Bonhams held its Motor Cars auction on 5 February 2011 at the Grand Palais in Paris, resulting in nearly €10 million in sales and 73% sold by lot. A packed saleroom in one of the French capital’s most prestigious venues, the Grand Palais, saw competitive bidding from within the room and on the telephones.
The 1933 Bugatti Type 51 Grand Prix Two-Seater owned by the late Fitzroy John Somerset, the 5th Baron Raglan (1927-2010), Patron and former Chairman of the Bugatti Owners’ Club and trustee of the Bugatti Trust, sold for a €943,000. The car, which was restored lovingly in 1979 over the course of two and a half years by Lord Raglan himself, was purchased by a French private collector.
Also from the Estate of Lord Raglan was a 1930 Bugatti Type 46 Cabriolet, with coachwork by Figoni, which sold for €333,500.
Another Grand Palais sale highlight was King Baudouin of Belgium’s 1955 Aston Martin DB2/4 Sports Saloon, which made €333,500, a world record price for the model. The car, described in Autocar magazine (1953) as ‘an expensive car designed to cater for the connoisseur of sports cars who is not limited by financial considerations’, was supplied new to the King in February 1955.
Meanwhile the unique 1961 Cadillac ‘Jacquelline’ Coupé, which was created by the Italian coachbuilder Pininfarina in honour of America’s First Lady, sold for €212,750. Significantly, the car was first exhibited in the same venue as this sale, the Grand Palais, at the 1961 Paris Salon.
Top prices were also paid for a 1930 Bugatti Type 46, this time a Faux Cabriolet by Veth & Zoom, which sold for €632,500; a 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet, which fetched €506,000; and a 1992 Rolls-Royce Phantom VI Landaulette, which made €483,000.
In the Motorcycle section, which realised €375,705 in total, top lots included a 1955 Vincent 998cc Black Knight, which sold for €55,200; a 1936 Brough Superior 982cc SS80, which made €44,850; and a 2005 Orange County Chopper, which fetched €34,500.