The Grand Palais Sale is one of the Bonhams’s Blue Riband auctions and saw a 1929 Bugatti Type 35B sell for €1,610,000 (est RM7,301,462).
Regarded as the most spectacular venue in which to conduct a motoring auction, crowds flocked to the Grand Palais in their hundreds to witness many bidding battles, including that for the Grand Prix Bugatti previously owned by Jack Lemon Burton and Lady Mary Grosvenor.After a lengthy competition and applauded by the delighted audience, it eventually went to a buyer who travelled to Paris from the Far East.
This was followed by the 1968 Ferrari 275GTB/4 Berlinetta that went under the hammer, which achieved a new world auction record for the model when it was sold for an astonishing €2,225,000 ( est RM10,089,753). Another Ferrari – this time a Formula One Grand Prix single-seater – sold for €483,000 (est RM2,190,138). Previously raced by Michele Alboreto throughout the 1984 season, it is one of the last Ferrari Formula 1 cars that can be raced and maintained without official ‘Ferrari Clienti’ team support.
Demonstrating the popularity of the French marques, it took five minutes for a 1947 Delage D6 3-litre competition car to be sold for €1,100,000 (est RM4,987,892). One of just seven built, the beautifully restored racer went to a European buyer.
But the British Aston Martins also proved popular among bidders. Auctioneer James Knight presided over a mammoth battle between Europe and USA bidders as a rare left hand drive 1962 DB4 Vantage GT coupe went for more than double its estimate at €1,200,000 (est RM5,440,599). A 1965 Aston Martin DB5, of the same model as used in the James Bond film, Goldfinger, also sold for €776,000 (est RM3,518,120). Other fought-over lots included a narrow body 1989 Porsche 911 Speedster and a barn find Facel Vega II coupe.
With just one owner and fewer than 650km on the clock the Porsche eventually sold for €310,500 (RM1,407,701) against an estimate of €100,000 – 150,000 (RM453,362 – RM680,044), while the barn find that had been kept in storage for 40 years – and brought to Paris from the USA to be sold – went for an incredible €155,000 (est RM702,718).
These top lots followed a morning of motorcycle and automobilia sale, during which the highlight was the much anticipated sale of a Harley-Davidson 2013 Dyna Super Glide and leather jacket that belonged to Pope Francis.
His Holiness was given the items by Harley-Davidson in June 2013 by the motorcycle manufacturer to mark its 110th anniversary and the proceeds of the sale went to the charity, Caritas Roma to help renovate a hostel and soup kitchen at Rome’s Termini station. Pope’s motorcycle was bought for €241,500 (est RM1,094,498) by a European buyer and the jacket went for an astounding €57,500 (est RM260,594) to an overseas buyer.