He Drove It His Way

February 6, 2017 by Bonhams


1947 Cadillac Series 62 Convertible (€40,000-60,000)

One of only two of its kind known in France at the time, this Cadillac was owned by French pop royalty, Claude Francois. Francois achieved stardom with his song Comme d'habitude, which later became a global hit under its English title My Way, sung by the legendary Frank Sinatra. Former French President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing is quoted as saying that Claude Francois was the French equivalent of The Beatles! The car recently underwent a brake and suspension overhaul, and remains a supremely comfortable car to drive.

1956 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith Long-wheelbase Limousine (€35,000-55,000)

The last word in motoring luxury, the car was exhibited at the 1956 Paris Auto Show and was purchased by M. Dupré, director of the Plaza Athénée, to serve as the hotel's airport car for its most important guests. The car is accompanied by footage of the then President, René Coty, admiring it at the show.

Lancia Stratos Group 4 Coupé (€350,00-450,000)

One of only 400 made, it has been in present ownership since 1998. The first owner (rather than the factory) undertook a painstaking period update to bring the car to its current state, and the engine underwent a rebuild a mere 4,000kms ago. Extensively campaigned and amazingly never crashed, this is a truly iconic Group 4 rally car and 'quite simply the best, most successful and most beautiful rally car in the world.' – Graham Robson, A-Z of Works Rally Cars. It is joined by a 1977 Lancia Stratos Coupé which boasts visible body panel numbers, a charming interior patina and all original instruments. (€350,000-400,000)

1958 Facel Vega FV3B Coupé (€190,000-240,000)

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    Taking its name from the brightest star in the Lyra constellation, this elegant vehicle embodies the stylish yet speedy models which characterized the marque. Celebrity owners included Ava Gardner, Ringo Starr and Stirling Moss. This example is one of three Facel Vegas offered in the sale, and is believed to be the last of its kind produced. It was delivered new to none other than Maurice Trintignant, the famous French racing driver who won both the 1954 Le Mans 24H Race and the 1955 Monaco Grand Prix.

    1970 Porsche 914/6GT (€180,000-240,000)

    Bonhams will offer this superb example which was constructed in 1971 by the German team, Kremer racing, using the 1970 model as the basis. It has taken part in the International German Hill Climb Championship and remains eligible for the Tour Auto, in which it has already participated. Presented in competition trim including built-in roll cage, the car is offered with a spare gearbox and two differentials.

    The sale will also feature:

    - 1943 Ford GPA Amphibious military vehicle. One of very few survivors and extensively restored, this 'amphibious Jeep' is a guaranteed head-turner presented in excellent 'on the button' condition. (€140,000-170,000)

    - 1994 Lancia Hyena Coupé. No. 15 of 24 built and approx. 8,000km from new, this is believed to be one of only two examples finished in Verde Zagato. It is an ultra rare and seriously fast coupé, capable of up to 220km/h and 0-100km/h in only 5.4 seconds. A fantastic opportunity for anyone seeking a unique and potent tourer. (€150,000-200,000)

    - 1928 Tracta D2 Sports. One of a tiny handful sold in the UK, the car is eligible for the prestigious Le Mans Classic race. (€60,000-80,000)

    - 1957 Lamborghini DLA 35 Tractor. A fantastic route in to Lamborghini ownership, this tractor is one of approximately 117 built. Finished in the correct (and eye-catching) orange and blue livery, it underwent a restoration in 2016. (€20,000-25,000)

    - 1968 APAL Horizon GT Coupé. An exceedingly rare model – one of only 10 ever produced. With a maximum speed of approx. 200km/h thanks to its Porsche engine which produces an impressive 100bhp. The car is presented effectively 'as new.' A fascinating piece of automotive history. (€50,000-70,000)

  • Photo credit: Bonhams
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