First Look: French Racing Cars, from Bugatti to Alpine-Renault

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France has been the spiritual home of auto racing since the world’s first Grand Prix race took place there in 1906. Despite garnering tremendous reception within enthusiast circles, French automobiles never managed to find their footing in mainstream appeal. Today, however, collectors have come to treasure the best of French sports and racing cars produced over the last century. Kicking off its 2018 European calendar, RM Sotheby’s fifth annual Paris auction will feature several French marques with unique charm and unmatched performance ethos – click ahead to see six of these gems. –Jake Auerbach  

RM Sotheby’s: Paris
7 February | Paris 

First Look: French Racing Cars, from Bugatti to Alpine-Renault

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    1974 Alpine-Renault A110 1600 S. Estimate €130,000–140,000 ($159,169–171,413).
    Originally finished in Blanc Gardenia, this Alpine-Renault competed in the 1975 Targa Florio and finished in an exceptional 23rd overall and 3rd in the 1.6-litre GT class. Its participation in the event is documented by period photographs and in the book Alpine Renault A110: Les Bleus Italiennes, written by Francesco Panarotto. 

    RM Sotheby’s: Paris
    7 February | Paris 
  •  
    1925 Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix. Estimate €500,000–700,000 ($612,190–857,066).
    The Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix is without a doubt one of the most iconic, eligible and rewarding pre-war racecars. This early Type 35 was delivered new to Lord Rocksavage, the future Lord Cholmondeley, on 3 January 1925, and photographed at his home in Cannes with Lady Sybil Cholmondeley. Dorothy Campbell, wife of Sir Malcolm, subsequently drove this car, which also placed 4th in the Junior Short Handicap at Brooklands.  

    RM Sotheby’s: Paris
    7 February | Paris 
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    1993 Bugatti EB 110 Super Sport Prototype. Estimate €850,000–1,100,000 ($1,040,720–1,346,820).
    Bugatti produced just 139 examples of the quad-turbo 3.5-litre V-12 EB110 and only 36 of a later variant called the EB110 Super Sport, which achieved a top speed of 216 mph. The car offered here, chassis no. PCD39006, is a factory prototype of the Super Sports variant and is an ultra-rare, significant automobile fit for any Bugatti connoisseur. 

    RM Sotheby’s: Paris
    7 February | Paris 
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    2017 Bugatti Chiron. Estimate €3,200,000–3,600,000 ($3,918,010–4,407,770).
    The Chiron is the most technologically advanced road-going car ever built. Like its predecessor, the Veyron, it is powered by an 8.0-litre quad-turbocharged W-16 engine, capable of propelling the car to a blisteringly fast 263 MPH. This particular Chiron is beautifully finished in two-tone Atlantic Blue over French Racing Blue livery and is one of the first 20 Chirons to be delivered worldwide. 

    RM Sotheby’s: Paris
    7 February | Paris 
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    1974 Alpine-Renault A110 B ‘Team Vialle.’ Estimate €140,000–180,000 ($171,413–220,388).
    Chassis no. 20377 is one of only two A110s thought to have been fitted with the ultra-rare Renault-Gordini engine – of which only 50 units were constructed. With twin overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder, this engine can produce an incredible 200 HP. This automobile is impeccably presented and is ready for immediate enjoyment on the road, as well as hill climbs, sprints or in the burgeoning Retro Rallycross Championship. 

    RM Sotheby’s: Paris
    7 February | Paris 
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    1950 AGS Panhard Monomill. Estimate €25,000–35,000 ($30,610–42,853).
    Dubbed the Atelier Guérin Special, or AGS for short, this single-seater track and hill climb racer was produced by a Pierre Guérin from a small garage in Grenoble. Powered by an 850-cc Panhard engine with a single Zenith carburetor, this is a car that begs to be returned to the track where the next owner will undoubtedly have a thrill behind the wheel. 

    RM Sotheby’s: Paris
    7 February | Paris 
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