New York – Christie’s Americas first car auction of the year is set to take place on June 3 at the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance, to be held at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park, located on a peninsula at the head of Greenwich Harbor in Connecticut. The third year an Exceptional Motor Cars sale has been held at the site, the auction follows on from the successful car sale held at Rétromobile in Paris in February that totaled $9.5 million.
With the company’s flagship Monterey sale set for August 16 in California, this Greenwich auction kicks off the American season of sales for 2007 and will offer collectors from across the country and the world an opportunity to bid on a broad selection of 35 cars, from a 1909 Chalmers-Detroit Thirty Touring to a 1974 Porsche 914.
“With a emphasis on quality and diversity over quantity, Christie’s International Motor Cars is dedicated to offering collectors well-curated and focused sales that represent the history of the automobile, and reflect the wide taste of the international collecting market,” says Christopher Sanger, Head of Car Sales, Christie’s Americas. “And, with our new flat rate buyer’s premium of 10% on all sales of Exceptional Motor Cars in the United States, we look forward to two sales this year that will simplify the process for the buyer and reduce the final cost of a car at auction.”
The sale is led by two 1930s Bugattis, one a recent and highly notable barn-find and both testaments to the legacy of Jean Bugatti. A 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Atalante Coupe that has been in parked in a garage since 1962 when it was only 24 years old is sure to tempt collectors and restorers. The vehicle offers a unique opportunity to own a fine example of a car that marked the ascendancy of Jean Bugatti within the fabled automaker family before his tragic death in 1939. The Type 57 was his finest achievement, neatly melding his mechanical and aesthetic talents, and hinted what the marque could have achieved under his guidance. The car is complete and remarkably well-preserved (estimate: $300,000-400,000). A 1931 Bugatti Type 49 Sports Coupe also features in the sale, with elegant coupe coachwork designed by the young Jean Bugatti for the 1932 Berlin Motor Show, where it was featured on the Bugatti stand. Four owners from new, this Bugatti was owned by the original buyer for 41 years – believed to be the longest period of original ownership for any Bugatti (estimate: $300,000-400,000).
The cult of the North American pickup truck is one of the most-loved enduring industry threads, and an eye-catching 1955 Chevrolet First Series 3100 Pickup Truck, fully restored after 22-months of work, will turn heads at the public view. Finished in factory-specification juniper green, this truck has won at countless concours and is in full working order (estimate: $35,000-45,000). A British 1960 Morris Minor Truck, built for the U.S. market, also features, again fully-restored and part of importation series that vied for American consumer attention against the Volkswagen Beetle. This ‘Moggy Truck’ is one of the most impressive to come to market and is ready to drive away from the auction after payment has been made (estimate: $20,000-30,000).
The top lot of the sale is a 1911 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP ‘Silver Ghost’ Roi-Des-Belges Tourer (estimate: $600,000-750,000). Built and delivered in England at the start of the century, this handsome car came to America in 1988, and while owned by Ohio car collector W.K. Haines, Sr. was immortalized by Franklin Mint which used the vehicle as a base for a celebratory die-cast model. A charming performer, this car has been almost in continuous use for 95 years (estimate: $600,000-750,000). Packard, the classic inter-war American marque is well represented in the sale by an unrestored 1931 Packard 833 Dual Cowl Phaeton. Known as the ‘Birthday Packard’, this is one of the best-known Packards in the country and one of the most extraordinary original vintage cars in existence. The paint, key fob and tool kit – along with the rest of the car – all remain in remarkable condition and its appearance at auction offers collectors a unique opportunity to bid on a much-loved car (estimate: $145,000-165,000).
Two lots in the sale pay tribute to the very earliest days of American driving. A 1909 Chalmers-Detroit Thirty Touring comes from a company created from some of the most well-known names in the infancy of the industry. A large and impressive automobile painted in royal blue, this car is a lively performer and would make an ideal brass-era tour entrant (estimate: $40,000-60,000). A 1914 Maxwell Model 50-6 7-Passenger Tourer comes from one of the most important early American manufacturers, a company that at one time was the third largest selling automobile in the U.S. The Model 50-6 was the top of the Maxwell line when introduced (estimate: $35,000-55,000).
Auction: Exceptional Motor Cars at the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance, June 3, 2007
Viewing: Greenwich Concours d’Elegance, Connecticut, June 1 – 3
Christie’s is the longest continuous name in the collectors’ car market, having held auctions devoted solely to motor cars since 1972. Christie’s remains the choice of the individual who wishes to sell a unique and rare motor car or collection. Uniquely placed in the market, Christie’s International Motor Cars concentrates on quality rather than quantity. The Department consists of seven specialists based in London, Brussels, New York, Texas and California, devoted to network of sale sites that include Paris, Le Mans, Monterey and Connecticut.
Visit the Christie’s Car Department at www.christies.com/cars