An extensively exhibited 1966 Ferrari Dino206P Prototype crossed the Artcurial auction block at Retromobile to sell for an auction week topping 4.29m euros (£3.65m with premium) chased by a Farina and Sommer raced 1948 166 Sports-Racer which made 2.89m euros (£2.46m). Both Ferraris were hammered away Without Reserve.
Other big money prices during the £26.67m 72% sold marathon session, which took 8 hours and was watched by 3000 personnes in the sale hall plus 15,237 more viewers on the ‘live’ internet-cast, were a 1972 Lamborghini Miura SV Bull valued by a new Toreador at 2.33m euros (£1.98m in devalued Sterling), a still shapely 1935 Bugatti 57 Atalante Decouvrable dispersed from the Herve and Martine Ogliastro Collection for 2.23m euros (£1.93m), and a two owners since 1987 Porsche 959 Komfort investment with 26,000k on the odo changed portfolos for 1.2m euros (£935k).
The Paris sales again kicked off with a £21.74m evening in the RM Sotheby’s packed, but up-market tent pitched beside Place Vauban with the Tour Eifel twinkling outside, where 78% of the more contemporary rolling assets found new shareholders. Although first place in the GP was taken by a forever racey Alfa Romeo Tipo B P3 of 1934 vintage which scraped over the lower estimate line to sell for 3.92m euros (£3.32m), pursued by a genuine Ferrari-opened 1973 Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona Spider captured for 2.16m euros (£1.83m).
Another Porsche 959 performed well at auction with a 1988 Sport making 1.96m euros with premium (£1.67m) and a reassuringly Ferrrari Classiche certified 1965 Ferrari 275GTB in refreshingly original Pino Verde realised 1.93m euros (£1.64m). The 1.344m euros (£1.14m!) performance of a 1995 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabrio was awesome and a 1962 Ferrari 250GT S2 Cabrio also overtook its estimate band to sell for 1.23m euros (£1.05m).
The 901,600 euros (£766,360) invested in the present, let alone the future of a 1994 Porsche 911 Turbo S 3.6 was another milestone valuation and a higher than guide price 750,400 euros (£637,840) was forthcoming for a 2012 Aston Martin V12 Zagato, ‘Number Zero’ no less. While the going rate in Paris this year for a production 1969 Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona was 705,600 euros (£599,760), the only known pre-911 1964 Prototype Porsche 901 Cabriolet that had never been offered for public sale before made 649,600 euros (£552,160).
True Brits meanwhile led the Bonhams £12.7m results in the truly historic Grand Palais, under whose vast glazed steelwork the first Motor Show was held in 1901. Among 99 changes of ownership, a 1935 Le Mans raced Aston Martin Ulster sold for 2.02m euros (£1.71m) and a still stunning 1957 Bentley S1 Continental Convertible by Park Ward cleared the magic 1m euros barrier at 1.07m euros (£900,075). One of 640 factory-built ‘Le Mans’ specified Austin-Healey 100Ms, a 1956 left-hand drive BN2 with rare hardtop and a 2012 Mille Miglia Retrospective finisher, raised 189,750 euros (£161,288).
A 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing changed nests for 1.02m euros (£864,168), a 1939-built Maybach SW-38 Spezial Cabrio that survived WW2 fetched 627,750 euros (£571,838) and a 1923 Bugatti T27 Brescia Torpedo 506,000 euros (£430,100). AStradale version of the 1977 Lancia Stratos achieved 373,750 euros (£317,688) and a 1983 Renault 5 Turbo Group Bthat finished 6th on the 1986 Tour de Corse rallied to a 195,500 euros (£165,750) result.
Many even more mega prices were paid for high value stock on top car dealers stands at Retromobile itself, so the Parisian vibes from both the auction and retail sectors of the classic car market are still positive enough not to make the professionally negative BBC News. For the moment at least, old automobiles might therefore be able to continue motoring onwards in a nostalgic haze without a red flag in sight. Although hot exhaust gases are no longer cool with the climate change lobby and both the Mayors of Paris and London have been politically empowered by their electorates to change the future by at least taxing and ultimately banning such old world practices as ours.