Bonhams returns to Grand Palais for Paris auction

Fantastic early entries already consigned for expanded 2013 sale include the ex-works, Achille Varzi 1931 Bugatti Type 54

Following the spectacular success of its 2011 sale at the historic automotive venue, Bonhams is delighted to announce a return to the Grand Palais in Paris in early 2013 during Rétromobile week.

Already consigned for the 7th February sale is the outstanding ex-works Bugatti Type 54 that raced at Monza on 6th September 1931 in the hands of Achille Varzi (estimate €2.5 million - €3.5 million).

The IV Gran Premio Di Monza at the Autodromo di Monza was the first race for the 4.9-liter twin overhead cam, supercharged straight eight-cylinder Type 54s, which were the largest capacity Bugatti Grand Prix cars ever produced.

In the heats the 300hp cars – which were capable of a top speed of 150mph (240km/h) – dominated, with Achille Varzi finishing first and Louis Chiron second. However, despite challenging for the lead and setting what would prove to be the fastest lap of the race at an average speed of 102mph (164km/h), two burst tires for Varzi in the final affected his chances of the overall win. He recovered to finish third.

The Type 54 will be in action again at the Goodwood Revival meeting in Chichester, UK, over the weekend of 13th to 15th September 2012 prior to its return to France in February.

Another early consignment for the sale is a 4.4-liter four-cylinder 1911 Panhard-Levassor Type X14 25hp Tourer with seven-seater coachwork by Achille Vanvooren of Paris (estimate €200,000 - €300,000).

With its original gray paintwork and deep buttoned leather upholstery conserved by specialists, and offered with a complete set of original Panhard tools, the car's history is wonderfully preserved. It is also in good mechanical condition, its present owner having driven it many hundreds of miles during a 17-year tenure.

Offering a new dimension to the 2013 auction, the Bonhams Motor Car, Motorcycle and Automobilia departments will combine with the 20th Century Decorative Arts and Wine departments to conduct a series of sales at the historic Grand Palais venue.

Entries for the auction are now being accepted. For further information call +33 1 42 61 10 11 or email: [email protected]


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 appraisal services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to

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