Bonhams : The Cream of Chantilly at Bonhams June Motor Car Sale
The Cream of Chantilly at Bonhams June Motor Car Sale

An ultra-rare 1952 Gordini Type 15S Barquette(Sport Barchetta), will be the cream of Chantilly as one of the top lots in Bonhams Chantilly Sale (estimate €700,000 - €1,000,000), casting its spell upon the town's fairy tale chateau, also home to the Aga Khan, where the auction will be staged on Sunday 30 June.

The Gordini 15S, (chassis number 18), is one of just two four-cylinder engine barchettas in the world built by the sports car manufacturer – and the only one available for the discerning collector to purchase, with the other, chassis number 20, belonging to the renowned Schlumpf Collection in France's national motor museum in Mulhouse, which makes its unlikely to be offered for sale in the forseeable future.

However, this motor car is not just remarkable for its rarity value, but also for its fascinating history of competing in two top motorsport series – firstly as one of only five 'Type 11' single-seater 'monopostos' built in 1947 by legendary sports car manufacturer Amédée Gordini, AKA 'the sorcerer', for his Grand Prix racing team and driven, among others, by the great Juan-Manuel Fangio, Jen Behra, Robert Manzon and Aldo Gordini.

In 1952 the car was transformed, by Gordini himself, into a two-seat barchetta, known as '15S', an 'Équipe Gordini' challenger in the legendary Le Mans 24 hours and leading sports car series. Following an extensive restoration in the early 2000s, as a patriotic act by collector and former director of Renault Formula 1, Jean Sage, the 15S competed in the Mille Miglia, Monaco Historic and Le Mans Classic races, until 2009. For the past ten years, the 15S has been displayed in several concours. With the passing of its most recent and similarly patriotic French owner, the barchetta is ready for a new appreciative custodian to keep the magic alive.

The Gordini will be joined on the Bonhams rostrum by a beautifully-restored example of one of the world's most desirable automotive designs, the BMW 507 Series II Roadster, a grand tourer powered by a 3.2 litre engine. This Bavarian Belle, costing twice the price of a Jaguar XK120, was owned by the clichéd rich and famous including Elvis Presley, former Formula 1 world champion and four-time 500cc motorcycle grand prix world champion John Surtees, actors Alain Delon and Ursual Andress, Prince Rainier of Monaco and the Aga Khan.

Fittingly, the first owner of this 1959 Series II example was believed to be Baroness von Thyssen. The car spent its early life in Switzerland and then Germany, undergoing a comprehensive restoration in 1982. One of only 232 produced, the 507 is now rarer and arguably more desirable than its Stuttgart rival, the Mercedes-Benz 300SL. Estimate €1,800,000 – 2,200,000.

2001 BMW Z8 Roadster
Nearly 40 years after the launch of the 507, BMW unveiled the 507's spiritual successor, the Z07 concept. This caused such a sensation at the 1997 Tokyo Motor Show, that it was put into production as the Z8 Roadster. This model will be joining its ancestor at Chantilly in the form of an original and unrestored 2001 example finished in Topaz Blue, which is offered by its original owner, having covered just over 21,000kms from new. Estimate €180,000 – 240,000.

The sale, set in the grounds of the historic Chateau de Chantilly, will offer a fine selection of 40 collectors motor cars, largely representing the finest continental marques, including:

1966 Shelby Cobra 427. One of the all-time greats of classic sports fusing European chassis engineering and the ultimate expression of American V8 power, created by the legendary Carroll Shelby. This example, powered by the desirable 427ci 'side oiler' engine, is featured in the official Shelby registry and has continuous ownership history. Estimate €850,000 – 950,000.

1955 Alfa Romeo 1900C Super Sprint. Part of Alfa Romeo's first all-new post-war offering, the 1900 series, the attractive three window Sprint Coupé was designed by Carrozeria Touring, with the Super Sprint featuring a 1,975cc engine. Only 200 examples of the original 600 built are believed to survive today, including this beautifully-restored example offered in its stunning original two-tone coachwork of 'Azzuro Verde Oceano with dark green roof and matching interior.
Estimate €200,000 – 300,000.

1954 Arnolt-Bristol DeLuxe Roadster. A product of a joint venture between the British manufacturer and US industrialist 'Wacky' Arnolt and styled by Italian design house Bertone, the DeLuxe Roadster was a successful challenger at Le Mans and Sebring. This survivor of a production run of just 130 has competed in and is eligible for the Mille Miglia Retrospective. Estimate 290,000 – 330,000.

Other highlights include:

- 1962 Citroën DS Décapotable, rare and highly-desirable 'ashtray' model (€170,000 – 200,000).

- 1955 Mercedes-Benz 190SL cabriolet, very early chassis number 65, possibly the earliest remaining example, with desirable bucket seats as featured in the very first cars (€90,000 – 140,000).

- 1965 Fiat 500 Elégance Beach Car, built by Carrozzeria Savio and displayed at the 1965 Turin Motor Show, a one-off which is a must-have for any beach car collection (€75,000 – 105,000).

- 1961 Alfa Romeo Giulietta SS Coupé, designed by Bertone and ordered new by one of the Bertone family ladies, with the noteworthy feature of Bertone Giulia GT door handles (which are more forgiving to nail polish!). This example is offered in stunning condition (€70,000 – 100,000).

Contacts

Related auctions