Auction season is in full swing with Paris’s Le Grand Palais being just one of the latest. As always with these events the cars combine rarity and beauty along with eye-popping prices. I have one simple strategy when it comes to any kind of auction – don’t! It really doesn’t matter too much what is being auctioned and, what’s more, they’re all pretty much above my pay grade!
That said, here’s my choice from the line up at Le Grand Palais.
At an estimated $190,000+, this is probably the cheapest car at the auction and I still couldn’t afford it! Oozing all of the Gallic charm it can muster, the DS series was iconic of Citroen. I remember ads on TV declaring “Citroen DS for the sheer joy of driving.” a captivating idea that stays with me even now. Driving – just for sheer pleasure. Years later my first real car was a Citroen Xantia, direct descendent of the DS series and a car enjoyed by both myself and my wife.
As a British lad, how could I not be entranced by Jaguar who have produced some of the most beautiful and highest performing cars in the history of the automobile. The D-Type brought innovation in chassis design and was one of the most successful sports cars in Jaguar history winning the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1955, 1956 and 1957. Look at those curves! Estimated price? An eye-watering $5-6 million.
Luxurious pre-war German automobile engineering, the 500K was designed as the ultimate grand tourer and evokes rich memories of touring through the European countryside and indulging in Jeeves and Wooster-esque buffoonery. While Bertie Wooster’s car was an Aston Martin (of course) this style automatically conjures up an earlier more gentle era. Estimated at a whopping price of around $3 million.
Competing almost head-to-head with the Mercedes was the Jaguar SS100. The first cars to be officially named as “Jaguars”, they were capable of an at-the-time almost unheard-of top speed of 100 mph – the origin of the SS100 designation. Lighter and more sporty than it’s German counterpart. The SS100 again evokes a world of tennis, golf and cream tea picnics in the countryside. Estimated to sell at $400-500,000.
Back before Bond was blonde, everyone’s favorite super-spy drove a modified DB5. Improvements included little extra’s such as machine guns, bullet proof shields, tire-slashers, smoke launchers and of course the fantastic ejector seat (all cars should have this!). I used to have a Corgi toy version and it was always a favorite. An iconic car in anyone’s eyes and estimated to be worth $800,000 to $1 million.