Bee­tle beats Paris snails

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Buying & Selling - RICHARD HUD­SON-EVANS

A rare ‘pret­zel’ split-rear win­dow Volk­swa­gen Type 1 Bee­tle, a mainly un­mo­lested ‘orig­i­nal’ driven only 77,000 kilo­me­tres from new in 1952, flew past a trio of Citroën 2CVs to sell for €58,240 (£49,594 in­clud­ing RM Sotheby’s pre­mium) dur­ing three Paris sales, which were not just all about mega-mil­lion in­vest­ment au­to­mo­biles.

Just over 118,000 pun­ters were suf­fi­ciently en­thu­si­as­tic about old mo­tors to pore over more than 500 cars on dis­play within the 65,000sq m of Sa­lon Rétro­mo­bile. For this was where an only 40km from new 1990 2CV Charleston, a one Citroën dealer owned es­car­got that had been spared the re­al­ity de la route and tucked away for a sunny Fri­day in Paris Expo was ham­mered by Artcu­rial for €52,200 (£44,370).

But then the pre­ced­ing lot, a 2CV Dolly Edi­tion of 1990 vin­tage from the same Citroën deal­er­ship prin­ci­pal with a mere 30k on the odome­ter, had just sold for €41,760 (£35,496). While much ear­lier in the eight-hour marathon drive-past that grossed €34m, a 1956 2CV AZ ‘Ral­lye’ with re­newed floor­pan and a skid-plate be­neath the en­gine from restora­tion for his­toric ral­ly­ing, which it had never been sub­jected to, had sold for €31,320 (£26,622).

Back in the in­ter­na­tional iso­la­tion of Brex­it­land how­ever, such heady val­u­a­tions for very French 2CVs were not be­ing matched. For dur­ing Sun­day trad­ing in Som­er­set, within an unglam­orous unit on the Royal Bath & West Show­ground at Shepton Mal­let, a 1977 2CV with many pan­els re­paired or re­placed, and a new set of seat cov­ers and match­ing door cards, was sold by Char­ter­house for £6600, and a 1985 2CV 6 Charleston with a pre­vi­ously gal­vanised chas­sis trans­plant was ham­mered away to a new snail keeper for an even more mod­est £1210.

‘The VW Type 1 did even bet­ter than the dealer prin­ci­pal-owned Citroën 2CVs’

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