2021 RM Sotheby’s Paris Sale (Blower Bentley Announced)

A 1931 Bentley 4½-Litre Supercharged Tourer is offered at the RM Sotheby’s Paris 2021 sale. It is, one of the original 50 4½-litre Blowers produced.

1931 Bentley 4½-Litre Supercharged Tourer on offer at RM Sotheby's Paris 2021 sale
Stephan Bauer © 2020 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

RM Sotheby’s announced an original, matching-numbers 1931 Bentley 4½-Litre Supercharged Tourer, estimate €4,100,000 – €5,000,000, to headline the Paris 2021 sale. The classic car auction will also feature a single-owner collection of Bowler-built vehicles offered without reserve, including a 2016 Bowler CSP V8 Prototypes and a faithful, road-legal 2010 Project Spectre recreation. A further single-owner collection of five cars presented in original golden paint hues will be offered without reserve, including one of only three Ferrari 365 GT4 BBs originally finished in Oro Chiaro.

RM Sotheby’s Paris 2021 Classic Car Auction

RM Sotheby’s Paris 2021 classic car auction will be held in two parts: a live streamed sale on 13 February 2021 followed by an online-only, time-based sale. Although Paris Rétromobile Week 2021 has been postponed from the usual early February date to June 2021, RM Sotheby’s, Bonhams, and Artcurial will still have auctions in February.

In 2020, RM Sotheby’s earned €16.5 million at its Paris sale with a sell-through rate of 75%. In 2019, RM Sotheby’s earned more than €32.4 million with a sell-through rate of 79%. In 2018, RM Sotheby’s earned €23,745,335 with a fairly strong 83% sell-through rate. In 2017, RM Sotheby’s achieved a gross sale total of €27,576,400 ($29,451,595) with a sell-through rate of 78%. In 2016, RM Sotheby’s grossed €19 million with a sell-through rate of 79%.

Top Cars at RM Sotheby’s Paris Sale 2021

1931 Bentley 4½-Litre Supercharged Tourer front
Stephan Bauer © 2020 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

RM Sotheby’s announced several further interesting cars in addition to the previously announced unique 1993 Isdera Commendatore 112i for its 2021 Paris classic car auction. These cars are led by an original 1931 Bentley 4½-Litre Supercharged Tourer, which is likely to remain the headline car for the auction in France. Also confirmed for the sale is The Bowler Collection, a portfolio of seven highly modified Bowler off-road vehicles offered directly from the collection of former Bowler Director, Richard Hayward. A further stunning single-owner Gold Collection, a collection of five cars all presented in their original golden hues.

1931 Bentley 4½-Litre Supercharged Tourer

Side Profile 1931 Bentley 4½-Litre Supercharged Tourer
Stephan Bauer © 2020 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The likely headline car for the RM Sotheby’s Paris 2021 sale is the 1931 Bentley 4½-Litre Supercharged Tourer, chassis no. MS3938, (Estimate: €4,100,000 – €5,000,000). This is one of the original 50 Blowers produced and not one of the 12 ‘continuation’ 4½-litre ‘Blowers’ planned by Bentley.

This matching-numbers car, which is accompanied by its original engine (no. MS3940) and still boasts its complete original chassis, drivetrain, steering, front and rear axles, and some original body panels, has known history from new and is being sold from long-term ownership. The car’s original UK registration number plate, GT 8771, is still with the car and it is offered in perfect restored condition.

Born as a four-seater Mayfair Open Tourer body car, it was later fitted with an original Vanden Plas Open Tourer body in the early 1950s. This Vanden Plas body still exists and accompanies the car. In its current form, sporting the best-known bodywork of the competition Blowers, the car still features its original bonnet and is fitted with a newly rebuilt Neil Davis Racing 5.5-litre engine. ‘MS3938’ has a known and comprehensively documented history and a freshly collated Clare Hay Report.

Bentley 4½-Litre Supercharged Results at Auction

Historic 1929 Bentley „Birkin Blower“
Photo: Bonhams

The 4½-Litre Supercharged cars are generally amongst the most-expensive classic Bentleys with the 50 Blowers the first choice. RM Sotheby’s sold 1931 Bentley 4 ½ Litre Supercharged Two-Seater in the style of Vanden Plas for $4 million at Monterey 2015. (It was only the eighth most-expensive car in the auction!)

The Bentley marque record is $7,867,000 (£5,040,000), achieved at the Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale in 2012 for the 1929 Bentley „Birkin Blower“.

The Bowler Collection at RM Sotheby’s Paris Sale 2021

A group shot of The Bowler Collection Auction: RM Sotheby's Paris Sale 2021
Tom Gidden © 2020 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Founded by the late Drew Bowler in 1985, Bowler became renowned for supplying vehicles for many of the world’s most extreme and iconic off-road racing events, such as the Dakar Rally, Baja Aragón, and the Africa Eco Race. The Bowler Collection is the largest and most varied selection of Bowlers ever to become available for sale at auction, offered entirely without reserve by Richard Hayward, who led the company from November 2016 until its sale in December 2019.

Leading the collection is the 2016 Bowler CSP V8 Prototype, chassis no. B0WL5081655110001. Raced by Mr. Hayward and driven by others in the 2019 season, it features a 5.0-litre supercharged V-8 engine and eight-speed automatic ZF gearbox and is presented in ‘ready to race’ condition, with events such as The Tuareg Rallye and the Spanish Baja well-suited to its extensive specification (Estimate: €100,000 – €125,000, without reserve).

Joining it is the 2016 Bowler CSP V8 Prototype Vehicle, chassis no. B0WLE505167590002, which was featured in Autocar Magazine and crowned one of their top ten Best British Drivers Cars of 2019 (Estimate: €100,000 – €125,000, without reserve).

A car sure to grab attention is the 2010 Land Rover Defender SVX “Spectre”, which was expertly created by the same Bowler engineers who produced the famed Land Rover Defenders for the 2015 James Bond blockbuster, Spectre. The car is a faithful, road-legal recreation of the original vehicles produced for the film, taking more than 250 hours to complete (Estimate: €150,000 – €200,000, without reserve).

The rest of this collection features a one-of-one 2015 Bowler Pennine V6 110 Prototype (Estimate: €75,000 – €100,000, without reserve), the 2013 Land Rover Defender 90 Hardtop TD “Challenge” (Estimate: €60,000 – €80,000, without reserve), and the 2015 Land Rover Defender 90 Hardtop XS and 2015 Land Rover Defender 110 Landmark XS. The company created both examples with the aim of building the very best interpretations of the original OEM vehicles, with powertrain, suspension, and cosmetic improvements made to both the Defender 90 and 110 (Estimate: €60,000 – €80,000, without reserve).

The Gold Collection

Gold Collection on offer at RM Sotheby's Paris 2021 sal
Stephan Bauer © 2020 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Also offered without reserve, The Gold Collection is another single-owner collection of fabulous sports cars, but with the Midas touch, as each car is presented in various shades of original OEM specification gold paint.

Led by a 1974 Ferrari 365 GT4 BB, presented in Oro Chiaro, the car is one of only three originally supplied in the color. Offered in fantastic condition and with less than 20,000 km on the odometer, this matching-numbers car is estimated to bring €260,000 – €310,000.

Equally stunning is the 1972 Porsche 911 2.4 S Targa in its original metallic gold finish. Completely restored, this 51,000 km car is estimated to bring €170,000 – €210,000. Also in the collection is a 1976 Porsche 911 Turbo Carrera in original Sahara Yellow (Estimate: €120,000 – €150,000, without reserve), a Classiche-certified 1979 Ferrari 308 GTS in Oro Chiaro (Estimate: €80,000 – €110,000, without reserve), and a 1973 Jensen Interceptor SP in original gold finish (Estimate: €40,000 – €60,000, without reserve).

Paris Retromobile Week Auctions 2021

Classic Car Auctions

The traditional Paris Rétromobile Week was postponed from February to early June 2021. The traditional auctions in early February in Paris are expected to take place. Artcurial already announced a further auction for early June during the postponed Rétromoble week 2021.

  • Bonhams: Les Grandes Marques à Paris Sale online-only from 3 to 10 March 2021.
  • Artcurial: La Parisienne (in partnership with Rétromobile) on 5 February 2021. (Rétromobile Sale on 4 June 2021)
  • RM Sotheby’s: Paris Auction live auction on 13 February 2021, followed by an online-only, time-based sale.

Results 2021

Press Releases 2021:

Paris Rétromobile Week Auction Results 2020:

Previous Paris Rétromobile Week Auction Results