Bonhams adds nearly $16 million to Paris auction total

1935 Aston Martin Ulster that raced at Le Mans tops Bonhams' Paris auction | Bonhams photos
1935 Aston Martin Ulster that raced at Le Mans tops Bonhams’ Paris auction | Bonhams photos

Paris’ magnificent Grand Palais provided the setting Thursday for Bonhams’ sixth annual Grandes Marques du Monde auction during the Retromobile collector car celebration. The event posted total sales of €14,923,100 ($15,869,970) with a 70 percent sell-through rate.

The top sale was a 1935 Aston Martin Ulster, registration number CML 719, that went for €2,012,500 ($2,151,765).

“This is our sixth sale at the Grand Palais, and it is clear that the event has become recognized as the season opener in the collectors’ car world during Retromobile,” claimed Philip Kantor, head of Bonhams’ European motoring division.

“We were delighted to open our European season of sales with such a strong collection of vehicles from the world’s best marques, with several lots achieving well in excess of a million euros.

“The UK motoring department are now looking forward to the Goodwood Member’s Meeting auction on March 19th, and the European team to the Spa Classic sale on May 21st in Belgium to build upon this successful opening sale.”

The 1935 Aston Martin Ulster was offered with provenance and racing history, including a fifth-place in its class at the 1935 Le Mans 24-hour event. Its sale featured a bidding battle among four people in the sales room.

Lancia Stratos cracks the top-10 in sales
Lancia Stratos cracks the top-10 in sales

British cars took the top two spots in the Bonhams’ sale in Paris. The second-high sale was a 1957 Bentley S1 Continental, one of only 31 built, which sold for €1,070,100 ($1,143,509). Prices reported include buyer’s fees.

German cars were strong. A 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL “Gullwing” coupe, a 1929 Maybach SW-36 Spezial cabriolet and a pair of 1950s Porsche 356 Speedsters also made the top-10 list at the auction.

Impressive as well were the sale of rally cars, a 1977 Lancia Stratos cracking the top 10 while a works 1983 Renault 5 Turbo Tour de Corse Group B rally car and a 1970 Porsche 914/6 coupe that competed in German hill climbs both went for well into six figures.

Other highlights included one of the oldest cars offered, a 1902 Panhard & Levassor 7 HP Type A Voiturette, sold for €253,600 ($270,502), a 1962 Facel Vega Facellia F2B cabriolet doubled its pre-sale estimated value when it sold for
€86,850 ($92,218), and in one of the longest bidding battles of the event, the 1955 Renault 4CV “Magpie” police car sold for €39,700 ($41,805).

Motorcycles and automobilia also were on the docket. A 2009 Ducati 990 Desmosedici RR exceeded its pre-sale estimate when it sold for €72,340 ($75,004) and a Lalique “Victoire” glass mascot realized €28,600 ($29,402).

Ex-works Renault Group B rally car sells well
Ex-works Renault Group B rally car sells well

Top 10 sales, Bonhams’ Paris auction 2017

1935 Aston Martin Ulster, $2,151,765
1957 Bentley S1 Continental, $1,143,509
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL “Gullwing” coupe, $1,087,020
1939 Maybach SW-38 Spezial cabriolet, $719,304
1923 Bugatti Type 27 Brescia Torpedo, $541,015
1959 Ferrari 250 GT coupe, $467,240
1977 Lancia Stratos coupe, $399,613
1955 Porsche 356 1500 Super Speedster Pre A, $393,465
1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 3.2-liter Cabriolet B, $381,169
1957 Porsche 356A Speedster, $362,726

(Prices include buyer’s premium.)

Auction action at Retromobile concludes today with the start of Artcurial’s weekend sale of cars, mascots and automotive art. Sales began Wednesday with RM Sotheby’s doing $29.5 million with a nearly 78 percent sell-through rate.

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