Bonhams announced a new sale to be held during the “Weekend de L’Excellence Automobile” at Reims-Gueux Circuit in France on Saturday, September 26th.
Racing into pole position is a 1912 5 litre chain drive Bugatti racing car, created and owned by the eponymous Ettore Bugatti who raced it to great success at Le Mans and the Mont Ventoux Hill Climb between 1912-1914. The car was subsequently sold to HRH The Duke of Bavaria. Most recently, the car was driven ‘up the hill’ for the second time at the 2009 Goodwood Festival of Speed where it performed faultlessly and, unsurprisingly, attracted a huge amount of interest.
There are only three of these cars left worldwide – one is ensconced at the French National Motor Museum as part of the former Schlumpf Collection, the other – nicknamed “Black Bess” – was recently sold into a major private collection by Bonhams at Retromobile 2009 for €2,427,500. The sale at the “Weekend de L’Excellence Automobile” represents a unique opportunity to acquire this outstanding automobile , which has attracted a pre-sale estimate of €1,800,000-2,400,000.
A superb private collection of Mercedes Benz cars is also being offered in the sale. Of these, particular highlights are a 1937 Mercedes Benz 540K Cab. C, delivered new to the UK, which is estimated at €400,000-600,000 and a 1955 Mercedes 300SL “Gullwing” estimated at €350,000-450,000.
Other outstanding vehicles to be sold by Bonhams include two legendary convertible sports cars in a 1968 Ferrari 330 GTS which is estimated at €325,000-425,000 and a 1970 Aston Martin DB6 MKII Volante which has a pre-sale estimate of €325,000-375,000.
The Weekend de L’Excellence will also see a series of demonstration runs organised on the former Grand Prix circuit, with collectors’ cars including three from the Jaguar Heritage Trust who are bringing Le Mans models from the UK: a C-type, D-type and XJR9. Some of motorcycling’s biggest names – Giacomo Agostini, Phil Read and Jean-Francois Baldé – will also be on-hand to talk about their career highlights and ride former mounts.
James Knight, International Managing Director of the Bonhams Motoring Department comments: “We have been very pleased with the response and the entries consigned to date reflect the confidence from vendors that we ourselves have in the venue. We will be able to market entries in this sale via our Beaulieu Autojumble and Goodwood Revival sales that take place over the preceding two weeks.”
Philip Kantor, International Director Business Development, Collectors’ Motor Cars for Bonhams Europe comments: “Bonhams Europe are delighted to hold their first auction on the former French GP circuit of Reims-Gueux, the site of many epic motor sport battles in the past. The restored grandstands and pits, which have recently been classed a national monument by France’s ministry of culture, will provide and ideal setting for what promises to be a memorable motoring weekend in the heart of champagne country.”