Of the three Retromobile auctions in Paris this year, Artcurial's was by far the biggest with over twice as much in total sales as RM and Bonhams. At €46,544,273 ($53,101,198), the total sales figure was the highest ever for a collector car auction in continental Europe and significantly greater than the €29 million realized last year. Artcurial also achieved an impressive 89% sell-through rate.
The buzz for this auction started months ago when Artcurial announced the discovery of five-dozen cars from the Roger Baillon collection in western France. One of the all-time great barn findds, it included some fantastic French coachbuilt and other classic European automobiles, including a remarkably well preserved 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider with the desirable closed headlights that was buried under a pile of magazines.
The Baillon cars were displayed separately in all their dusty, original glory and all of them sold. The California Spider was the biggest sale not just at Artcurial but at all of the Retromobile sales, and it brought €16,300,000 ($18,586,482). A Frua-bodied Maserati A6G 2000, also from the Baillon collection, brought €2,000,000 ($2,280,550). Two Saoutchik-bodied Talbo-Lago T26s from the collection also found spots in the top ten with a 1949 Grand Sport SWB at €1,700,000 ($1,938,467) and a 1948 Record Cabriolet at €745,000 ($849,504).
Other notable sales included a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB at €1,900,000 ($2,166,522) and a Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada at €1,200,000 ($1,368,330), nearly double Artcurial's pre-sale estimate. Given the solid sell-through rate, the fact that several record auction prices were achieved, and the massive amount of publicity given to Artcurial by the treasures of the Baillon collection, this can be considered a very successful sale.
- 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spider (closed headlight) sold for €16,300,000 ($18,586,482)
- 1956 Maserati A6G 2000 Gran Sport Berlinetta byFrua sold for €2,000,000 ($2,280,550)
- 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Longnose Coupe sold for €1,900,000 ($2,166,522)
- 1949 Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport SWB by Saoutchik sold for €1,700,000 ($1,938,467)
- 1938 Mercedes-Benz 380 K Cabriolet A sold for €1,400,000 ($1,596,385)
- 1968 Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada sold for €1,200,000 ($1,368,330)
- 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster sold for €929,800 ($1,060,227)
- 1962 Maserati 3500 GT Spider Vignale sold for €858,200 ($978,582)
- 1961 Maserati 3500 GT Spider Vignale sold for €834,400 ($951,445)
- 1948 Talbot-Lago Record T26 Cabriolet by Saoutchik sold for €745,000 ($849,504)
Artcurial's next classic car auction will be the Sur Le Champs sale on June 14, 2015.