On February 1, RM Sotheby’s conducted its biggest-ever Paris sale to date, grossing a remarkable €49,802,080 in front of a packed salesroom in the Salles du Carrousel in the Louvre Palace. The undeniable star of the sale was the one-of-a-kind Bugatti Chiron Profilée, which sold for an astonishing €9,792,500 after an extended bidding contest between several collectors in the room, on the telephones, and via the internet.
The selling price makes the Bugatti Chiron Profilée the most valuable new car ever sold at auction, and the sum achieved is double the pre-sale estimate of €4,200,000-€5,500,000. The selling price places the car among the most valuable Bugattis of any era ever sold at auction.
The Profilée is a single, bespoke-engineered, version of Bugatti’s Chiron hyper sports car, and the first and only “pre-series” Chiron Profilée produced. It is also the last Bugatti to be sold with the iconic W-16 quad-turbo engine. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to charity.
Ferrari continues to demonstrate sales across multiple segments of the market. Of the 14 Ferraris offered in Paris, the standout result was the 1991 Ferrari 643, chassis 127. The stunning, naturally aspirated V-12 Formula One car was offered for sale in full running order.
The market witnessed a huge surge in demand for modern-era Formula One cars during 2022, a year in which RM Sotheby’s achieved some unprecedented results for such cars. The sales performance this year has continued to reinforce that trend with the sale of the Ferrari 643.
As well as being in track-ready condition, the 643 rates as one of the best-looking Formula One cars of the era, and this particular example boasts an impressive racing CV in the hands of the great Jean Alesi. Presenting a very rare opportunity to collectors and historic Formula One competitors alike, the car commanded an impressive €3,661,250.
Another Ferrari lot worthy of note is the beautiful 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 By Scaglietti. Fetching an excellent price tag of €3,098,750, the 275 demonstrates that fine examples of the golden era of V12 Ferrari road cars are still very much in demand.
If the Bugatti Chiron Profilée was the ultimate example of a unique piece of performance engineering, then the 2020 McLaren Speedtail surely rates as one of the most desirable limited-production hypercars. The example sold in Paris is number 036 of the mere 100 produced and with only 112 kilometres on the clock. It deserved the €2,367,500 selling price.
Also worthy of a mention is the 1959 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster which boasted a €700,000, 5-year restoration. Presented in the rare colour combination of Hellblau over Creme leather, and offered with full matching numbers, this stunning car achieved a remarkable €1,748,750.