19 March 2012

The Paris Sale 2012 by Bonhams

Held 2 Feb 2012 at La Halle Freyssinet, Paris, France.
Over 100 cars and 35 motorcycles, including several French-built cars and three private collections, were up for sale at the auction. It was originally scheduled for 1 February 2012 but Bonhams decided to move its sale to Thursday 2 February, after a competitor cancelled its auction on that day. The move apparently facilitated buying opportunities for those attending the car auctions in Paris; no doubt 'mopping up' visitors who would would have visited the other function.
It was presented as a ‘drive-through’ auction to allow the clientele to see and hear the cars prior to going under the hammer. If you've never been to this type of auction, we suggest you attend a few; its a great day out and who knows, you might see something you like. For sure, the more prestigious auctions are for the hardcore car collector, but there are events that have a wide variety of 'everyday' classics ate more realistic prices.
Info from Bonhams; pics courtesy of  Dirk De Jager.

The top lot of this auction ws a 1961 Aston Martin DB4GT Coupé, which has attracted a pre-sale estimate of €1,100,000 – 1,400,000. Chassis 0142/L is one of only 30 produced with left-hand drive and it was originally shipped to the United States. In recent years, it has been many competitive rallies, including winning the Regularity Class at the 2005 Tour Auto.

Among the top quality French motors is the catalogue cover lot, the 1926 Amilcar C6/CO Voiturette, a racing car which has been in the USA since the end of WWII. The car hasn't been in Europe since new.

This re-worked R-Type Bentley is the work of Bob Petersen Engineering based at Beaworthy, Devon, a company renowned for the rebuilding, restoration and recreation of classic Bentley motor cars. The car is featured in Ray Roberts's famous book, Bentley Specials & Special Bentleys, Volume II.

Of the eight Delage D8-105 chassis completed,  Autobineau bodied four: two on the 'S' chassis and two on the 'L' chassis (one each LHD and RHD). This RHD car chassis number 40123 - is the only known survivor of the four. Two of the other D8-105 chassis were bodied by Letourneur et Marchand as convertibles: one for a private customer and the other for the factory, to be displayed at the 1935 Barcelona Motor Show.

A Delahaye 135M with triple carburettors and Cotal pre-selector gearbox, chassis number 800269 was supplied new to Lucerne, Switzerland in 1946. The body is one of Graber's finest from this period, reminiscent in many ways of the factory coachwork for the contemporary Alfa Romeo 2500. In 1956 the Delahaye was sold to a Bern-based owner and then again in 1958 to an owner in Thun who kept the car until 1998, since when it has undergone a high quality, detailed restoration.

1960 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II LWB Saloon, Chassis number 'LCA73' was despatched from the Crewe factory on 18th July 1960 fitted with saloon-with-division coachwork for delivery to distributor Jack Barclay Ltd in London. Fitted with optional air conditioning, power steering and tinted electric windows, it was sold on 12th August 1960 to the president of the General Accident insurance company at 99 Aldwich, London WC2. Imported to France, the Silver Cloud became the property of a famous producer of musicals and thanks to its looks appeared in numerous films before going to Normandy in 2002 to a new owner.

1950 Delahaye 135M Coupé, chassis number 801428 was registered for many years to M. Lucien Penard of Cérigny, Bessais-le-Fromental, France. Circa 2007/2008, the car was sold to Hendrick Lueddemann, a prominent classic car collector from Bremen, Germany. Mr. Lueddemann told the current owner that the Delahaye was sold new in, or near, Marseilles in the South of France where it spent most of its life; a Mr Penard purchased the car some time later. Mr. Lueddemann also stated that he used the Delahaye quite often and that the car had received a complete mechanical restoration some time in the early 1990s.

1972 Maserati Indy 4900 Coupé. This automatic transmission model was sold new in Florida, USA and in May 2004 was purchased by the current owner at Bonhams' Monaco Sale. The car currently displays a total of 48,660 miles, some 5,000 of which have been covered since its acquisition in 2004. Finished in red with beige leather interior, the latter featuring period Voxson 8-track stereo, it is offered with service book, ASI technical sheet, Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin, State of Florida Certificate of Title, Contrôle Technique and Carte Grise de Collection. The addition of a mechanical oil pressure gauge is the only notified deviation from factory specification.

1926 Delage DI Saloon:

1924 De Dion Bouton 12/24 Drophead Coupé:

1971 Marcadier Barzoi Barquette:

1968 FIAT Dino 2.0-Litre Coupé. Not much is known of the early history of this FIAT Dino coupé before its importation in 1988 from Italy to the UK where it was owned to a renowned Ferrari mechanic from Leeds, remaining with him until changing hands in the summer of 2010. Needless to say, the car's mechanicals are well sorted, including new cylinder head gaskets and bearings. The history file contains numerous invoices for parts from Superformance UK and for work on the body (described as in generally very good condition) which benefits from thousands of pounds spent in 2002 on sills, lower wings, etc and further refurbishment in 2010 when any rust found was cut out and replaced with fresh metal.

1966 Jaguar 'FT' Coupé, full details here.

1961 Facel Vega HK500 Coupé. This HK500 was exported to the USA where it is known to have had three owners: a Mr. Bell until 1990 then Francois Castaing (a member of l'Amicale Facel Vega) who lived in the USA and worked for Chrysler. It then went to Arnaud Bouthenet, who brought the car back to France and sold it to the current vendor circa 2007, since when it has been used sparingly, hence the sale.

1971 Ford Capri RS2600 Coupé. Built in Ford's competitions department in Cologne, this particular RS2600 was one of the first six delivered by the Cologne works bearing the original Cologne registration plates when new to French Formula 3 Champion, François Mazet as an original works 'plastic' version lightweight Capri. Mazet who kept the car for many years later transferred ownership to his friend Clay Regazzoni the Ferrari Formula 1 driver. In more recent times the Capri has participated in four editions of the Tour Auto, achieving a 2nd place finish in Group G in 2009. The car also finished 3rd in the VHC Rallye d'Automne in 2008 and took part in that year's Tour of Spain, retiring from 6th place overall on the final day. The Capri was also successfully campaigned in the 2011 Tour Auto and is again eligible for this year's event and the 2012 Le Mans Classic in which it has also participated previously in 2006. Capri 2600 RS are rare and a works delivered car even rarer, therefore Bonhams recommend close inspection of this excellent 'all round' historic race entry that produces 213bhp for a weight of a mere 905kg.

1977 Alfa Romeo Montreal Coupé:

One of 234 Daimler Conquest Century drophead coupés made, only three of which were left-hand drive like this one, chassis number '87799' was sold new on 3rd May 1956 to the Comtesse de La Noue in Lausanne, Switzerland. In 1957 it was sold to Mr. M H Khan, a Geneva-based diplomat who lived in the USA from 1958 to 1965 when he moved to England. Mr Kahn kept the Daimler with him all the time as documentation shows. After 46 years of service the car was sold by Christoph Grohe on behalf the deceased Mr. Kahn's family to the current owner with around 86,000 kms recorded.

1938 Lancia Aprilia Saloon. This partially restored example is believed to have been campaigned on the Lisbon International Rally in 1950 driven by the Portuguese driver, Manuel Santos Pinto. Previously forming part of an exclusive collection in Portugal for many years, the Aprilia is described by the owner as in generally very good original condition and good working order, with lovely patina to the paintwork, etc. Finished in brown with beige cloth interior, the car is offered with Portuguese registration documents. It is worth noting that these early pre-war Aprilias are eligible for the Mille Miglia and other popular historic event.

1964 Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider Veloce. This restored example was imported from California in 1995 and benefits from a new hood and recently reupholstered seats. Finished in red with black interior, the car is offered with (copy) California title, sundry restoration invoices, German registration papers and Classic Data report stating that it is 'Condition 2+' (very good throughout).

1964 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Coupé. This restored Giulietta Sprint was imported from Italy to its present home in Germany. Finished in blue with grey interior, the car is offered with German registration documents, TüV and Classic Data report stating that it is 'Condition 1-' (excellent throughout).

1964 Amphicar 770. This example was imported from the USA approximately 20 years ago (presumably not driven-DW) and comes with a copy of the Italian customs-paid document and ASI certificate.

The historic C1 Corvette racer offered here is owned by its builder, Tom Falconer. As the author of the book Original Corvette 1953-1962 and Judging Chairman of the UK Chapter of the National Corvette Restorers Society, Tom's approach to the 1960 Corvette was: The way it was, not the way we wish it was.
The JRG Special Corvette was raced in the early 1960s at East Coast circuits in the hands of a racer called Sarno from Long Island, New York. It was just another 1960 Corvette with the optional '419' hardtop and no convertible hood, and the bumpers and hubcaps removed. A typical 'B-Production' Sports Car Club of America weekend warrior of the era, it probably was driven to the circuits, not trailered, and not sufficiently modified to make the winner's circle.

Sammy Davis Jr's 1968 Maserati Ghibli Berlinetta. This Ghibli was originally purchased new by the legendary entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. as documented by a letter from the Maserati Club with the car. Davis was known for a love of cars; he was a regular client of George Barris and at any one time carried a burgeoning garage. His chosen livery was precisely the guise in which the car remains. Today the yellow paint and black interior are both in exceptionally fine order following a comprehensive and fully documented rebuild more than a decade ago. 10 years ago this Maserati was awarded the prize for Best Italian Sports Car at the Greenwich Concours d'Elegance.

1937 Alvis 4.3-Litre 'Long Bonnet' Sports Saloon Chassis no. 14305. This Alvis was despatched from the factory to coachbuilders Mayfair of London on 8th February 1937. Mayfair only made two bodies for Alvis 4.3s and this is the sole survivor. Registered 'DUL 111', the completed Alvis was sold on the 22nd March 1937 to the Hon Peter Montefiore Samuel (4th Viscount Bearsted) who lived in London. Little else is known of its history prior to the 1960s when the car was bought by a Mr Peter Talbot, who then left to live in St Paul, Minnesota before returning to Cheltenham in Gloucestershire.

1968 Lancia Flaminia Super Sport 'Double Bubble' Coupé. Always in the hands of Italian collectors, this very original example of the last word in old-style Lancia design is one of only 150 Zagato Super Sports made. This, the penultimate car produced, is finished in white with beautifully patinated original red leather interior and is described as in generally excellent mechanical condition.

1928 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Phantom I Shooting Brake Chassis no. 84FH. This magnificent Phantom I with its 7668cc straight 6 engine, was originally completed with limousine body by coachbuilders W H Knibbs & Sons Ltd of Manchester and sold to its first owner, the Rt Hon G Fryer, who kept the car until at least 1939. The Phantom was first registered in May 1928 as 'RY 3315', a Leicester mark. The shooting brake body, said to be by Weaver, is believed to have been fitted by Hooper during WW2 when the Phantom was used to ferry RAF repair crews and their tools to stricken aircraft.
'84FH' is next recorded in 1953 when it belonged to Mrs Mirabel Topham, whose family owned Aintree racecourse, home of the world famous Grand National steeplechase, and stayed in the family's possession until 1984. In 1953 Mrs Topham opened a new racetrack within the established Grand National course, the Mildmay. The following year the Aintree motor racing circuit opened and soon gained the reputation as one of the best in the world, hosting the British Grand Prix on five occasions between 1955 and 1962. Stirling Moss won there in 1955 to score his first Grand Prix victory while Jim Clark won the '62 event. '84FH' was used extensively within the grounds of both the motor circuit and the racecourse, and can be said to have been one of the UK's earliest 'safety' or 'pace' cars.

1913 Austro-Daimler 14/32hp Tourer. This example of the Austro-Daimler 14/32hp was purchased in Prague in the Czech Republic as a body-less 'barn find' and restored to a high standard over an 18-month period by the enthusiast vendor, an experienced mechanic. The body is a copy of one on a 1912 Austrian Army car and is constructed in traditional aluminium over ash frame manufactured by Gartrac Ltd, of Chiddingfold and the vendor. Other specialists were also recruited to assist with the project.
Presented in very good condition, this rare Austro-Daimler represents a wonderful opportunity to acquire a car from one of the great names of the Edwardian period, designed by one of the most talented automobile engineers of all time, Ferdinand Porsche.

1911 Delaunay-Belleville HB4 Tourer Chassis no. 3783. Only 100 of these magnificent HB4 cars were built during the years 1911 to 1912, of which only three are known to survive. Rescued from years of inactivity in a Netherlands museum, this example is tenth out of the first batch of 25 produced. The other known chassis are '3953' and '4302'. Over the last seven years this car has undergone extensive restoration to bring it to its present wonderful condition. The coachwork is a direct copy of that found on an HB6 model and is typically Edwardian in appearance.
Driving the Delaunay is said to be a pleasure very akin to the experience of handling an early Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost. The car wafts down the road in silence with effortless torque from the 4.0-litre four-cylinder engine; indeed, so smooth is it that you would be forgiven for mistaking it for a six. The view over the circular bonnet is spectacular. Works of art in themselves, the front BRC acetylene lamps are augmented by a pair of brass Lucas 700-Series lamps, while a brass snail-type bulb horn is mounted on the bulkhead. Detachable patented Dunlop wheels are fitted, mounted on artillery-style spokes. We are advised that the rear-wheels-only braking is 'adequate', particularly when used in conjunction with the handbrake. Suspension is reported as excellent, giving a compliant ride.

1921 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Chassis no. 1339. Chassis number '1339' has the 1,453cc engine and is almost certainly unique among Brescia Bugattis as it has a continuous history of Swiss ownership that has been well documented over the years. The car was supplied new to Mr Jules Friedlander in 1921 and originally was fitted with coachwork in 'torpedo' style and rear wheel brakes only. Mr Friedlander used the car extensively, records showing that he and the Bugatti ventured well beyond the Swiss borders.

1966 AC Shelby Cobra '427' Roadster Chassis no. CSX3249 is listed in the Shelby World Registry. Originally finished in green with black interior, the car was invoiced to Shelby American on 10th June 1966. The Cobra was then despatched to Ford of Belgium for well-known endurance racer Claude Dubois, Shelby American's official distributor for that country, who was billed on 17th October 1966. Dubois later became Shelby's agent for Europe, selling 120-125 Cobras between 1966 and 1972.

1959 Ferrari 250GT Coupé. Launched at the 1958 Paris Salon, the Coupe was Ferrari's first series production model and represented a milestone for their company. Using proven 250 GT components, the each chassis was sent to Pinin Farina who executed a attached a magnificent steel body on it. It was this combination of competition-derived engineers and quality built body which made the Coupe Ferrari's best seller.

1956 Talbot-Lago T14 LS Spécial. The Talbot-Lago T14 LS was both exclusive and expensive; only 54 examples were built, of which a very small number (believed seven or eight) were to Spécial specification. The Spécial featured aluminium doors, bonnet and boot lid, Borrani wheels and high-lift camshafts, giving enhanced performance. This unique example was the factory demonstrator provided for the use of its ace Grand Prix driver, Louis Rosier, who had won the 1950 Le Mans 24-Hour Race at the wheel of a Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport co-driven by his son, Jean-Louis. This car's frontal styling was especially modified to echo the looks of the T26 Grand Sport Rosier used on the Carrera Panamericana. Records suggest that the car was owned from 1959 to 1980 by a close friend of Rosier - a Mr Gay - and in total it has had only eight owners.

1932 Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Le Mans. To continue the success of the 6C 1500 Super Sport and 6C 1750 Grand Sport, Alfa Romeo had Vittorio Jano design an eight cylinder engine with the same features as the 6C models. This 2336 cc engine was mounted on both the short and long wheel-base chassis, including Alfa'a P3 Grand Prix car, to dominate an array of motor sport events.

1938 Bentley 4¼-Litre Drophead Vanden Plas Coupé. The Bentley was purchased by the current vendors in 1991 from Porters of Kensington and is now finished in dark blue with grey interior. Accompanying documentation includes a Porters of Kensington invoice, sundry invoices for work carried out including some from LMB, assorted correspondence, and various old registration and insurance documents. Bonhams recommend close inspection of this fine example of a Derby Bentley with desirable original open Vanden Plas coachwork.

1962 Austin-Healey 3000 MkII. Eligible for various historic rallies including the Monte Carlo Winter Challenge, Pirelli Classic Marathon and Rallye des Chateaux, the left-hand drive example offered here is a very well competition-prepared replica of the works rally cars on the 1960s. Restored in 1992, the car features triple Weber 45DCOE carburettors, factory-type ventilated hardtop, aluminium radiators, double ventilators, oil cooler, aluminium dashboard, leather trimmed MotoLita steering wheel, bucket seats, competition fuel tank, alloy wheels and a roll cage. Accompanying documentation consists of Belgian Carte Grise de Collection, technical inspection, Heritage certificate and FIVA Passport.

1978 FIAT 900T Ferrari Service Van. (Team Amazo's personal favourite of this auction) Many of the older Belgian Ferrari enthusiasts remember this FIAT 900 as the service van used for parts delivery and race assistance in the late 1970s and 1980s. This van was purchased new by Jacques Swaters' Garage Francorchamps SA in September 1978, at that time still in the Rue Goffart, Brussels and surely was used for the company's move to the Rue Colonel Bourg in 1984. The FIAT provided its loyal on-the-road service until some time in 1988 and for the next decade was used as a storage facility in the workshop of the Ferrari Antwerpen dealership that opened in 1989.
The sign-written livery features the famous 'Cavallino Rampante' and the logos of Ferrari models of the late 1970s: 308GTB and 308GTS, 512BB, 400 automatic and Mondial. The van is in very original condition with some rust to the lower body, while the engine is running but requires further servicing before it will be roadworthy again. It comes with the original service booklet and Belgian registration document in the name of Garage Francorchamps, a Belgian Certificat de Conformité and its last Certificat de Contrôle Technique dated 12/10/1987. A fantastic assistance vehicle for any Ferrari race enthusiast.

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