Market and auctions

Artcurial and Dorotheum: dazzling fireworks

Cliff Goodall’s view

Photo credit: Artcurial, Dorotheum

Lamborghini, Lamborghini and Lamborghini once again. The two auctions held in mid-October in Europe were dominated by the Raging Bull but also by rising prices, especially among the many Youngtimers.

Just like being behind the wheel: everything you need to know to fully understand the situation

Dorotheum organized an auction in Salzburg, while Artcurial hosted theirs at home in Paris.

Just like being behind the wheel: everything you need to know to fully understand the situation

Sales numbers were 76.25% at Artucurial, but this hides an excellent performance with many lots awarded above their estimates: a turnover of €7,261,882 ($7,202,497) was equivalent to 97.66% of the €7,436,000 ($7,346,396) pre-sale estimates. Dorotheum did even better: 90.32% of their cars found new homes (56 out of 62) and €3,078,275 ($3,053,100) in total revenue – more than the €3,041,000 ($3,004,355) expected.

Just like being behind the wheel: everything you need to know to fully understand the situation

All this, and I cannot underestimate the importance of this fact, with just 31% and 13% of cars offered without reserve, respectively.

Just like being behind the wheel: everything you need to know to fully understand the situation

The most expensive lots all had a Raging Bull on their badges: The top lot of both sales was a 1969 Lamborghini Miura S offered by Artcurial: one owner since 1974, 52,000 km on the clock, original engine and “fully matching numbers”, including the original bonnet, unfortunately it was originally white and was repainted red forty years ago (but the camel interior was original). Presented to perfection, with an oddly broad estimate, €900,000-€1,400,000, it was sold for €1,416,000 ($1,404,420). A high price but more than justified.

1969 Lamborghini Miura S sold for €1,416,000 ($1,404,420)

Dorotheum energetically pushed their 1989 Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary that once belonged to Mario Andretti with just 7,408 km to its credit. The US-specification might have been a handicap but even in this case, the estimate of €320,000-€420,000 was exceeded. Sold for €460,000 ($456,238).

1989 Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary sold for €460,000 ($456,238)

Both auctions had a Murciélago on offer. The 2005 LP 670-4 Coupé from Dorotheum with 29,700 km on the clock and estimated at €170,000-€250,000, was sold for €195,500. The one from Artcurial was slightly different: a 2005 Roadster with 26,600 km to its credit and a manual gearbox (one of only twenty produced). Here the estimate was substantial: €295,000-€345,000, but that was quickly exceeded when the hammer fell at €381,440 ($378,320). Record-breaking.

2005 Lamborghini Murciélago Roadster Manual Gearbox sold for €381,440 ($378,320)

Artcurial’s second-most expensive car is also worthy of note. Not just a usual Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona from 1974, but one of the 7 originally painted in Verde Medio Metallizzato with brown leather interior. An amazing colour scheme and, if we look at the prices of the ten Daytonas sold in the more recent auctions, it’s obvious I’m not the only one who thinks so. The cheapest, in fact, was sold for €440,000 and the most expensive went for €679,000. The estimate of €650,000-€850,000 for this one was a bit of a stretch but the market, however, understood that this colour combination added value and assigned it a premium of almost €200,000. Sold for €870,160 ($863,044).

1974 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 Daytona sold for €870,160 ($863,044)

Going down in price there was an incomprehensible sale of a Volkswagen T1 Combi 1600, produced in Brazil in 1974 (hence the chassis that begins with BH) and recently transformed into a replica of a 23-Window. The estimate of €50,000-€70,000 was perfectly in line with other sales of recent tim

1974 VW Combi T1 1600 modified “Samba” 23 windows sold for €192,852 ($191,275)

Four lots (two at Dorotheum, two at Artcurial), all produced between 1983 and 1995, sent both halls into a flurry and thoroughly deserve a mention:

The Austrians brought a 1993 Steyr-Fiat Panda 4×4 Country Club with just 52,000 km to their event. Produced under license by the Austrian Steyr-Puch, the company that had developed the 4×4 version, it was estimated at €8,000-€12,000 without reserve but the offers pushed it up to €13,800 ($13,685).

1993 Steyr-Fiat Panda 4×4 “Country Club“ sold for €13,800 ($13,685)

Still at Dorotheum, up for auction was a very elegant 1990 BMW 325i Cabriolet in silver with brown interior, but it had covered 182,000 km. The estimate of €18,000-€26,000 seemed optimistic to me, but the offers flooded in, and it ended up going for €29,900 ($29,655).

1990 BMW 325i Cabriolet sold for €29,900 ($29,655)

Artcurial did even better and set a new record for a Volkswagen Golf. One of the last MkI’s produced in 1983 was a 16V prepared by Oettinger, in its typical black livery. The current record was set last May at €38,747, while the estimate of €45,000-€55,000 for this example clearly put it in pole position for the record, all they had to do was sell it. But someone with a healthy appetite for that period ended up paying €60,792 ($60,295) for it…

1983 VW Golf 16V Oettinger sold for €60,792 ($60,295)

And finally, the Renault Clio. A 1995 Williams, which had always been in the official Renault collection, with 31,000 km. Remembering prices somewhere between €10,000-€15,000 a decade ago, I imagined that the right one here was about €20,000. The estimate was higher: from €25,000, but, after a never-ending bidding war, it changed hands for €73,904 ($73,300)! It is all very well that the market is in turmoil, but here we are beyond the imaginable.

1995 Renault Clio Williams sold for €73,904 ($73,300)

My favourite? The Renault Twizy Sport F1, which compared to the normal version that develops 17 hp, is equipped with KERS that raises the power to 97hp for 14 seconds! Produced in very few numbers, you can’t road register it, but you can have a blast using it as a go-kart on the track… Estimated at €15,000-€30,000, it sold for €38,144 ($37,832). That’s a very impressive acceleration!

2013 Renault Twizy Sport F1 sold for €38,144 ($37,832)