100 most interesting lots at Paris Rétromobile 2018 auctions
Rétromobile has been running at Parc des Expositions de la Porte de Versailles in Paris since 1976, when the most expensive car in the world cost less than $100,000 and long before the term retro had become fashionable. It is hence the center of the collector car universe and one of those places where auctions truly can throw up some remarkable objets d'automotive art. This year it did not disappoint.
Here's our pick of the 100 most interesting auction lots at the Paris Rétromobile auctions.
$2,156 (€1,760) | Ferrari F2008 Formula One Steering Wheel
Artcurial | Lot 51 | Auction Description
Estimates: €1,200 to €1,800
A limited edition (number 134 of 250) Ferrari F2008 Formula One steering wheel mounted on a red leather base, sold with a carrying case and a complete manual explaining the functions of the wheel. The F2008 designation indicates that this is identical to the steering wheels used in the Ferrari F2008 cars driven by Kimi Räikkönenand Felipe Massa during the 2008 season. The drivers championship was won by Lewis Hamilton in a McLaren, but the constructors title was taken by Ferrari that year.
$5,511 (€4,500) | World F1 Champion Coffee Table
Bonhams | Lot 186 | Auction Description
A piece of furniture with a compelling story, this coffee table (also advertised as a wine rack, we cannot attest as to whether wine bottles will fit in those bores) made from a Ford DFV 919 Formula One engine block. The engine was prepared by Nicholson McLaren Engines, and first used by motorcycle superstar turned car racer Mike Hailwood in the 1974 Belgian Grand Prix at Nivelles, where it finished seventh inside a McLaren M23.
If that's not enough, it was then used by Emerson Fittipaldi in winning the 1974 Canadian Grand Prix at Mosport Park, also inside a McLaren M23, but this time of far greater historical significance because this was the race in which Fittipaldi became World Formula One Drivers Champion. The engine was subsequently blown during a practice session and retired from active duty to become a coffee table.
$7,964 (€6,500) each | Original art by Jidéhem
Estimates: €5,000 to €8,000 each
If you live in the United States, or for that matter, outside of Europe, it may be difficult to comprehend the importance of matters automotive. In France, Germany and Great Britain, motor racing has for the last century been as much part of the daily conversation of the populace as the weather, and many automotive artifacts that are inconsequential in America, are of immense cultural importance in Europe.
This is one such example, where the tradition of narrative art in Europe and the publication of the weekly comic art Le Journal de Spirou resulted in a much loved series of automotive posters by Jean de Mesmaeker (Jidéhem). The original art of the posters which comprised the The Chronicle of Starter were up for grabs and they did not disappoint.
$16,899 (€13,800) | 1928 Bentley 4½-Liter Replica Child's Car
Bonhams | Lot 301 | Auction Description
Estimates: €5,000 to €7,000
This replica of a mid-1920s Bentley 4½-Liter racer was built in 2017 by a German enthusiast. The car is a 2/3 scale replica, and although a three meter length might seem large for children's car, the real 1920s Bentley 4½-liter is huge at 4.38 meters (172.4 in) in length. When it came time to choose a suitable prop alongside the main auction podium at Bonhams' Grand Palais auction, this car took pride of place. Full story
$19,134 (€15,625) | 1938 Bugatti 57 SC Atlantic model
Bonhams | Lot 192 | Auction Description
Number 12 of a limited edition of 99 one eighth scale models commissioned by Ralph Lauren, one of just three people in the world to own a real Bugatti 57 SC Atlantic, which just coincidentally, is a black one and can be seen here.