A €560,000 (£493,022) sale price ensured that a 1968 Lamborghini Miura P400 was the standout lot when an astounding 81-car barn-find collection recently unearthed in France went under the hammer at the weekend.
This matching-numbers, V12-engined example shows 77,886km on its odometer and joined the collection in 1996. The seemingly honest pre-sale description says it has rust in a number of areas and that non-standard parts include Ferrari-branded wheel nuts.
Much of the bidding was online, mostly to Swiss and American buyers, and it’s understood the Miura sold to a telephone bidder from Switzerland who, we’d imagine, now has quite a project on his or her hands.
The collection, which could already be the best barn-find of 2019, was amassed by a gentleman called Henry Ruggieri and it’s understood he never used most of his hoard – indeed, to prevent them from being sold, he removed a key component from each car.
The Miura was the top seller by quite a considerable margin, the second most expensive lot being a 1961 Series 1 Jaguar E-type, which had been in this amazing collection since 1970 and which achieved €99,000 (£87,159).
Rounding out this fascinating podium was the sole Porsche in Ruggieri’s custodianship, a very sorry-looking 1953 356 Pre-A.
Described as having been exposed to the elements for a long time and being very incomplete with significant corrosion, it went to a new home for €48,000 (£42,259).
A pair of Citroën 10hps also crossed the block, the 1921 example fetching €650 (£572), the one from 1919 commanding the rather higher figure of €2300 (£2025), while a 1960 2CV sold for €1300 (£1144).
A pair of Lancia Flaminias found new homes for €2000 (£1760) each, plus a ’62 Flaminia Coupé reached €3600 (£3170).
One lot described as a great basis for a restoration – a description which surely could be applied to the majority of the cars consigned to this sale – was a 1958 Lincoln Continental MkIII that achieved €18,500 (£16,287), making it one of the pricier sales.
Its cause might have been helped by the fact that it was the final car acquired by Ruggieri, back in 2012, so its condition was better than many others.
Indeed, it was one of several Continentals listed and at €12,000 (£10,564) a burgundy ’56 example was another of the auction’s bigger sales.
Other sales that stood out from this amazing collection included a 1955 Simca Coupé de Ville that sold for €8100 (7131) and a 1981 Chevrolet Corvette C3 that went for €8000 (£7043), while bidding reached a not-insubstantial €17800 (£15,671) on a 1924 Rolland-Pilain B22.
This stylish French slice of the ’20s wasn't actually registered until July 1933 and has a seized engine, but we hope someone can bring it back to its best.
Indeed, fingers crossed that last weekend’s sale was the light at the end of the tunnel for each of these 81 cars, even if some new owners now have quite a lot of work on their hands.
Finally, at the other end of the scale from the likes of the Miura and E-type, a sorry looking Ford Transit van sold for a mere €100 (£83). Nor was it even the cheapest lot: a couple of Fiat 131 cars sold for €70 (£61) and €50 (£43) respectively, and a Peugeot 304 also changed hands for €50.