Artcurial and RM Sotheby’s both boasted of strong Rétromobile sales, but it was a pre-war Alfa Romeo that stole the headlines. A 1939 8C-2900B Touring Berlinetta comfortably outsold anything else during the week by fetching €16,745,600 at Artcurial’s 8-10 February show – three times more than the Ferrari F40 LM that fell just short of €5million (€4,842,500) at RM Sotheby’s.
The perfect Alfa, by creeping within its estimate, became the third most expensive pre-war car of all time – having been bought by the seller’s father 43 years ago for €10,000. The F40, meanwhile, set a new benchmark for the model. Along with the Alfa, two more of Artcurial’s lots surpassed six figures: the unique 1966 Serenissima Spyder, exactly as it was when it retired from the 1966 Le Mans 24 Hours, which trebled its estimate at €4,218,800; and a 2009 Mercedes- Benz SLR Stirling Moss edition set a model record of €2,617,200.
An original Citroën DS21, formerly owned by Hollywood actor Lorne Greene, fetched €244,360, €80k clear of its lower estimate, while a Group 4 competition De Tomaso Pantera doubled its lower guide at €202,640. Seven RM Sotheby’s lots cleared €1m on 6 February, including a 916km ’94 Bugatti EB110 Supersport (€2,030,000), a 1956 Porsche 550 RS Spyder (€3,042,500) and a 1966 Ferrari 275GTB/6C – albeit post-auction for the latter.
The Youngtimer Collection sale, of which the Alpinas from p146 were part, was topped by a 1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC AMG 6.0 ‘Wide-Body’ that sold for €297,500. Best of the Alpinas was the 1994 BMW Alpina B12 5.7 Coupé, which crossed the block for €207,000. The Alpina B9 sold for €60,375, the B7 €138,000.
One of the best performers at RM Sotheby’s was the Porsche 928 GTS from the Youngtimer Collection that sold for €138,000, almost twice its €70-80k estimate.
Total sales at Artcurial and RM Sotheby’s in Paris amounted to €42.3m and €32.4m respectively, with both successfully selling more than 75% of their lots.
At Bonhams’ 7 February auction in the magnificent Grand Palais, three cars ventured into millions: the 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet A once owned by a former King of Jordan led the way, at €1,581,250 against a €1.7-2.3m estimate. A stunningly restored 300SL Gullwing followed at €1,207,500; third best but just short of its guide was a Bentley 8 Litre Sports Tourer for €1,150,000.
‘The perfect Alfa, which crept within its estimate, became the third most expensive pre-war car ever’
The RM Sotheby’s sale took seven cars into seven figures, including Le Mans entrant Ferrari F40 LM (above). Three surpassed €1m at Bonhams (left). No car could match the Alfa Romeo’s incredible price-tag at Rétromobile.