RM Sotheby’s will have a new location for its February 1, 2023, Paris Auction: The Salles du Carrousel in Louvre Palace—in in the heart of the “golden triangle,” with cars crossing the block right next door to one of the most iconic museums in the world.
… Which seems fitting given the number of notable early consignments for Paris, among them a 2020 McLaren Senna LM, a limited-edition variant of the Senna commemorating the 25th anniversary of the McLaren F1 GTR’s victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans; a quartet of rare Italian machines (1972 Iso Grifo Targa Series II, 1964 Lamborghini 350 GT by Touring, 1970 Maserati Ghibli 4.7 Spyder by Ghia, and 1963 OSCA 1600 GT by Zagato); an exceptional 1964 Aston Martin DB5; and a 1982 Renault 5 Turbo Group 4.
“We are delighted to present these outstanding early consignments for our Paris sale, a flagship event on the auction calendar,” said Benjamin Arnaud, RM Sotheby’s Director of Sales, France. “The sale has always been known for its eclectic nature, and 2023 will be no exception. It’s also fitting that for our 10th anniversary, we have moved to an incredible new location.”
The 2020 McLaren Senna LM is one of just 35 such cars produced and was created through a joint collaboration between the McLaren Special Operations department and Lanzante Motorsport. Modifications include a power upgrade to 814hp and extra venting by the front fenders while its iconic Papaya orange livery pays homage to the 1995 McLaren F1 GTR Le Mans winner—25 years prior to the Senna LM’s launch. This example is presented in as-new condition with a just 15 kilometres on its clock.
Introduced halfway through the 1991 season, the Ferrari 643 was designed by Steve Nichols and Jean-Claude Migeot for the driver pairing of Alain Prost and his exciting young team-mate, Jean Alesi. Its predecessor was the short-lived 642, and while the 643 carried over that car’s 3,499-cc V-12, the carbon fibre-composite monocoque was heavily revised. The engine produced 710 horsepower at 13,800 rpm and drove through a seven-speed semi-automatic gearbox—technology that Ferrari had pioneered two years earlier.
Italian designers have penned some of the most beautiful cars ever produced, and the Paris sale already features some stunning examples incuding a 1972 Iso Grifo Targa Series II, which is one of only four open-topped examples to benefit from the more resolved second series styling. Delivered to the Sonntag dealership in Koblenz, it has resided in the current owner’s collection for more than 20 years.
Another car renowned for its crisp styling and modern lines is the 1970 Maserati Ghibli 4.7 Spyder by Ghia. Offered in fully restored condition and retaining its matching-numbers engine, this is an excellent example of one of Maserati’s most coveted models, one of just 83 4.7-litre Ghibli Spyders constructed.
Many consider Lamborghini’s earliest designs to be the company’s best, and the 1964 350 GT by Touring is one of the great Italian gran turismos. The car offered benefits from a recent full restoration and is believed to be one of approximately 50 examples that were aluminium bodied. It was Ferruccio Lamborghini’s first road car and, with 270 horsepower being driven through a five-speed manual gearbox, the 350 GT certainly packed a punch—and took the fight to Ferrari.
Another fascinating example is a 1963 OSCA 1600 GT by Zagato. The final model produced by the Maserati brothers, just 128 examples were produced, with 98 featuring bodywork by Carrozzeria Zagato complete with signature “double-bubble” roof. This particular 1600 GT was campaigned in-period by first owner Alberto Luti, scoring a class win at the Coppa Belvedere hillclimb in 1963.
However, it is not just Italian marques starring in Paris, with a fine ex-works 1982 Renault 5 Turbo Group 4 also being offered at the sale. This is a great example of Renault’s rally icon, which competed in Group 4 racing throughout the 1980s.
Always in demand, the 1964 Aston Martin DB5 is the quintessential British GT car of the 1960s. Offered with a British Heritage Certificate, the car is resplendent in ‘007’ specification in Silver Birch over black, and also boasts rare factory-fitted air conditioning. This stunning LHD example spent its early life in the USA and has more recently been in a private collection.
Porsche will be well represented in Paris, too, with a delightful 1951 Porsche 356 ‘Split-Window’ Coupé by Reutter and a 1989 Porsche 911 Turbo ‘Flachbau’. The 356 is offered in restored condition and presents as a fine example of a “Model 51” variant of Porsche’s legendary sports car, while the 911 Turbo ‘Flachbau’ represents an exciting slice of 1980s excess.
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