(2016 sale) World record price for a motor car at Retromobile

Published on by Elodie Chauderlot - updated on

Over two days, Friday 5 and Saturday 6 February 2016, visitors to the Retromobile Salon experienced the full excitement of Artcurial Motorcars Retromobile 2016 sale.

The auction, presented with brio by Hervé Poulain, Matthieu Lamoure and Pierre Novikoff, realised 56 137 898 € / 43 192 611 £ / 62 646 564 $, with 80 % of lots sold. This is an increase of 21% on last year’s record sale that starred the memorable Baillon Collection, and thus Artcurial is once again responsible for the largest ever sale of collectors’ cars in continental Europe.

Hervé Poulain, auctioneer and Honorary President of Artcurial declared: "This sale is a real achievement. This record by Artcurial Motorcars establishes the automobile as one of the Arts and Paris as one of the international auction venues."

"We are incredibly proud of the results of this historic sale in France, home to the Automobile, and in Paris, the world’s capital for Collectors’ Cars during the winter season. I am delighted by the public’s growing passion and enthusiasm for these collectors' cars, objects that require such attention and love. And it is exactly this love of beautiful machines, an eclectic mix catering for all tastes and budgets, and above all the insistence on high quality, that marks out Artcurial Motorcars. We look forward to seeing you at our next sale at Le Mans Classic!" added Matthieu Lamoure, Managing Director of Artcurial Motorcars.

With 17 nationalities represented, close to 375 people registered to bid in the room, with another 150 telephone bidders, and the sale was watched by more than 12 000 on the internet. Over 3 000 people packed into the saleroom on the first day to watch the spectacular show orchestrated by Artcurial Motorcars.
International collectors were responsible for over 78 % of the sale total. Indeed it was an international collector who, just after 18h50, following a tense bidding battle lasting eleven minutes, succeeded in winning the unique 1957 Ferrari 335 S Scaglietti, from the Pierre Bardinon Collection, for 32 075 200 € / 24 693 782 £ / 35 711 359$, including premium. This exceptional motor car became the most expensive car ever to sell at auction (in euros and sterling). A separate press release on this car is available.

During the first part of the sale on Friday 6 February, some 124 automobiles came under the gavel, allowing Artcurial to secure 7 new world auction records, including the highest price for a Facel, for the 1954 Vega 54 Prototype V (lot 133), which sold for 500 600 € / 558 644 $. The Artcurial Motorcars Department sold 13 cars for over 500 000 €, including 4 above 1M€, such as the stunning 1986 Ferrari Testarossa Spider Valeo, ex Gianni Agnelli, (lot 116) that made 1 210 100 € / 1 350 411 $, and the 1963 Aston Martin DB4 convertible Series 5 (lot 157) that sold for 1 473 200 € / 1 644 017 $.

While Minis proved their continued popularity at auction (lots 151, 152, 153) with some very strong prices, the pre-war models and the great coachbuilders also attracted great interest. The 1956 Talbot Lago Sport 2500 (lot 186) changed hands for 381 400 € / 425 623 $, and the 1939 Graham Paige Type 97 Supercharged Cabriolet by Pourtout that had belonged to the family of Françoise Sagan (lot 192) sold for 166 900 € / 186 252 $.

The two Bugatti EB 110 SS in the sale both achieved record prices (lots 211 and 212), selling for 929 800 € / 1 037 610 $ and 941 700 € / 1 050 890 $ respectively.

And finally, an unusual highlight of the sale was the classic yacht from 1903, Moonbeam III, known as « Moonbeam of Fife » . The « Rolls-Royce of the Sea » found a new owner for 1 107 100 € / 1 235 468 $ including premium (lot 175).

The second part of the sale, on Saturday 6 February at 15h00, saw a selection of 48 historic Citroën automobiles, including 40 from the collection of André Trigano, who drove one of his favourite cars onto the stage : a 1939 Traction 11 B Cabriolet (lot 332) which sold several minutes later for 166 800 € / 186 252 $ including premium.
The public arrived in huge numbers to view this collection of cars presenting the history of the popular French marque. From the Citroën Type A, a pioneer of the early 1920s, to the amiable 5CV Trèfle, the legendary Traction, the popular 2CV in various forms and colours, the avant-garde DS, and through to the exclusive CX of the 1980s, an example of almost every model was offered in the sale. 98% of the lots sold.

By the end of the three-hour sale, Artcurial Motorcars had set 6 new world auction recordsincluding 166 880€ / 186 252 $ for the 1939 Citroën Traction 11B Cabriolet (lot 332) and 172 800 € / 192 836 $ for the celebrated Citroën 2 CV Sahara (lot 348).

Automobilia was an extra highlight, with the first of two sales taking place in the morning of Saturday 6 February. On Sunday 7 February, there will be a second sale dedicated of 600 mascots from the former collection of Pasquale Giordano. The watchmaker Bréguet’s museum acquired a rare clock made specially for Bugatti circa 1932 for 78 000 € / 87 043 $ including premium.

Following this highly succesful start to the year, Artcurial Motorcars is already preparing for its next sale which will take place on 9 July at Le Mans Classic.

Download the press release