Wed, Sep 2, 2015

Chantilly sale offers very rare cars

Ten very rare motor cars including some with prices tags that run into millions of dollars will lead a Bonhams auction, which will be held alongside the prestigious Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille concours d’elegance in Chantilly, France.

The black-tie auction will be held on September 5 on the grounds of Château de Chantilly. 

The Chantilly Arts and Elegance event debuted in 2014, attracting a crowd of 10,000, taking in the delights of the “concours d’elegance” competition for modern concept cars, and a “concours d’etat” for classic cars from around the world. 

The concours also plays host to fine art exhibitions, fashion shows, live music and various lifestyle exhibits.

This year’s event, to be held on September 6, is being billed as an “elegant Sunday by the countryside”.

Bonhams’ inaugural Chantilly sale offers a carefully curated selection of very special motor cars, several of which are unique, whilst others have been produced in very small numbers, according to Philip Kantor, Bonhams European Head of Motoring. 

The selection includes a pair of rare Bugattis, including one of the last motor cars ever built by the marque - the 1954 Bugatti 101, estimated at between €1.5-1.8 million ($1.69-2.03 million). Bugatti originally intended to produce 50 cars, but in the end built only a handful, making it one of the manufacturer’s rarest models. With an asking price of 3.8 million francs in the 1950s, it’s not surprising that the car attracted only the connoisseur. 

Rarer still, the 101 features a bespoke body by celebrated coachbuilders Antem, making this motor car one-of-a-kind.

The 1938 Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet, meanwhile, is another rare example. Estimated at €1.3 and 1.6 million ($1.46-1.8 million), the elegant two/three-seater model was once owned by famous French artist and Bugatti enthusiast André Derain. 

Best known as a member of the Fauvist group of painters, Derain (1880-1954) was one of Bugatti's best customers and an aficionado of fine sporting cars. He is said to have owned around 14 Bugattis, the Type 57 offered being his last. As the choice of an artist who selected only the very best Bugattis for his collection of mechanical artworks, the Type 57 is highly desirable.

Also on sale will be a very special Maserati Mexico model.

Named later in honour of Cooper-Maserati's victory in the 1966 Mexican Grand Prix, the Maserati Mexico was unveiled at the 1966 Turin Motor Show. Effectively replacing the six-cylinder four-seater Sebring model, the Mexico was intended for customers who wanted a luxurious four-seater but preferred something more sporting than the larger Quattroporte saloon. 

The motorcar offered at this auction however is no standard Mexico but a bespoke Frua creation, the most attractive of the three one-offs produced in the longstanding relationship between Maserati and car designer Pietro Frua.

Retaining the general Mexico lines, but more sharply defined, the Frua Mexico in many ways recalls the Quattroporte. Restored to its initial light green paintwork, with original Bordeaux leather, the Mexico won the Best of Show award at the Maserati 100th Anniversary celebrations, and is the quintessential example of Maseratis Grand Touring excellence.

It carries an estimate of €550,000-750,000 ($618,960-844,040).

Other highlights at the Chantilly sale include:

• A 1972 Maserati Boomerang with an estimate €3-4 million ($3.38-4.5 million).

• A 1951 Lancia Aurelia B52 coupé by Bertone with an estimate of €175,000-245,000 ($196,940- 275,720).

• A 1961 OSCA 1600 GT coupé by Touring with an estimate €380,000-460,000 ($427,730- 517,780).

• A 1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre 'Aerofoil' Sports Saloon by Gurney Nutting with an estimate €300,000-400,000 ($337,680- 450,240).

• A 1937 Bentley 4¼-Litre Drophead Coupé by James Young with an estimate of €275,000-350,000 ($309,540- 393,960).

• A 1959 Alfa Romeo 1900 C Super Sprint Coupé Carrosserie Ghia, Aigle with an estimate of €160,000-220,000 ($180,096- 247,632).

• A 1996 Aston Martin Sportsman Shooting Brake – estimate €350,000-550,000 ($393,960- 619,080). 

Entry to Bonhams Chantilly Sale is by catalogue purchase only. To purchase a catalogue, please visit the Bonhams website For tickets to Chantilly Arts & Elegance, visit

Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. Today, the auction house offers more sales than any of its rivals. The main salerooms are in London, New York and Hong Kong. Sales are also held in the UK in Knightsbridge, Oxford and Edinburgh; in the US, in San Francisco and Los Angeles; in Europe, in Paris and Stuttgart and in Sydney, Australia. Bonhams also has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas.

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