Mercedes 300 SL roadster tops Artcurial’s ‘Champs’ auction

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1962 Facel II sells well at Paris auction | Artcurial Motorcars photos

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On a sunny Sunday afternoon in Paris, Artcurial Motorcar’s 14th annual Automobiles sur les Champs auction of collector cars sent 48 vehicles to new owners, generating more than $5 million in total sales in the process.

Highlights included a million-dollar Mercedes-Benz 300 SL roadster, cars with celebrity provenance, and the sale of a collection of cars produced by Facel Vega, which Artcurial Motorcars noted was “the last true French luxury marque.”

“We have paid tribute to night to the last French luxury marque, by achieving remarkable prices for the Facel Vega,” said Matthieu Lamoure, Artcurial Motors managing director. 

A 1964 Facel Vega Facel III cabriolet sold for $92,454, nearly double its high pre-auction estimate, while a 1962 Facel II, one of only 183 produced, went for $312,588 (prices reported include buyer’s fee).

The four Facel Vegas on the docket were consigned from the same collection.]

“The history of the automobile is of paramount importance to collectors. We have proved that with the BMW 328 Roadster and the Mercedes 300 SL,” Lamoure  added.

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1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL top-seller in Paris

The 300 SL, originally owned by the future King of Morocco and once driven for two days by racer Juan Manuel Fangio, had been in the consignor’s ownership for the last 45 years, Artcurial noted in its post-sale news release. It was a 1957 model, among the first 30 produced, and was presented in preserved condition. It sold for $1,087,104 and was the top sale of the auction.

Coming second, at $679,440, was a 1937 BMW 328 roadster.

The auction opened with bidding on a 1972 Volkswagen Beetle that had belonged to French singer Sylvie Vartan. It sold for $33,972.

Artcurial reported a sell-through rate of 65 percent and even noted that the sales total of $5,005,434 fell short of the pre-sale estimate of $7.13 million.

Top 5 sales, Artcurial Motorcars Automobiles sur les Champs XIV 2018

  1. 1957 Mercedes-Benz 200 SL roadster, $1,087,104
  2. 1937 BMW 328 roadster, $679,400
  3. 1962 Facel II, $312,588
  4. 1999 Lamborghini Diablo SV, $285,342
  5. 1965 Citroen DS 19 Chapron Palm Beach cabriolet, $198,360

(Prices include buyer’s fee.)

Artcurial Motorcars’ next sale is scheduled for February 2019 at Retromobile in Paris.

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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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