Sale of Matra ‘Holy Grail’
Simon de Burton on the Le Mans winner, a McLaren first and a 200mph Citroën DS
1972 Matra MS670
Sold by Artcurial, £6.1m
Chosen as our star sale car for the February issue, this Matra didn’t disappoint when it crossed the block at Artcurial’s Parisienne 2021 season opener (the substitute for the usual Retromobile- based auction). Strong bidding drove the price close to the high estimate but £6.1m still didn’t seem excessive for a car that led a one-two finish at Le Mans, was driven by Graham Hill and had remained in single ownership since new. When things get ‘back to normal’ it will no doubt be giving the crowds their money’s worth at events around the world. Not least the Le Mans Classic.
1972/73 Citroën SM
Sold by Gooding & Company, £150,000
This rig comprising an SM customised into a pick-up, a trailer with Citroën hydraulics and a 200mph twin-turbo SM was the work of Jerry and Silvia Hathaway, who ran SM World in the US.
1959 Spartan Imperial Mansion
Sold by RM Sotheby’s, £56,500
Anything but spartan, this 47ft caravan has been recently renovated. The luxurious one-bed trailer features a stone bathroom floor, walnut cabinetry and a day bed in the living area.
1965 Shelby Cobra
Sold by Mecum, £4.3m
This 427 Cobra was owned by Carroll Shelby from the day it was made until his death in 2012. The car has been returned to its original charcoal grey as part of a comprehensive restoration.
1955 Jaguar D-type
Sold by RM Sotheby’s, £4.3m
Privateer Peter Blond bought this D-Type from a young Bernie Ecclestone and raced it extensively in 1956 and ’57. It has had several owners, including Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant.
1968 Meyers Manx
Sold by Gooding & Company, £73,200
Originality and great provenance will produce excellent prices. This beach buggy remained in exactly the same spec in which it was delivered, even retaining its tow rope and sand shovel.
1988 Audi Quattro S1
Sold by Artcurial, £1.8m
A mere 1000km on the clock, having been bought from Audi by motor sport veteran Olivier Quesnel on behalf of Brittany’s Manoir de l’Automobile. Seven Group B cars were sold from its collection.
2020 McLaren Speedtail
Sold by RM Sotheby’s, £2.3m
The first Speedtail was only delivered a year ago; this ‘pre-owned’ example holds the distinction of being the first to cross the auctioneer’s block. The 36th car built, it had covered a mere 30 miles.