Artcurial posts nearly $25 million at Retromobile auction, even without a spectacular star car

Cars with racing history dominate sales list, and a vintage sailing ship is among the top-10 sellers

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Retromobile 2020
On the block is the top seller at Artcurial's 10th annual Retromobile sale, a 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB with more than 40 runs in international racing events | Artcurial Motorcars photos by Christophe Gasco

Artcurial Motorcars’ annual Retromobile auction is known for blockbuster dockets. Consider the sale a year ago in Paris of a 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900 B Touring Berlinetta for more than $18 million or the spectacular barn-found Baillon Collection which sold for more than $52.2 million in 2015. 

Or even the fact that in 2018, the auction made headlines when a dispute within the family that owned the headlining and Le Mans-winning 1964 Ferrari 275P caused the car to be withdrawn from the sale.

There was no such must-see consignment for Artcurial’s 10th annual Retromobile sale this past weekend, but the Paris-based auction house topped all three Paris auctions with sales totaling $24,954 573. (Though based in Paris, Artcurial, like Bonhams, reports sales in both euros and dollars.)

More than century-old sailing ship was among the top-10 sellers

“Splendid results reflecting the strength of passion for the Automobile,” Artcurial Motorcars’ managing director Matthieu Lamoure was quoted in the post-auction news release, “the sale a 7-hour spectacular live show in front of 3,000 people — that’s the magic of Retromobile and our auction house.”

The auction posted a 70 percent sell-through rate, and Artcurial added that 81 of the vehicles sold went to buyers residing outside France, including two of the top-10 lots being purchased by Americans collectors — a 1966 Porsche 906 and a 1991 Ferrari F40.

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Artcurial boasted that its docket had something for everyone, and among the top-10 sales was a 1911 Mariquita, the last surviving representative of the 19MG class of racing yacht.

1966 Porsche 906 was purchased by an American collector

The top sale of the auction was a 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB that sold for $2,728,052. The car (chassis 6785) competed in more than 40 international racing events in its heyday, including victory in its class in the Monza 1,000-kilometer GT in 1966. 

Racing cars did well in the sale. The second-high seller was a 1966 Porsche 906, third was a 1983 Ferrari Formula One racer driven by Rene Arnoux, and also among the top-10 were a 1993 Jaguar XJ220 C and a 1936 Delahaye 135 S, both of which raced at Le Mans.

The docket also included two cars owned by the late French entertainer Johnny Hallyday. His 1967 Ford Mustang GT 390 coupe, which was the last surviving Ecurie Ford France Mustang, brought $266,396 and his 2006 Ford GT, the last car he owned, sold for $409,295.

Late French entertainer Johnny Hallyday raced in this Mustang

Top-10 sales, Artcurial Motorcars Retromobile auction 2020

  1. 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB, $2,728,052
  2. 1966 Porsche 906, $1,886,354
  3. 1983 Ferrari 126 C3-068 F1 race car, $1.568,401
  4. 1991 Ferrari F40, $1,212,952
  5. 1993 Jaguar XJ220C Le Mans, $1,183,522
  6. 1933 Delahaye 135 S, $1,000,402
  7. 1965 AC Cobra 289, $818,590
  8. 1934 Bugatti Type 57 Vanvooren cabriolet, $545,653
  9. 1911 Mariquita by William Fife & Sons, $545,654
  10. 1968 AC Cobra 427 Brian Angliss, $435,237
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(Prices include buyer’s fee.)

Artcurial Motorcars next auction is scheduled for May 2, when it offers the Andre Trigano Collection in Auriol, France.

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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.

1 COMMENT

  1. Larry stands very tall in my eyes and he should have more recognition but it seems sometimes we are just bit actors to a larger picture. Now if you add a few bucks things seem to change we may have to much recognition. HUM!

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