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Report: Bonhams, Paris, 6 February

Published 06 February 2014

Historic sports cars and classic racers dominated Bonhams’ Retromobile sale on 6 February as the auction house raised an incredible €17,000,000, with a modest sale rate of 71%.

Top of the bill at the Grand Palais, Paris was a stunning 1968 Ferrari 275GTB/4 Berlinetta, which sold for €2,225,000 (£1,850,000), establishing a new world record for the model at auction. The Ferrari recently underwent a full nut and bolt restoration by marque specialist Bob Houghton and was sold with full history and invoices to back up its £200,000 renovation.

Another Ferrari that caught the imagination was Michele Alboreto’s 1984 Formula One car, which sold for €483,000 (£402,000). Raced throughout Alboreto's debut season, the Ferrari 126 C4 M2 carried him to victory at Zolder, Belgium where he became the first Italian driver to win a Formula 1 Grand Prix for Ferrari since Ludovico Scarfiotti in 1966.

Historic racing cars were prevolent at the sale, but few could match the provenance of the 1929 Bugatti Type 35B. Sold for €1,610,000 (£1,340,000), the Type 35B started life as a four-cylinder Type 37A Grand Prix model before it was purchased as a 21st birthday present for Jack Lemon Button by his father - a founder member of the Bugatti Owners' Club. The car later had its engine replaced in 1935 with a 2.3-litre eight-cylinder supercharged engine thereby effectively producing a Type 35B.

A 1947 Delage D6 3-litre competition car was another lot to break the €1 million barrier (£916,000) and Aston Martins also proved popular among bidders, with a rare left hand drive 1962 DB4 Vantage GT coupe doubling its estimate at €1,200,000 (£999,000). A 1965 Aston Martin DB5 also sold for €776,000 (£646,000).

Bonhams Paris 2014 Top 10 Sales

  1. 1968 Ferrari 275GTB/4 Berlinetta €2,225,000
  2. 1929 Bugatti Type 35B €1,610,000
  3. 1962 DB4 Vantage GT coupe €1,184,000
  4. 1947 Delage D6 3-litre €1,092,000
  5. 1965 Aston Martin DB5 €776,250
  6. 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster €713,000
  7. 1939 Lagonda V12 Drophead Coupe €506,000
  8. 1984 Ferrari 126 C4 M2 Formula One car €483,000
  9. 1989 Porsche 911 Speedster €310,500
  10. 1966 Citroen DS21 Le Caddy Cabriolet €310,500

 GL8C8345

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