Bugattis were the most-expensive cars sold at all three Paris Rétromobile week 2018 classic car auctions houses: Artcurial (Type 57 Atalante Coupé), Bonhams (Type 57 Torpedo racer) and RM Sotheby’s (Chiron).
Three very different Bugattis were the top results at the auctions of Artcurial, Bonhams and RM Sotheby’s during the annual Rétromobile week classic car sales in Paris in February 2018. The top result at RM Sotheby’s was $4 million for a 2017 Bugatti Chiron, which was also the highest price paid for any car during the Paris sales. Artcurial’s top result was $3.6 million for a 1938 Bugatti Type 57 Atalante Coupe while Bonhams sold a 1935 Bugatti 57 Torpedo racer for $874,000. Although all three auction houses failed to sell the cars offered with the highest pre-sale estimates, and the much anticipated Le Mans-winning 1963 Ferrari 250 / 275 P was withdrawn only two weeks before the auction, the actual sell-through rates in Paris were higher than a year ago.
Classic Car Auctions at Paris Rétromobile 2018
For the fifth consecutive year, Artcurial, Bonhams and RM Sotheby’s had classic car auctions during the annual Paris Rétromobile classic car week in early February 2018.
In 2018, the sell-through rates of all three auctioneers were higher than a year ago. However, earnings were somewhat hit by far fewer multi-million dollar cars on offer and several in this category failing to reach reserves. Furthermore, the cars with the highest pre-sale estimates failed to sell at all three auctions.
Artcurial Paris Rétromobile 2018
Artcurial is the official auctioneer of the Paris Rétromobile and as usual had by far the largest classic car auction in 2018 with sales split over three sessions on two days.
In 2018, Artcurial achieved auction model record prices on 13 lots compared to 4 in 2017.
Artcurial’s major disappointment was that the Le Mans-winning 1963 Ferrari 250 / 275 P was withdrawn from the sale only two weeks prior to the auction. Furthermore, the highest bid of the auction week of €5.5 million failed to secure the 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series 1.
RM Sotheby’s Paris Rétromobile 2018
For RM Sotheby’s the annual Paris sale is a much smaller auction but still one of usually only two held per year by RM Sotheby’s on the European continent.
RM Sotheby’s had the highest Paris 2018 result with the Bugatti Chiron selling for a model record $4 million. In 2018, RM Sotheby’s sold five cars for over a million dollar compared to six a year ago.
Highest bids of over a million dollar failed to buy a further four cars, including the highest bid at the auction: €3.45 million for a 1953 Ferrari 166 MM Spider.
Bonhams Paris Rétromobile 2018
Bonhams Paris Rétromobile 2018 sale was a seven-hour marathon that included nearly 200 automobilia lots and 130 cars. In 2018, Bonhams earned €14,930,317 / $18,364,000 with a sell-through rate of 77%.
Bonhams brought only three cars to the Paris sale with upper estimates exceeding a million dollar. The top car, a 1968 Lamborghini Miura P400 S Coupe, failed to sell with a highest bid of a million euro.
Bonhams top Paris 2018 results were €713,000 ($874,000) paid for a 1935 Bugatti 57T Torpedo Racer and the 1904 Fiat Type 24/32 rear-entrance tonneau – both cars very much in the Rétromobile week spirit. In 2018, Bonhams failed to achieve a million dollar on any cars compared to three in 2017.
Million-Dollar Cars at Paris Rétromobile 2018
The following 12 cars sold for a million dollar at the Paris Rétromobile 2018 classic car auctions:
|Year||Car||Price ($)||Price (€)||Estimate||Auction House|
|1||2017||Bugatti Chiron||4,088,212||3,323,750||3,200,000 – 3,600,000||RM Sotheby’s|
|2||1938||Bugatti Type 57C Coupe Atalante||3,557,376||2,903,200||3,000,000 – 3,500,000||Artcurial|
|3||2006||Ferrari FXX||3,277,000||2,674,400||2,600,000 – 3,200,000||Artcurial|
|4||1954||Maserati A6 GCS/35 Spyder||2,983,632||2,445,600||2,800,000 – 3,600,000||Artcurial|
|5||2005||Maserati MC12||2,462,306||2,001,875||2,000,000 – 2,500,000||RM Sotheby’s|
|6||1964||Porsche 904 GTS||2,285,792||1,873,600||1,400,000 – 1,800,000||Artcurial|
|7||1958||BMW 507 Roadster Series II||2,185,557||1,776,875||1,600,000 – 1,800,000||RM Sotheby’s|
|8||1955||Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing||1,419,156||1,158,270||800,000 – 1,000,000||Artcurial|
|9||1993||Bugatti EB 110 Super Sport Prototype||1,417,575||1,152,500||850,000 – 1,100,000||RM Sotheby’s|
|10||1990||Ferrari F40||1,168,414||953,600||750,000 – 1,000,000||Artcurial|
|11||1992||Ferrari F40||1,147,744||933,125||850,000 – 950,000||RM Sotheby’s|
|12||1951||Porsche 356 Pre-A 1300||1,090,680||894,000||440,000 – 520,000||Artcurial|
Note: Prices include premium. Auction held in euro, $ conversion as per day of auction / as stated in by auction house in first published results.
Million-Dollar Bugattis at Paris Rétromobile 2018
A large number of Bugattis were on offer at the Paris Rétromobile 2018 classic car auctions but only three achieved results of over a million dollar with all three setting new world auction records for the respective models:
2017 Bugatti Chiron
The most-expensive car sold at the Paris Rétromobile 2018 auctions was a 2017 Bugatti Chiron that achieved €3,323,750 ($4,088,212) at the RM Sotheby’s sale. This Bugatti Chiron finished in two-tone Atlantic Blue over French Racing Blue was one of the first 20 cars produced. Only 500 Chirons are scheduled for production over a seven-year period.
This was only the second Chiron ever sold at auction – the first one achieved $3,772,500 at the RM Sotheby’s New York sale in December 2017. The New York car was a never registered, US-specification car while the Chiron sold in Paris was in European specification and had 1,000 km on the clock.
Mecum achieved a highest bid of $3.5 million for a 2018 Bugatti Chiron at the Kissimmee sale in Florida in January 2018 and will offer a second Bugatti Chiron at the Los Angeles sale in mid-February 2018.
1938 Bugatti Type 57C Coupé Atalante
The second highest result at the Paris Rétromobile 2018 auctions was much more in the spirit of the Rétromobile week for a car nearly eight decades older than the Chiron. A 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Coupé Atalante sold for €2,903,200 ($3,557,376) as the top result at Artcurial.
The 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Coupé Atalante was the 25th of only 34 Atalantes built on the Bugatti 57 or 57C chassis. This car was the 1938 Geneva Auto Salon show car and maintained its original aluminum body and engine to which the factory fitted a supercharger in 1952.
1993 Bugatti EB 110 Super Sport Prototype
A third Bugatti auction record was set at the RM Sotheby’s Paris 2018 sale with a 1993 Bugatti EB 110 Super Sport Prototype that sold for €1,152,500 ($1,417,575). Although the EB110 cars are not universally liked, prices are now regularly approaching those of the later Veyrons.
The car was one of the first of only 36 EB 110 Super Sports built and was used a development prototype by the factory. In one of its early guises, it set a world speed record at 342,7 km/h. It was only sold out of Bugatti hands in 1997 and has covered only 3,300 km since new.
Top Ferraris at Paris Rétromobile 2018
The top Ferraris failed to sell at Paris Rétromobile 2018 – see list below – but three Ferraris still managed to achieve million-dollar results.
2006 Ferrari FXX
A basically unused 2006 Ferrari FXX was the surprise top Ferrari result in Paris when it achieved €2,674,400 ($3,277,000) at the Artcurial sale.
Ferrari built only 38 FXX track-only but the owner of this car preferred not to participate in the Ferrari-run racing series. As a result, the car has been driven for less than 100 km and sixth gear has never been engaged. The car was sold with the original transportation crates with many accessories and spare parts never unpacked.
Two Ferrari F40s had million dollar results at the Paris 2018 auctions:
- A 1990 Ferrari F40 sold for €953,600 ($1,168,414) at Artcurial, and
- A 1992 Ferrari F40 sold for €933,125 ($1,150,000) at RM Sotheby’s.
Both F40s achieved solid results for two cars without special features or any remarkable numbers.
Top Maseratis at Paris Rétromobile 2018
Two Maseratis sold for over two million euro at the Paris Rétromobile 2018 auctions:
1954 Maserati A6 GCS/53 Spyder
A 1954 Maserati A6 GCS/53 Spyder with coachwork by Fiandri and Malagoli sold for €2,445,600 ($2,983,632) – another auction world record achieved at Artcurial.
This Maserati was is one of only 60 examples built. It retained its original engine and most of its original body and mechanical components despite being enthusiastically raced by its early owners. The Maserati participated in the 1955 Mille Miglia.
2005 Maserati MC12
The second highest result at the RM Sotheby’s Paris 2018 sale was €2,001,875 ($2,462,306) paid for a 2005 Maserati MC12. The Maserati is an early production car of the 50 MC12s built and has covered only 12,500 km since new.
The result was the second highest of the five Maserati MC12 cars sold at auction since 2015.
Million-Dollar Porsches at Paris Rétromobile 2018
Two Porsches sold for over a million dollar at the Paris Rétromobile 2018 auctions – both cars were sold by Artcurial:
- A 1964 Porsche 906 GTS sold for €1,873,600 ($2,285,792). This was the third from last of 50 examples built. The 906 GTS was extensively raced in period including participating the 500 km of Spa and the Nürburgring 1000 km.
- A 1951 Porsche 356 Pre-A 1300 sold for a model world record €894,000 at the Artcurial Paris Rétromobile 2018 sale. The unexpected result was well above the pre-auction estimate of €440,000 – €520,000.
1958 BMW 507 Roadster Series II
RM Sotheby’s had a good result on a remarkably car when a 1958 BMW 507 Roadster Series II sold for a solid €1,776,875 ($2,185,557).
This BMW 507 had only two previous owners with the first owner only selling it in 2004. Remarkably, this 507 has been maintained since new by the same BMW-trained mechanic. Although never restored, this BMW 507 is not fully authentic and had for example front disc brakes installed, as the original owner often used the car for her daily driving.
1955 Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing
After seven Mercedes Benz 300 SL cars were offered just weeks previously at the Scottsdale, Arizona, auctions, it was somewhat surprising that this 1955 Mercedes Benz 300 SL Gullwing at Artcurial was the only standard 300 SL on offer during Rétromobile week 2018. The fully restored Gullwing sold for a magnificent €1,158,270 ($1,419,156).
The 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster to SLS Aluminum Competition Specification – a recreation of Paul O’Shea’s original aluminum bodied car on a 1957 Roadster chassis – at Bonhams sold for a rather disappointing €632,500 ($775,000).
Top Cars Failing to Sell at Paris Rétromobile 2018
The following top cars failed to sell at the Paris Rétromobile 2018 classic car auctions:
|Year||Car||Highest Bid ($)||Highest (€)||Estimate||Auction House|
|1963||Ferrari 250 / 275 P Ex-Scuderia Ferrari||Withdrawn||Withdrawn||Upon request||Artcurial|
|1958||Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series 1||HB 6,710,000||HB 5,500,000||7,000,000 – 9,000,000||Artcurial|
|1953||Ferrari 166 MM Spyder||HB 4,243,500||HB 3,450,000||3,700,000 – 4,500,000||RM Sotheby’s|
|1965||Ferrari 275 GTB Alloy||HB 2,706,000||HB 2,200,000||2,400,000 – 2,800,000||RM Sotheby’s|
|1965||Iso Grifo A3/C||HB 2,429,250||HB 1,975,000||2,500,000 – 3,000,000||RM Sotheby’s|
|1955||Maserati A6G/2000 Berlinetta Allemano Zagato||HB 2,257,000||HB 1,850,000||2,500,000 – 2,700,000||Artcurial|
|2007||Ferrari Enzo||HB 1,952,000||HB 1,600,000||1,800,000 – 2,200,000||Artcurial|
|2014||McLaren P1||HB 1,845,000||HB 1,500,000||1,700,000 – 2,000,000||RM Sotheby’s|
|1968||Lamborghini Miura P400 S Coupe||HB 1,200,000||HB 1,000,000||1,200,000 – 1,400,000||Bonhams|
|1985||Porsche 962 C||HB 1,159,000||HB 950,000||1,300,000 – 1,600,000||Artcurial|
|1942||Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Cabriolet Pinin Farina Speziale||HB 1,073,600||HB 880,000||1,000,000 – 1,300,000||Artcurial|
The top four Ferraris failed to sell at Paris Rétromobile 2018 with the Le Mans-winning 1963 Ferrari 250 / 275 P withdrawn only two weeks before the auction. This car was the last Ferrari to have won the Le Mans 24 Hours race as an official Scuderia Ferrari entry.
The remaining top Ferrari, the beautiful 1958 Ferrari 250 GT Cabriolet Series 1, chassis 0849GT, also failed to sell despite a highest bid of €5.5 million – the highest single bid at all the Paris auctions. Although well below estimate, the result would have been the best by over a million dollar for a Series 1 Cabriolet since at least 2014.
RM Sotheby’s top Ferraris, the 1953 Ferrari 166 MM Spyder and 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB Alloy also failed to sell. The highest bid for the Iso Grifo A3/C was high for an Iso but the owner clearly expected more from a car originally owned by Johnny Hallyday.
Whether by luck or design, Bonhams did not offer any multi-million dollar cars at Paris 2018.
The Paris auctions did not really confirm or dispel the feeling that the multi-million dollar car market is in trouble. The number of cars in the $3 to $10 million range on offer in Paris was limited and several cars failed to sell despite offers well within range of recent results.
The next major classic car auction series is in Amelia Island, Florida, in early March 2018 with Bonhams, Gooding and RM Sotheby’s the main auctioneers in the million-dollar car market.
- 2018 Paris Rétromobile Week Classic Car Auction Results: General Overview, Artcurial, Bonhams, RM Sotheby’s