10/07/2012 Artcurial Auction, Le Mans Classic, 7 July 2012: Review
Maître Poulain conducts the sale
Improving on its 7-million-euro 2010 sale (held in sweltering heat), Artcurial took a total of 8.7 million euros at this year’s storm-swept Le Mans Classic.
Commenting after the marathon, double-catalogue event — at one point hit by power cuts due to the extraordinary deluge outside — Auctioneer Maître Poulain said, “When I took part in the 24-hour race, I drove for one hour 30 minutes at a time.
“Today, after six hours on the rostrum, and the sale’s success, I am ready for a double stint!”
As many expected, the top-selling car was the dark red 1966 Ferrari 275 GTC, a class-winner at the 1966 Nürburgring 1000Km. It sold for 1,540,164 euros; the perfect Tour Auto and Le Mans Classic 2014 entry.
1966 Ferrari 275 GTC: Sold for 1,540,164 euros
Much pre-sale interest had surrounded the ex-Willy Mairesse 1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA 1600. A perfectly serviceable car, it was by no means concours but sold for a strong 128,667 euros, proving once again that ‘matching numbers’ and originality rule over a sparkling paint-scheme and non-period racing modifications.
Joining the very original Alfa was the 1959 Ferrari 250 GT Pininfarina Coupé. Now this was an authentic ‘barn-find’, with some superb original touches such as the rare ‘F’ plate on the boot-lid. Against an upper estimate of 150,000 euros, it sold well for 210,900 euros.
Elsewhere in the catalogue, looking at the racing cars, the 1991 Peugeot 905 EV13 sold for 654,723 euros, but neither the Audi diesel Le Mans car nor the two Ligier-Cosworth racing coupés found new owners.
1967 Lancia Fulvia Sport Zagato 1.3 L (8,120 euros), 1962 Maserati 3500 GTi (66,716 euros), 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 ‘Daytona’ (297,840 euros)
No top-level collectors’ car auction would be complete without at least one Mercedes-Benz 300SL. Artcurial’s had two, both silver, a 1961 Roadster which achieved 643,288 euros and a 557,524 euros, 1955 ‘Gullwing’ coupé.
Other ‘standards’ included the 1989 Aston Martin V8 Volante (65,525 euros), the 1960 Porsche 356 Roadster (107,222 euros) and the 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 ‘Daytona’ that went for 297,840 euros.
Also on the Ferrari front, how about 160,834 euros for the very well-presented 1974 Ferrari 365 GT4 Berlinetta Boxer? Nice car; and a big price for a Boxer.
The selection of entries from the Heuliez Collection achieved approximately three-quarters of a million euros, headed by the ex-Le Mans 1988 WM P88 which sold for 119,136 euros. The twin-glass-roof 1971 Citroën SM Espace, perfect for Villa D’Este or Pebble Beach, went into new ownership for 109,605 euros.
Artcurial’s next motor car sale will be of selected cars from the collection of HSH Prince Rainier III, in Monaco, on 26 July. This will be followed by an ‘Automobiles sur les Champs Elysées 4’ sale, on 11 November at the Artcurial offices in Paris.