Artcurial Paris Retromobile 2014 – Auction Report

Artcurial Paris Retromobile 2014 – Auction Report Page Two

1958 Ferrari 250 GT Pf Coupe Se I, Body by Pininfarina
Lot # 338 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Pf Coupe Se I, Body by Pininfarina; S/N 0997GT; Engine # 0997; Dark Red/Black leather; Estimate $408,420 – $544,560; Cosmetic restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $449,262 plus commission of 16.00%; Final Price $521,144 – Chrome spoke Borrani wire wheels. – Dull wheel rims, creased and stretched driver’s seat upholstery, passenger’s is lightly used. Good paint and chrome. Underbody still has its old undercoat. An attractive older cosmetically restored 250 GT. – Not so long ago this much money would have bought a Lusso, now it’s the expected result for a Series I Pininfarina coupe. The quality of the work done some time ago by Francois Sicard in the U.S. is apparent from the way the car is standing up and gives positive prospects for the new owner.
1964 Ferrari 500 Superfast Coupe, Body by Pininfarina
Lot # 339 1964 Ferrari 500 Superfast Coupe, Body by Pininfarina; S/N 5981; Engine # 5981; Ice Blue/Dark Blue leather; Estimate $2,042,100 – $2,450,520; Cosmetic restoration, 3+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $1,769,820 – Chrome spoke Borrani wire wheels, Michelin XWX blackwall tires, P/W, Blaupunkt multiband radio, open headlights, no outside mirror. – Good recent clearcoat repaint, chrome and interior. Inner wheelwell panels have been done, but not the underbody, which still has old undercoat. Original seats are lightly creased from use and age but are sound and highly presentable.. – Offered by Sotheby’s at the first Maranello auction in 2005 with a reported high bid of $413,474. Subsequently restored in Germany to the present high standards of fit, finish and function retaining the original interior. The restoration can’t have been inexpensive, but it pales in the context of the, entirely reasonable, bid here.
1985 Ferrari 156/85 Formula 1
Lot # 340 1985 Ferrari 156/85 Formula 1; S/N 086; Red/Beige suede; Estimate $680,700 – $748,770; Competition restoration, 3 condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $408,420 – Ferrari Classiche certified. – Driven in 1985 by Stefan Johannson, best finish 4th at Kyalami. Not fresh, but orderly and showing some track use. Engine rebuilt by Ferrari F1 Clienti in 2008. – Turbo-era F1 cars are not user-friendly, but they’re more user-friendly than the reported high bid here gives them credit for, even with limited GP results.
1974 Ferrari 365 GT4 BB, Body by Pininfarina
Lot # 344 1974 Ferrari 365 GT4 BB, Body by Pininfarina; S/N 17993; Red, Black sills/Black leather; Estimate $95,298 – $149,754; Visually maintained, largely original, 3- condition; Hammered Sold at $299,508 plus commission of 16.00%; Final Price $347,429. No Reserve – A/C, Radiola cassette stereo, Michelin XWX tires, manuals and tools. – Flawed, tired, scratched old repaint, worn but sound original interior. Highly original, honest and never messed up, with the undeniable charm of patina, maybe even a little too much patina. Estate of Albert Prost. – The estimate range is as far off the mark as the price at which this 365 GT4 BB got hammered sold, a result that has little connection to its condition. It is expensive, even among today’s blossoming Ferrari values.
1970 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Coupe
Lot # 348 1970 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona Coupe; S/N 13313; Silver-Grey/Black leather; Estimate $340,350 – $408,420; Visually maintained, largely original, 3- condition; Hammered Sold at $490,104 plus commission of 16.00%; Final Price $568,521 – Centerlock allay wheels, Michelin XWX tires, A/C, P/W. – Fresh clearcoat paint job with minor flaws, otherwise a tired original car appropriate to the 48,571 km on the odometer. Sound, appealingly worn original interior. Dented deck lid, dead hood struts. Bought by the Albert Prost in 1980. Albert Prost estate. – A sound, highly original Daytona out of extended ownership by Albert Prost where it received what it needed for over three decades. The bidders appropriately handicapped the conflicting considerations of originality and long term ownership with the age and many years of sitting in the Prost collection after his 2002 death in a flying accident.
1991 Ferrari F40
Lot # 358 1991 Ferrari F40; S/N ZFFGJ34B000089889; Red/Red cloth; Estimate $748,770 – $1,021,050; Visually maintained, largely original, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $736,517 plus commission of 16.00%; Final Price $854,360 – Centerlock Ferrari alloy wheels, Pirelli PZero tires, A/C, Assembly #07246. Ferrari Classiche certified. – First delivered to 1999 Le Mans winner Pierluigi Martini. Two subsequent owners. Unblemished paint, upholstery worn as expected for the 29,957 km it has covered. Clean, orderly but not pristine engine and underbody. Active suspension removed, but parts to restore it are included. Fresh belt service. – An exceptionally well maintained F40 showing just enough use and continuing care to give the new owner confidence in it. Confidence was indicated in the price, too, a responsible transaction value for this car.
1969 Lamborghini Miura S
Lot # 360 1969 Lamborghini Miura S; S/N 4377; Engine # 30436; Orange, Gold sills & wheels/Beige wild boar leather; Estimate $816,840 – $952,980; Recent restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $925,752 plus commission of 15.53%; Final Price $1,069,516 – Headlight eyebrows, Pirelli P4000 tires, P/W. – Highly original, possibly even the paint, with very good paint, interior, underbody and engine. Trim chrome is a little weak and deserves to some attention. The colors, especially the boar hide interior, are unusual and go together well. – A million bucks for a Miura is more the rule than the exception these days. They are still the rivetting objects that they were when new, with performance to match.
1963 Mercedes-Benz 190SL Roadster
Lot # 371 1963 Mercedes-Benz 190SL Roadster; S/N 12104010025168; Silver-Grey/Orange leather; Black cloth top; Estimate $122,526 – $149,754; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $176,982 plus commission of 16.00%; Final Price $205,299 – Hubcaps, wide trim rings, Michelin X blackwalls, Becker Europa multiband radio. – Restored like new with better paint, chrome and interior. Engine compartment is like new. An outstanding 190SL. – This is an exceptional 190SL, done to the highest standards in attractive colors that complement its lines. The price, however, is breathtaking even as it echoes so many other similar 190SL results. This is, remember, a 220 Sedan based car with 105 horsepower. It was never exciting, except for the prices they’re bringing today.
1961 Mercedes-Benz 190SL Competition Roadster
Lot # 372 1961 Mercedes-Benz 190SL Competition Roadster; S/N 12104010021484; Silver/Black leather; No top; Estimate $122,526 – $149,754; Modified restoration, 2 condition; Hammered Sold at $119,803 plus commission of 16.00%; Final Price $138,972 – Driver’s big aeroscreen, Nardi woodrim steering wheel, 185/80R14 Michelin MXT tires, no bumpers, lightweight doors and hood, Weber carbs. – Sporty little creation with very good paint and interior. Tidy underbody splashed with fresh sealer. Chassis and suspension done nearly like new, as is the engine. – This 190SL probably does not suffer from having only 105hp, but it has been built to make a visual statement, not to any larger purpose and is worth no more than the price it brought here today. It will be much more fun to drive than a standard 190SL on sunny days, however, being both lighter and more powerful. Just don’t take it out when there’s risk of rain.

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Show Comments (9)

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  1. Dear Mr. Carey,

    Waouh! What an amazing article on a €30,000,000 sale, the best sale of classic cars ever in France!
    I’m really not sure you were present at our sale. I would like you to remember that all the presentation of each cars were done in English and French. My role in the sale was to present the cars and to repeat the bids in English. As soon there were an english speaker bidding on a car, I came to him repeating the bids slowly for him and announcing the next step.
    For a French speaker auction house, we sold 65% of the cars to English speakers collectors. They understood the sale I think!!!
    Concerning the buyers premium…Bonhams was at 15%+VAT without degressivity!!! I think it is more expensive than Artcurial Mr. Carey!
    Another thing…who are you Lord Carey to speak about “functionaries” who work on the block? Do you think they are only “functionaries” in France? Do you think we can reach such results being “functionaries”? My full team is in the action to reach the best results for all the cars consigned by our vendors. Such a sale is a huge job, a hard work which is synonymous of hundreds of travels in US and all Europe, trying to find the best cars for our customers at the same time you were sit in your confortable armchair next to the hot fire place drinking a cup of tea. When you was in holidays with your grand-children enjoying Christmas, eating and drinking, my full team of “functionaries” was working on the big Retromobile catalogue, forgetting Christmas and working hard to make our sale as a big event.
    Retromobile is a €1M. cost, before have sold any car. Did you risk any of your money Mr. Carey to organize such an event? No, you spend time to write articles to criticize the hard work of auction houses, sorry French auction houses! I have not read from you such an article about an English auction house…
    On another hand, you’re not chocked by Bonhams who organize their auction in France- Grand Palais with a €17M sale – using only the Shakespeare language? Did you think about the image of the Bonhams sale in France?!!!…

    Last thing, Hervé Poulain is auctioneer, starting its first auction of classic cars in 1973, and by the way, he ran 11 times the 24 Hours of Le Mans, creating the Art Cars for BMW. I think you have to speak about him with more respect. You have to speak about my team with more respect. Such a sale is a crazy challenge and this challenge, this year again, we won it, far ahead from RM and Bonhams results. When I work hard and I get good results, I want to read it. When I don’t work hard and I make big mistakes, I want to read it too. But this Retromobile sale was a huge success, the best sale ever in France and I would have expected, Mr. Carey, to read it.

    Matthieu Lamoure
    Managing Director
    Artcurial Motorcars

    1. Matthieu,
      Thanks for your comments. It’s rewarding to know the auction reports are being read.
      It was not, and is not, my intention to bash Artcurial or its staff, only to comment on things that were important at the auction, primarily in this case the confusing, distracting cacophony of two, three or four separate people talking simultaneously over the sound system. I was not alone in this opinion.
      Your comment about being ‘present at our sale’ is gratuitous and not worth my comment. Accepting your statement that ‘we sold 65% of the cars to English speakers collectors’ at face value I think most of them must have been somewhat familiar with Artcurial’s multi-bid-calling technique which left me, and many others, disoriented and unsure who was bidding, where or what.
      As to the commission, let me point out facts which I didn’t elaborate in the auction report but, since you brought it up:
      The median transaction at Artcurial was €59,000 including 16% commission (but not VAT.) The median transaction at Bonhams was €51,800 including 15% commission (excluding VAT.) That looks to me like a 1% saving in commission on the vast majority of transactions, all the way to a hammer bid of €600,000 and beyond, not to mention the 20% added hit of VAT on Artcurial’s higher commission. The hammer bid at Artcurial had to get to nearly €800,000 before the combined commission (not including VAT) resulted in an effective commission rate of under 15% excluding VAT.
      Your comments on how I spent my Christmas season are gratuitous and not called for. You were not present with me during the Christmas holidays, but were you to ask my wife you’d find that I was most definitely working.
      The cost of putting on your Rétromobile auction is likewise irrelevant but you should know that I paid my own way to Paris, and did so largely on the strength of the opportunity to experience Artcurial’s Rétromobile auction and its ‘Solo Alfa’ component. I risked my money – perhaps an inconsequential sum to you but significant to me – to come to Paris for a week.
      Other than you and the announcer who sometimes introduced a car (in French) I failed to see what contribution the phalanx of individuals flanking the auctioneer made, to me the definition of ‘functionaries’, i.e., persons shuffling paper without contributing to the economic output. You may wish to honor their contribution to the ‘big Retromobile catalogue’ by their presence on the block, but their contribution to the conduct of the auction was at best performance art.
      Next, I am fully aware of Hervé Poulain’s history and respectful of his accomplishments. I did not speak of him with disrespect, but remind you that it is not his 11 times at LeMans or creating BMW Art Cars at issue here but rather the disorienting, out-of-focus presentation with multiple people calling bids from all over the room. As the auctioneer I expect him to be in charge of the auction, but he was not. The responsibility was diffused among a variable cast of up to four people independently calling bids, in a pandemonium of conflicting aural inputs, made no less disorienting by occasionally adding an English component to the dissonance.
      Finally, it is apparent that you have not read many of my auction reports or you would know that I have criticized in no uncertain terms the conduct of a number of U.S. auctions.
      In closing I acknowledge the reasons for your pique. It was a successful auction. There were exceptional cars on offer. They moved smoothly across the block in a ridiculously confined space. But was it, as you state, ‘the best sale of classic cars ever in France’? No, it was not. It was the highest total sale in France [unless the Principality of Monaco in encompassed in the term ‘France’ in which case it was second-best] but with all due respect it was not ‘the best’ in its presentation.
      I hope that you will consider my observations as coming from one who has attended hundreds of collector car auctions over the last two decades. In that time I’ve experienced many auction styles both good and bad, effective and confused, straightforward and devious.
      I sincerely hope my observations on the Artcurial Rétromobile auction’s presentation will encourage you to consult other American contacts for their views. There is, after all, a sizable American car collecting community with substantial liquidity. Making the Artcurial Rétromobile auction friendly to their comprehension and participation will only make it more successful. It is my hope that will take place.

      Rick Carey

      1. Dear Rick,

        Thank you very much for your reply. I appreciate your comments here and I understand perfectly that 3 persons taking the bids in the same time is difficult to understand for foreign clients.
        What I didn’t like in your article was the ‘arrogant’ tone of writing and I reacted immediatly. Effectively, we have defaults but we are far from ‘functionaries’!!!
        We try to find solutions to improve our maner to auction to be more understandable by foreign clients. To be honest, you’re not the first to tell us that! The French auctions (in all Art specialities) are done in the same way. Effectively, it’s different than in US or England but it is as efficient to sell, sometimes even more!
        Thank you. And I will be happy to meet you in a future auction.

        With my best regards,

        Matthieu Lamoure
        Artcurial Motorcars

  2. I learn volumes from reading these remarks. It keeps this site from being a fanzine. Marvelous. Keep up the hard work, even if the snaps aren’t brilliantly clear at times–understandable, given the conditions.

  3. Thank you for the insights, and merci to Artcurial for the very honest and open response. I am a serious collector, and for me both sides of the story are very valuable.
    Henk de Vries, Amsterdam

  4. Such sensitivity from the people who trashed Muraroa Atoll and blew up a Greenpeace ship in Auckland Harbour, killing one of the crew. One can imagine his distress on finding a butted Gitane in his morning croissant!

  5. To be honest, I am not all that interested in auction reports. I read the ever increasing record results and shake my head in silent disbelief. Under normal circumstances I would have never made it down to the comments section had it not been for the editor’s remark in the latest newsletter. So it was with great interest that I started reading these lines top down and I must say It’s been an eye opener to me. It shows that, in the end, honest words written in respect can resolve what seemed an insurmountable dissent. These additional comments have turned an auction report into a true 3-dimensional experience for me, thank you very much to both, Rick and Matthieu!

  6. Great report and highly appreciated comments on both sides. I am grateful that we have such a strong voices in the Car Collector World, experts who does not hesitate to speak their mind on the importance of the car auctions community .