French fan­cies sell well

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Auction News - RICHARD HUD­SONEVANS

A dry-stored and dusty Citroën 2CV Sa­hara – one of very few sur­viv­ing twin-en­gined ec­centrics of the less than 700 built – that had trav­elled only 11,367 kilo­me­tres in 55 years went un­der the Artcu­rial ham­mer at Rétro­mo­bile in Paris. It achieved €168,200 (£129,514 with pre­mium), which was £43,000 more than the top es­ti­mate. This set a new world record for a Sa­hara 4x4 and, in­deed, any 2CV at auc­tion.

Mean­while, one of the last of the more main­stream 2CVs of the 5,114,961 pro­duced, a Charleston Edi­tion 2CV 6 that had only one owner from new in 1990 made €371,120 (£28,582) – top es­ti­mate money. In ad­di­tion, a well pre­served 1987 AZKA snail, ac­quired new and driven 11,206k by An­dre Trig­ano, whose huge cache of Citroëns were so suc­cess­fully thinned in Paris, fetched €15,080 (£11,612), £2300 more than had been fore­cast. Also, a baguette-de­liv­er­ing 1964 2CV AK 350 Four­gonette van with 20cm ex­tended plat­form, sui­cide doors, cor­ru­gated sides and ham­mock seats col­lected a top es­ti­mate of €12,180 euros (£9379).

The model that trig­gered Trig­ano’s ad­dic­tion for the dou­ble chevron mar­que was a 1939 Trac­tion 11B Cabrio that had been driven by French Re­sis­tance mem­bers in World War 2. Trig­ano drove his favourite 77-year-old au­to­mo­bile onto the auc­tion stage, where, af­ter sev­eral min­utes bid­ding, the stun­ningly re­stored ex­am­ple sold for €162,400 euros (£125,048), one of six world record prices that were es­tab­lished for Citroëns dur­ing this ses­sion.

Thor­oughly English Mi­nis from the mis­man­aged BMC and Rover pe­ri­ods also pulled sur­pris­ingly well in the French cap­i­tal. The 1998 Mini Cooper sup­plied di­rectly to the John Cooper Works in Lit­tle­hamp­ton to be spe­cially re­built with a Swif­tune 1380cc mo­tor and straight-cut five-speed gear­box for John Cooper him­self made €69,600 (£53,592).

The very last Mini Cooper S Works of the fi­nal 50 that came off the Long­bridge line on 25 April 2001 be­came the per­sonal car of Mrs John Cooper. Driven only 550 miles, the Mrs Cooper Mini Cooper went for €69,600 (£40,194).

A re­stored and in­ter­nally up­graded 1961 Austin Mini Coun­try­man in left-hand drive, one of the first half-tim­bered es­tates with a fuel tank within the car rather than lo­cated un­der­neath, but with 998cc rather than orig­i­nal 848 en­gine, sold for €59,160 (£45,553). Mean­while, €40,600 (£31,262) was lav­ished on a LHD 1966 Austin Mini Cooper 1275S that had been French lo­cal hill-climbed dur­ing it first own­er­ship and re­stored in a work­shop be­tween 1993 and 2008.

Then €41,760 was handed over for a Manoir de l’Au­to­mo­bile mu­seum work­shop re­stored 1963 Ranault Dauphine. One of only 2140 of the 1093cc Sports ver­sions made, the car had a four-speed ex­port gear­box and a tacho in place of the stor­age com­part­ment to the left of the steer­ing wheel.

And fi­nally, restora­tion projects not only ex­cited plenty of dreamy view­ing and some bullish bid­ding at the Paris sales, but, in the re­ally scruffy case of an Alfa GTA non-run­ner, per­formed phe­nom­e­nally. The 1965 Alfa Romeo Gi­u­lia Sprint GTA, one of the very first, had been es­ti­mated by the auc­tion­eers at €150,000200,000. Such was the auc­tion fer­vour, the fi­nal bid fell at €429,200 (£330,484).

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