North America kicks off the auction sales action in Arizona – for Europe, the starting grid is in Paris.
Everything centres around the Retromobile show as many of the world’s biggest classic car auctions gather to get some of the action. RM, Bonhams and Artcurial are all holding sales. But what should we expect? Just under 400 motorcars and motorcycles are going under the hammer during Retromobile week with an estimated value of between £72 million – £92 million (excluding auction house premiums/ commissions) – that’s a lot of cars and a lot of money.
The Baillon Collection
The main buzz has been around the “Baillon Collection” which is being offered by Artcurial. Dubbed the barn-find of the century by the press, it consists of what looks like 50 mainly very rotten cars which have been sheltering in farm sheds in Western France for many years. Amongst them are a few very special cars including Talbot Lagos, a Bugatti and a Maserati A6G but they were all lucky to have been found sheltering with a “lost” Ferrari 250 SWB California Spider. It’s the equivalent of finding yourself in a life raft with Lord Lucan and previous owner Alain Delon has never been so famous outside France.
Regardless of what the collection sells for, it can only be good news for restorers, parts suppliers and buyers with far too much time and money of their hands. It would be fantastic to reunite the collection in ten years time to see how they all got on.
Post Scottsdale blues
The Scottsdale auctions were notable for having some very high estimates and the corresponding results revealed a trend – a significant increase in the numbers of cars selling below estimate. Will we see the same happening in Paris? In general the estimates are more conservative and it seems that the auction houses have been able to manage the expectations of sellers more effectively for this round of auctions. We should see some good results against estimate.
What to watch out for
Lot 120 – Ferrari Testarossa – 2,000 km – Estimate £90-120,000. This should fly past the estimate.
Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS – a lightweight and a touring in the same auction show the vast price differentials between 2.7 RS. The lightweight is estimated at £750,000 – £1 million, the touring £340,000 – £415,000.
Lot 137 – Lancia 037 Stradale. Estimate £150,000 – £190,000. Looks good value for such rarity but the fan base must be shrinking.
Lot 125 – Lamborghini Countach LP400 “Periscopio” – or is it “Persicopico”, noone really seems to know…. Will the gold rush continue for Countachs? Strangely, this car is RHD – it must be the closest RM could get it to London for the next few months. Estimate £850,000 – £1.1 million.
Lot 153 – Ex-works Porsche 911. Estimate £875,000 – £925,000
Talbot Lago T26 – Estimate £300,000 – £450,000
Maserati A6G 2000 Gran Sport by Frua (estimate £600,000 – £900,000) and Ferrari 250 SWB California (estimate £7-9 million)
Maserati Khamsin – estimate £90,- £140,000. Looks like tremendous value and one of a kind although it should make over estimate.
Fiat Dino Spider 2.4. Beautiful and very definitely on the up – estimate £75,000 – £110,000.
Aston Martin DB4 Cabriolet – estimate £900,000 – £1.2 million. Where else can you find a LHD one of these?