Bonhams return to the Grand Palais with a brace of rare competition cars

6 Feb 2014, Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais

Bonhams return to the Grand Palais with a brace of rare competition cars

6 Feb 2014, Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais

Delage and Austin-Healey head Bonhams Paris offering for Retromobile Week

Two stunning cars – a 1947 Delage 3-liter competition car with a distinguished race history and a 1955 Austin-Healey 100S which raced in America - are early headline entries for Bonhams at the Grand Palais sale on February 6th, part of Retromobile Week in Paris.

The 1947 Delage 3-liter works competition Barchetta is chassis no 880003 driven in the 1947-1949 seasons as a factory entry in many events including the 1947 Pau GP, GP de Belgique, the 1948 Spa 24 hour, Paris 12 hour and the 1949 Le Mans 24 hour, entered with such great drivers as P. Etancelin, M. Trintignant, A. Veuillet and C. Pozzi. The car is estimated to sell for €1,100,000-1,700,000.

Considered by marque experts as the most original surviving post war 3-L Delage competition car, it was sold to Auguste Veuillet, the first Porsche importer in France and subsequently founder of 'Sonauto', passing into the hands of the first French Ferrari importer Charles Pozzi in 1951. With continuous history and a magnificent racing pedigree this Delage represents a top level entry to many events and a rare opportunity of acquiring an important part of French motor racing history.

Having acquired pre-war racing experience by winning at Donington in 1938 and finishing second during the 1939 Le Mans 24 hour, post war Delage under the control of Walter Watney produced five of the legendary 3-liter sports racing cars.

Joining this magnificent French entry is a stunning British car, one of a mere 50 Austin-Healey 100S sports-racing models produced –and widely regarded as the most sought after of all Austin-Healeys. Offered with a pre-sale estimate of €580,000-760,000 this highly desirable Austin-Healey is bound to attract interest from across the globe.

The 1955 Austin Healey chassis no. AHS 3502 was the second of these 50 sports racing cars built by the Donald Healey Motor Company. The car was dispatched on February 10th 1955 to Austin, New York and sold to Robert (Bob) Fergus from Ohio. He was a well know sports car racer in the US with whom it competed in that year's Sebring 12 Hour race and the Nassau trophy road races together with various east coast USA races.

The 100S then passed to Ralph Stevens, Maine USA in 1958. He undertook a documented maintenance and repainted the car red in 1962, the recorded mileage at the time being a mere 23,000miles. In 1968, it was acquired by Stan Hallinan of Concorde, New Hampshire, USA.

After being locked up for approximately 39 years in a shed, the car was sent a few years ago to the world's leading Healey authority and restorer Steve Pike, from Marsh Classic Restorations (Australia). After a post restoration 'shakedown' AHS #3502 participated at the Phillip Island Historic races in Melbourne, Australia and since then in various events including both the 2009 and 2013 Mille Miglia.


NOTES FOR EDITORS

Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com

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