BUGATTI VANVOOREN LEADS THE GRANDES MARQUES
The Bonhams Grandes Marques du Monde à Paris Sale is renowned for celebrating the truly great automotive marques and coachbuilders across all eras and this year’s edition is no exception, with a 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Vanvooren one of the highlights to cross the block on 2 February.
Considered the ultimate super sportscar of the 1930s, the Type 55 was the roadgoing counterpart of the racing Type 51, which campaigned in Grand Prix and at Le Mans. Aimed at the wealthiest clientele, a mere 38 of the Jean Bugatti-designed chassis were produced, with more than half being bodied by the leading coachbuilders of the day.
One such was Vanvooren, which crafted elegant bodies for luxury marques including Hispano Suiza, Rolls-Royce and Bentley, in its atelier in the Parisian suburb of Courbevoie. The carrosserie produced six Type 55s of which only four survive, with the two-seater cabriolet offered at the Bonhams sale being the sole example to retain totally original coachwork on its 1932 chassis, finished in striking yellow paintwork with black wings and hood.
Past owners have been just as colourful, notably Eugène Mulnard, the former president of the Écurie Flandres racing team which competed in Formula 1 races, rallies and hill climbs. Having acquired the 55 in 1948, Mulnard registered the car four years later in the name of Andrée Desplats, whom he would later marry in 1965 – once he had divorced from his wife. He kept the Bugatti until the late 1970s.
Having been the subject of a 10-year restoration, completed in 2018, with a mere 1,500 kms covered since, this rare Type 55 is offered with an estimate of €3,000,000-4,000,000.
Another Courbevoie-based carrosserie meeting the demand for the era’s status symbols was Guilloré, famous for its elaborate creations for the great French marques of the day such as Delahaye, Talbot-Lago and Delage.
Two examples of Guilloré’s work are presented in Paris: the first, a 1947 Delahaye Roadster 135 M, estimate €700,000-900,000, one of two survivors of the production-run of three. Totally restored by a present-day master coachbuilder to original ‘as delivered’ specification, the car is ready for international top-flight concours. The second is one of 20 Delahaye 135 M Estérel Roadsters produced in 1949, also restored and now presented in exceptional condition with an estimate of €200,000-250,000.
The Grandes Marques du Monde Sale celebrates more than a century of automotive excellence, innovation and design with further examples including:
1906 Renault 20CV Type VB Coupé Chauffeur, estimate 150,000—180,000. Renault’s high-quality engineering is complemented by imposingly formal Belle Époque coachwork by J Rothschild et Fils, Rheims et Auscher, Paris.
1921 Hispano-Suiza H6 B Skiff, estimate €400,000-600,000
This example of the peerless thoroughbred driven by royalty, Hollywood stars and tycoons, features a torpedo tourer body by Charles Duquesne of Tourcoing and is offered from long-term single-family ownership of more than 50 years
1952 Lancia Aurelia Pf200 Spider, estimate €800,000-1,000,000
The very first of Pinin Farina’s Pf200 show cars, showcasing the talents of the famous Turin-based carrozzeria, which was displayed in the city’s Motor Show. This jet-inspired concept car, with its striking streamlined lines and signature circular air intake, was bought at the show by Italian film star Renato Ranucci.
Pinin Farina – later Pininfarina – would become the design house of choice for Ferrari, and seven of its creations for the Maranello firm to be offered by Bonhams include two of its most acclaimed: a 1988 Ferrari F40, one of the highly-desirable 50 ‘pre-series’ examples, estimate €2,200,000 – 2,700,000, and a 1970 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 „Daytona“ Berlinetta, estimate €730,000 – €830,000.
PORSCHE TURBO COLLECTION
An extraordinary single-owner private collection of a dozen air-cooled Porsche Turbos –– representing the entire history of the ultimate 911 variant for Porsche purists.
From the first ‘widow maker’ Turbo model – a 1975 Porsche 930 Turbo 3.0 – to a last-of-the-line 1998 993 Turbo S, the collection spans every generation of what is widely regarded as the definitive sports car. The twelve, which have an overall low estimate of €3 million, were carefully selected by their private collector owner in his quest to possess the very best examples of each model.
MICHAEL SCHUMACHER FORMULA 1 DEBUT RACING CAR
A 1991 Jordan-Ford 191 Formula 1 Racing Single-Seater 191-6, the very car in which Michael Schumacher first made his mark in Formula 1 more than three decades ago, lines up on a grid of motorsport star cars at Bonhams Grandes Marques du Monde à Paris sale in the Grand Palais Éphémère on 2 February. It has an estimate of €1,400,000-2,000,000.
PASSION FOR THE PIONEERS: ULTIMATE ‘HIS AND HERS’ COLLECTION
A remarkable ‘once in a generation’ collection of important pioneer and collector motorcycles, motor cars and related automobilia, built up over decades by an enthusiast collector couple, is to be offered at the Bonhams Grandes Marques à Paris Sale, in the French capital on 1 February 2023.
More than 50 early motorcycles and circa 20 motor vehicles to include early motor cars, commercial vehicles, tractors and some farm machinery from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, collected over four decades by the late German couple, Peter and Ulrike Bühner of Hagen, will be offered in Paris, with many of the lots appearing for the first time at auction.
The collection started in the 1980s with a 1950s Wanderer motorcycle, similar to one Peter had owned in the 1960s, and grew to encompass the finest machines of the Pioneer and Vintage eras, representing marques from BMW to Vincent. The €1.6 million Dr. Peter and Ulrike Bühner Collection of Important Pioneer and Collectors’ Motorcycles and Motor Cars is headlined by a Hildebrand und Wolfmüller, the world’s oldest serial production motorcycle.
The 14th Bonhams Grandes Marques à Paris Sale is the largest edition of the sale to date, offering 150 collector cars and motorcycles in the Grand Palais Éphémère on 1-2 February.
All lots will be available to view at the Champ de Mars venue on Wednesday 1 and Thursday 2 February from 09.00 to 18.00, with the sale programme as follows:
Wednesday 1 February
14.00h The Dr Peter and Ulrike Bühner Collection of Important Pioneer and Collectors‘ Motorcycles and Motor Cars
Thursday 2 February
10.00 Luxury Watches Sale
13.00 Automobilia Sale
14.00 Motorcycles and Collectors’ Motor Cars Sale