Certainly you ask yourself after this heading, who Gérard Gombert was? After all, the auction of his collection through the French auction house Orsenat on the second weekend of November 2016 brought a total revenue of over EUR 1.9 million.
Gérard Gombert, born in 1939, opened a garage in Juan-les-Pins at the Côte d’Azur between Cannes and Antibes in the 1960s. Later, he moved his garage to Antibes. He was the mechanic of many French celebrities. French stars such as Johnny Halliday, Dick Rivers, Nicoletta, and singer Christophe were among his customers. After the super cars from the 60s and 70s have gathered in his garage, some of the sports car also had their final resting place with him. Thus arose a junkyard with over one hundred vehicles of different brands on almost twenty thousand square meters. But Gombert did not hide the vehicles and showed the collection also to an interested audience. But he never wanted to sell anything. Thus arose a melancholic-looking, almost artistic scenery. The morbid vehicles were almost surreal in their environment.
In the age of 77, Gérard Gombert died in April after a long stay in a psychiatric hospital. He suffered from the so-called Diogenes syndrome, a pathological rage of collectors with the trend not beeing able to throw away anything. On the site, almost 80 bycilcles and motor cycles from the 60s, many petrol pumps, enamel signs, old posters, rims, tires, helmets, motors and around 100 vehicles have been found in the end. „La Gombe‘, thus Gomberts nickname, collected everything that came at him.
Some of the vehicles the Orsenat auction proved to be very profitable. Including the AC Bristol, once owned by the French writer Françoise Sagan. Although some parts of the car were already stolen, the car achieved a sales price of 120,000 euros. But this was not the only vehicle that scored a stunning win. A completely fraying Lamborghini Miura P400 S by 1970, with the chassis number 30552, whose motor already largely fallen victim to the corrosion (also the body exists only half) reached 150,000 euros.
The number of accumulated Renault Alpine specimens on the junkyard is impressive. Nine specimens, including an Alpine A106 from 1957, several A110 models and as a highlight the Renault Alpine A210 prototype, which ran three times in a row at Le Mans, came to the auction. The prototype with the chassis number 1725 scored the record price of 872.800 euro. It has been called for 80,000 euros. The legendary race car was built in 1967 specifically for the use in Le Mans. It received a very special aerodynamic bodywork. For years the racing car stood in the corner of a shed and was covered with scrap and spare parts. But the vehicle is in a restoration worthy condition and can participate in the future through its race homologation in all historic races.
Right next to the prototype was another unique. The first Renault Alpine A108 with a Berlinette body from 1962. The vehicle was at the motor show in Paris at the time. The vehicle was estimated at 15,000 euros. A bidder bought this Alpine for 36.250 euros.
Who was believed to be able to make a bargain, soon realized that even other vehicles prices correspondingly soared. Especially when you consider that the vehicles are mostly in a strong need of restoration. So the BMW 700 Sport Coupé scored 6875 euro (called for 1000 Euro), a Lotus Elan + 2 proud 12,500 euros (called for 2,000 euros), Renault R12 6,250 euros (called for 1,000 euros) and the Renault Alpine A106 achieved 18,750 euros (called for 1,000 euros)
A Morris Mini Moke which was with Gérard Gombert on the circuits of France, to chauffeur his racing friends, was estimated with 500 euro and scored 15.000 euros at the end.
FOTOS: ©Orsenat Auctions