Outstanding examples of early European cars, carefully collected but now being offered by the late collectors’ estates, highlight the docket for Bonhams’ annual Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Gran Palais auction, scheduled for February 8, 2018 as part of the Paris Retromobile celebration.
Twenty cars from the estate of Jacques Vander Stappen will be offered at the auction, including a 1907 Minerva 40hp Transformable Open Drive limousine/torpedo originally purchased off the stand at the 1907 Paris Auto Salon.
Carrying a pre-sale estimated value of €350,000 to €450,000 ($413,000 to $531,000), the car has had only three owners and has never been restored. It also has unique coachwork by Carrossier Belvallette; it was an enclosed limousine for winter months, but the entire top half of the bodywork could be lifted off, turning the car into an open tourer for warmer weather driving.
Vander Stappen built his car collection over the course of 60 years. Also going to the auction from his stables are nine other Minervas, including a 1930 40hp Type AL with coachwork by Belgian coachbuilder D’Ieteran Freres, and a 1934 Type AL 40hp Sports Coupe with coachwork by Jacques Dens. Both of those cars carry the same pre-auction estimated value as the ’07 Transformable.
Also going to the auction are several cars from the collection of Jan Bruijn, a Dutch collector and founder of the Concours d’Élégance Palais het Loo in Apeldoorn. The Bruijn cars include a 1907 Fiat Tipo 24/31 often driven in the London to Brighton veteran car run and expected to sell for €750,000 to €950,000 ($885,000 to $1.12 million), as well as a 1912 Regal, 1942 Fiat 501s and 1946 BMW Veritas 2000RS.
Also announced by Bonhams as part of its Paris docket are a Vanden Plas-bodied 1926 Bentley 3-liter Speed Model “Red Label” which won its class at Pebble Beach in 2015 and has a pre-sale estimated value of €650,000 to €850,000 ($767,000 to $1 million), and a 1936 Alta 2-liter Sports, one of only five built and the only one with left-hand drive version.
Bonhams notes that the Alta, with an estimated value of €250,000 to €300,000 ($294,000 to $354,000), has a supercharged engine and is eligible for events such as the Le Mans Classic, Goodwood and vintage hill climb competitions.