A 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider from the Jean-Claude Bajol Collection will headline the 2012 Artcurial Motorcars Retromobile auction, scheduled for 3 February in Paris. Approximately half of the cars will be offered at no reserve and many will be fresh to the market.
Jean-Claude Bajol, a well-known film director who died earlier this year, was one of the first French collectors of important Ferrari motorcars. In his time Bajol owned examples of all key Ferrari models, including a GTO, a Tour de France and a competition SWB and the California remained in his collection. Complete with its original hardtop and covered headlights, the car was bought new by Roger Vadim, celebrated French screenwriter, director, producer and actor who discovered and later married Brigitte Bardot. The star long-wheelbase 1959 Ferrari 250 GT California Spider is offered in “immaculate condition.”
Additional cars from the Jean-Claude Bajol Collection include a two-owner 1967 Bizzarini 5300 GT (estimate €320,000 – 420,000) and a 1964 Maserati 3500 Vignale Cabriolet, (estimate €200,000 – 300,000). Other highlights of this collection include a 1958 Lancia B24 S Cabriolet (€180,000 – 220,000), a 1969 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona (€240,000 – 280,000) and a 1964 Lancia Flaminia 3C 2.8-litre Zagato (€100,000 – 140,000). According to Artcurial, Bajol was a fastidious collector and all cars are presented in perfect condition.
Another consignment at the Artcurial Retromobile 2012 auction is the 1913 Delaunay Belleville 8L Type 0.6 estimated to change hands for €400,000 – 500,000. This rare French motorcar has been in the same family ownership since 1918 and was dismantled and hidden during the war and remained hidden until 1984.
From a US collection comes a 1948 Delahaye 135M Cabriolet by Pourtout (€300,000 – 400,000) that has appeared in countless Concours d’Elegance events, and a 1947 Delahaye 135MS Cabriolet by Franay (€500,000 – 700,000), restored to Concours condition by top French restorer Bonnefoy some ten years ago. Also from this era are two German cars, a 1938 Horch 853A Cabriolet (320,000 – 380,000) and a 1937 Mercedes Benz 540K Cabriolet (€450,000 – 550,000) from a private Italian collection. An ex-Nigel Mansell 1989 Ferrari F40 (€320,000 – 400,000) will also cross the auction block. The car has been certified by Ferrari and is offered with a full history file.
A collection of 15 motorcars that have been untouched for more than 40 years will emerge from layers of dust to come under the hammer in Paris, and will all be offered at no reserve. Protected from the elements, they reportedly remain in “remarkable” condition, and include five Talbots, two Hotchkiss and two Panhard & Levassors, as well as a 1937 Rolls Royce Phantom III Coupe Chauffeur.
No Artcurial sale would be complete without examples from Citroën. The 2012 Retromobile sale will feature two special cars: the Citroën DS camera car used by Claude Lelouch to film many French movies. Film maker Lelouch was once arrested for a drive at breakneck speed through the heart of Paris, with a camera attached recording the speeds of up to 140mph, in what became the cult film “C’était un rendez-vous”. Also on offer is a 1965 Citroën 2CV that was delivered new to Beverley Hills and has covered just 120 miles from new. This ‘California version’ was part of the Bill Harrah collection for many years.