For sale! Is a monthly feature on Automotive Views focusing on cars available for purchase in Europe. None of the ads selected are featured in this blog due to any kind of sponsorship by the sellers.
Welcome to the New Year! We’re starting this one off with some very special stuff. Next February 6th, Artcurial Motorcars will be holding its Retromobile Sale in Paris. Now, there are a lot of great cars in the catalogue but this particular event will be especially interesting because it features some of the gems from the big, BIG barn find from December of last year which uncovered treasures like Alain Delon’s 1961 SWB California. You can read about it see some astonishing pictures of the finds in their untouched condition on this Classic Driver article. I felt Automotive Views simply could not let this Sale pass without focusing on a few of the precious entries, so this month’s “For Sale!” invites you to grab your wallet and head straight to the city of lights.
All the ads for cars featured in this article can be found here
1988 Lamborghini LM 002
Do you really need a V12 off roader made by Lamborghini and which only uses special 1000 dollar a piece Pirelli tires? Of course you do, especially if your name is preceded by “Sultan”, “Emir” or “Sheikh”. In 1977 Lamborghini came up with the “Cheetah”, a prototype military vehicle which was meant to be pitched – I kid you not – to the US military. Can you imagine US forces driving around in Lamborghinis instead of Humvees? Well that – sadly – never happened, so Lamborghini ended up losing the rear mounted Chrysler V8, stuffing one of their Countach V12 in the front and voilà, the “Rambo Lambo” was born. If you absolutely need to cross deserts in style and in a hurry, this 290 liter tank mammoth is definitely the ride for you.
Price: Auction – estimated 110.000€ to 140.000€
1959 Facel Vega Excellence
Old world charm with new world muscle. The Excellence is one of the very best French cars ever made, certainly one of the most beautiful ones as well. Luxurious, fast, rare, and exclusive, this particular Excellence was completely restored (body off) a little over a decade ago so it should be in pretty good shape. No other car in the world will make you look as stylish as the Excellence.
Price: Auction – estimated 170.000€ to 210.0000€
1965 Aston Martin DB5
Let’s face it, no one is completely immune to the Bond magic and ever since “Goldfinger” the DB5 is synonymous with good old James. But that’s definitely not the totality of its merit. The DB5 is a gorgeous, capable grand tourer that helped define performance and luxury standards in the 1960’s. An inline 6 with 282bhp gets the DB5 running all the way up to 143mph and this particular example was already equipped with the better ZF 5 speed gearbox (originally these models had a 4 speed with optional overdrive). Mechanically in good shape and painted in this particularly fetching “Goodwood green” tone, this lovely DB5 should fetch quite a good price.
Price: Auction – estimated 625.000€ to 675.0000€
1968 Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada
Again, you’ve got to love the American muscle/European design “marriage”. Sure, this kind of cars can be a pain (maintenance and reliability-wise) due to component compatibility (more specifically, the frequent lack thereof) but just look at how unique and amazing these creations are…and amongst this already very restrict and distinct automotive family branch, few things are as unique and as amazing as this: the Bizzarrini 5300GT Strada. Just look at that wonder of a body; the complexity of the shape alone would confuse the hell out of any computer trying to come up with something even remotely similar today. The 5300GT Strada is heartwarmingly fluid and natural; you can see the old fashion genius and craft that went into creating this unbelievable design. Plus, the Corvette heart insures the Bizzarrini is no slouch either. If you don’t know much about the Bizzarrini/ISO relationship (and subsequent “wonder twins” Grifo A3C and 5300 GT Strada), go read a little bit about because it’s a fascinating story. From the great master’s (Giotto Bizzarrini) depart from Ferrari to the split between Iso and Bizarrini, there’s information and fun facts to keep you busy for hours.
Price: Auction – estimated 550.000€ to 650.0000€
1989 Citroen CX by Nilsson
Feeling Presidential? Have I got something for you…heir to the DS legacy of luxury and comfort, the CX was always a unique looking automobile (personally I’d call it handsome but, as with all old Citroens, looks are a highly subjective issue and beauty is, in this case, truly in the eye of the beholder); however, this Nilsson version is even more interesting and appealing. Back in 1989, a big celebration was being prepared in the GDR (German Democratic Republic): its 40th anniversary. French President François Mitterrand was a guest of honor and as such, the GDR government commissioned 2 special limousine CXs from a Swedish company called Nilsson. Thus, this stately creation was born. Sadly though it would prove itself useful because, as you know, 1989 was also the year of the fall of the Berlin Wall, so no visit, no celebration, no CX limo glory. On the plus side you can now buy a – pretty much – new, charming and unique limousine for a relatively low price.
Price: Auction – estimated 40.000€ to 60.0000€
1956 Maserati A6G 2000 Gran Sport Berlinetta Frua
The first of the 2 barn finds I selected to feature on this special “For Sale!” edition is the elegant A6G Frua. This is one of the very best, rarer mid/late 50’s grand tourers with a total of just 4 units made by Frua in this berlinetta configuration. This isn’t just an achingly beautiful car; it was also tremendously advanced for his time. Several coachwork A6G Maseratis were made in this period (Zagato, Frua, Alemano, Vignale) with the Zagato Berlinetta – I believe – being the most loved and celebrated variation. Don’t get me wrong, I also think that’s one of the best designs Zagato ever came up with and certainly one of the greatest looking cars of the 50’s…actually, one of the greatest looking cars ever; however, I’ve always felt the front is just a little bit too familiar with the 54 Gullwing Merc.; maybe it’s just me but I believe the resemblance/inspiration is there. This however, the Berlinetta Frua is more sober, the straight lines make it look leaner and meaner despite not being as performance oriented as the Zagato. It’s just one man’s opinion, but I truly love that about this car. This particular example has been parked alongside a California since 1971! It is finally seeing the light of day and going off to a new owner which will lavish immeasurable attention and TLC on it, as it should be.
Price: Auction – estimated 800.000€ to 1.2000.000€
1949 Talbot Lago T26 Grand Sport SWB by Saoutchik
If there ever was a definition for “rusty gold”, this is most definitely it. Here’s looking at you Mike Wolfe @AmericanPicker! One of the most incredible things to come out of the previously mentioned barn find, this Talbot Lago is no longer a car, it’s art. Nature and time made it into art and if I could afford it, hell, I wouldn’t touch it. I’d display it just the way it is in my living room or something…This car was featured at several automobile Salons before being “lost” in time until now. It would be pointless of me to copy/paste this car’s history so go here and read all about its absolutely fascinating life. This is a barn find legend if I ever saw one and that reflects on the price, even in this condition.
Price: Auction – estimated 400.000€ to 600.000€
1938 Mercedes Benz 540K Special Roadster
This is it, THE pre-war Mercedes, the car to put all other cars (of the period) to shame. Ladies and Gentlemen, the 540 Special (“Spezial” if you wanna be language-accurate) Roadster. Bask in its magnificence. No really, go ahead. I’ll wait.
It truly is a thing of beauty isn’t it? Personally I believe only the Autobahnkurier beats this configuration in terms of sheer, jaw dropping, bone aching beauty, but since that was a one of one, I’ll go ahead and attribute the “production car” (using that term loosely, of course) crown to the Special Roadster. How exclusive were these? Well, professional real life super villain Hermann Goring had one so that should give you some clue about the kind of person who could afford a 540K SR back in the day. Reportedly only 26 Special Roadsters were ever made. The 540K Mercedes have picked up a bit of a bad rep due to alleged extensive ties to high ranking Nazi officials, but as Michael Daly states in his fascinating article “Driving Notoriety: The Vilified Legacy of Mercedes’ 540K”, only 3 Mercedes 540k have ever been conclusively linked to that kind of proprietor. But back to the particular example at hand: this stunning feat of Karrosserie Sindelfingen mastery is without a shadow of a doubt one of the big stars or Artcurial’s Retromobile Sale and I definitely wouldn’t be surprised at all if it were to surpass its estimated sale priced.
Price: Auction – estimated 2.000.000€ to 3.000.000€