The managing director of French auction house Artcurial Motorcars has cited political uncertainty in Europe for a slow sales day at this year’s Le Mans Classic.
“Despite the glorious sunshine, our great friends the British collectors were sadly missing,” said Matthieu Lamoure. “Although the sales results reflected the effect of Brexit somewhat, we were delighted by the public’s appetite for competition cars during the amazing display at Le Mans Classic, evidence of the strength of passion for the automobile.”
The plunging value of the pound following Britain’s decision to leave the European Union has made buying cars abroad a less appealing proposition, but despite the lack of Brits in the room, a number of high-profile cars still got away.
Top of the pile was a 1977 Porsche 935 competition car, which beat its lower estimate of €1.1m to sell for €1.3m to an American collector. The car was raced at Le Mans in 1980 by Artcurial’s honourary chairman Hervé Poulain, who said: “What a pleasure to come back every other year to a circuit that I knew so well and love so much.”
A highly sought-after 1973 Porsche 911 Carrera 2.7 RS fetched €476,800, while a 1961 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster was snapped up for €953,000.
A 1937 Bugatti Type 57 became the subject of a frantic bidding war on the phones eventually sold for twice its estimate at €524,500.
Away from the classics, a number of Steve McQueen collectibles also crossed the block, including a three-piece suit from 1973, which beat its estimate to make €10,400.