André Lurton’s classic car collection to be sold

The collection of classic cars, military and agricultural vehicles that belonged to the late André Lurton are going under the hammer in Bordeaux later this month.

André Lurton was the head of one of Bordeaux’s most influential wine families and died last year aged 94. In addition to his love of wine, however, he also loved collecting cars and all manner of automobilia.

His collection is now due to be sold off at the Lurton family’s Château Bonnet on 27 September this year.

It comprises over 100 vehicles, spanning the period 1898 to 2005, taking in classic civilian cars, German and American military vehicles from jeeps to a couple of tanks and then old tractors and farming equipment.

As well as reflecting his love of cars, his military service and his profession, several of the vehicles have personal stories connected to Lurton himself.

These include the car he and his wife travelled in on their honeymoon to the Alps or the Willy’s jeep he snaffled for himself in Paris during the war and spirited away back to Château Bonnet in 1945 (pictured).

Lots 1 to 47 cover the civilian cars and feature all manner of automobiles such as Renaults from the 1910s, a 1907 Berliet, a 1912 Peugeot and even an 1898 Fisson ‘Tonneau’ and 1920 Model T Ford.

There are also several 1930s and 40s-era models of Citroën’s famous ‘Traction’ series such as the 1935 7C ‘Berline’ (€8,000-€12,000) and a 1921 Rolls Royce Phantom I (€70,000-€90,000).

Lots 48 to 64 meanwhile cover the military vehicles. Already connected with the local French resistance group, Lurton joined the reformed Free French Army aged just 20 in 1944.

Posted to the 6th Senegalese Infantry Regiment, he served in General Jean de Lattre de Tassigny’s First Army through Alsace (including the Battle for the Colmar Pocket) and into Germany.

The majority of the vehicles are American-made and with which the French army was re-equipped in 1944. Among the trucks, half-tracks and an armoured scout car made by the likes of Ford, Dodge and General Motors are several truly rare pieces.

The first is a 1940 model Volkswagen Type 82 ‘Kübelwagen’, an all-purpose car used by the the German army (€15,000-€25,000).

Then there is an M10 tank destroyer, an extremely rare and sought-after vehicle used by the Allied armies in Europe (€220,000-€250,000) and a D.U.K.W, an Allied amphibious vehicle colloquially known as the ‘duck’ (€10,000-€15,000).

Lurton’s favourite car, the iconic Willy’s Jeep, is on sale for €14,000-€18,000 while another extremely rare centrepiece is a 1943 model M4A1 Sherman ‘Grizzly’ (meaning it was made under licence in Canada) is on offer for €140,000-€180,000.

Somewhat predating these 20th century weapons of war are also two ships’ cannon from the end of the 18th century.

Among the agricultural vehicles meanwhile are all manner of classic tractors from the 1920s onwards as well as steam engines and agricultural machines from the turn of the 20th century.

The auction is being conducted by Artcurial and the full catalogue can be viewed here.

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