Like RM Sotheby’s, Bonhams followed up its annual Arizona Auction Week sale with an event in Paris, where such auctions usually coincide with the Retromobile celebration of collector cars, although this year, that celebration has been postponed until mid-March because of the pandemic.
But the auctions took place as scheduled and Bonhams’ sale produced more than €19 million ($21.895 million) in transactions and an 83 percent sell-through rate.
Because of renovation of the glass-roofed Grand Palais, this year the Grand Marques du Monde à Paris Sale was staged in the new Grand Palais Éphémère near the Eiffel Tower, which could be seen lighted through the glass wall of the Éphémère as the auction took place.
Leading the sale was a 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari that sold for $2,933,351.
“One of only 499 examples of the hybrid hypercar, the first production car to feature the F1-derived HY-KERS hybrid system, this yellow-over-black LaFerrari had covered fewer than 930 kilometers from new and was offered by its second owner,” Bonhams noted.
Bonhams said the LaFerrari sold for an auction-record price, as did a 1996 Bugatti EB110 GT that brought $2,083,008. The car was one of 95 GTs and had been driven only 10,000 kilometers since new.
“Another star was the 1964 Porsche 904 GTS, formerly owned by Hollywood actor Robert Redford, which also achieved seven figures, selling for €1,345,500 ($1,542,481),” Bonhams reported. “Originally owned by Steve Earle, founder of the Monterey Historic Races at Laguna Seca, this GTS was raced by subsequent owner Steve Berg in North America before it was later acquired by Redford, who kept it for nearly a decade.”
As a contrast to such sports and supercars, Bonhams noted that a barn-found 1904 Pipe Serie E 145CV 4-cylinder rear-entrance tonneau with coachwork by Lucien Snutsel sold for three times its pre-sale estimate, “achieving a staggering €759,000 ($860,117).
“Offered from a single-family ownership from new and placed in storage at the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, the high-quality Belgian motor car had retained its original coachwork and was offered with the potential to be eligible for the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run or for preservation for future generations,” Bonhams said.
“As ever at the Bonhams Paris Sale, Veteran and pre-war motor cars proved popular with the attendant car connoisseurs and collectors with several appearing in the top ten and exceeding their top estimates,” the auction house added. “A time-warp 1921 Hispano-Suiza H6B Torpedo, offered from the Dolleschel Collection, achieved €402,500 ($461,426), while the ex-Bernard de Lassée 1913 S.P.A 25 HP Torpédo Sport made €396,750, ($454,834) nearly doubling its estimate.
Bonhams added that the 110 cars comprised the largest docket in the history of its Paris auction. Among those cars sold was a 2010 Tesla Roadster driven by Michael Schumacher in the Race of Champions event and sold in Paris for $158,203.
Top-10 sales, Bonhams Paris auction 2022
1. 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari coupe, $2,933,351
2. 1996 Bugatti EB110 GT coupe, $2,083,008
3. 1964 Porsche 904 GTS, $1,542,481
4. 1935 Bugatti Type 57 Vanvooren cabriolet, $883,301
5. 1904 Pipe Serie E 15CV 4-cylinder tonneau, $870,117
6. 1960 Aston Martin DB4 Series 2 coupe, $500,976
7. 1921 Hispano-Suiza H6B Torpedo, $461,426
8. 1913 S.P.A. 25HP Torpedo Sport, $454,834
9. 1902 Panhard & Levassor Type A2 7HP tonneau, $435,058
10. 1993 Jaguar XJ220, $382,324
(Prices include buyer’s fee)
Paul Darvill, Bonhams’ European auctions manager, noted that for the first time, the Paris sale included a watch auction with a pair of Heuer rally stopwatches mounted on an original Heuer dashboard plate selling for $20,420.
“Our debut auction at the Grand Palais Éphémère incorporated for the first time a successful watch auction, as well as the usual art display – showcasing the global Bonhams offering and our cross-departmental activities,” Darvill said.
Bonhams next Motoring Department auction is scheduled for March 3 on Amelia Island in Florida with its next European auction scheduled April 10 at the Members Meeting at Goodwood in the UK.