New ‘Motors’ auction of Hôtel des Ventes Monte-Carlo was a disappointment

The Hôtel des VentesMonte-Carlo set a record for car sales at the Yacht Club this week, but struggled to reach highs on its flagship lots.

“There are always disappointments,” said the president of the Monte-Carlo auction house (HVMC), Franck Baille, “but we tripled our turnover compared to the last year and there are usually quite a lot of ‘after sales’ with these kinds of auctions.” After two mixed trials of automobile sales in the last two years on the Quay Antoine-1er, this year, HVMC inaugurated a genuine ‘Motors’ department at the Yacht Club, with a flowing catalogue of almost 200 lots.

At the height of the sale, more than 200 people were listed, from aficionados to curious onlookers, all vying for views of unique cars, motorbikes and even boats. This was a first major test for the HVMC team – in terms of cars. The session was filled with excitement, surprises, disappointments, and provided few good laughs and some misunderstandings. All in all, it was a lively day where the experience of Franck Baille sometimes reigned in the enthusiasm of his new expert, and president of the Automobile Classic Cars Club, Tom Brault.

A newcomer to the auction, he brought enthusiasm to his presentation, just like his colleague Stéphane Eysseric who, faithful to his reputation provided knowledgeable advice, even if misleading potential buyers by only mentioning some snags at the last minute.

Rare lots from Messi and Estrosi failed to entice

The gavel fell at 1 million Euros for a rare, 1993 Porch 911 Carrera RSR 3.8 Type 964—setting a record. But the lots at the top of their list often stalled without a buyer. This didn’t discourage Tom Brault: “We have put together a super image by presenting many atypical models during a great exhibition. It launches a very good season before the 23 July auction.” The 23 July auction is their big sporting auction, with cars dedicated to single-seaters, grand tourism, sport-prototypes and former driver Jean-Pierre Jarier will be on hand as an expert.

Among the rare vehicles shunned by bidders were, Lionel Messi’s Audi R8, in the colours of Barcelona from the Argentinean footballer’s 2015-2016 season, and Christian Estrosi’s Yamaha TZ750 Grand Prix. Both were removed from sale. A special mention goes to the experts of HVMC for the originality of their catalogue, including a vintage Cadillac of French Connection, A Porsche Targa of the Belgian gendarmerie, and a Maserati limousine of a former Tunisian president. The unsold lots remained available for purchase for several days, during the ‘after sale’.

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