The Petitjean Collection “jewels” offered without reserve by RM Sotheby’s
The Petitjean Collection, a unique single-owner collection of cars from across the decades, consisting of nearly 100 incredibly diverse classics from the 1950s through to the ‘90s is currently offered entirely without reserve by RM Sotheby’s.
Curated and lovingly built over the last 50 years by Monsieur Marcel Petitjean—an ex-competitive racing driver who entered events around Europe during the ‘60s and ‘70s—the Collection offers something for all tastes, featuring marques including Lamborghini, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, and Porsche, among other exotic brands, through to more affordable classics. M. Petitjean, a classic car devotee based in Strasbourg, France, built the collection with the intention of creating a motor museum with a strong emphasis on grouping cars by both marque and by country of origin. Many of the cars present are rare models from every marque represented, with a large portion of the collection having been under M. Petitjean’s care for decades and remaining in highly original condition, having never been restored. The cars have been maintained in dry storage at the collection site though not driven in years and will require recommissioning for future road use.
Every lot is offered without reserve, making the collection a tantalizing prospect for enthusiasts and prospective buyers.
1964 Porsche 904 GTS
Born at a similar time to the marque’s ubiquitous 911, the 904’s design was penned by F A Porsche, and for 1963 it featured the latest aerodynamic theories with a pointed bonnet overhang and a Kamm tail at the rear, successfully resulting in a drag coefficient of 0.34. The chassis of the 904 was entirely new for Porsche, with fibreglass panels bonded to the steel chassis to increase torsional stiffness; combined with fibreglass body panels, the 904 weighed only 655 kg. Power was provided by the proven four-cam engine before later versions received six-cylinder twin-cam engines.
Typically for Porsche, the design proved to be amazingly durable and efficient, two factors that work extremely well in endurance racing, with the 904 achieving countless class wins and giant-killing performances on both sides of the Atlantic. The importance of the 904 is not to be underestimated, as it started the programme that finally resulted in the legendary 917.
Chassis no. 904-062 was finished on 25 March 1964 and delivered new to Pierre Jaillardon in Marseille, who competed in a hill climb at Lodève just over a month later. Later it was sold to Mr René Maucort, who would become the principle competitor with 062, successfully competing in rallies and hill climbs throughout 1965 and ’66. A frontal accident towards the end of 1966 caused the 904 to be sold to Jose Piger; reportedly, he received the car without an engine or gearbox. From Piger it passed through Freisinger and a third party to Heinz Kurek; Kurek proceeded to repair the front damage and restore 062 from 1975 to ’79, supposedly using this 904 as a reference for his other 904 builds. From him it passed via Bruce Canepa to Kerry Morse before being sold in 1989 back to France with Thierry Reynaud. Reynaud carried out restorative work on 062 before selling it to Monsieur Petitjean in 1993. Given the history of 062, we would recommend a close inspection of the car and its history file.
Currently fitted with a six-cylinder engine, this 904 would be highly eligible for many of the top historic racing events after appropriate preparation.
1930 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Turismo Series IV Spider in the style of Zagato
The Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 was one of the most popular models produced by Alfa and was also very successful in competition throughout the 1930s, originally launched in 1929 as an evolution of the 1928 Mille Miglia–winning 6C 1500. The 6C 1750 enjoyed a highly successful sporting career including a 1-2-3 finish at the Mille Miglia, with the winning car of Tazio Nuvolari averaging more than 100 km/h. The 6C 1750 also earned top results at the Targa Florio, the Tourist Trophy, and Spa 24 Hours in the early 1930s.
Production of the Sport and Super Sport lasted only two years, and many 6Cs were made with sports saloon and drophead coupe bodywork, while the fastest and most attractive were the short-chassis cars bodied by Zagato, which today remain the most desirable.
This fourth series ‘Gran Turismo’ example was constructed in 1930 and first registered in London in May 1930. Having remained in the UK its entire life and featuring in a number of significant collections over the decades, the car was restored in the early 1980s by highly respected pre-war Alfa racer Rodney Felton, known for his heroic racing exploits with both 8C and Tipo B in VSCC events. During the restoration, the Alfa was fitted with the highly attractive Zagato-type Spider coachwork it wears today, beautifully handcrafted in aluminium, and rebuilt to ‘Gran Sport’ configuration with the addition of a period-correct supercharger. Following the restoration, the Alfa formed part of a large private collection displayed in a museum in the Isle of Man, housed in a converted cinema.
This 6C 1750GT is eligible for many of the world’s most prestigious tours, rallies, and race meetings. Prior to the auction, the car will be delivered to Jim Stokes Workshops Ltd (‘JSW’) for a fresh service and technical report for prospective bidders. With its handsome Zagato-style coachwork, original chassis, and matching-numbers engine, this example offers exciting pre-war Italian motoring at its finest. It is fitted with a new set of Blockley tyres and has undergone recent recommissioning for regular use.
1958 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster
Thanks to information provided by marque historian Eric Le Moine, this 300 SL Roadster enjoys a known history from new in France. It was delivered new to Paris to its first owner, Jacques Dembiermont. Dembiermont was no stranger to fast cars, having already owned a 300 SL Gullwing and a Ferrari 250 MM Berlinetta amongst other Ferraris, as well as a Lamborghini Miura P400 SV. Finished in Light Grey (DB 180) over a Black leather interior, this roadster is one of fewer than 30 cars that were fitted with Rudge wheels from new; it is still fitted with these highly desirable Rudge wheels which are correctly date stamped. Passing from Mr Dembiermont’s ownership in 1960, the car passed through owners in Paris and Mulhouse, before being purchased by a Mr Kienger of Colmar. In June of 1971, it returned to Mulhouse, where it was purchased by a Mr Erb, who kept the car until October of 1976, when it was acquired by Mr Petitjean, with whom it has remained ever since. In his ownership it was cosmetically refreshed with a repaint and attention to its chrome trim in 1978; invoices for this work are on file. Prior to joining the Petitjean Collection, its original engine was replaced with one of the correct type; aside from this, numbers are present throughout the car on key locations. In addition, this example is accompanied by its original hardtop and soft top with a numbered hood mechanism.
Still fitted with its original interior leather, this charming example is showing 20,515 km on its odometer and is ready for its next custodian after 44 years of single ownership, the majority of which have been in static storage.
1997 RUF CTR2 Sport
1968 Lamborghini Miura P400 by Bertone
1971 De Tomaso Mangusta
THE PETITJEAN COLLECTION
WEDNESDAY, 10 JUNE1:00 P.M. GMT (8:00 A.M. EDT) LOT NUMBERS STILL TBD
THE EUROPEAN SALE
THURSDAY, 11 JUNE1:00 P.M. GMT (8:00 A.M. EDT) LOT NUMBERS STILL TBD