Offered by Bonhams | Goodwood, U.K. | July 14, 2023
Here’s a fun secret: most “old” Bugattis really aren’t what they started as. So much has been replaced over the years that, often times, more is new than is old. The other bucket is “assembled cars” that used bare Bugatti frames (or frames “believed to have been from a Bugatti”), reconstructed coachwork, and maybe some period mechanical components.
These trade hands often as “real” Bugattis but there is very little real about them. This car is described by Bonhams as a 1914 Bugatti Type 22-Style tourer, which is more honest than most. It was not born this way. The Bugatti Type 22 was introduced in 1913 as an updated replacement for the Type 15. It featured an oval radiator, a larger body, and quarter-elliptic springs.
This car was built around a Bugatti inline-four engine. The frame is thought to have been from 1924-1926 and has been shortened. The gearbox is also from the mid-’20s. There’s then more swapping around of bits in its history – and creation of the missing ones. Now what you have is true Bugatti power moving what could be referred to as a recreation. As this is a pretty regular occurrence in Bugatti circles, the estimate here is still a hefty $155,000-$200,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by Bonhams | Cheserex, Switzerland | June 18, 2023
The Chiron is the last of its kind: the full-on factory effort for speed provided by a fossil fuel-burning monster of an engine. Production of the Chiron lasted from 2016 through 2022 across a number of sub-models and is said to be the last hurrah for Bugatti’s insane quad-turbocharged 8.0-liter W16 engine.
That engine, in the base Chiron, produced 1,479 horsepower. It could hit 60 in 2.4 second and topped out at 261 mph, which is actually governed “due to current tire technology.” That’s kind of odd, as later Chirons could hit 300 mph.
This car was spec’d at the factory by its owner in two-tone Atlantic Blue and French Racing Blue. It is one of 500 Chirons produced. Perhaps the most interesting thing here is that Bonhams chooses to claim that the car has never been driven in the rain. How do you prove that? The estimate is $2,750,000-$3,300,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 1, 2023
The Grand Sport was sort of the convertible model of Bugatti’s Veyron. It launched in 2009 and was sold alongside the coupe model for two years before the coupe was discontinued. Grand Sport production continued through 2015, with 150 built.
It’s powered by the same quad-turbocharged 8.0-liter W16 that made 987 horsepower. Okay, so it’s not a true convertible. It’s more of a targa. Top speed was limited because of this – to a paltry 229 mph with the roof off.
This car was originally finished in black blue metallic but was refinished by the factory in black and red. Just shows you how Bugatti customers are. Can’t find the color you like? Pay the manufacturer to essentially re-do the more-or-less brand new used car you just bought. Seven figures here we come. Click here for more info.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Paris, France | February 1, 2023
In an effort to actually produce the full planned run of cars, supercar manufacturers tend to keep pumping out new special editions that are “must haves” for collectors/people with too much money to keep for a short time before moving on to something else. Bugatti is no different, as there were quite a few different versions of the Chiron, despite production being limited to only 500 units across the board.
So Bugatti set out to create one, which they called the Profilee. It has some aerodynamic updates, including a pretty cool rear wing/spoiler thing in the center. It’s powered by the quad-turbocharged 8.0-liter W16 engine as the other Chirons are, with 1,479 horsepower available like the Pur Sport model. It got revised gearing and an increased redline, which enabled it to hit a limited top speed of 236 mph.
The Profilee never even made it to production, as the Chiron’s 500 units were spoken for before they got it finalized, so this was the only such example completed. RM is offering it on a bill of sale, presumably because it’s never been registered. I’d wish the buyer good luck, but they’re never going to drive it anyway. It’ll either get locked away somewhere or flipped at auction/sold privately about 18 months from now. Click here for more info.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Miami, Florida | December 10, 2022
The Chiron is the last of its kind. The last full-out gasoline-burning chaser of speed. It debuted in 2016 and followed up on the Veyron with a version of that car’s quad-turbocharged 8.0-liter W16. In 2018, Bugatti introduced the Sport variant, which is said to be “track-focused.” It’s like 40 pounds lighter than the base Chiron, which already weighed 4,400 pounds. Hard to think anything that heavy really belongs on a track.
But I guess, if you have to overcome some heft, an output of 1,480 horsepower would help do the trick. This was the same output as the base car. You were basically paying an extra $400,000 for the Sport, which brought some carbon-fiber bits, a stiffer suspension, and a torque vectoring system.
This is one of 60 Chiron Sports built. Well, Bugatti said they would build 60, but who knows if they actually did. What’s fun is that you can forget zero-to-60 times and instead note that it will hit 100 mph in 4.4 seconds, which is crazy. The pre-sale estimate is $3,000,000-$3,500,000. Click here for more info.
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 18-20, 2022
This car looks like a toy. From pretty much every angle, too. The body is by Carrosserie Chauvet, a coachbuilder that was active in the north of France from 1912 until 1929. This is their only surviving body on a Bugatti. It’s a small boattail torpedo with two tiny seats up front and maybe more seating under a hard tonneau behind a second cowl? Hard to say. The photos really leave a lot to the imagination.
The top looks like it would get ripped off of this thing at about 20 mph. Which is probably a good cruising speed here, as the car is powered by a bright red, Ettore Bugatti-signatured 1.4-liter inline-four that made about 30 horsepower.
The Type 22 was a road car, and they were built from 1913 through about 1922. Production totals are not widely known, but it was not many. And even less are left. This one has an estimate of $200,000-$250,000. Read more about it here.
2014 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse Jean-Pierre Wimille Legend Edition
Offered by Mecum | Monterey, California | August 18-20, 2022
Longest. Title. Ever. One thing about supercars is they generally have very few miles on them. This one has about 1,200. Part of that reason is that people who own them generally have a bunch of other cars to drive. The other reason is that they are probably pretty terrible to actually drive.
And because they have that reputation, I guess it could be difficult for automakers to actually sell out a run. I mean, once Bugatti introduces a “more super” version of their supercar, who wants the base model? 2009’s Grand Sport (targa) Veyron begat the Grand Sport Vitesse in 2012. This was essentially the targa version of the coupe’s Super Sport trim.
The Vitesse was sold alongside the regular Grand Sport until 2015. In Vitesse trim, the car is powered by a 1,184-horsepower, quad-turbocharged, 8.0-liter W16. Just 92 examples of the Vitesse were produced, but it seems like so many of them were destined for special editions. There were about 10 special editions, and this one celebrated Jean-Pierre Wimille, who won the 1936 French Grand Prix in a Bugatti Type 57G, in addition to Le Mans in ’37 and ’39.
Just three of these were built. The colors are 1. awesome and 2. a homage to Wimille’s 1937 Le Mans-winning Bugatti “tank.” As dumb as the name is (and the car too I suppose), it’s pretty awesome looking. Click here for more info.
1928 Bugatti Type 43 Roadster by Lavocat et Marsaud
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 19-20, 2022
Bugatti had a line of eight-cylinder road cars that started in 1922 with the Type 30. A few years and a few models later, they Type 43 debuted in 1927. The Type 43 gave way to the Type 43A in 1931, and that model remained available through the following year. Just 160 copies of the Type 43 were built.
Power is from a supercharged 2.3-liter inline-eight that was rated at 120 horsepower. This car was initially delivered as a Type 43 Grand Sport. The auction catalog lists this as a Type 43A (which were factory-bodied Roadsters). What I think it is is a re-bodied Type 43 wearing roadster bodywork by Paris-based coachbuilders Lavocat et Marsaud that was installed in 1929. Before the 43A even went on sale.
The engine was swapped later on, which means the car has its original… chassis. Which is about what many of these pre-war Bugattis can claim. But hey, at least its still out there and able to be driven. Click here for more info.
Spoiler alert: Bugatti Fridays, as has been the case here in June, will continue next week with a Bugatti Type 43 that has a replacement body and a replacement engine. This car has a similar story. And it is this: in the 1960s, a huge collection of parts was acquired by the guy who would end up putting this car together.
Among those items were four (!) Type 59 frames he brought back to the U.S. with him. The Type 59 was sort of the ultimate evolution of the pre-war Bugatti racing car. Only eight were constructed (although it is unclear how many frames were built). This car uses frame number two.
The supercharged 5.0-liter inline-eight is supposedly a special engine that was previously used in a speed record car in 1933 before being used in Robert Benoist’s 1935 French Grand Prix race car. The assembler of this car got that engine and put it in this chassis, then built a body around it that replicates Benoist’s race car. All of this was completed in the 1990s. It’s pretty amazing, really, and the auction listing notes a list of factory Bugatti parts used in the build, including the piano-wire wheels.
So it’s not that different from the Type 43 described above. It just so happens that all of the replacement bits were put on the car many decades later. This is a one-of-a-kind Bugatti with some pretty detailed history. The auction ends today, click here to see where the bidding ends up.
Another day, another insane supercar. The Chiron was Volkswagen – er, Bugatti’s follow-up to the impossible-to-top Veyron. Well it topped it. And then they went and made it more extreme with a series of special and high-end editions.
The Chiron launched in 2016 and used an updated version of the Veyron’s quad-turbocharged 8.0-lite W16 that in Chiron spec put out 1,479 horsepower. The Pur Sport got a redline increase and a revised gearbox.
Introduced in 2020, the Pur Sport was supposedly limited to 60 units. It is described as a “handling-focused variant” with lightweight components, a fixed rear wing, a pretty crazy wheel design that pulls air into the rear diffuser, and, somehow, stickier tires.
This example is finished in a pretty awesome two-tone color scheme – inside and out. The price is eye watering so far, with the bidding already at $3.7 million at the time of this writing. More can be read about it here.