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2020-02-14: 2020 Retromobile report and 260-shot gallery and new McLaren Grand Prix car ...
2020 Retromobile Last week, we were in Paris for the 45th annual Retromobile show. The event is the leading in-door classic car show and also serves as the traditional start of the new season in Europe. It attracts exhibitors and visitors from all around the world to Paris. Among the featured marques this year were Tatra and Bertone, while Swiss dealer Lukas Hüni celebrated Alfa Romeo's 110th anniversary in great style. Further highlights on display at Retromobile included the only privately Nissan R390 GT1, one of just three Ferrari 330 P4s and a superb line-up of four McLaren F1s.
As always, we were on hand to capture all the highlights, with this 260-shot gallery that serves to illustrate our concise report.
The latest 2020 Grand Prix car that broke cover is this McLaren MCL35 Renault. It is a development of the 2019 car with the lessons learned during the season applied by new technical director James Key. Along with the rest of the class of 2020, the MCL35 will make its testing debut on Wednesday in Barcelona.

2020-02-12: More news on the SCG 007, new Red Bull, drop-top Aston Martin Vantage and Geneva news ...
SCG 007 Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus have offered a further look at their SCG 007 Le Mans Hypercar. Due to race in the FIA WEC from this fall, the strikingly beautiful machine will be built around a carbon-fibre composite monocoque and is powered by a bespoke twin-turbo V6 engine. For now we have to make do with these renders as the first car is due be built in August, in time for testing to commence in September.
At Silverstone this afternoon, the new Red Bull Racing RB16 Honda was given a brief shakedown by Max Verstappen as part of a filming day. With a major rule change on the horizon, it is not surprisingly an evolution of last year's car but nevertheless should have a few tricks up its sleeve. The first hint of this is a revised nose with an intake in the tip. Testing proper will commence next week at Barcelona.
Red Bull Racing sponsor Aston Martin, meanwhile, have revealed the full details of the Vantage Roadster. Just like the name suggests, this is a drop top version of the Vantage introduced two years ago. It is just 60kg heavier than the Coupe and has lightning fast roof that can be opened and closed in 6.7 and 6.8 seconds respectively. The first deliveries of the Vantage Roadster are already expected in the second quarter of this year.
In less than a month, all eyes will be on Geneva where the annual motor show is scheduled to take place. It has been relatively quiet on the teaser front but today we received snippets of the special coach-built Bentley Mulliner Bacalar and wild American supercar Czinger 21C. Both of which are expected to break cover in Switzerland early next month.

2020-02-11: The Ferraris that topped the Artcurial Retromobile sale and new Ferrari F1 racer ...
Ferrari 275 GTB The third and final auction of the Retromobile week was the official sale staged as always by local specialists Artcurial. The full results have yet to be published but with a reported sales total of close to €23 million makes it the highest grossing auction this of the Retromobile week.
Topping the sale was this Ferrari 275 GTB. This early short-nose example was fitted with six carburettors from new and was raced extensively by its successive Swiss owners. In fact, it is the 275 GTB largest period competition record of all. Offered for the first time in two decades 06785 found a new owner for just over €2.5 million.
Another Ferrari that did well was a fabulous example of the 126 C3 Grand Prix car as raced during the 1983 season. This was the very first Ferrari with a full carbon-fibre composite monocoque and would be the last to win a constructors' world championship until 1999. Chassis 068 was driven to victory in the Dutch Grand Prix by Rene Arnoux. Sold for just over €1.4 million, the rare Ferrari Grand Prix car eclipsed the top estimate.
This evening, Ferrari became the first team to launch their 2020 Formula 1 car. It is dubbed the SF1000, which is a reference to 1000th Grand Prix the Scuderia Ferrari will compete in this year. Like last year, the team's drivers are Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc.

2020-02-07: The illustrated results of RM Sotheby's and Bonhams Paris sales ....
Bugatti Type 55 The European auction season kicked off this week in Paris with three major sales and the results for the first two are in. First up, on Wednesday, was RM Sotheby's 7th annual Paris sale. As can be seen in our 60-shot gallery from the preview, the 98-lot strong sale included an eclectic mix of machinery. The headlining D-Type failed to sell, and instead the sale was topped by this BMW 507 that was part of the 'Poster Car Collection' and found a new owner for just shy of €2 million. Doing surprisingly well was this replica of the legendary Mercedes-Benz 300 SEL 6.3 'Red Pig', which doubled its top estimate at €432,500. At the end of the day, the British/Canadian auctioneer sold 75% of the lots for a combined total of €16.5 million. These figures do include several lots that were sold immediately after the auction.
Next up was British rival Bonhams with their annual Grand Palais auction, which was held on Thursday afternoon. In the ever imposing building, which hosted the Paris Motor Show for many years just over 100 automobiles crossed the block. Just 65% of the lots eventually managed to sell and the best result was for this one-off Bugatti Type 55 Figoni Roadster. Offered from the estate of the late Geoffrey St John, it found its first new owner in over 50 years for €4.6 million. Despite the lower sell through rate, Bonhams did eclipse RM with a total just shy of €20 million. This was the auctioneers best ever result in this fantastic venue.

2020-02-05: Mighty Mercedes, Jaguar and Venturi due to cross the block ...
Mercedes-Benz 710 SS Fernandez & Darrin Sport Tourer Today, the annual Retromobile show kicked off in Paris. One of the highlights of the five-day show is the official auction, hosted by local specialists Artcurial. This year's sale is headlined by this fabulous Mercedes-Benz 710 SS with one-off Sport Tourer by Fernandez & Darrin. As a rolling chassis, it was shown at the New York Motor Show before being sent back to Europe for the coachwork to be fitted. The very rare 710 SS spent most of its life in North America but more recently returned to Europe. Certified by Mercedes-Benz Klassik, it is estimated to sell for €6-8 million on Friday.
Also consigned is one of just three Jaguar XJ220Cs built to race at Le Mans in 1993. This car led the class until 5 am when it hit trouble and was eventually forced to retire. It was raced at Le Mans again two years later but again mechanical issues ended the charge early. Chassis 003 was then sold to Japan and has more recently been comprehensively been restored by specialists Don Law Racing.
Another lot that captured our attention is a great example of what was the fastest French car built at the time; the Venturi 400 GT. The consigned example was used in period for the publicity photographs and its subsequent owners put just 54,000 km on the odometer in the last 25 years.
We were, of course, at Retromobile and a full report of the event and the auctions will follow in the next couple of days.

2020-02-03: Martini Monday with Lancia and Porsche racers, and Aston Martin returns to F1 ...
Lancia LC2 Last week, we learned of the consignment of the hugely impressive Lancia Martini Racing collection built up by John Campion to the British dealer Girardo. This prompted us to take a dive into our archives and we stumbled upon our photography from the 2018 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance when there was a dedicated Martini class. Today we highlight a pair of the cars on display two years ago that are now available from Girardo.
First up is the second Lancia LC1 built. This Group 6 car was driven to outright victory in the 1981 Nürburgring 1000 km race. It was later rebuilt to Group C spec with a roof but fortunately, chassis 0002 was restored to its former glory. In 1983, the LC1 was replaced by the LC2, which was a proper Group C machine and the only works car to take on the Porsches in the early years of the popular category. The LC2 in the Campion collection is the very first one, which appeared only at Monza and Le Mans in 1983. Following a longterm spell in the hands of noted collector Manfredo Lippmann, it joined the Campion collection in more recent years.
Also on display at Amelia Island, and in the same class, was this mighty Porsche 935. It was the very first 935 and one of only two that were built to 1976 specifications. Before its appearance at Amelia Island, 935-001 had been meticulously restored.
There was also some big Aston Martin related news last week as a cash injection from Canadian businessman Lawrence Stroll saved the ailing company for now. He also owns the Racing Point Formula 1 team, which from 2021 will be rebadged Aston Martin. That will increase the brand's involvement in F1 further after joining as a Red Bull Racing title sponsor a few years ago. Hopefully, Aston Martin's return to Grand Prix racing proper will be more successful as their foray into Formula 1 back in the late 1950s. Among the cars raced back then was this DBR4, which is considered to be the most original of three surviving cars.