Retromobile 2022 is McLaren heaven
Please let Retromobile be the turning point for 2022. Large crowds gathering to see classic cars. Let us take you on a tour.
There is no denying that Retromobile 2022 was a compromised edition. Instead of the usual different halls at Paris Expo, this year’s edition saw the whole show concentrated on just two floors of one big hall. And on one floor half of the available space went to Artcurial’s auction. But with 372 lots sold over a two-day auction, it was equally clear that Artcurial needed the space. More on Artcurial further down.
With many of the dealers who had elevated Retromobile to the star event at the beginning of the year skipping this year’s show, it was clear from the beginning Retromobile 2022 would be struggling. It is testimony to the organisers and to Simon Kidston in particular that they have managed to make Retromobile 2022 a strong event nonetheless. Even though Retromobile 2022 lacked the quality of earlier years, we would still qualify this year’s edition as a ‘grand cru’.
With many of the other dealers missing, Simon Kidston grabbed the chance to steal the show with both hands. Bringing together seven McLaren F1s out of a total production run of just 107 cars is an impressive feat indeed. On the racing side, we saw both the long tail GTR and short tail GTR in respective iconic Gulf and Fina colours. If it wasn’t already clear, the McLaren F1 is hands down the most important supercar of the nineties.
Next to that, Ascott Collection impressed with two crown jewels from the former John Campion collection, the Martini-liveried Lancia LC1 and LC2. That last one being chassis 1 on top of that. And next to those two stood the beautiful Kremer Porsche 917 K81.
We loved the Gordini exposition the Retromobile organisers had put together. For example, this 1953 Type 24S that ran in the 1954 Mille Miglia was on loan from the Schlumpf collection. In stark contrast, Renault’s show stand focused entirely on the 50 years of the Renault 5, but not a single rally car was present. A strange oversight. French racing heroes Gérard Larrousse and Henri Pescarolo showed up at Retromobile as well.
3.8 million euros Porsche
At the Artcurial auction, the absolute highlight was the ex-works Porsche 907, residing in the Ernst Schuster collection for close to forty years. It took fourth in the Nürburgring 1000 Km in 1968 with Neerpasch and Buzzetta behind the wheel. The car also participated in three editions of the Le Mans 24 Hours. Hammered at 3.8 million euros, the Porsche 907 stayed just below the low estimate of 4 million euros.
Le Mans Lotus
The 1974 Porsche 911 Carrera 3.0 RSR from the same collection failed to sell at auction despite a high bid of 1.6 million euros. The Peugeot 908 HDi, winner of the 2011 WEC round in China, was also a no-sell at auction with a high bid of 1.6 million euros. In sharp contrast, the Talbot Samba Evolution was maybe the cheapest Group B rally car ever, changing hands for 45,000 euros (excluding premiums).
John Watson’s 1980 McLaren M29 made an impressive 280,000 euros. The 1958 Lotus 11, one of four cars that raced at Le Mans, sold for 200,000 euros. The highlight from the Bandini collection, the 1957 Bandini 750 Sport Internazionale Sapetta, sold for 535,000 euros (excluding premiums). Bandini raced the car in the 1957 Mille Miglia.
From Saturday’s auction day, we retain the Lempereur collection’s Ford RS200 (a road model) selling for 248,000 euros (hammer price) and the Metro 6R4 Clubman going for 166,000 euros. Artcurial can look back on some strong results, but just as undeniably, it was clear not all race cars were in demand.