Bonhams sets ‘black tie’ auction at French concours

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A 1937 Delahaye 135 M cabriolet by Figoni et Falaschi won the inaugural Chantilly concours
A 1937 Delahaye 135 M cabriolet by Figoni et Falaschi won the inaugural Chantilly concours

Bonhams will debut a swank “black-tie” collector-car auction September 5 held in conjunction with the second Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille concours d’elegance in Chantilly, France, the auction house has announced.

“We’re delighted to announce this brand-new and exclusive motoring sale, taking place on the luxurious grounds of the Château de Chantilly,” Philip Kantor, Bonhams European head of motorcars, said in a news release. “The event perfectly complements the motoring auction calendar, and will offer an additional sale for our European clientele.”

Last year’s inaugural Arts & Elegance soiree featured a concours d’elegance for modern concept cars and a “Concourse d’Etat” for classic cars that came from around the world. The first best of show was won by an extravagant 1937 Delahaye 135 M cabriolet by Figoni et Falaschi owned by Peter and Merle Mullin of Los Angeles. Peter Mullin is founder of the Mullin Automotive Museum and chairman of the Petersen Automotive Museum.

The upscale event also includes fine-art exhibitions, fashion shows and live music, as well as a number of equestrian presentations held on the grounds of the famed Château de Chantilly. The château has a strong connection with the horse community as home of the Chantilly Racecourse and the Living Museum of the Horse.

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The Chantilly sale will be the second held in France by the London-based auction house, and promises to offer some of the most prestigious and expensive collector cars available.

“The concept is to offer a bespoke salon-style auction, offering a limited number of very fine examples of collectors’ motor cars, perhaps 30 or so carefully selected lots for the ‘black tie’ evening auction,” Kantor said.

The Art & Elegance event, hosted by Peter Auto restoration firm and motorsports organizer, was attended in its first year by about 10,000 people.

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.