The Ferrari Owners’ Club
of Great Britain

Postcard from Retromobile 2020

23-02-2020

Report by Edward Brown, images by Edward Brown

Now in its 45th year Salon Retromobile at the Porte de Versailles Expo, in South Central Paris, has long-offered the enthusiast some much needed, winter “fumes” and, as an annual attendee, the opportunity to combine a much celebrated event, three collectors car auctions, significant marque and dealer displays, with the opportunity to explore a stunning city, whilst not forgetting to collect those essential car parts!

With 122,000 visitors over the five days, this year’s event celebrated the following automotive landmarks:

Alfa Romeo’s 110th birthday – long-established, Swiss dealer, Lukas Huni presented a stunning display of the marque’s pre and post- war, road and racing history, including a sublime and versatile 8C2300 Spyder, the very potent ex-Scuderia Ferrari P3 monoposto and its younger brother, the unique, 510bhp, 1935 Scuderia Ferrari Alfa Romeo SF48 Bimotore. Justifiably occupying a sizeable pitch in the main Hall, it attracted much attention over the weekend and was definitely my “stand of the event”.

25 years of the McLaren F1 – designed by pre-eminent Formula One designer and 2020 Retromobile attendee, Dr Gordon Murray; the Woking, UK built three-seater, is seen by many as the modern incarnate of the legendary Ferrari 250GTO. Ardent enthusiast and noted watchmaker, Richard Mille presented four chassis on his stand, including the 1995 Le Mans winning GTR, alongside a newly restored road car, complemented by an example of the road-legal 1968 M6B GT.

105 years of Maserati – variously celebrated across the show halls, by displays of two examples of the immortal fifties, 250F F1 single seater which helped Juan Manuel Fangio to his ‘54 & ‘57 World Championships and an immaculate MC12 Corse (one of just 12 built), offered freshly serviced by London-based, Girardo & Co.

Gruppo Bertone – a major Italian car styling and coachbuilding company, which celebrated its centenary in 2012 and sadly closed its doors two years later. Their contribution to automobile history has included legendary designs, the peerless Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Speciale, the exceptional 308GT4, the sublime Lamborghini’s Miura and Countach and the distinctive Alfa Romeo BAT Coupes. In partnership with the Automotoclub Storico Italiano (ASI), the show featured ten extraordinary prototypes – including the 1969 Autobianchi Runabout, the 1976 Ferrari Rainbow (built on a 308GT4 chassis) and the 1988 Lamborghini Genesis. An outstanding exhibition made possible by the Italian government.

Auction results:
Bonhams, Le Grand Palais (https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/26005/):
€19,693,000 (their best ever Paris) sales total, 64% sell-through-rate
1 1931 Bugatti Type 55 Two-Seat Supersport by Figoni€4,600,000
2 1935 Mercedes-Benz 500K Cabriolet A €1,610,000
3 1931 Invicta 4 ½ Litre S-Type Low Chassis Sports €1,610,000
4 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster €1,033,333
5 1934 Talbot AV105 Brooklands Sports Racer€879,750
6 1955 Alfa Romeo 1900C SZ Coupé by Zagato €724,500
7 1952 Pegaso Z-102 Cabriolet€713,000
8 2009 MAT New Stratos Coupé €690,000
9 1937 Horch 853 Spezialroadster €563,500
10 1937 Maybach SW38 Special Roadster €517,500

Artcurial, Porte de Versailles (https://www.artcurial.com/en/sale-3980-retromobile-2020):
€23 million sales total, 72% sell-through-rate
Top ten sales, including commission + VAT
1 1965 Ferrari 275 GTB/C6 #6785 €2,502,800
2 1966 Porsche 906 €1,730,600
3 1983 Ferrari F1 126 C3-#068 €1,438,900
4 1991 Ferrari F40 €1,112,800
5 1993 Jaguar XJ220 Le Mans€1,085,800
6 1936 Delahaye 135 Special Roadster Biplace€917,800
7 1965 AC Cobra 289 Roadster   €751,000
8 1934 Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet by Vanvooren€500,600
9 1911 Mariquita by William Fife & Sons (Yacht)€500,600
10 1968 AC Cobra 427 Roadster €399,300

RM Sothebys, Les Invalides, Place Vauban (https://rmsothebys.com/en/home/lots/pa20):
€16.5 million sales total, 75% sell-through-rate
Top ten sales, including commission + VAT:
1 1958 BMW 507 Roadster Series II €1,996,250
2 1964 Porsche 904 GTS €1,917,500
3 2012 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport €1,523,750
4 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing €1,073,750
5 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster €764,375

6/2/20 Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award
1958 Ferrari 335 Sport, s/n 0764 owned by Andreas Mohringer,

Retromobile has long been established as one of Europe’s finest collector’s car events and for those Stateside, tourists or sun-worshippers, the equally popular Amelia Island Concours (https://www.ameliaconcours.org/) is but two weeks away, celebrating the career of one of motor-racing’s most successful Driver/Owner/Team Principal/Businessman/Collectors…and the new owner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Roger Penske.