With the backdrop of an illuminated Eiffel Tower, a 2014 Ferrari LaFerrari lit up yesterday’s Bonhams auction in the Grand Palais Éphémère, achieving €2,558,750 and setting a new auction world record for a European-specification variant. This was the top lot of the successful Grand Marques du Monde à Paris Sale, which realised a total of €19 millionand a sell through rate of 83%.
One of only 499 examples of the hybrid hypercar, the first production car to feature the F1-derived HY-KERS hybrid system, this yellow over black LaFerrari had covered fewer than 930km from new and was offered by its second owner.
In its slipstream was another record-setter 1996 Bugatti EB110 GT Coupé, which sold for €1,817,000, several hundred thousand above its top estimate and setting a new auction world record for the model. At launch, the first new Bugatti to be produced since 1956 set four world speed records, including for the fastest series production sports car. One of a mere 95 GT examples, this three-owner EB110 GT car had covered 10,000kms from new.
Another star was the 1964 Porsche 904 GTS, formerly owned by Hollywood actor Robert Redford, which also achieved seven figures, selling for €1,345,500. Originally owned by Steve Earle, founder of the Monterey Historic Races at Laguna Seca, this GTS was raced by subsequent owner Steve Berg in North America before it was later acquired by Redford, who kept it for nearly a decade.
Contrasting with the sports and supercars was an unearthed collection of three barn find veteran cars, including a 1904 Pipe Serie E 15CV Four-Cylinder Rear-Entrance Tonneau, which tripled its pre-sale estimate, achieving a staggering €759,000.
Offered from a single-family ownership from new and placed in storage at the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, the high-quality Belgian motor car had retained its original coachwork and was offered with the potential to be eligible for the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run or for preservation for future generations.
As ever at the Bonhams Paris Sale, Veteran and pre-war motor cars proved popular with the attendant car connoisseurs and collectors with several appearing in the top ten and exceeding their top estimates. A time-warp 1921 Hispano-Suiza H6B Torpedo, offered from the Dolleschel Collection, achieved €402,500, while the ex-Bernard de Lassée 1913 S.P.A 25 HP Torpédo Sport made €396,750, nearly doubling its estimate.
Another Dolleschel Collection car topping its estimate was a remarkably authentic 1902 Panhard & Levassor Type A2 7HP Tonneau à entrée par l’arrière, which sold for €379,500.
Les Grandes Marques à Paris Sale offered its largest array yet of more than 110 collectors’ motor cars spanning over a century of motoring excellence and history.
Among the other results of note was a 2010 Tesla Roadster, demonstrated by one of the greatest names in motorsport – Michael Schumacher – at that year’s Race of Champions event in Düsseldorf, which made €138,000.
The standout result of the automobilia sale, which preceded the motorcars auction, was a pair of Heuer rally stopwatches mounted on an original Heuer plate to be attached to a racing or rally car’s dashboard. Following a bidding frenzy, the pair was sold for €17,812, nearly ten times the pre-sale estimate.
Philip Kantor, Bonhams International Chairman, Motoring, said: “We are all delighted with the strong results across the spectrum of the superb selection of motor cars offered – from Veteran through pre-war to classic and contemporary supercars.
“It was a pleasure to host a live sale in Paris again after two years, and the Grand Palais Éphémère provided a stunning venue for the busy saleroom of enthusiastic bidders.”
Paul Darvill, Bonhams European Auctions Manager, added: “This week Bonhams achieved records not only in vintage cars but also the latest supercars, which shows the true depth and breadth of our expertise.
“Our debut auction at the Grand Palais Éphémère incorporated for the first time a successful watch auction, as well as the usual art display – showcasing the global Bonhams offering and our cross-departmental activities.”
Bonhams Motoring will cross the Atlantic for the Amelia Island Auction on 3 March at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club in Florida before travelling to the English countryside for the team’s first Goodwood Auction, The Members Meeting Sale on 10 April.
Meanwhile the Bonhams Eurocars team is actively consigning for The Monaco Sale on 13 May, taking place during the Monaco Historic Grand Prix, which will present a 1970 Jaguar E-Type Series II 4.2, from the SOLAR productions compound at the 1970 Steve McQueen film Le Mans.