Probably the most expensive car of the Rétrombile was for sale at Artcurial: the owner did not want to part with a Ferrari 250 LM for 20 million euros.
The French auction house Artcurial auctioned 230 vehicles with a total value of 80 million euros from February 3rd to 5th, 2023 during the Rétromobile in Paris. The most expensive car at the auction was a Ferrari 250 LM. A car built for endurance racing but never used for it. A rarity and a stroke of luck, because according to the description the car remains largely original. Artcurial did not name an estimated price in the catalogue.
Ferrari 250 LM from 1964
With 32 examples built, a Ferrari 250 LM is about as rare as a 250 GTO, which was built 36 times. Ferrari won the 1965 Le Mans 24h race with an LM, the drivers were Masten Gregory and Jochen Rindt.
In Paris the car with the chassis number 5901 was offered. It was reserve car at the 24 of Daytona. The car does not have any racing successes, but it is original: chassis, engine, transmission and body are the same as when delivered. The Ferrari was owned by Massimo Ferragamo, among others, and was in the collection of a French enthusiast for the last 20 years. Apparently he had imagined more than the highest bid of 20 million euros – the Ferrari remained unsold. A price of around 25 million euros had been speculated in advance.
Ferrari 340 America from 1951
Artcurial auctioned off a Ferrari and two Bugatti from the collection of Dutchman Bart Rosman. The Ferrari 340 America Barchetta Touring Superleggera competed in numerous races including the 1951 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 1951 Tourist Trophy, the 1953 Sebring 12 Hours and the 1954 Daytona Speed Week were built and was the only one equipped with a touring body. The engine is original, the car has been restored. It has been in the Rosman Collection since 1975. The Ferrari was auctioned with no minimum bid and estimated at five to eight million euros. The highest bid of 4.95 million euros was slightly below the lower estimate.
Bugatti Type 35C and Type 43
Two Bugatti racing cars auctioned by Artcurial in Paris also came from Bart Rosman's collection. The two racing cars from 1929 and 1931 should cost an estimated 1.2 to 1.8 and 2.5 to 3.5 million respectively and will be auctioned with no reserve bid.
The Type 35C was the more expensive of the two. It has remained unchanged since 1931 and has a successful racing history, according to the description. According to Artcurial, it is one of the most authentic Type 35s. The car had finished fourth at the 1929 Monaco Grand Prix, had belonged to Baron Georg Philippe de Rothschild for a time and had been in Rosman's collection since 1977.It was auctioned for 2.2 million euros.
Rosman owned the Type 43 for 15 years. Brand expert Pierre-Yves Laugier describes the 43 Grand Sport as one of the best Bugatti ever. The sports car is powered by an eight-cylinder supercharged engine, which makes it a supercar of its time, says Laugier. The Type 43 fetched 1.53 million euros including premium.
Bugatti 57 Atalante
Despite its elegant appearance, a Bugatti 57 Atalante is also one of the fastest cars of its time. Under the long hood sits an aesthetically and technically sophisticated eight-cylinder in-line engine. According to Artcurial, the chassis and body are original and the history is fully documented. As one of about three surviving Type 57 Atalantes with a large sunroof, the car is also extremely rare. For a time, the car belonged to Dutch entrepreneur Victor Muller, who made headlines as the founder of Spyker and when he took over Saab. The estimated price of the Bugatti was two to three million euros. The highest bid was EUR 1.75 million, one eighth below the lower estimate.
With Ferrari 250 and 340 as well as Bugatti 35, 43 and 47, Artcurial had real rarities on offer during the Rétromobile. These rarities are always a good reason to go to Paris in early February.