Artcurial Rétromobile Highlights

The Artcurial auction at Rétromobile in Paris had a high sell-through rate with a variety of interesting cars. Unfortunately, we only had time to feature two of them. First was the 1938 Horch 853 Cabriolet that ended up selling for $520,732, slightly exceeding its pre-sale estimate. Our other feature car was the awe-inspiring 1913 Delaunay-Belleville that has been in the same family since new – almost 100 years. Artcurial provided a rather large range for the car’s estimate and it sold right in the middle for $600,834.

There were numerous really interesting cars (I keep mentioning that, don’t I?). Some were extravagantly priced while others were downright affordable, like this 1965 Renault 4 that was modified to a convertible shortly after purchase. Renault did produce a 4 convertible – called the Plein Air, but this car pre-dates that model. It sold for $16,690.

The next car was not, well, affordable. But it certainly is jaw-dropping. It’s a 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet B with a 180 horsepower 5.4 liter straight-8. This particular car was once in the Rockefeller family and has an awesome paint scheme with black and silver with red highlights. It was the second top seller at $629,961.

A quartet of interesting pre-war cars from lesser-known manufacturers than Mercedes-Benz include this 1908 Lorraine Dietrich 12 HP Touring car. It sold for $72,831.

Even older is this London-to-Brighton eligible 1898 (or 1899) Decauville Voiturelle. It’s an early French car that appears to be quite rudimentary by today’s standards. But this was quite a vogue car back in 1898 when over 600 of them were sold. I’m sure they cost a lot less in the 19th century than the $106,212 it went for in Paris in 2012.

The 1912 Gobron-Brillie 12 CV Torpedo Skiff by Rothschild (below) had been on sale in St. Louis at Hyman Ltd. for $325,000. It’s the only one in existence and it could have been yours for $273,117. That’s about a $50,000 savings over buying it off the lot.

The cheapest car (by price) in the entire auction (including motorcycles and scooters) was this 1933 Rosengart LR4 Torpedo that missed its estimate and was sold for $6,828.

Slightly newer is this 1969 Alpine A110 1600 Coupe – a great looking car with racing pedigree. It sold for $84,970.

Cisitalia is best known for their 202 road car and even their monoposto race cars. But they also built about 15 of the 33 DF Voloradente model in the mid-1950s. This 1954 model brought $189,665.

Something I personally thought was really cool was this 1977 Fiat 131 Abarth Rally – a homologation rally car built for the street. 500 were built with a 140 horsepower 2.0-liter straight-4. It’s boxy, so you know it means business. Sale price: $71,314.

Top sale of the auction (which it as by nearly a factor of 10) was this 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spyder. It sold for $5,740,248. The average price for a LWB California Spyder over the past five or so years is about $3.4 million. Prices are rising.

Two other Italian gems were this aluminum-bodied 1967 Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada – one of only 72 alloy 5300 GTs. A very desirable car, selling for $447,608.

The other was this 1947 Fiat 1100 S MM by Rappi. It’s eligible for all kinds of historic events including the Mille Miglia. These cars are very rare and, although it only has 51 horsepower, they are apparently quite fun – and stylish. $166,905.

This auction also featured more than a dozen rare cars in their original condition. Multiple cars from Talbot-Lago, Hotchkiss, Panhard, Talbot, and Salmson. Most were sedans from the late 1940s and early 1950s. They all looked stately and dusty and ready to be freshened and brought back to life. Prices ranged from about $27,000-$90,000 for the cars as they were in various conditions. None of them were especially extravagant, but the one that keeps catching my eye as I look through the results was the last lot in the sale – this 1939 Hotchkiss 686 Chantilly Limousine. It is in need of a restoration – but imagine how good it would look all prettied up. It sold as is for $39,450.

For complete results, click here.

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