Around the houses, March 2013



News from the main auction houses around the world

— Artcurial —

Retromobile is once again upon us and Artcurial will be holding its annual sale on Friday February 8. The ‘Star of the Show’ label will no doubt go to the 1936 Talbot T150C (above), which raced at Le Mans on four occasions and in the Mille Miglia once. Artcurial seems to think it will attract plenty of interest and has placed a £1-1.3 million estimate on it.

This particular car was one of two sold by the factory in order to pay for the new Grand Prix team and drivers Rene Dreyfus and Andre Morel. Its list of owners — which includes the likes of Pierre Levegh — is as long as the run of T150Cs was short, but highlights include second-place finishes in the 1946 Belgian Grand Prix, Nantes Grand Prix and the Grand Prix des Trois Villes du Nord. Even in 1947, when the six-cylinder car was nearly 10 years old and fighting even to be remotely competitive, it managed third-place finishes in the Grand Prix des Frontieres and the Pescara Grand Prix.

Lining up alongside the Talbot is a 1962 Ferrari 250GT cabriolet Pininfarina (490660,000), which has been found in a basement in Marseille with only 15,000km on the clock. There is also the last Bugatti EB110 to be built. This particular 1995 SS is expected to sell for £310-400,000 — we just hope any potential buyer is aware that its running costs are on a par with those of a Vulcan bomber.

— Coys —

At Coys’ Autosport International sale on January 12, a 1974 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow, down in the catalogue as a £9-11,000 car, eventually sold for £74,000 to a Russian telephone bidder. Why? Well, this particular model belonged to Queen singer Freddie Mercury from 1979 until his death in 1991.

Going for even more than that was a 1953 BMW Willis Special, which sold for £154,000.

— Bonhams —

More lots have been confirmed for Bonhams’ February 6/7 sale in Paris. As well as the exVarzi 1931 Bugatti T54 and the 1929 De Havilland DH60 Gipsy Moth biplane which starred in the film Out of Africa, Bonhams has now added a 1969 Lancia Fulvia Rallye coupe (£26-39,000), a 1956 Aston Martin DB2/4 MkII coupe (£130-150,000) and a great little 1973 Fiat 238 Fourgon that was used by Garage Francorchamps in period (below). It’s in unrestored condition (the seized engine has hazelnuts sitting on its manifold…), but if you can stomach the restoration costs (see page 59 and the 1967 Mercedes transporter) it would make a great support vehicle for your historic Ferrari single-seater or sports car.

If you’re in the market for a racing car for the 2013 season, there’s also a 1976 Tiga FF (£1220,000), the ex-Jo Schlesser 1966 Matra M55 Formula 2/3 single-seater (£77-120,000), a 1966 Porsche 907 Carrera Coupe (410570,000) and a 1962 Lotus Type 23B (£73-90,000).

— Silverstone Auctions —

On February 22-24 Race Retro will fill the halls at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire, and on the Saturday Silverstone Auctions will host its annual sale. The line up so far is understandably competition-focused with both rally cars and circuit racers well represented.

Crossing the block will be a 1985 Group N Ford Sierra Cosworth that had many British rally wins between 1986 and 1988 (2730,000), a 1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GT FIA racer (£18-22,000), a Lotus Elan 26R with period and recent race history (£125-140,000), a 1969 Lola T70 MkIIIB (£570-650,000), a 1973 Renault-Alpine A110 (£35-40,000), a 1976 Triumph TR7 V8 rally car (£40-48,000) and two Grand Prix cars: a 1953 Cooper Bristol and a 1953 Connaught AL10 (£140-160,000 and £200-250,000 respectively).

A full round up of the Scottsdale sales will be included in the April issue.