Maserati Boomerang flies at auction


The one-off Maserati Boomerang concept car has sold at Bonhams’ inaugural Chantilly auction for an incredible £2,439,555, just 10 years after crossing the block at Christie's for just over half a million pounds.  

The Giugiaro-penned wedge proved as big a hit at the chateau north of Paris as it did at the Turin Motor Show, where it was first unveiled to the public in 1972. Borrowing its mechanical underpinnings and 4.7-litre V8 engine from the Bora Coupé, the Boomerang produced 310bhp and featured styling cues that would influence cars designed more than a decade later, including the DeLorean DMC-12, Lancia Delta and Quattroporte III. 

Its strong performance in the auction room was no doubt helped by being fully roadworthy, the result of an extensive restoration which began in 2002, plus a string of concours prizes from Villa d’Este, Avignon Retro Festival, Zoute Councours d’Elegance, to name but a few. 

The car’s profile was also raised after featuring in a series of recent television advertisements for Louis Vuitton. 

Another Turin Motor Show star from Maserati’s stable also sold well, this time the earlier 1968 Mexico prototype. It fetched £454,261. 

One of a trio of cars created by Pietro Frua, the 4.7-litre Mexico is arguably the most attractive of the pair – the third car featured a Mistral body. It is also the most potent, its sister car featuring a smaller 4.2-litre engine and more polarising nose and headlight treatment. 

The Mexico was closely followed by a 1959 Ferrari 250GT, which made £437,437. The matching-numbers example had covered only 10,000km since a full restoration, which was carried out by marque specialists in Switzerland. 

A 1959 AC Ace Bristol also performed well, fetching £222,924. One of just 465 examples produced, the left-hand-drive roadster was originally delivered to its first owner in Illinois, before passing through a number of hands including noted vintage racer Richard Scott, of Sidney, Ohio. A full restoration followed, as did entry into the 2009 Colorado Grand. 

Also offering wind-in-your-hair motoring was a 1961 Citroën DS19 Cabriolet, though the pre-series Chapron-bodied beauty was an altogether more exclusive proposition. The car is the oldest surviving ‘factory’ cabriolet built, and was the 11th off the production line. 

It fetched £168,245 at the Chantilly sale – considerably more than the figure for which it was first bought in Portugal. 

A 1934 Mercedes-Benz 500K Cabriolet offered a more vintage flavour, but at a price – £445,849 to its new owner. Of the 354 cars produced, around 90 boasted Cabriolet C coachwork, making this example one of the most sought-after 500Ks. 
Bonhams’ car boasted an interesting history, having been bought for $1300 by a US serviceman in the early ‘60s before eventually finding its way back to Europe. 

A 1951 Lancia Aurelia looked like a bargain in comparison: the B52 Coupe sold for £126,183. The car was exhibited at the 1951 Turin Motor Show, and was one of fewer than 100 examples to feature the longer B52 chassis. 

Presented in incredibly original condition: it even sported its factory fitted CEAT whitewall tyres, while showing just 3700km on the clock. 

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