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Circuit des 24 Heures, Le Mans, 9 July, 2015

Since 2010 Artcurial Motorcars has been attracting French and international collectors to the highly prestigious Le Mans Classic, held on one of the most famous circuits in the world. The fourth edition of this biennial sale, taken by Maitre Hervé Poulain, and aided by Matthieu Lamoure and Pierre Novikoff, realised €9,007,016 / $9,907,718, with 73 % selling, including the collectors’ cars section which accounted for €8,717,752 / $9,589,567.

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A variety of cars chosen to appeal to visitors at this unmissable motor racing event was on offer, including a 1977 Porsche factory competition client 935, a 1966 McLaren MIB and original posters for the film Le Mans by Lee H. Katzin starring Steve McQueen…

The sale was held in a packed saleroom while the motor racing was taking place outside, and included 10 lots that sold for more than 200 000 €, including three above 500 000 €.

Matthieu Lamoure, Managing Director, Artcurial Motorcars
« Despite the glorious sunshine, our great friends the British collectors were sadly missing. Although the sales results reflected the effect of Brexit somewhat, we were delighted by the public’s appetite for competition cars during the amazing display at Le Mans Classic, evidence of the strength of passion for the automobile. »

Hervé Poulain, Honorary Chairman, Artcurial
« What a pleasure to come back every other year to a circuit that I know so well and love so much. It gave me enormous pleasure to conduct the sale with Matthieu who promotes collectors’ cars with such passion. »

Several hours into the sale, it was with great emotion that Maitre Hervé Poulain brought the hammer down on lot 175. This was a 1977 Porsche 935 competition client factory car that had participated three times in the Le Mans 24-Hour race. In exceptionally original condition, this car has been raced by great names including Hervé Poulain himself, who competed in it at Le Mans in 1980. It was the second time that the car has come under the hammer of the auction house Artcurial’s honorary chairman. This time the Porsche will set off on a new adventure, joining the collection of an American collector who paid €1,3mio / $1,43mio to acquire the car.
Sports and racing cars were in the limelight both in the saleroom and on the track. Lot 109, a 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7-litre RS Touring, a highly sought-after model, fetched €476,800 € / $524,480 including premium.
A wonderful example of Mercedes’ flagship model and a 1960s icon, the 1961 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster confirmed its status as the one of the most desirable touring cars, selling for €953,600 / $1,048,960.

Telephone bidders played their part in the sale, adding to the excitement in the saleroom. Lot 125, a 1937 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Factory coach, attracted huge attention and sparked a bidding battle between two telephone bidders. This special pre-war car, in rare, original condition and with continuous history, was another glorious discovery by Artcurial Motorcars. It sold for double the pre-sale estimate, realising €524,500€ / $576,950 including premium.
The Le Mans Classic 2016 by Artcurial Motorcars also offered some more unusual collectors’ vehicles such as the 1978 Peugeot J7 camping-car by Holidaycar that found a new owner for €21,500 / $23,650, and the 1963 Citroën 2CV Sahara which fetched €79,900 / $87,890.

Enthusiasts for all things motoring-related gathered during the morning for the Automobilia sale that started at 11.00. Fans of motor-racing and film admired a 3-piece suit owned by the actor Steve McQueen. It sold above estimate for €10, 400 / $11,440 including premium.

The second half of 2016 will feature three further sales. On 18 September Artcurial will present the contents of the Normandy Tank Museum in Catz, in the D-Day Sale. Then, on 9 October, a few miles from Paris, a collection of 80 American cars belonging to André Weber will be offered in a sale called On the Road. Finally, in November, Artcurial Motorcars will celebrate its 10th edition of the sale Automobiles sur les Champs.

Collectors’ cars
Sale total : 8 717 752 € / 9 589 567 $
62 % sold by lot 1 € = 1,10 $ sale estimate : 18 600 000 € / 20 460 000 $

Images Peter Singhof

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