HomeCar CultureCommentaryBrexit obvious but Le Mans Classic sale a success

Brexit obvious but Le Mans Classic sale a success


Artcurial hosted its biennial auction at the Le Mans Classic vintage racing weekend (Artcurial photos)

Think Brexit isn’t having an impact on the collector car hobby and the industry that serves it?

“Despite the glorious sunshine, our great friends the British collectors were sadly missing,” Matthieu Lamoure, managing director of Artcurial Motorcars, said in a news release after the French company’s Le Mans Classic sale this past weekend.

“Although the sales results reflected the effect of Brexit somewhat, we were delighted by the public’s appetite for competition cars during the amazing display at Le Mans Classic (a vintage racing weekend at the famed 24-hour racing circuit), evidence of the strength of the passion for the automobile.”

Porsche that raced three times at Le Mans sells for $1.43 million

The Brits still have that passion, but with the recent vote to exit the European Union, the value of the British pound has plummeted, which means that buying collector cars at auction, or anywhere away from the isles, have become more expensive for the English.

The release noted that it was several hours into the sale, and “with great emotion” that Herve Poulain, Artcurial’s honorary chairman, brought down the hammer on lot 1975, a 1977 Porsche 935 competition client factory-prepped racer that had competed three times in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Poulain was among those who had driven the car in competition — at Le Mans in 1980. The car sold, for $1.43 million — to an American bidder whose identity was not released.

Overall, the auction generated $9.9 million in sales with 73 percent of the lots selling. The sale was Artcurial’s four such biennial auction in conjunction with the historic races at Le Mans.

Top 10 sales, Artcurial Le Mans Classic 2016

  1. 1977 Porsche 935 competition client factory car, $1,431,760
  2. 1961 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL roadster, $1,048,960
  3. 1937 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux factory coach, $576,950
  4. 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 L RS Touring, $524,480
  5. 1963 Maserati 3500 GT, $295,020
  6. 1958 Talbot T14 LS coupe, $275,330
  7. 1949 Delahaye 148 L Berlinette by Antem, $242,500
  8. 1966 McLaren M1B, $238,590
  9. 1994 Dodge Viper RT-10 Le Mans racer, $236,060
  10. 1971 Jaguar Type C replica by Heritage, $202,600

(Prices include buyer’s premium.)

Bugatti doubles pre-estimated value on the block


Artcurial noted that the 1937 Bugatti, offered in original condition, sold for double its pre-sale estimate.

Other sales drawing notice included a 1978 Peugeot J7 camping car by Holidycar that brought $23,650 and a 1963 Citroen 2CV Sahara, equipped with four-wheel drive by putting engines front and rear, sold for $87,890.

Up next for Artcurial are the D-Day Sale on September 18 of the contents of the Normandy Tank Museum; On the Road, an auction October 9 near Paris of Andre Weber’s collection of 80 American cars; and, in November, Artcurial’s 10th Automobiles sur les Champs sale in Paris.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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