The Bonhams Paris 2020 auction was held 6th February at the Grand Palais in Paris, resulting in €19,693,000 in total sales. Bonhams’ ninth annual event during Retromobile Week took place beneath the cavernous glass domes of the Grand Palais.
The top lot of the Bonhams Paris 2020 auction was the 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster that sold for €4,600,000, the most valuable lot across all the Retromobile Week sales in Paris this year. Chassis number 55221 started life as a works entry in the 1932 Le Mans 24 Hours, co-driven by Louis Chiron and Count Guy Bouriat-Quintart, before being reconfigured by Parisian automotive designer Giuseppe Figoni, who created its unique coachwork. In its new guise, it became the overall winner of the 1933 Paris-Nice rally, with its second owner, French publisher Jacques Dupuy.
Following 56 years in the ownership of one British family, the late Geoffrey St John, and lately of his niece, Dr. Alissar McCreary, the Bugatti was the subject of a three-way bidding battle in the room before being sold to a Swiss Bugatti collector. Only 38 examples of the Type 55 Super Sports model were produced between 1932 and 1935, 29 of which are known to survive.
Philip Kantor, Bonhams Director European Board, said: “We were extremely proud to have been entrusted with this exceptional and historic sports car. It presented a once in a lifetime opportunity to buy one of the most important examples of the golden age of automotive craftsmanship and performance and we are thrilled for both Dr McCreary and for the new owner.”
Another top seller at the Bonhams Retromobile 2020 auction was the 1931 Invicta 4 1/2-Litre S-Type Low Chassis Sports with unique ‘sport cabriolet’ coachwork by Carbodies which achieved an auction record for the marque, selling for €1,610,000.
Additional highlights included the 1935 Mercedes Benz 500 K Cabriolet A that sold for €1,610,000. One of 31 Cabriolets built, this example was delivered new to the French film actor, Henry Garat. A 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster with a factory hardtop sold for €1,033,333, while the 1934 Talbot AV105 Brooklands Sports Racer sold for €879,750. The Talbot was a victor at the Brooklands circuit in the hands of noted racer Dr Roth and the Talbot’s works driver WM ‘Mike’ Couper, as well as more recently winning the 2013 Flying Scotsman Rally.
Bonhams Paris 2020 – Top Five Retromobile Week Auction Results
James Knight, Bonhams Group Motoring Chairman said: “This has been an excellent start to our European calendar, which this year also features our popular Monaco Sale, as well as a return to Bonmont after last year’s exceptional auction, plus an exciting new location which will be announced shortly.”