HomeThe MarketArtcurial adds Volante, Porsche and vintage motorcycle collections to its Retromobile docket

Artcurial adds Volante, Porsche and vintage motorcycle collections to its Retromobile docket


After announcing in September that it had secured the Le Mans-winning 1964 Ferrari 275P to headline its Retromobile auction, Paris-based Artcurial Motorcars has announced more of its docket for Europe’s mid-winter collector car gathering. The list includes:

• The Volante Collection with nine Vanvooren-bodied cars.
• Four rare Porsches from one owner.
• A collection of vintage motorcycles.
• A 1942 Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Speciale cabriolet.
• A 1938 Bugatti 57C Atalante coupe that carries a pre-sale estimated value of $3.5 million to $4 million.

“We have established a reputation for offering world-class, record-breaking motor cars in our Retromobile sale and 2018 will be no different,” Matthieu Lamoure, Artcurial Motorcars managing director, was quoted in the news release.

“The 1964 Le Mans-winning Ferrari 275P is one of the most important cars ever to come to auction and will take center stage alongside a wonderfully varied lineup of highly desirable machines.”

Artcurial auction features Volante, Porsche and vintage motorcycles
Vanvooren-bodied 1950 Delahaye 135M | Artcurial photo

The Volante Collection of cars represent various marques but all of the vehicles carry bodywork by French coachbuilder Vanvooren. Artcurial said the Volante grouping is the largest of its kind, and that only 150 Vanvooren-bodied vehicles are still known to exist.

Vanvooren was in demand among luxury-vehicle owners in the 1930s in part because of its patented “Silent Travel” system that used lightweight metal-paneled flexible bodies on “silentbloc” mountings.

Being offered at the Retromobile sale (with pre-auction estimated values) are:

• 1898 Vanvooren Gig ($18,000 to $30,000).
• 1912 Panhard & Levassor Type X14 7-seater open tourer, one of the oldest surviving Vanvooren-bodied cars still running. This one was exported early on to Argentina, returning to Europe in the mid-1980s and remaining to this day in original condition ($210,000 to $300,000).
• 1928 Avions Voisin Type C11 ($140,000 to $210,000).
• 1935 Alvis Speed 20 SD cabriolet ($235,000 to $350,000).
• 1937 Hispano-Suiza K6 Berline ($210,000 to $300,000).
• 1938 Bentley 4 1/4-liter coupe ($350,000 to $470,000).
• 1939 Bugatti Type 57 cabriolet, confiscated and used by the German army as a radio car during World War II and later part of the Soderstrom collection in Malmo, Sweden ($825,000 to $1 million).
• 1939 Rolls-Royce Wraith faux-cabriolet ($140,000 to $210,000).
• 1950 Delahaye 135M, the last car to leave the Vanvooren workshop at Courbevoie before the company closed its doors; this car formerly was owned by four-time national rally champion Bernard Consten ($300,000 to $410,000).

Artcurial auction features Volante, Porsche and vintage motorcycles
1937 Horch 853 is part of Volante Collection | Artcurial photo

Also included in the Volante Collection is a 1937 Horch 5-liter 853 cabriolet driven only 20,000 kilometers since new. This non-Vanvooren-bodied car, still in original condition, was delivered in Norway, confiscated and used by the German army but then handed over to Norway’s crown prince, who used it in the victory parade in Trondheim in 1945 ($700,000 to $950,000).

Artcurial auction features Volante, Porsche and vintage motorcycles
This Porsche 904 GTS raced at top European tracks | Artcurial photo by Remi Dargege

Also on the docket, and owned since the 1980s by collector Jean-Claude Miloe, are these four Porsches:

• 1964 904 GTS that raced at Spa, Nurburgring and the Tour de France ($1.6 million to $2.1 million).
• 1959 346 Carrera A 1600 GS cabriolet, one of only 27 produced ($940,000 to $1.4 million).
• 1961 356 2000 Carrera GT ($940,000 to $1.4 million).
• 1973 911 Carrera 2.7-liter RS ($650,000 to $760,000).

Artcurial auction features Volante, Porsche and vintage motorcycles
‘Pinin’ Farina drove this car from Torino and staged ‘Anti-Salon’ in Paris | Artcurial photo

The 1942 Alfa 6C 2500 is the car driven by Battista “Pinin” Farina from Turin to Paris and was parked outside the motor show hall because, as an Italian, he was not invited to show his efforts inside the building. This “Anti-Salon” also featured another Farina prototype vehicle — driven by Battista’s son, Sergio.

The cars were well received by show goers and international media and afterward Farina was credited for spearheading the rebirth of Italian design houses. Artcurial notes that the Alfa underwent an extensive restoration in the U.S., where it had been owned for 71 years before returning to Europe ($1.4 million to $1.9 million).

The 1938 57C Atalante is the car displayed at the 1938 Geneva Motor Show. It spent its first 20 years in Switzerland, then was owned by a series of American collectors. Only 34 Atalantes were built on 57 or 57C chassis and this is one of the last produced, featuring an aluminum body, hydraulic brakes and a supercharged engine ($3.5 million to $4 million).

Artcurial auction features Volante, Porsche and vintage motorcycles
A trove of vintage motorcycles get their own auction | Artcurial photo

In addition to the two-day sale of motorcars, Artcurial will offer a special sale of motorcycles on Saturday, February 10, with all of them coming from a single Frenchman’s collection of prewar bikes. The collection includes 80 machines, many of them from the earliest days of motorized two-wheel travel, Artcurial notes.

“Based in Thiers, the knife-making capital of France, old motorcycles often found their way to the region to be dismantled so that the metal could be melted and re-cycled to make knives,” Artcurial said. “Our collector rescued some rare and very unusual motorcycles from this fate and displayed many of them on the wall like paintings.”

All 80 of the motorcycles will be offered at no reserve.

Artcurial’s Retromobile auction is scheduled for February 9-10, 2018.

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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