 1975. The company’s first road car, the JS2 is powered by a 3.0-liter Maserati Merak V6 that made 191 horsepower. Smaller V6s from the Citroen SM were used on earlier cars.

Production figures vary widely depending on where you look. Numbers as high as 250 are quoted, and Artcurial says that only about 40 of the 81 built still exist. The fact that it entered production at all was enough that Ligier was allowed to race the JS2, which was the whole point of building a road car anyway. This example was acquired by the owner in 2009 after being parked for almost 15 years. Mechanically renewed, this car is expected to bring between $80,000-$105,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $91,897.

1911 Delaunay-Belleville Phaeton

1911 Delaunay-Belleville HB4 22CV Phaeton

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | November 4, 2018

Photo – Artcurial

Yes, please. What’s not to love about a round grille, pre-WWI French touring car? Especially one that is finished in red, green, wood, and brass. Delaunay-Belleville was founded in 1903 and they quickly became a premier French luxury marque. They were the choice cars for some of Europe’s top kings of the time.

Power is from a 4.8-liter straight-four rated at 22 taxable horsepower when new. It’s a big tourer, but the French weren’t exactly known for stuffing big engines in their cars (then or now). Gotta love a car whose windshield doesn’t extend up to meet the top, so the top is instead anchored to the front fenders with leather straps.

Only about 100 HB4 cars were produced by the factory and only a handful remain. This one has known history back to the 1970s. Delaunay-Belleville actually lasted until the late 1940s, but cars from this pre-WWI era were their finest work. This one should bring between $105,000-$140,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.