On Friday, February 10th, Artcurial’s Retromobile Paris sale took place and with over 500 people registered to bid at Artcurials annual sale they managed to sell 73% of their lots bringing in a total of 32 million Euros in sales. Four new world records were made at this year’s event with 55 Lots that sold over 100,000 Euros, 11 Lots over 500,000 Euros, and 7 of the lots reached over 1 million euros!
Below we decided to go through their auction and pick out some of the best cars in their sale and give you our opinion of them and what we think they are actually worth:
SOLD UPDATES IN RED
1901 DeDion Bouton Type G Vis-à-vis
The first of the Artcurial cars that is certainly worth mentioning is Lot #26, the 1901 DeDion Bouton type G Vis-à-vis. We love prewar cars here on Driven, but the super early cars such as this always grab our attention. DeDion was a big contributor to the birth of the automobile having created early one and two cylinder engines that were used in early cars and motorbikes. They were actually the largest automobile manufacturer in the world for some time in the pre-1904 era.
The car offered here looks to be a fantastic original example with all of its original parts, minus the fenders which look to have been replaced at some point, but otherwise very original. The best part about the car is the fact that it has had only three owners from new! Although this is a single cylinder small car, it’s very original with documented provenance from new and is eligible for the London to Brighton run. If you are looking for a good DeDion, than this should certainly be on your radar. It can be found here with an estimate of 60,000 euros – 100,000 euros. We believe this car will bring around 85,000 euros which is right within the estimate.
SOLD 107,280 Euros
1935 Bugatti Type 57 Atalante
The next car that is pretty fantastic is Lot # 27, the 1935 Bugatti Type 57 Atalante “decouvable” which is one of only eight Atalantes that originally came with a folding roof and according to Artcurial it is the only surviving example that still retains its original chassis. The type 57 is one of the greatest cars ever made with their eight cylinder twin cam engines. Paired with the beautiful and sporty Atalante coachwork these cars are really fantastic, having owned an Atalante once before and many other Type 57’s, we can tell you that they are fantastic cars to drive. This particular car was also originally the 1935 Paris motor show car which is certainly a plus and it was restored by the workshop Lecoq in the 1980’s which is also good. But, the major issue with this car is the engine and gearbox were replaced in the 1960’s unfortunately so that is a big minus in our opinion. Regardless, the car is still a very good one with good history, just having a mismatched engine and gearbox which will ultimately affect its final sale price. It can be found here with an estimate of 1,000,000 euros – 1,500,000 euros and we believe that the car should achieve around the 1.5 Million Euro mark, so the upper side of Artcurial’s estimate.
SOLD: 2,331,200 Euros
1936 Talbot Lago T150C
Talbot is a great car, and the T150 was one of Talbots greatest creations. The T150 was basically the same car as a T23 but with an upgraded hemispherical cylinder head which gave the T150 much more power over the T23. Talbot prided itself on designing his street cars extremely close to his race cars, making them extremely appealing to the public, especially if his racing cars were successful. Lot# 30 The car on offer, chassis # 82930 is a perfect example of that. It is a T150C (C for Competition) which is mechanically almost identical to Talbots street cars down to the 6 cylinder engine and Wilson preselector gearbox. Only 7 T150C’s were built between 1936-1937 and this is one of those genuine cars. The history of 82930 is as follows: originally bought by Francique Cadot in 1936 for the ACF Grand Prix, the only race he took part in, he teamed up with the volatile Henry Stoffel from Alsace. They abandoned after a fuel leak after just 10 laps. Cadot then lent the car to Raph for the Comminges Grand Prix, then shown by Talbot at the Paris Motor Show in October. During the close season Luigi Chinetti, hitherto Talbot’s chief mechanic, quit the firm following a spate of disagreements with Becchia, and set up independently. His garage in Auteuil would be tasked with servicing the two privately-owned Talbots – which, so to speak, had formed the firm’s B team. Problems with preparing the official cars at the start of the 1937 season meant it was Chinetti who ensured Talbot’s presence at the Mille Miglia and Le Mans. Chassis # 82930, driven by the talented young René Le Begue, crashed out of the Mille Miglia; at Le Mans, where it was driven by Chiron & Chinetti and considered a serious outsider, it dropped out after less than 100km. The car was acquired soon afterwards by René Le Bègue, who used it during end-of-season events in the first half of 1938. Promising results saw him join the official Talbot team during the year, so he sold his T150C to Pierre Bouillin, who raced under the pseudonym Levegh, and needed a car to take part in the Le Mans 24 Hours (with Jean Trévoux). The team was 2nd going into the 16th hour, but had to abandon due to a problem with a cylinder-head gasket. Less than a month later their participation in the Spa 24 Hours – something of a compensatory event for unlucky Le Mans competitors – ended when they careered off the track. Levegh suffered the same mishap during the Liège-Rome-Liège rally. But a series of high-placed finishes made 1939 a good year for Talbot and its driver – although there was further disappointment at Le Mans, where the 82930 again dropped out during the 24 Hours. World War II then came around so racing in Europe abruptly came to an end so the Talbot went into hibernation for a few years until the end of the war. The Talbot then took part in the first major post-war race in the Bois de Boulogne in September 1945, and posted some fine performances in 1946 – finishing 2nd in the Belgian Grand Prix, Nantes Grand Prix and the Grand Prix des Trois Villes du Nord. The car was then sold to to Edmond Mouche. At this time, Mouche decided to modify the car unfortunately. He had new aluminium coachwork fitted at the Lecanu workshops in Levallois, then headed to Talbot in Suresnes for a serious overhaul – with Lockheed hydraulic brakes replacing the Bendix cable brakes.
At this time the Talbot was now becoming pretty outdated having trouble keeping up with the new Maseratis, ERA’s etc.. but it still took part in the Grand Prix series of 1947 (which saw the official birth of Formula One at the Pau Grand Prix). The new Delage and Delahaye models were also superior. In this context Mouche – often with José Scaron as team-mate – was making up the numbers rather than challenging for honors. Even so, the reliable Talbot managed seven finishes out of eight – the exception being the Albi Grand Prix. The car was then sold to Louis Rosier from Clermont. The 82930 became his back-up car – used for occasional sports car events, or offered for hire. This is how John Claes first sat at its wheel, with 3rd place at the Grand Prix des Frontières, and also how Louis Rosier Junior made his racing debut. Rosier Senior drove it himself at the Pescara Grand Prix (open to sports cars), finishing 3rd. In 1949 Rosier and his son shared the 82930 when the Le Mans 24 Hours started up again. The car’s bad luck at Le Mans persisted, with a fourth abandonment in as many participations – a fate it would also endure at the ACF Grand Prix, held exceptionally at St-Gaudens in Formula Sport. The cars racing life was now over at the end of the 1950 season. It then was stored for a long time and then being preserved by a few collectors through the years. In the 1980’s a collector had the Lecanu bodywork removed by Paul Grist and new coachwork fitted as it would have been when new in 1936. To be honest, we really don’t know how we feel about the car having entirely new coachwork we do now that it is well done. It’s a very neat car for sure and it would still be a great car to own. It can be found here with an estimate of 1,200,000 Euros to 1,600,000 Euros. It all comes down to how well the cars history is documented and how much proof there is that this is indeed the car they say it is. The new coachwork also throws a wrench in the gears as well, but if it has heavy documentation then this car is worth having. We think this car should bring around 1,000,000 Euros, and if the documentation is outstanding then we can see it bringing within estimate.
SOLD: 1,610,480 Euros
1957 O.S.C.A S 273
For those of you who don’t know what an O.S.C.A is, in 1937, Maserati was on the brink of bankruptcy and the brothers sold their company to the Orsi family while staying on in the business. On 1 December 1947 they wanted to regain their independence, but, as they were legally not allowed to use the family name again, the new marque became known as O.S.C.A. (Officina Specializzata Construzione Automobili). The MT4 is the best known O.S.C.A., having clocked up multiple class wins in the Mille Miglia and won at Sebring outright in 1954, raced by Stirling Moss. In September 1955, a 1500cc version achieved 12 world speed records including 261.38 km/h over 10k (this car is on display in the Mulhouse museum today).
The Type S model benefitted from an evolution of the MT4 chassis. It had the same front axle but the chassis was widened to lower the centre of gravity. The real innovation was the redesigned engine. It was still a twin overhead cam 4-cylinder unit but was lighter, more compact and very powerful. The engine was built in different sizes : 750 cc, 1100 cc (the S 273 in the sale), 1500 cc and 2000 cc. Just six Type 273 1100cc engines were built.
The subject car was sold new with engine #1137 on 7 September 1957 to Gianni Manelli (born in Turin in 1914), in Milan. His first event in the car was in France, in the Faucille hillclimb on September 1957, where he finished 4th in class. The following year he won 2nd in class in the Mont Ventoux hillclimb. Manelli also took to the track in 1958, winning his class in Monza in December of that year. In 1960, an old hand at Mont Ventoux, he won the class. In September 1961 the barchetta finished 4th in class in what became the car’s home circuit of Vallelunga. On March 27, 1962 the car sold to Auto Corsa Italia in Vallelunga, and was raced by Carlo Alberto Del Bue. In 1964, the OSCA engine was replaced with an Alfa Romeo Giulietta engine and gearbox prepared by De Sanctis. At that time it was part of the fleet used by the driving school at Vallelunga. The car was subsequently acquired by Leandro Terra of Francavilla al Mare, who kept the car for over 30 years. In 2003, chassis 1187 and its body were discovered by Emillio Comelli, missing its OSCA engine and gearbox. Hervé Ogliastro then bought the car through Christophe Pund (Galerie des Damiers) and had a correct engine fitted, Tipo S 273 #1140, along with a ZF gearbox conforming to the Type S.
So overall the car has a pretty well-known history, but another car that is missing its original engine and transmission which in our opinion hurts it quite a bit. At least the engine and ZF gearbox in the car now are the correct type which is good, as that 1100 twin cam is really awesome and it would be a real shame if it didn’t have it. The restoration cosmetically looks to be very nice and properly done and it looks good in red as any proper Italian sports car should. Overall it is a very nice car, even with the mismatched engine. It can be found here with an estimate of 500,000 Euros to 800,000 euros and we think that the car should fetch within that estimate, probably around the 700,000 mark. If it had its original engine it would be more.
SOLD: 573,120 Euros
1938 Delahaye 135M Coupe by Chapron
The next car in the sale that we thought was very cool is lot#46, the 1938 Delahaye 135 M Coupe with a body by Chapron, especially since we are Delahaye lovers ourselves. The 135 is the greatest model Delahaye ever produced, this one being the M varient with a little less horsepower than the MS, but it does have triple carburetors which is a plus. The particular car is very handsome, as Chapron always is, with nice fenders and a handsome roof line and being a coupe is very nice. According to a letter written by Ms Chapron, this Delahaye 135 M was delivered to the coachbuilder Chapron on 13 December 1938, and bodied as a coupé sport, number 6064. It had been commissioned on 29 November 1938 by a Mr E. Migliaccio from Algiers, as part of his order for two identical Delahaye 135 coupés, the other having body number 6063. Ms Chapron continued: “Unfortunately the records for these two cars were lost during the Evacuation in 1939 – 1940.” Later in its life the car was acquired by the well-known collector Peter Kaus founder of the Rosso Bianco museum in Aschaffenburg, Bavaria. This museum housed a collection of some of the world’s best sports and racing cars, and when the museum was sold in 2006, most of the cars were acquired by Evert Louwman who owns a museum in Holland. Subsequently Louwman sold the majority of the Rosso Bianco collection, including the Delahaye presented here, which was acquired by a Belgian collector. The paintwork has been refreshed according to Artcurial and the car is presented in very nice original condition.
Overall this is a very nice car that is definetly worth having. If you’ve never driven one of these Delahayes with triple carbs and a Cotal gearbox than you don’t know what you’re missing. This particular car being prewar, with a sporty coupe body by Chapron and a good history is definetly worth owning. The paint looks to be in decent condition and the colors look good on the car. It can be found here with a 400,000 Euro – 600,000 Euro estimate. We believe this car to to be worth around 500,000 Euros.
1939 Delahaye 135 MS Cabriolet by Figoni
The next car on our list is another Delahaye: lot #50, the 1939 Delahaye 135 MS Cabriolet with a body by Figoni et Falaschi. This is one of our favorite cars in the sale with a pretty neat early history and still retaining, for the most part, its original coachwork and chassis components. The prewar MS Delahayes are the best and Figoni et Falaschi coachwork paired with a prewar MS Delahaye is even better. The car was delivered new on March 17, 1939 to Madame Lucienne Benitez-Rexach. Lucienne Benitez-Rexach would become better known by her stage name Môme Moineau. In 1929 she married the engineer and wealthy Puerto Rican businessman Felix Benitez-Rexach. She had made his acquaintance in New York as a star on Broadway, having become a successful singer after being spotted on the streets of Paris by the fashion designer Paul Poiret in 1925. Following her marriage, she became one of the richest women in the world, owning a long list of luxurious properties, cars, yachts and even a Douglas DC3 plane. She led a very worldly life rubbing shoulders with all the celebrities of the day. Môme Moineau took part in her newly delivered car in the concours d’élégance de L’Auto in the Bois de Boulogne on 9 June 1939, winning 3rd prize in the class for ” two-door convertible cars with a removable hood, 11bhp and over “. Then, July 28, 1942, it was registered in the name of the couple’s friend, Porfirio Rubirosa, the chargé d’affaires for the Dominican Republic who was married to Danièle Darieux. A racing driver and playboy, he had a string of romantic adventures with Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth, Kim Nowak, Eva Peron and others. It was registered CD 143 NH, a special diplomatic registration set up by the Puy-de-Dôme prefecture in Clermont-Ferrand, represented by the letters NH. Between 16 August 1940 and 10 January 1945 the provisional Vichy government registered some 289 vehicles from CD 1 NH to CD 289 NH. Once the troubles of the war were over, the car was re-registered 7709 YC 8 in Seine et Oise on 16 May 1947, in the name of Lucienne Benitez-Rexach, then living in her sumptuous new property Villa Carmen in Maisons-Laffitte. The following month, the car, still with the same number, was registered to Gilberto Benitez-Rexach, Felix’s son from his first marriage. Registered again in Paris under registration 8993 RQ 1 on 19 March 1948, it was owned in all likelihood by another Parisian from 23 December 1948, as this date appears on the subsequent registration 2181 AB 33, on 18 January 1955, for Raoul Robert, an electrician from Bègles in the Gironde Department. It is important to note that between 23 December 1948 and 17 January 1955, the Parisian owner must have been responsible for various modifications to the bodywork of the car.
Another fun fact about this car, Chassis # 60173 was the principal car in the René Clément film Le Château de verre that was released on December 1950, starring Michèle Morgan and Jean Marais. The car appeared with a new front, featuring a more modern, slender-shaped grille, and the running boards had not been removed yet. The new front design corresponded to other Delahaye models bodied by Figoni & Falaschi between 1946-1948. This was simply a case of updating the styling. The car was known in this new updated form between 1950 and 2012 when it was given a comprehensive restoration by the current owner.
This is certainly a fantastic car and the restorer did a pretty good job of getting the proportions and shapes back to where they were when the car was new. The colors we believe are, in our opinion, not proper. While according to the Delahaye register the car was originally light grey with dark blue interior, we think that was not executed properly in the recent restoration. The colors look to be silver paint color and a very bright blue interior color which really doesn’t look quite right. The light grey would have originally been more of a French grey (pastel color) and the interior would have been a dark navy blue, not the modern looking Mercedes Benz material color that it is in now. One other flaw that really bothers us is they got the shape of the top wrong. The two rear bows are much too high giving the top much too much of a squared off look. Despite a few little cosmetic flaws and the fact that it has a back seat the car is really great. It can be found here with an estimate of 1,200,000 Euros – 1,600,000 Euros which we believe is actually below what this car should bring. We believe this car should bring between 1,800,000 Euros and 2,000,000 Euros.
1931 Cadillac V-16 Convertible Victoria by Lancefield
The early V-16 Cadillac has always been an outstanding car that holds a special place in the history of the automobile as one of the most outrageous and prestigious cars ever created. Today the sports cars have been dominating the collector car market, but the V-16’s have been coming back with 1930-1931 roadster consistently selling for well over $1,000,000 dollars. While this may not be a roadster, it’s a custom open bodied car by a prestigious English coachbuilder, Lancefield which is very intriguing. For a big car it is a very appealing car with long doors and a nice low roof and windshield. Also the car has a great history being owned by a single owner for 60 years, then going to Manny Dragone of Dragone Classic Motorcars in Connecticut and then going to two prestigious collectors. The car was also shown at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance a few years back. The restoration looks to be a bit aged, but it still looks like it hasd held up pretty well. Overall this is a fantastic car. It can be found here with an estimate of 600,000 Euros to 900,000 Euros. We believe this car should bring around the 800,000 Euro mark maybe a bit more if it finds the right buyer.
1965 Dino Berlinetta Speciale by Pininfarina
The last car that we think is pretty outstanding in the Artcurial sale is the 1965 Dino prototype by Pininfarina. Everyone knows what a Ferrari Dino is today, especially with the prices of them going from $80,000 to $500,000 in 5 minutes about 5 or 6 years ago. Ever since, they have been hovering around the $350,000 – $450,000 mark depending on the car. This particular car is the original prototype for the infamous Dino and is possibly one of the most important collaborations between Ferrari and Pininfarina. The car was built on a competition 206P chassis and is outstandingly beautiful and was shown at the 52nd Paris motor show in 1965. This is a chance to own a true peace of sportscar history. We had the chance to see the car on display last year at Retromobile and it is very nice in person, but it can be seen that the car has been a display peace for a very long time and is in somewhat neglected condition. In 1967 Jean-Baptiste Farina (Pinin) had passed away and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) decided to pay homage to the man by giving his name to the square in front of the museum in the village at Le Mans 24 Hours. After his father’s death, Sergio Pininfarina decided to donate the Dino prototype, which was his father was particularly fond of, to the Museum which has now, after all of these years, decided to sell the car. The engine is just a shell with no internals and the same goes for the transmission, so whomever gets this car has quite a bit of work ahead of them to get this car back in running order. Overall this is a fantastic piece of history and it is beautiful. It can be found here with an estimate of 4,000,000 Euros – 8,000,000 Euros. We believe the car with such a history can bring in the upper side of that estimate and we wouldn’t be surprised if it brought well over their estimate.
SOLD: 4,390,000 euros an auction world record for this model.
Artcurial certainly has an amazing selection of cars in this sale and these are some of the best. Tell us what you think of these cars!
All photos and videos courtesy or artcurial.com