Original Beetle sells for more than French snails in Paris sales

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

Auctions Commentary from CCFS Market Analyst Richard Hudson-Evans

Richard Hudson-Evans

Richard Hudson-Evans

Rare spit rear screen Volkswagen Type 1 Beetle, a mainly one owner and unmolested ‘original’ driven only 77,000 kilometres from new in 1952, flew past a trio of Citroen 2CVs to sell for 58,240 euros (equating to £49,594 including RM Sotheby’s premium) during the three Paris sales, which were not just all about mega-million investment automobiles.

For 118,266 personnes were sufficiently enthusiastic about old motors to pore over more than 500 voitures on display within the 65,000 square metres of Salon Retromobile. For this was where an only 40 kilometres from new 1990 2CV Charleston, a one Citroen dealer owned escargot that had been spared the reality de la route and tucked away for a sunny Friday day in Paris Expo was hammered by Artcurial for 52,200 euros (£44,370 in our now less valuable currency and digitally captured below).

But then the preceding lot, a 2CV Dolly Edition of 1990 vintage from the same Citroen dealership principal with a mere 30k on the odo, had just sold for 41,760 euros (£35,496). While much earlier in the 8 hour marathon drive-past that grossed 34m euros, a 1956 2CV AZ ‘Rallye’ with renewed floorpan and a skid-plate beneath the engine from restoration for historic rallying, which it had never been subjected to, had sold for 31,320 euros (£26,622).

Back in the international isolation of Brexitland however, such heady valuations for very French 2CVs were not being matched. For during Sunday Trading in Somerset within an unglamorous unit on the Royal Bath & West Showground at Shepton Mallet, a 1977 2CV with many panels repaired or replaced, and a new set of seat covers and matching door cards, was sold by Charterhouse for £6600, and a 1985 2CV 6 Charleston with previously galvanised chassis transplant was hammered away to a new Snail Keeper for an even more modest £1210.

Such huge variations highlight the widening differences between two very different cultures and economies on dividing sides of the once Norman, but still English Channel.  It remains to be seen whether much French will be spoken in British auction tents this summer. For to tempt Gallic palates, one of only 100 surviving twin engined, four-wheel drive 1965 Citroen 2CV Saharas comes to auction market at the upcoming Practical Classics Classic Car and Restoration Show at the NEC in Brum. Auctioneers.  Classic Car Auctions estimate that their 4WD 2CV consignment, which has actually crossed the Sahara twice apparently and been the subject of a full body-off resto in the UK in 2012, will cost a Citroen fanatic an air-cooled £60,000-65,000 when it crosses the CCA auction block 1st and 2nd April. Although nothing is certain in this world, of course, or the next.

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