Artcurial Paris Retromobile 2014 – Auction Report

Artcurial Paris Retromobile 2014 – Auction Report Page Five

1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ Coupe, Body by Zagato
Lot # 515 1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ Coupe, Body by Zagato; S/N AR750042; Engine # AR0051100080; Red/Black vinyl; Estimate $1,021,050 – $1,361,400; Competition restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $1,102,734 plus commission of 14.96%; Final Price $1,267,736 – 5-speed, aftermarket woodrim steering wheel, silver painted Campagnolo alloy wheels, Pirelli Cinturato P3 tires. – Restored to showroom condition with better paint. Exceptionally sympathetically and thoroughly done, everything fits as it should and looks ready to run. A French-delivered car with known ownership from new, only three owners until 1990 and no race history. Solo Alfa collection. – The star of the Saturday ‘Solo Alfa’ sale, as it should have been, and brought an appropriate price for its clear history and very satisfying presentation.
1979 Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV Turbodelta Coupe
Lot # 518 1979 Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV Turbodelta Coupe; S/N AR116360022770; Engine # None; Red, Matte Black hood/Grey velour; Estimate $34,035 – $38,119; Visually maintained, largely original, 3 condition; Hammered Sold at $42,203 plus commission of 16.00%; Final Price $48,956. No Reserve – 1962cc/150hp, dual Dell’Orto dual choke carbs, single turbo, 5-speed, steel wheels, blackwall tires, radio removed. – A rally homologation special, one of 400 built. Marginal repaint, original chrome and interior. Clean original underbody. Orderly engine compartment. Highly original except for the paint. Solo Alfa collection. – While this ‘flirtation with rallying’, as the catalog describes it, never amounted to anything this 150hp Turbo Alfetta (as we’d know it in the States) is a remarkable and rare variant that deserves the rather exceptional price it brought. It might even turn out to be a good value if anyone knew what it was, or cared.
1963 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Ti Series 3 4-Dr. Sedan
Lot # 523 1963 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Ti Series 3 4-Dr. Sedan; S/N AR221285; Engine # AR0012922641; White/Grey vinyl, cloth; Estimate $24,505 – $32,674; Recent restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $17,698 plus commission of 16.00%; Final Price $20,530. No Reserve – Pirelli CA57 tires, 5-speed, 2-barrel Solex carb. – Superficially redone with attractive paint, good chrome and interior. Underbody repainted body color over old, cracked undercoat. Engine compartment is orderly, clean and mostly original, even the lubricant sticker. Engine has been done but not dressed up. Solo Alfa collection. – By now halfway into the Solo Alfa cars, this result may reflect some exhaustion by the bidders. It is arguably (and in comparison with earlier cars) a very good value in a sound and usable Alfa at this price.
1965 Alfa Romeo 2600 SZ Sprint, Body by Zagato
Lot # 524 1965 Alfa Romeo 2600 SZ Sprint, Body by Zagato; S/N; White/Black vinyl; Estimate $245,052 – $299,508; Older restoration, 2- condition; Not sold at Hammer bid of $211,017 – Steel wheels, Michelin X radials, heater, no radio. – A good older restoration to like new with limited age and use. Good paint and chrome, orderly engine and undercoated underbody. Not show quality in the US, but probably good enough to show in Europe. Solo Alfa sale, different consignor. – Emphatically not one of Zagato’s best, but they did what they could with the tall 2600 engine. A classy autoroute devouring car, the 2600 SZ has no competition heritage. It isn’t unreasonably valued at this reported bid.
1970 Alfa Romeo 1750 GTAm 2 + 2
Lot # 526 1970 Alfa Romeo 1750 GTAm 2 + 2; S/N AR1530938; Engine # D211266461004; Ochre/Black vinyl, cloth; Estimate $381,192 – $435,648; Competition restoration, 2+ condition; Hammered Sold at $375,746 plus commission of 16.00%; Final Price $435,866 – Braced rollbar, high capacity fuel tank, outside fuel filler, silver painted 13 inch alloy wheels, Plexiglas sliding side windows, dual brake boosters, sliding throttle fuel injection, 4-point belts, bucket seats, stock dash stack, pop-riveted fender flares. – Built, like all GTAms, by Autodelta and campaigned by them during 1970. Later converted to GTV 2000 configuration and raced some more by Autodelta, retired in 1977. Restored in the 00’s to its 1973 configuration. Beautifully restored and presented (except for an asshole named ‘Andrzet Jakubowski – Polonia’ who scratched his name in the rear window molding), may he rot in a peculiar corner of Dante’s Hell forced to do endless bodywork repairs on Trabants using only his saliva and scraps of paper torn from old copies of Izvestia. Solo Alfa collection. – For some uf us even the TZ1 pales beside this beautifully restored GTAm with its magnificent slide throttle fuel injection and every detail done right. The Artcurial Retromobile bidders got it as a realistic price, with more than enough in the kitty at the end of the day to forever banish the memory of The Jerk Jakubowski with a new rear window lock strip.
1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Berlina
Lot # 529 1960 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Berlina; S/N 148833082; Engine # AR1315503284; Light Grey/Grey vinyl, cloth; Estimate $20,421 – $24,505; Recent restoration, 2- condition; Hammered Sold at $16,561 plus commission of 16.00%; Final Price $19,210. No Reserve – Hubcaps, Michelin MX tires, bench seat, column shift. Original engine AR1315523284. – Restored like new, inside, out and under. Flawed only by an underbody that could be better and silver hammertone painted cam covers. Solo Alfa collection. – Represented as the original engine, but the number on the block doesn’t correspond with the data plate, an inconsistency that is more than made up by the modest price it brought. This is much more car (and enjoyment) than money.
1969 Alfa Romeo 1750 GTV GTAm Replica 2 + 2
Lot # 539 1969 Alfa Romeo 1750 GTV GTAm Replica 2 + 2; S/N AR1366261; White, Red/Black cloth; Estimate $224,631 – $251,859; Competition restoration, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $194,159 plus commission of 16.00%; Final Price $225,225 – Dellorto DHLA 45 carbs, 5-speed, riveted flares, silver painted alloy wheels, fuel cell, roll cage, fire system, Sparco seats, 4-point belts, Sparco seat, sliding Plexiglas side windows. – Neatly but not exceptionally well done. A GTV raced from new, then modified in 1970 for revised classifications, done to the standards expected of a high performance car. Competently and thoroughly restored in the early 00’s. A choice car for competition with some period competition history. – I’m a sucker for the GTAm look, having a GT Jr. in my garage with the flares, roll cage, wide wheels and a 2-liter 45 DCOE engine. If only it were worth (or was prepared like) this GTAm hot rod. Someone got a hot ride for no more than it would take to build it.
1961 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Ti Series 2 Berlina
Lot # 540 1961 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Ti Series 2 Berlina; S/N AR132210; Engine # PC011121419; Light Blue-Grey/Grey vinyl, cloth; Estimate $20,421 – $24,505; Visually maintained, largely original, 3+ condition; Hammered Sold at $19,060 plus commission of 16.00%; Final Price $22,109. No Reserve – Column shift, bench seat, silver steel wheels, hubcaps, Pirelli Cinturato S tires. – Good repaint, major chrome and interior. Flawed hood paint. Underbody is original but clean. Engine is pressure washer clean on top and in reasonable good order. Restored it is not, but sound it is. Solo Alfa collection. – It’s really hard not to like this honest but unassuming Alfa, especially at this price.

[Source: Rick Carey]

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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 .