This week some of the finest classic cars in the world have descended on Paris for Rétromobile, an annual five-day extravaganza of all things automotive, held at the Porte de Versailles Exhibition Centre in the French capital’s 15th arrondissement.
Among the delectable displays of classic metal (and the launch of the reborn Range Rover) one of the highlights of the Rétromobile week are the prestige automotive auctions, offering up everything from classic Ferraris to the very best Bugattis.
Every year, one auction house – RM Sotheby’s – always manages to consign some of the most mouth-watering motors and this year was no exception, with the Anglo-Canadian specialist catering for all automotive tastes in 2017.
From the myriad lots at its sale in the Place Vauban (just a few blocks away from the Eiffel Tower) here are our five favourite offerings that went under the hammer on Wednesday at RM Sotheby’s Rétromobile sale:
Renault 5 Turbo 2
Forget the Renault Clio V6, the Renault 5 Turbo was Dieppe’s original crazy hot hatch. Based on the geometrically-styled supermini, the 5 Turbo was a homologation special for the infamous Group B rally regulations, complete with a 162hp turbocharged four pot, rear-wheel drive and a ludicrously flared bodykit.
Oh, and the engine was where the rear seats were normally found. We did mention it was crazy, right?
In 1983 the Renault 5 Turbo 2 was released, using a new steel body panels but retaining the potent 1,397cc powerplant and all-round double wishbone suspension. One of just 3,200 Turbo 2s, this example went under the RM hammer for €89,600 (including all the various auction fees).
Porsche 911 R
If you’ve ever seen Steve McQueen’s Le Mans movie, you’ll undoubtedly have clocked the Slate Grey classic Porsche 911S that the American star stares broodingly from at the start of the seminal racing flick. You’re not the only one.
Thanks to the allure of the enigmatic McQueen, Slate Grey has become one of the most popular colours through Porsche Exclusive’s ‘Paint to Sample’ scheme. A full-on homage to the American star, this Porsche 911 R is no exception.
Car no. 976 of 991 (1967 was the year of the original 911R, so it’s a pretty cool chassis number), this Porsche 991 R has done just 600km from new since being delivered to France. Ultimately realising €515,200 – pretty much slap bang in the middle of its estimate – it may have looked like a shameless cash-in but 25 per cent of the €460,000 hammer price went to a cancer research institute just south of Paris; a nice touch.
Ferrari Dino 206 GT
Forget the myriad of 250 GTs, we reckon the Ferrari Dino 206 GT – styled by renowned Italian design house, Scaglietti – is the most beautiful car to ever leave Maranello, and it didn’t even wear the famous prancing horse!
The first in the famous line of mid-engined, V6-powered Dinos, this particular ‘Argento Auteil Metallizzato’ (that’s metallic silver if you don’t speak Italian) example is one of just 154 aluminium-bodied 206 GTs ever made. So it’s rare.
€526,400 was what you neeed to secure you this alluring piece of Maranello metal and we reckon, if you’re the one lucky enough to be driving it home, you’ll be instantly won over by the howl of that 2.0-litre, Weber carburettor-fed V6 powerplant. We won’t be jealous. Much.
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series
Is there a more intimidating modern supercar than the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Black Series? If you saw one in your rear view mirror, we reckon you’d jump out the way pretty sharpish. Just look at it…
Taking the already brutish SLS AMG, the Black Series added even more German muscle into the mix, raising the 6.2-litre V8 motor’s output to 630hp (an increase of 61hp over the standard car) while simultaneously shaving 70kg from the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG’s dry weight, helped by a rather vocal titanium exhaust system and a large smattering of carbon fibre.
Finished in Solar Beam Yellow, this French-registered example with just 9,350km on the clock was snapped up way over its estimate of €320,000-€380,000, the winning bidder eventually writing a cheque for €470,400.
Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA
The new Alfa Romeo Giulia may have grabbed the headlines in recent months but, for us, it’s all about the original Bertone-styled sports saloon and RM Sotheby’s Rétromobile sale just so happens to have one of the best: an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA.
Designed to go racing in the European Touring Car Championship, the Giulia Sprint GTA was available to customers with a number of motorsport-inspired options, such as fibreglass door panels and plastic windows, options which the original owner of this 1965 car was more than obliging to spec.
Complete with its original, high-revving 1,570cc, twin overhead cam inline four engine, this particular Giulia Sprint GTA is one of just 50 cars built in the model’s first year of production yet with a high bid of €300,000 it failed to reach its reserve and scream its way to a new owner.