INTRODUCTION: A collection of some of the world's finest thoroughbred cars was auctioned in Paris on Wednesday (16 December).
GV People in car salesroom
GV 1932 Delage and detail of car(5 shots)
SVs INTERIORS 1932 Delage including instrument panel (2 shots)
GV Hispano-Suiza (4 shots)
GVs Alfa Romeo with open bonnet (2 shots)
TV & GV Rolls Royce (2 shots)
CU Rolls Royce 'Flying lady' mascot
SV Hand opens Rolls Royce door to reveal interior (2 shots)
SV Rolls Royce engine bay
GV Rolls Royce
GVs Isotta- Fraschini (2 shots)
GV Man opens Isotta-Fraschini door to reveal interior (2 shots)
GV SVs 1940 Packard (3 shots)
NOTE TO EDITORS: FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE, THE COMMENTARY FOR THIS PRODUCTION HAS BEEN WRITTEN IN THE PAST TENSE ON THE DATE NOTED, ALTHOUGH THE SALE DOES NOT IN FACT OCCUR UNTIL 2100 HRS ON WEDNESDAY (16 DECEMBER).
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Background: INTRODUCTION: A collection of some of the world's finest thoroughbred cars was auctioned in Paris on Wednesday (16 December). They included a 1926 Rolls Royce "Phantom 1" put up for sale by Paramount Pictures, the American film studio. The car was used by actress Jean Harlow during her heyday in the 1930s.
SYNOPSIS: The sale took place at the showrooms of the Peugeot car company in the French capital's elegant Avenue de la Grande Armee. The classically aristocratic lines of a 1932 Delage, a French car built for those demanding luxury travel.
However the firm that perfect such craftsmanship was unable to adopt to more austere times this model is probably one of the last made.
Designed more for racing, the French Hispano-Suiza, built in 1930, was capable of recording speeds up to 160 kilometres an hour (100 miles an hour).
This Italian Alfa Romeo, made a year later, reached similar speeds. The car won numerous races in the 1930s and is the ancestor of today's formula one racer.
The car that attracted the greatest attention at the auction was this stunning Rolls Royce. The streamlined cabriolet body was designed by Brewster in 1926 and mounted on a Phantom One Chassis. The sumptuous interior appealed to the glamorous Hollywood actress Jean Harlow who was provided with one by Paramount Pictures.
The huge 7668 cc, six cylinder engine was a standard Rolls power unit of the time. The drivers of such thoroughbreds were plainly unconcerned by fuel consumption.
Other beautiful coupes of the period included the Isotta-Fraschinis made in Milan, Italy. This model was built in 1929 and the elegant bodywork was styled by the master designer Castagna. The taste for luxury was reflected in the superb craftsmanship of the interior fittings. Hand-painted with lacquered woodwork matching the upholstery. It is little wonder that royalty and show business celebrities, including Rudolf Valentino, coveted such cars.
The auction also included, by way of contrast a Packard Super Eight, built in 1940. The American automobile came to epitome the war time "Hollywood" style. The scale provided collectors and ordinary car enthusiasts with a tantalizing glimpse of the great cars of yesteryear.