Artcurial Paris Retromobile 2014 – Auction Report

Artcurial Paris Retromobile 2014 – Auction Report Page Three

1989 BMS-Dallara 189 Formula 1
Lot # 376 1989 BMS-Dallara 189 Formula 1; S/N 004; Red, White ‘Marlboro’/Black carbon fiber; Estimate $204,210 – $231,438; Competition car, original as-raced, 4+ condition; Post-block sale at $133,947 plus commission of 16.00%; Final Price $155,379 – Stack display, Cosworth DFR V-8. – 4th in Canada in 1989 driven by Andrea de Cesaris. Engine appears to be missing its ECM. Good paint but otherwise grubby and dirty. Seat belts are filthy. Driver’s seat insert is missing. This is a display car until a lot of money is spent on it. – Tired and neglected, this Dallara has potential, but will need comprehensive work before its performance potential can be sampled. The bidders appropriately balanced its potential against its condition and the work it’ll need to arrive at this post-block price.
1954 Pegaso Z-102 Series II Cabriolet, Body by Saoutchik
Lot # 389 1954 Pegaso Z-102 Series II Cabriolet, Body by Saoutchik; S/N 01021530136; Engine # 0102017013; White/Blue, White leather; Dark Blue cloth top; Estimate $918,945 – $1,361,400; Cosmetic restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $856,111 plus commission of 15.82%; Final Price $991,518 – RHD. Chrome wire wheels, wide whitewalls, woodrim steering wheel. – Excellent paint, chrome and interior. Underbody and chassis are thoroughly saturated with undercoat. Converted to a berlinetta for a while, then restored in the original cabriolet style. – It’s difficult to accommodate the convertible-berlinetta-convertible history of this Pegaso’s coachwork, and the condition of the underbody and chassis are not as good as the body, interior and engine. It is fair to call this price fair to both the buyer and the seller under the circumstances, and way better than when RM offered it at Amelia a year ago with a high bid of $700,000 but also benefiting from very good recent attention to its presentation.
1961 Lotus Elite Series 2 Coupe
Lot # 396 1961 Lotus Elite Series 2 Coupe; S/N 1205; Engine # 8163; Orange/Black vinyl; Estimate $95,298 – $122,526; Recent restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $86,115 plus commission of 16.00%; Final Price $99,894 – RHD. Silver painted wire wheels, Cinturato P3 tires, outside fuel filler. – Restored like new with very good paint, chrome and interior. Even imperfections in the fiberglass body are invisible. – Sold by RM at Monterey in 2012 for $96,250 and now showing just two more miles on its odometer. Considering that the consignor probably netted something under $80k on this transaction and had ownership and transportation expenses of not inconsiderable magnitude those were a pair of very expensive miles.
1957 Lancia Aurelia B20S 5th Series Coupe
Lot # 398 1957 Lancia Aurelia B20S 5th Series Coupe; S/N 1276; Engine # 4608; Maroon/Maroon leather, Beige cloth; Estimate $115,719 – $156,561; Cosmetic restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $119,237 plus commission of 16.00%; Final Price $138,315 – Lefthand drive, column shift, woodrim steering wheel, Condor radio, steel wheels with brushed alloy rim covers, chrome hubcaps and Michelin X tires. – Sound repaint with minor surface imperfections. Filled lower body and door bottoms. Good interior, dashboard and instruments but the radio deserves more attention. Underbody is not done and has old undercoat. – Maybe a little down on power with the single carburetor, and less sporting than the Nardi floor shift linkage, but a sound and usable example with a reasonable price tag.
1956 AC Ace Bristol Roadster
Lot # 406 1956 AC Ace Bristol Roadster; S/N BEX 222; Engine # 2208; Silver/Dark Red leather; No top; Estimate $258,666 – $285,894; Modified restoration, 3+ condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $176,982 – Converted to RHD and updated with a different 100D2 Bristol engine with triple carbs. Silver painted wire wheels, Avon blackwalls, Moto-Lita woodrim steering wheel, overdrive, top bows but no top. – No Bristol engine plate. AC plate shows 100D2 1038, cataloged with number 2208. Good clearcoat repaint, good upholstery only lightly worn and edge scuffed. Underbody and engine have been done but show miles. – The reported high bid is enough for an engine-changed Ace Bristol with more than a little use.
1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Coupe
Lot # 419 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 Coupe; S/N 9113601115; Engine # AT6630900; White, Red ‘Carrera’/Black cloth; Estimate $394,806 – $449,262; Older restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $442,249 plus commission of 16.00%; Final Price $513,009 – Sparco seats, 4-point belts, braced rollbar, red spoke Fuchs 7-, 8-inch rim wheels, Avon tires, rally timers removed, limited slip. – Actively rallied by the first owner Bernard Dulcy with co-driver Jean-Francois Bagarry. Factory replacement engine. Restored in the 90’s by the original owner and subsequently to complete the 2011 Tour Auto. Orderly, clean, dry rally car with good cosmetics, except where they took out the rally timers. – Sold by Bonhams here at Retromobile in 2008 for $425,430 in essentially the same condition as it is presented today. Considering the eligibility which its period history confers, it brought a sensible price here.
1938 Peugeot 402 Darl'Mat Roadster
Lot # 423 1938 Peugeot 402 Darl’Mat Roadster; S/N 400210; Blue/Black leather; Estimate $367,578 – $422,034; Visually maintained, largely original, 3- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $326,736 – Steel wheels, skirts, rollup windshield, recessed covered rear spare. – Owned from the early 70’s until 2011 by Michel Carey (no relation) and thoughtfully maintained. Sound but aged, scratched, scuffed, edge-chipped old paint. Decent interior. Dull aluminum trim. Chassis and underbody look like they’ve never received much, if any, attention. A usable driver-quality Darl’Mat. – The long term ownership is augmented, but also offset, by the mediocre and creditable original condition of this Darl’Mat. It could have been sold without regret at the reported high bid.
1972 Fiat 850 Shellette, Body by Michelotti
Lot # 426 1972 Fiat 850 Shellette, Body by Michelotti; S/N 100GB1593183; Light Yellow/Wicker; Estimate $40,842 – $54,456; Visually maintained, largely original, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $47,649 plus commission of 16.00%; Final Price $55,273. No Reserve – Nardi woodrim steering wheel, Campagnolo 13 inch alloy wheels. – Described as ex-Phillipe Starck. Good repaint with light fisheyes, sound interior wood and wicker. Underbody is dry and original. – Even without the Phillipe Starck celebrity ownership this is a modestly priced highly original and well maintained Shellette.
1968 Ferrari 365 GT 2+2
Lot # 427 1968 Ferrari 365 GT 2+2; S/N 11675; Engine # 11675GT ;, /; Estimate $108,912 – $163,368; Visually maintained, largely original, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $206,933 plus commission of 16.00%; Final Price $240,042 – Centerlock alloy wheels, A/C, P/W, P/S, P/B, Blaupunkt multiband radio. – Good clearcoat repaint, reupholstered front seats and original rears. Engine compartment is clean and orderly. Underbody is dry and original. A reasonably attractive driver. Blaton Family collection. – A generous price but for a high quality Queen Mother with quality provenance. With far better performance and more seductive lines than 330 GT 2+2s and 250 GTEs, even at this generous price it is still, relatively speaking, a sound acquisition.

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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.

      Sincerely,
      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 .