Amelia Island

10-11 March 2017

A Gentleman's Collection: The Pride & Passion of Orin Smith

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Lot 121

1935 Amilcar Pegasé Racer Grand Sport in the style of Figoni et Falaschi

  • Chassis no. 100102

Sold for $236,500

120 bhp, 152 cu. in. DOHC inline four-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension, live rear axle with leaf spring suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 110 in.

  • Formerly a centerpiece of the Malcolm Pray Jr. collection
  • A coachbuilt creation, inspired by the last of the great French voiturettes
  • Exquisitely finished and undoubtedly thrilling to drive
  • Always one of the crowd favorites at any concours d’elegance

French manufacturer Amilcar gained early fame for its voiturettes, tiny lightweight racing cars that enjoyed remarkable success throughout Europe. The design evolved through the 1930s, ending at the gorgeous Type G36 Pegasé, first shown at the 1936 Paris Motor Show, which was powered by a twin-cam 2.7-liter four-cylinder engine. Only four of this model were produced, two of which were roadsters that featured a sleek, tapered “boattail,” the so-called Racer or Grand Sport model. These were both displayed at shows and concours d’elegance throughout France, with much success.

The car offered here was constructed at least two decades ago in France, as a handsome tribute to those sleek voiturettes of the past, combining sporty equipment from various eras into one beautiful machine. Its four-cylinder engine is from a Talbot-Lago T14LS, and the four-speed transmission is believed to have been sourced from an Alfa Romeo. The modified chassis incorporates original 1930s components and is equipped with modern hydraulic brakes, for requisite stopping power.

All of this is wrapped in bodywork that has long been attributed to the designs of Figoni et Falaschi, but to some, it is more reminiscent of the fashionable Auburn bodies built in Indiana. The flowing, tapered curve of the boattail is echoed in the rear fenders, which are edged with chrome trim, and features thrusting pontoons shrouding the front wheels—another inspiration borrowed from the 1935 Auburn Speedster. Even the “moustache” bumpers recall those of Salon model Auburns. Yet, the car has the appealing delicacy of detail that could only come from the French: sliding vertical hood props, lovely chromed door latches, and a folding hook with which to lift the convertible top.

The interior is upholstered in thick black leather, in body-hugging contoured curves, and the body is finished in the rich Figoni color of Andalouse Red, which is set off by chrome wire wheels that are appealingly shod in blackwall tires. Throughout, the car shows only the lightest of wear, as it has been driven just 1,059 miles since its well-preserved restoration.

The car is very well known in the collector car community, having been acquired in the early 1990s from the estate of Paul Myers by the renowned businessman, enthusiast, philanthropist, and friend to many, Malcolm S. Pray Jr. Mr. Pray was known to consider the Amilcar a favorite in his large collection, likely for its breathtaking design, and enjoyed showing it at concours d’elegance all over North America, including Greenwich and Meadowbrook, for two decades.

Following Mr. Pray’s passing, the Racer Grand Sport was sold in 2014 to Orin Smith, since which time Mr. Smith is known to have shown it only once. It was awarded a trophy for Excellence in Class at the 2015 Classic Sports Sunday at the Cavallino Classic in Palm Beach, Florida, for its showstopping elegance and has remained a favorite in his distinguished collection ever since.

During the 1950s, American enthusiasts assembled the finest performance components and their own design into objects of a new folk art: the hot rod. Offered here is, shall we say, “le barre chaud,” a sporting roadster with coachbuilt stylishness, as only the French can create.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more