Artcurial's Monaco Auction picked a tough gig this year when it was held on the same weekend as the Goodwood Festival of Speed. With Europe's most enthusiastic motoring enthusiasts converging on the Lord March's house for the world's largest automotive garden party, many treasures went unsold, though the location and Artcurial's growing strength in the European marketplace means there are always gems which turn up. Read on, because there were some very interesting cars at this auction.
We've included all the big selling cars, but also some of the less expensive but more interesting cars, too
$2,021,474 (€ 1,769,300) | 1974 Porsche Carrera RSR 3
The Porsche RSR (Renn Sport Racing) was the dominant force in GT racing during the 1970s, with wins at the Daytona 24 Hours, Sebring 12 Hours, Tour de France and the European GT Championship. This car had a major competition profile in the period, competing in seven Daytona 24 hour events and seven Sebring 12 Hour events without a major mishap, and with a string of podium or just off podium placings. Now fully restored. Auction Description
No sale | 1962 Ferrari 250 GT Convertible Series II
A sign the market is in a malaise at present is the failure to sell this car, which presented in concours condition and an estimate of €1,400,000 to €1,600,000. Auction Description
No sale | 2009 Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport
Though the Bugatti Grand Veyron Sport has been the fastest convertible in the world since 2009 when it was released, and the first one at auction sold for more than $3 million, it has been all down hill on the auction block ever since and of the handful that have reached auction, very few have sold. This one had an estimate of just €1,400,000 to €1,600,000 but still didn't sell. Auction Description
$616,508 (€539,600) | 2015 Ferrari 458 Speciale Aperta
The final variant of the Ferrari 458 was the 605 hp Speciale Aperta, produced in a run of just 499 cars and heavily oversubscribed at dealerships worldwide. This particular car, with €80,000 worth of options and just 4,200 km on the odometer since it was delivered in October 2015 was highly sought after and sold at above new price. Auction Description
$493,229 (€431,700) | 2005 Saleen S7 R
This car is an unregistered competition version of the Saleen S7 with three FIA GT wins to its credit (2006 500 km Brno, 2006 500 km Hungaroring and 2007 San Luis Two Hours) under the famous Zakspeed banner. It was sold fully restored in original Zakspeed livery as it raced successfully a decade ago, along with lots of spares. Auction Description
No sale | 1953 Tojeiro Tray
If you've never heard of a Tojiero, you're probably not alone, but keep reading because the story is a good one. John Tojiero was a highly respected automotive engineer who had a great deal of success in the 1950s and 1960s, particularly when working with Team Ecurie Ecosse.
This car is one of three cars built by Tojiero with a chassis so promising that it was licensed to AC Engineering. AC used it to develop the AC Ace, which was then further developed by a fellow named Carroll Shelby into a car named the AC Cobra. That is, this car is one of three grandfathers to the legendary Shelby Cobra, though the significant provenance did not translate on the auction block and it failed to make reserve on an estimate of €400,000 to €600,000. Auction Description
No sale | 2001 Lamborghini Diablo VT 6.O Special Edition
The Lamborghini Diablo was the first of the raging bulls to be capable of 200 mph and this particular car was the first of the final series of the Diablo, appearing as the show car at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show.
One of just 42 built in this series, it was produced under Volkswagen ownership but during the period before the marque's production numbers skyrocketed. Likely to appreciate well on the auction block in the future, it nonetheless failed to make reserve and did not sell against an estimate of €300,000 to €400,000. Auction Description
$438,388 (€383,700) | 1967 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2
Fully restored in 2014 but with the original leather upholstery retained due to exceptional condition, this true Grand Tourer was one of the few cars to exceed expectations on the day. Auction Description
$397,371 (€347,800) | 2005 Ford GT
An exceptional example of the GT40-inspired supercar, with original everything and just 7,750 miles (12,500 km) on the clock. Auction Description
No sale | 2015 Mercedes-Benz SL 63 AMG World Championship Collectors Lewis Hamilton Edition
When Mercedes-Benz swept all before it in the first season of the hybrid era in 2014, winning 16 of 19 races, it produced two limited edition versions of the SL 63 AMG to commemorate the occasion – 19 cars each personalized to specs designated by the two drivers, at €380,000 each.
This car is one of the Lewis Hamilton versions and given he won the title, you'd think it would be a worthy "keeper" that would appreciate with vintage. It might be a little too soon to see the value in this car on the auction block, but it has never been driven, and the odometer has the original 28 km showing when the factory had tested the car prior to delivery. It crossed the block with an estimate of €290,000 to €350,000 but failed to make reserve. Auction Description
$267,123 (€233,800) | 1958 Lancia Aurelia B24S Cabriolet
Given that Lancia Aurelia B24S regularly sell for much more than this, and this car is believed to be (though unconfirmed) the 1958 Paris Motor Show car and came with a hard-top and extensive documentation, someone bought really well. The 2.5-liter V6 engine and superb handling of the car saw the coupe version win many major rally events in period, including the Monte Carlo Rally and Targa Florio. Auction Description
No sale | 1997 Formula One Arrows A18 ex Damon Hill
Estimated to sell for between €170,000 and €200,000, this 20-year-old F1 car was driven in 1997 by the reigning champion Damon Hill. It was a lower-tier team but nonetheless achieved some good results during the year. It didn't sell, perhaps due to being fitted with an Asiatec motor instead of the original but temperamental Yamaha V10. Auction Description
$205,198 (€179,600) | 1986 Porsche Ruf BTR Cabriolet
A rare RUF convertible with outstanding performance and just 13,367 km covered since it was Ruffed in 1992. Great value. Auction Description
$191,830 (€167,900) | 1963 Jaguar Type E 3.8L Roadster
A Series I E-type that was restored over time by a professional mechanic for his own use. The mechanic specialized in repairing rally cars, so with the expertise gained from bending crashed race cars into shape, every panel fits perfectly and it is a beautiful example of the original Type E, with just 5,745 km traveled since the restoration was completed. Auction Description
$191,830 (€167,900) | 1982 Renault 5 Turbo Compétition client 'Cévennes'
A genuine client-competition "Cevennes" Renault 5 Turbo with a known and successful racing history and only two owners from new. It could easily have fetched more. The history of the car is detailed in the Auction Description.
No sale | 2003 Bentley Arnage T 'Station Wagon' One-Off 4WD
We've covered this car in much greater detail in a separate article, but in short, it's a genuine one-off, based on the twin-turbo 6.7 liter Bentley Arnage, with the body modified to become a "shooting brake," then reworked inside and out by no less than Pininfarina. In total, the owner spent $900,000 getting it the way he wanted it 15 years ago, and it went to auction with an estimate of €80,000 to €160,000 and failed to make reserve. Auction Description
$146,586 (€128,300) | 1965 Mercedes-Benz 300 SE Cabriolet
With only 708 units built, this 1965 Mercedes-Benz 300 SE Cabriolet was delivered new to the United States before being acquired, taken to Europe, fully restored and registered in Monaco for the owner's use on the French Riviera. Auction Description
$102,759 (€89,940) | 1958 Fiat 600 Jolly by Ghia
There are numerous examples of the Fiat Jolly selling for above $100,000, possibly due to them being the ideal car for warm climates and their relative scarcity. Another factor was the number of celebrities who drove them in the late 1950s and 1960s at a time when the paparazzi were just beginning to supply candid shots of the rich and famous to photo magazines.
Regularly photographed in their Jollys were President Lyndon B. Johnson, Mae West, Aristotle Onassis, Yul Brynner, John Wayne, Grace Kelly, Henry Ford II, Mary Pickford, Gianni Agnelli, and James Inglis. So although it isn't a surprise to see a Jolly fetch six figures, given that the base car was not a luxury car, it still is an astounding result. Just for the record, the record for a Jolly at auction is held by Gooding & Co which sold a 1960 Fiat Jolly for $170,500 in Scottsdale in 2015. Auction Description
$84,947 (€74,350) | 1998 Ferrari F355 GT Ex Jean-Paul Belmondo
Given this car sold within the range expected of the model at auction, and was sold new to famous French actor Jean-Paul Belmondo, it will retain its value better than most in the longer term. Auction Description
$83,577 (€73,151) | 1991 Porsche 928 GT Ex-Johnny Hallyday
A rare GT version of the 928 with factory sunroof and leather interior, a recent coat of paint and a general freshen. The most significant aspect of the car is that it was sold new to Johnny Hallyday, the French Elvis, so it will retain its value better than most. Auction Description
$60,285 (€52,765) | 1995 Honda NSX
Known as the Acura NSX in America, the NSX was Honda's first supercar and the first mass-produced car with an all-aluminum body. Most importantly, the NSX is a gem to drive, being sweet and docile to drive in traffic and awesome to drive fast. It is also a low maintenance supercar and everything suggests the NSX would make an ideal collectors car except for the production volumes.
Despite 18,000 being produced worldwide, very few of these cars appear at auction and the prices achieved do not seem commensurate with the value. Auction Description
$49,324 (€43,171) | 1965 Mini Moke MKI
The Fiat Jolly has long been on the radar of automotive collectors, but not so the quite similar Mini Moke. Indeed, the Moke has never been a favorite at auction and we can only find a couple that have sold for more than $20,000 and one stand-out that sold for $49,500 at RM-Sotheby's Amelia Island auction in 2014. By our reckoning, that price represents the world record price for a Moke, and this car went within a gnat's whisker of taking the record.
There is no special provenance surrounding this car, so perhaps it is an outlier, or perhaps it is a much cheaper alternative to the Fiat Jolly in the playground of the riviera where the Jolly made a name for itself. Auction Description
$23,022 (€20,150) | Ayrton Senna's helmet
Regarded by many as the most talented racing driver of all-time, Ayrton Senna memorabilia is rare and almost always very expensive, which makes this memento quite a bargain. Senna was a keen motorcyclist and this was his personal motorcycle helmet, specially made for him by Bell and decorated in his trademark racing colors. Auction Description
$10,397 (€9,100) | Michael Schumacher's race suit
A genuine Michael Schumacher race suit from the 1999-2001 period that was purchased at a charity auction in 2016 after being donated to the auction by Alain Prost. Estimated to fetch between €3,000 and €5,000, the €9,100 final price was still very reasonable considering the provenance of four-time-champ Prost and seven-time-champ Schumacher. Auction Description