Beetle beats Paris snails
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’