Around the houses, February 2013

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News from the main auction houses around the world

— Bonhams —

The beginning of the year is always a busy time for auctions, with Scottsdale sales running from January 15-20.

Bonhams is holding its annual January sale on Thursday 17 and has announced ‘La Petite Royale’, a 1930 Bugatti Type 46 Faux Cabriolet (£560-750,000), a 1972 Lamborghini Miura SV (£560-680,000) and a 1955 Mercedes-Benz 3005L Gullwing (£530-600,000).

Fast-forward to February 6/7 and the auction house has already consigned several lots for its Grand Palais sale. Headlining the event is the ex-Varzi, Monza-winning 1931 Bugatti T54, which carries an estimate of £2-2.8 million. The 82-year-old machine is the car that Achille Varzi used in the 1931 Gran Premio di Monza when he won his heat ahead of fellow Bugatti driver Louis Chiron. Two burst tyres in the final meant he crossed the line third.

As well as Varzi’s winner there is also a 1938 Type 57C Special Coupe that has an estimate of £650-810,000.

Bonhams has also announced that at the same sale it will auction the 1929 De Havilland DH 60GMW Gipsy Moth bi-plane that featured in the 1985 film Out of Africa. The 105mph two-seater is expected to reach over £120,000 by the time the hammer drops.

For Steve McQueen fans it’s worth keeping an eye on Bonhams’ Las Vegas motorcycle sale on January 10. Alongside two 1954 BMW Rennsport 254s, one with a sidecar and one without, there is the film star’s 1970 Husqvarna 400 Cross (£50-60,000). This isn’t the one that he rode in On Any Sunday, the 1971 bike enthusiast documentary, but it’s bound to sell for more than a standard 400 Cross.

— R1VI Auctions —

For its auction on January 18 in Arizona RM has announced a 1960 Ferrari 250GT SWB Berlinetta `Competizione’ (above, POA), which is expected to nudge record numbers. With only four owners from new, chassis 1905 GT is expected to fetch a significant seven-figure sum.

There is also a 1965 Ford GT40 that was raced extensively from 1973 onwards. It’s been “sympathetically restored” and the Canadian auction house believes it will break the £1.5m mark. Other Americana includes a 1967 Shelby 427 ‘semi-competition’ Cobra , which has a presale estimate of £870,000-1m, and a 1963 ex-Lance Reventlow ‘factory competition spec’ version that should draw interest.

— Gooding & Company —

A “one-of-a-kind” 1957 Maserati 150 GT Spider is the headline lot on January 18/19 when Gooding hosts its Scottsdale sale. The factory-built car was originally made as an A6GCS sports racer and campaigned by the works team during the 1954 season. It was then used as a prototype for the 300S — a state in which it remains to this day. A lofty estimate of £1.9-2.5m won’t surprise enthusiasts.

Alongside this one-off will be a 1938 Bugatti 57C Atalante (£875,000-1.1m) and a 1965 Shelby 289 Cobra (£530-635,000).

— Artcurial —

The French auction company amassed £16.8m from four sales in 2012. At its last auction of the year — on November 11 — the 1976 Gp4 Lancia Stratos (featured in our December issue) added £292,280 to that total. The 1957 Arnolt Bristol 404 finally sold for £128,200.

— Motor Sport —

At the fourth Motor Sport Magazine Hall of Fame on February 25 Bonhams chairman Robert Brooks will host a charity auction in aid of the Grand Prix Mechanics Charitable Trust. Lots include a Red Bull steering wheel signed by Sebastian Vettel, a Jenson Button McLaren race seat and the Williams differential gear that carried Pastor Maldonado to a brilliant victory in the 2012 Spanish GP. All estimates are available on request.

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