Michelin tyres memorobilia sells for £175,000

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By Denna Bowman

A sale of Michelin memorabilia – from restaurant guides to rare tyres – has sold for a staggering £175,000.

More than 3,000 items, which were amassed by a collector over 16 years, went under the hammer at the French tyres manufacturers headquarters in Clermont Ferrand.

The biggest earner was a full collection of all 300 Michelin Red Guides produced until 2000. They were snapped up for the staggering sum of £68,000 by French restauranteur Jean Yves Schillinger. The collection included the 1900 edition which started the tyre manufacturer on the road to gourmet guide dominance.

Schillinger says he plans to display the guides in his new, soon-to-open Michelin-themed restaurant.

The guides were the star attraction at the auction of Alain Morel’s private collection of Michelin memorabilia – the world’s largest assortment of Michelin-related items.

The sale also included an impressive array of Michelin collectables and rarities, including tyre repair kits from the beginning of the last century; a very rare studded tyre from 1910; Michelin-branded compressors from the 1920s and 1930s; road maps, signs, technical information leaflets, tools, patch boxes, a doll’s pram and stoves made by Michelin during the Second World War and model cars and trucks, beach games, postcards and Michelin Man figurines.

Peter Snelling, head of communications for Michelin UK, said: “This auction has been exceptional and unique in its hosting of this huge and rare collection of Michelin memorabilia.”

He added: “It has been quite an enthralling event and the reaction we have had from people on the auction house floor and the prices the items have attracted is a validation of the unique quality of this event. How many other brands could generate such interest?”

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