The Bonhams Paris 2017 auction was held 9 February at the Grand Palais in Paris during Retromobile Week.
Philip Kantor, Bonhams European Head of Motoring, said: “This is our sixth sale at the Grand Palais, and it is clear that the event has become recognized as the season opener in the collectors’ car world during Retromobile. We were delighted to open our European season of sales with such a strong collection of vehicles from the world’s best marques, with several lots achieving well in excess of a million euros.”
The star of Bonhams’ 2017 Retromobile Week auction was undoubtedly the 1935 Aston Martin Ulster ‘CML 719’, which drew countless admirers during both the preview and the sale. With a racing history that includes a 5th place in its class at the 1935 Le Mans 24 Hours, it is of little surprise that it well exceeded its estimate to achieve €2,012,500 after a lengthy exchange between four bidders in the sale room.
British cars performed well across the sale, with the second most valuable lot realizing €1,070,100. The 1957 Bentley S1 Continental, one of 31 built and previously owned by the shipping magnate George Embiricos, caught the eye of several bidders both online and in the Grand Palais. Bidding starting quickly but settled in to a lengthy and determined exchange between two bidders.
The 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL ‘Gullwing’ Coupe demonstrated that its looks and German engineering have stood the test of time when it became one of three cars selling over the million euro mark on the day. A swift exchange between two keen bidders eventually culminated in a price of €1,017,266.
Another German offering to achieve a Top 10 position was the 1929 Maybach SW-36 Spezial Cabriolet which achieved a respectable €673,350. Following closely behind was the original and charming ‘getaway car’ in the shape of a 1923 Bugatti Type 27 Brescia Torpedo which realized €506,600.
Ferraris were also represented at the Bonhams Paris 2017 auction, including the 1959 Ferrari 250 GT ‘Series 1’ Coupe sold to a buyer in the saleroom for €437,600 and the 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2 ‘Series 2’ sold online for €276,600.
Rally cars were well represented in the Bonhams Paris 2017 sale. ‘The world’s best and most beautiful rally car’ the 1977 Lancia Stratos Coupe achieved €374,350 and the highly original 1983 Renault 5 Turbo Tour de Corse Group B Rally Works Car was sold in the room for €195,500, while the ex-Ecurie Kremer 1970 Porsche 914/6 achieved €184,600.
Further highlights of the sale included:
One of the oldest cars in the sale, the 1902 Panhard & Levassor 7 HP Type A Voiturette, was sold for €253,600
1955 Porsche 356 1500 Super Speedster ‘Pre A’ achieved €386,600
1938 Mercedes-Benz 320 3.2 Liters Cabriolet sold in the room for €356,500
After one of the lengthiest exchanges in the sale, the 1955 Renault 4CV ‘Magpie’ Police Car sold for €39,700, well exceeding its pre-sale estimate.
From the collection of motorcycles, the star lot was the 2009 Ducati 990 Desmosedici RR, which sold for €72,340 against a pre-sale estimate of €50,000-60,000. A similar success story was that of the unique 2016 Motul 800 CM3 Onirika 2853, a bespoke custom creation which realized €29,050. The proceeds will support the Motul Corazón Foundation, a charitable organization which supports underprivileged adolescents worldwide.
In the automobilia sale, the top lot was the Lalique glass mascot representing ‘Victoire’ which realized €28,600. Three carburetors 40 DCZ for a Ferrari realized over five times their estimate of €1,500 – 2,000 when they achieved the price of €10,250.
Bonhams Paris 2017 – Top Five Auction Results
1. 1935 Aston Martin Ulster – €2,012,500
2. 1957 Bentley S1 Continental – €1,070,100
3. 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing Coupe – 1,017,266
4. 1929 Maybach SW-36 Spezial Cabriolet – €673,350
5. 1923 Bugatti Type 27 Brescia Torpedo – €506,600
Kantor continued, “The UK motoring department are now looking forward to the Goodwood Member’s Meeting auction on March 19th, and the European team to the Spa Classic sale on May 21st in Belgium to build upon this successful opening sale.”