Only a few classic car events in the world host at the same time 3 major auctions from some of the leading names in the classic car industry. Nonetheless this particular sector has a major influence on the prestige and level of an event such as Rétromobile: Bonhams, RM and Artcurial always attract the gentlemen collectors looking to add some more excitement to their collections.
With the auction market now setting itself on new opportunities and still offering great cars more than ever, the “big-three” Auction houses at Retromobile sure made for an additional show that it is better not to miss. Here are the top 7 Gentleman Driver cars put for sale and display at all three auctions.
1962 DB4 GT Zagato "2VEV" (Bonhams)
Even if this car was just on display as a preview of the upcoming Bonhams Goodwood Auction, it is always worth mentioning. This particular Aston, one of only 19 ever made, is perhaps the most iconic of them all, as it was once driven in an epic duel by Jim Clark against the 250 GTO of John Surtees at Goodwood's TT in 1962. It is the ultimate British Gentleman driver GT: lightweight, powerful and achingly beautiful it is set to strike a new record as the most valuable British car ever sold.
1915 Rolls Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost (Bonhams)
Evil gentlemen will sure appreciate this extravagant but authentic “Roller”. Like many other Rolls of its time, it served actively in WWI and it never reached its owner, a Russian gentleman. It was later purchased by a circus owner in the U.S., who acquired it during the Roaring Twenties during his ascent to success. Further events led the car to end up in a long term ownership in Germany. This car is perhaps the ultimate embodyment of the extravagant gentleman spirit of a bygone era.
1934 Alfa Romeo Tipo B Monoposto (Bonhams)
One of the ultimate gentleman driver's single seater and perhaps the most important GP car ever made. With a roaring snarl from its 2.9 liter supercharged straight 8 engine and one of the most impressive array of victories and long career of any other single seater, the Tipo B or P3 was the ultimate choice for those drivers of the 1930ies who wanted to achieve absolute domination on world-class level races.
1953 Ferrari 166 MM Spider (RM Sotheby’s)
One of Ferrari's most well known models, the 166 was one of the best GT's of the golden era of motorsport. With a fierce 2 litre V12 under the bonnet and an effective chassis, the 166 was always at the height of competition. This particular Ferrari has been built in a unique body style, thought to be designed by engineer Aurelio Lampredi. It came 3rd in class in the 1953 Mille Miglia and competed in numerous other races in period. Looking at this particular Ferrari there is a nostalgic feeling of a bygone era made of bravery and skill, never to return.
2017 Bugatti Chiron (RM Sotheby’s)
One of the first 20 Chirons ever made and offered for sale with under 1000 km on the odometer, this Bugatti is the ultimate choice for the modern supersport driver looking to travel in the utmost comfort while travelling at the highest speeds possible. RM's Chiron, finished in the classic two tone Atlantic blue and French Racing Blue with a tan leather interior is perhaps the ultimate expression of a modern and ultimate Grand Tourer.
1955 Maserati A6G 2000 Zagato (Artcurial)
One of the most exquisite motorcars ever made, the Maserati A6G 2000 was all about refinement and absolute performance. Originally built with an elegant Allemano body, this Maserati was later changed to a lighter and racing-bred Zagato body for competition when the original coachwork was destroyed in a fire. Fitted with a number of interesting options, this A6G 2000 is one of the ultimate GT's of the 1950ies.
1962 Aston Martin DB4SS V Series (Artcurial)
One of the most classic of Classics, the Aston Martin DB4 is perhaps the filet mignon for petrolheads. The quintessential British GT with Italian body, a proper man's choice, the distinctive motorcar for the distinguished enthusiast. This particular DB4 is equipped with the Special Series engine with triple SU carburetors. With its timeless looks and great performance, the DB4 is still the choice of many drivers with impeccable taste.
Jacopo Villa, contributor
Photo credits: Federico Bajetti for The Outlierman © 2018