It’s that time of the year, when the entire luxury automobile realm collectively held its breath in anticipation of the highly prestigious 2012 Artcurial Motorcars à Rétromobile. This annual event showcases some of most stunning and expensive vintage cars that the world has ever seen. Organized in collaboration with Mercedes Benz France, the Artcurial serves as an exhibition-cum-auction event, offering collectors and auto enthusiasts alike a chance to place and win bids on some of the most rare and exquisite vintage cars. This year’s Artcurial in Paris was no different and brought to the eagerly awaiting attendees numerous classic sports cars from various high profile auto manufacturers, such as the likes of Bugatti, Mercedes Benz etc. As always, some of these timeless beauties on wheels were available for sale, while others were only brought in for exhibition purposes, due to their extreme rarity and unforgettable impact on the auto industry.
Here at Elite Choice, it is our immense pleasure to bring to our readers the three entrees to the 2012 Artcurial Motorcars à Rétromobile that stole the show with their unmatched looks and a stellar history.
1. 1959 Ferrari 250 GTO LWB
Owner: Roger Vadim
Sold For: $5.97 Million
Widely considered to be one of the rarest Ferrari models ever to have been designed, a 1959 Ferrari 250 GTO LWB was sold at the 2012 Artcurial Motorcars à Rétromobile, bringing a mind blowing $5.97 million. This particular model was number 22nd of the only 47 examples ever produced and belonged to the famed French screenwriter, director Roger Vadim. This luxury vintage Ferrari sports a factory hardtop and is known to have French movie director Jean Claude Bajol is one of its stellar owners. The 1959 Ferrari 250 GTO LWB was powered by a naturally aspirated V12 aluminum alloy engine that produced a remarkable 250 bhp. Along with a four speed manual transmission, the Ferrari 250 GTO LWB was more than capable of achieving an acceleration of 0 to 60 mph in just 6.5 seconds, while attaining a top speed of a stunning 145 mph. With this magnificent sale, this vintage Ferrari has once again established its aura of being one of the most desirable vintage cars.
2. 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic
Owner: Peter Mullin
Sold For: Exhibition Only
Renowned the world over as the most expensive vintage car, a 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic became the highlight of the prestigious 2012 Artcurial Motorcars à Rétromobile in Paris this year. Though this luxury vintage car wasn’t put up for sale, however, it’s mere presence at the event was more than sufficient to elicit an awe from the attendees. This particular Type 57SC Atlantic belongs to collector Peter Mullin, who had purchased it after shedding a massive amount of money that hovers between the price of $30 million to $40 million. The 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic is known to be the first supercar ever built and hence was powered by a supercharged inline 8 cylinder engine, giving an output of a staggering 210 bhp. The Type 57SC Atlantic was also fused with a four speed manual transmission that enabled this expensive vintage supercar to reach a top speed of 124 mph, while making a successful sprint of 0 – 60 mph in under ten seconds. The 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic is known to be an extremely rare vintage car with only three examples still in existence. Besides the one showcased at the Artcurial, the rest two are in private hands, where in one resides in the personal collection of fashion giant Ralph Lauren, while the other model is on display at the Mullin Museum, in Oxnard, California.
3. 1952 Mercedes Benz 300 SL (W 194 series)
Owner: Mercedes-Benz France
Sold For: Exhibition Only
Remembered widely as one of the most successful race cars to have ever come off the production lines of German automobile giant Mercedes-Benz, at the 2012 Artcurial Motorcars à Rétromobile, the event was sizzled with the arrival of a vintage 1952 Mercedes Benz 300 SL (W 194 series). Offered only as an exhibition model, the Benz 300SL (W 194 Series) was made available for the event by Mercedes Benz France, which is the main sponsor of the exhibition-cum-auction event. The W 194 series is currently in the possession of the Mercedes Benz Classic Collection is best known for its epic win at the 1952 Le Mans race. With time, this legendary vintage Mercedes Benz continued to gain further accolades at international racing events such as the Mille Miglia rally, Bern Sports Car Grand Prix, as well the 3rd Carrera Panamericana event. The model showcased at the Artcurial is the second example of 1952 Mercedes Benz 300 SL (W 194 series), while the original winner of the 1952 Le Mans race sadly doesn’t exist anymore. This magnificent vintage Mercedes race car was powered by a 6-cylinder in-line engine with overhead camshaft that were equally complemented with 3 Solex twin carburetors, providing 175 bhp. Combined with a four speed manual transmission, the W 194 Series was capable of reaching a top speed of a mind boggling 230 km/h, while sporting a displacement of 2,996 cc.