Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais
6 Feb 2014

Held at the stunning Grand Palais in Paris, the Bonhams auction sale took place during Rétromobile Week

The Grand Palais Sale is one of the Bonhams's Blue Riband auctions and saw a 1929 Bugatti Type 35B sell for €1,610,000 (£1,340,000/$2,200,000).

Regarded, by common consent, as the most spectacular venue in which to conduct a motoring auction, crowds flocked to the Grand Palais in their hundreds to witness many bidding battles, including that for the Grand Prix Bugatti previously owned by Jack Lemon Burton and Lady Mary Grosvenor. After a lengthy competition and applauded by the delighted audience, it eventually went to a buyer who travelled to Paris from the Far East.

This was followed by the 1968 Ferrari 275GTB/4 Berlinetta that went under the hammer, which achieved a new world auction record for the model when it was sold for an astonishing €2,225,000 (£1,850,000/$3,000,000).

Another Ferrari – this time a Formula One Grand Prix single-seater – sold for €483,000 (£402,000/$656,000). Previously raced by Michele Alboreto throughout the 1984 season, it is one of the last Ferrari Formula 1 cars that can be raced and maintained without official 'Ferrari Clienti' team support.

Demonstrating the popularity of the French marques, it took five minutes for a 1947 Delage D6 3-litre competition car to be sold for €1,100,000 (£916,000/$1,495,000). One of just seven built, the beautifully restored racer went to a European buyer.

But the British Aston Martins also proved popular among bidders. Auctioneer James Knight presided over a mammoth battle between Europe and USA bidders as a rare left hand drive 1962 DB4 Vantage GT coupe went for more than double its estimate at €1,200,000 (£999,000/$1,631,000). A 1965 Aston Martin DB5, of the same model as used in the James Bond film, Goldfinger, also sold for €776,000 (£646,000/$1,055,000).

Other fought-over lots included a narrow body 1989 Porsche 911 Speedster and a barn find Facel Vega II coupe.

With just one owner and fewer than 650km on the clock the Porsche eventually sold for €310,500 (£258,500/$422,000) against an estimate of €100,000 – 150,000 (£83,000 – 125,000), while the barn find that had been kept in storage for 40 years - and brought to Paris from the USA to be sold - went for an incredible €155,000 (£129,000/$211,000).

These top lots followed a morning of motorcycle and automobilia sale, during which the highlight was the much anticipated sale of a Harley-Davidson 2013 Dyna Super Glide and leather jacket that belonged to Pope Francis.

His Holiness was given the items by Harley-Davidson in June 2013 by the motorcycle manufacturer to mark its 110th anniversary and the proceeds of the sale went to the charity, Caritas Roma to help renovate a hostel and soup kitchen at Rome's Termini station.

The motorcycle was bought for €241,500 (£201,000/$328,000) by a European buyer and the jacket went for an astounding €57,500 (£48,000/$78,000) to an overseas buyer.

James Knight, Group Motoring Director of the Bonhams motoring department, said: "The Bonhams Paris sale goes from strength to strength and this year's total was our highest yet. 2014 looks like being every bit as successful as our record-breaking 2013 season and follows on the from the hugely successful Scottsdale USA auction."


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

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