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Now at Auction: Extraordinary French Auto Collection

Timeless, classic beauty is universal language here

By Leo Shvedsky
November 09 2021
Richard Romagny posing with his collection. 

We’ve covered a few car auctions in the past (see: cars of Mad Max), which, to a degree, borders on an odd, bittersweet exercise in futility -- it’s kind of like talking about going to the parking lot of a Williams-Sonoma and pretending you’re going in to shop there but, in truth, you can’t afford anything in there – which the clerks know from the moment you stepped foot in the joint (it’s what all store clerks do best). (BTW: Williams Sonoma parking lot posing no longer an option – retailer closed its U.S. shops last November – but there’s always Tiffany for lux house-relate gifts however Tiffany locations are normally in the middle of upscale shopping malls, not centrally located to a parking lot heaven forbid.) 

This time it’s different, though: the Artcurial French Collection features some incredibly interesting vehicles from one renowned collection worthy of pointing out.  

For industrialist Richard Romagny, an avid car collector, the obsession began at age four when he “made himself a cardboard steering wheel in order to drive behind his father in the family CX.” Now, after amassing a collection of over one-hundred cars and motorcycles he is parting ways with it for the benefit of us all.  

The Mercedes SL 190 is 100,000 Euro! 

The thing that makes this particular collection special is how much care and effort Romagny put into building it. He made sure that every car he bought had a history of only one or two owners and low mileage.  

One theme in the collection is definitely the French cars of Romagny grew up with, of the 109 cars and motorcycles in the collection nearly all are Citroens, Renaults, or Peugeots. Sure there are a few Mercedes-Bens, BMWs, and Yamahas, but the French cars are where the heart lies.  

The 205 GT in its natural environment.

Of note to us is the Peugeot 205 GT, named car of the decade by CAR magazine in 1990, this little spark plug of a car is amazing to say the least and has the plucky 1.9 liter engine. It’s hands down the godfather to the modern day hot hatch. In short the VW wouldn’t were it is if the 205 didn’t pave the way.  

The DS19 is the classic French sedan. 

Then there’s the five Citroen DS’s available. This is the classic French car because it’s one of the most successful European productions cars of all time, right along with the VW Beetle. When the car premiered at the 1955 Paris Auto Show Citroen took 12,000 orders for the model by the end of the first day alone.   

Romagny posing with the legendary Land Cruiser. 
But our favorite has to be the Toyota Land Cruiser PHZJ. This car is special not just because all Land Cruisers are off-road beast, but because this particular beast was the car Romagny competed in the Dakar Rally race eight times in it. This grueling race sees participants go from Paris to Dakar, Senegal; and in case you didn’t know the race features some insanely difficult terrain.  

So, in our eyes this car is probably the coolest one in the lot.  

And there’s so much more from motorcycles to tractors, and even a golf cart! Bidding closes on November  22nd, so hurry! 

Related: Get A 'Mad Max' Car For The End Times



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