Beneath the absolutely stunning vaulted ironwork of the Grand Palais, where the very first Paris Motor Show was staged in 1901, the late Lord Raglans much exercised Bugatti T51 Grand Prix 2-Seater realised 943,000 euros (£792,120), 143,000 euros more than Bonhams had forecast at the 5 February auction, reports Richard Hudson-Evans.
The 1930 Type 46 with Cabriolet coachwork crafted by Figoni, also consigned from the estate of the Past Chairman of the Bugatti Owners Club, made a better than expected 333,500 euros (£280,140). While a 1930 Type 46 Faux Cabriolet by Veth & Zoon from another vendor found an above estimate 633,500 euros (£531,300).
Although both the Luigi Scarfiotti Scuderia Ferrari 1930 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport Spyder and the ex-Cecchini/Campari 1929 6C 1750 Supersport Spyder failed to pull here, a chopped to Race Spider in period, but now restored back to original Fixed Head form 1966 Porsche 906 Carrera did sell for 747,500 euros (£627,900).
Other big number sellers on a Saturday afternoon in the French capital included a mint 1937 Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet C sold for a mid-estimate 506,000 euros (£425,040), a glossy 1992 Rolls-Royce Phantom VI MPW Landaulette for 483,000 euros (£405,720), a Canadian restored 1960 Ferrari 250GT Series 2 Pininfarina Cabriolet for 381,800 euros (£320,712), a 2007 restored 1933 Bugatti T49 Van Rijswijk Cabriolet for 356,500 euros (£299,460), a stately 1911 Delaunay-Belleville 25hp Rothschild Landaulette for 287,500 euros (£241,500) and a restored awhile ago 1973 Ferrari 365GTB/4 Daytona Berlinetta for 276,000 euros (£231,840).
A new world record price was paid for a Fixed Head version of the Aston Martin DB2/4 when the Feltham-built left-hand drive Coupe first supplied to HM King Baudouin of Belgium in 1955 found 333,500 euros (£280,140). And the 1961 Paris Salon exhibited Pininfarina design concept Jacqueline Cadillac Coupe named in honour of the wife of newly elected US President JFK attracted 212,750 euros (£178,710).
By sale end at this historic location, Bonhams had sold 55 cars under the hammer, 62% of the 89 entered, for a sale total of £8.01m (which includes buyers premium but not TVA on the premium), the average spent per vehicle being £145,634.
Sale statistics: 55 cars sold/89 entered, 62% sale rate, £8,009,879 sale total includes 15% buyers