Bonhams Drives Through The Record Books With a 10 Million Euro Paris Sale

Bonhams France SAS held its first auction in France yesterday evening (9 February 2008). The spectacular “drive-through” sale of 70 ‘Automobiles d’Exception’ in Paris achieved 9,789,958 Euros (£7,298,000) – an increase of 40% over any previous Rétromobile auction.

Following an extremely busy three-day view, crowds of people filled the seats and lined the aisles in Bonhams’ saleroom to witness the exquisite selection of cars being driven across the auction block. Star of Bonhams’ first European drive-through auction was the 1928 Mercedes ‘S’ Type – commissioned with bodywork by Parisian coachbuilders J Saoutchik. Returning to France for the first time in 80 years, it sold for 2,317,500 Euros and was bought by a private European bidder in the room.

The famed ‘Pim Hascher’ Collection attracted interest from around the world realising over 1.8 million Euros in total. The well-known 1929 BugattiType 43 returned to Holland after a spirited auction battle for 1.33 million Euros – a world record price for the model.

Bidders paused while they were entertained by a film of celebrated French artist Georges Mathieu’s elegant 1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Cabriolet being driven around Paris. After 50 years of ownership Mathieu’s Muse will cross the Atlantic for 887,500 Euros.

The ex-Barbra Streisand 1926 Rolls-Royce that had been driven to the venue from the UK provoked a spirited bidding battle and sold to the crowd’s applause for 134,550 Euros. The Monte Carlo and East African Safari Rally, 1973 Porsche 2.7 Carrera RS Coupe 911 also attracted interest, selling for 293,500 Euros – a world auction record for a 2.7 RS Touring.

Commissaire-Priseur Maître Marielle Digard, and Bonhams’ Specialists Philip Kantor and Matthieu Lamoure presented this ground-breaking sale.

James Knight, Managing Director of the Bonhams motoring department, comments: ” We are delighted with the results of our first sale in France. This is a fabulous start to the year, with one of the most successful auctions our European department has ever held. The combination of a prestigious venue and exceptional motor cars proved to be a winning formula. We would like to thank Pierre Rageys and his team at Rétromobile and look forward to returning here next year on 7 February ”