1984 Lancia Delta S4 - Prototype for the road-going Stradale, used extensively for testing and full of unique details. Sold to a collector in '89 who had it fully restored. Incredible thing to drive, but not sure it's road-legal. Est: EUR 300,000 - 400,000
French auction house Artcurial is best known in the English-speaking world for uncovering the astonishing Baillon collection a couple of years ago, but that rather underplays its significance in the collector car world.
It’s sale at the biannual Le Mans Classic historic 24 hour race is packed with rare and unusual cars, many of them racers with significant history and most with a strong Continental flavour.
Here’s Only Motors’ top picks.
1963 Citroen 2CV Sahara – Citroen wanted a 4×4 2CV so simply stuck another engine in the boot to drive the rear wheels. Almost unstoppable off road. This one has been beautifully restored. Est: EUR 70,000 – 90,000
1966 Chevrolet Corvette – Continuation series Grand Sport model, built at massive expense to contest 2014 East Africa Safari Rally. It completed the 9 day event at an average 118mph. Recent new 450bhp engine. Totally unique. Est: EUR 60,000-100,000
1966 Lotus 47 GT – Rare and effective racer with 165bhp 1.6 Cosworth engine and F3 gearbox. Fully restored in 2002 and contested Le Mans Classic in 2012. Delightful. Est: EUR 125,000 – 165,000
1976 Fiat 131 Abarth – Orginally prepared and run by Jolly Club in various rallies, races and hillclimbs. Now in full works Group 4 rally spec, complete with 235bhp engine. Ready to run and gorgeous. Est: EUR 180,000 – 220,000
1976 Peugeot 504 V6 Convertible – Oh-so-pretty drop-top styled by Pininfarina, with smooth and woofly 2.7 V6. In lovely, unrestored condition. Est: EUR 30,000 – 40,000
1984 Autobianchi A112 Abarth – Obscure Italian tiny tearaway. With 70bhp 7000rpm 1300cc engine and just 700kg to lug around, it’s a proper little buzzbomb. Only 1200 were built. This one’s in nice condition. Est: EUR 8,000-12,000
1984 Lancia Delta S4 – Prototype for the road-going Stradale, used extensively for testing and full of unique details. Sold to a collector in ’89 who had it fully restored. Incredible thing to drive, but not sure it’s road-legal. Est: EUR 300,000 – 400,000
1984 Lancia Rallye 037 Evo 2 – The ultimate version of the last 2WD car to win the WRC title, with screaming 2.1 325bhp suupercharged engine. This one won ’84 Italian Rally crown, driven by Adartico Vidafieri and run by Jolly Club. Also used on European and World Championship rallies. In stunning condition and largely original. Est: EUR 450,000 – 650,000
1994 Dodge Viper RT/10 – Along with its sister car, the first Viper to be raced at Le Mans in ’94. Built from a standard road car and run by Rent A Car Racing, this one finished in 19th place. Subsequently raced in BPR GT series until ’96. Completely original and in full working order, but looking a little faded. Est: EUR 200,000 – 300,000
1997 Maserati Ghibli Cup – Road-going version of the race car. 330bhp turbo V6 and more focussed chassis, great for a B-road blast. An acquired taste but magnificent seats worth the asking price on their own. Only 60 built and this one’s a peach. Est: EUR 35,000-45,000