Bugatti Type 59

1934 Bugatti Type 59 Sports

Offered by Gooding & Company | London, U.K. | April 1, 2020

Photo – Gooding & Company

After Bugatti’s Type 35 series of cars finished their run as some of the best Grand Prix cars of the era, Bugatti went and introduced the Type 51 in 1931. The development of that car culminated in the Type 59 of 1933, the last pre-war Bugatti Grand Prix car.

It is powered by a 250 horsepower, supercharged 3.3-liter inline-eight. Only eight examples were built. Ralph Lauren has one, but his is restored. This car is as it was in 1938. It’s an ex-factory Bugatti team car, and it’s competition history includes:

  • 1934 Monaco Grand Prix – 3rd (with Rene Dreyfus)
  • 1934 Belgian Grand Prix – 1st (with Dreyfus)

After the 1935 season, the car’s supercharger was removed and it went sports car racing with revised bodywork. In 1938, it was painted in its current black and was acquired by King Leopold III of Belgium. It’s had four owners since and is now estimated to bring “in excess” of $13,000,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Bugatti Type 35C

1928 Bugatti Type 35C

Offered by Gooding & Company | London, U.K. | April 1, 2020

Photo – Gooding & Company

Bugatti’s Type 35 line of Grand Prix cars were some of best racing cars of their era. Their design has held up well, and this car has about every bit of patina you could ask for, wearing a repaint from approximately 1932.

The 35C is powered by a supercharged 2.0-liter inline-eight capable of 125 horsepower. It features four-wheel drum brakes and a four-speed transmission. This particular example was entered by the Bugatti factory in the 1928 Targa Florio. Results are unknown, but Louis Chiron drove one of the team’s two 35C entries, Gastone Brilli-Peri the other. They finished 40th and 50th, respectively.

Only 50 examples of the 35C were built, and this one has known ownership history since new, including three Belgian owners spanning the last 60 years. Mechanically restored, the car otherwise remains as it was in the 1930s. Gooding expects this to bring “more than $4 million.” Click here for more info and here for the other lots from this interesting sale.

DB HBR4

1959 DB HBR4 Coupe

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 7, 2020

Photo – Artcurial

Charles Deutsch and Rene Bonnet built cars under the Deutsch-Bonnet marque until 1947 when they shortened it to DB. Their HBR5 model was sold between 1955 and 1961, with both road cars and race cars constructed.

The HBR5 was powered by an 848cc flat-twin. Cars with the smaller 747cc flat-twin were dubbed “HBR4,” such as this one here. It was purchased new as a road car and modified by its first owner, Jacques-Edouard Rey, for competition use.

It was successful its first time out, so much so that Rene Bonnet ended up building 10 factory examples. The interesting competition history for this car includes:

  • 1960 Rallye Monte Carlo – DNF (with Andre Guilhaudin and Jacques-Edouard Rey)
  • 1961 24 Hours of Le Mans – 20th (with Guilhaudin and Jean-Francois Jaeger)

The car remained in Rey’s possession until 1989, and it was restored in 1994 to its 1961 Le Mans configuration, which is how it sits today. How many cars have competed in the Monte Carlo Rally and Le Mans? This one should sell for between $155,000-$200,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Artcurial in Paris.

Update: Sold $190,176.

Two Prototype Racers

Two Prototype Racers

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 7, 2020


1974 ToJ SS02

Photo – Artcurial

ToJ was a racing team founded by driver Jorg Obermosser. They were most famous for their prototype sports cars and Formula Two/Three single-seaters. This sale features three of their sports racers from the 1970s. The team was in existence between 1974 and 1990.

This was the team’s first sports prototype, and it was developed using Obermosser’s previous GRD-BMW S73 prototype as a launching point. This car is powered by a 2.0-liter BMW inline-four. It never made it to Le Mans, but it did contest the European 2-Litre Championship. It’s the only survivor of two built and should bring between $300,000-$315,000. Click here for more info.

Update: Not sold.


1967 Serenissima 3000SP Prototipo

Photo – Artcurial

Last year at this sale, Artcurial sold three extremely rare Serenissima cars, including a race car. And this year they are featuring another of Giovanni Volpi’s rarities. This is one of two other Serenissima cars that still exist.

It was built in 1967 using a McLaren chassis and 3.0-liter V8. Originally featuring a closed-cockpit fiberglass body, the car was reworked for the 1969 season and fitted with the steel body you see here. Unfortunately, this new look proved unstable at high speed.

It was restored two years ago by Volpi’s original chief mechanic and should now sell for between $1,100,000-$1,500,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $990,226.

Toyota TF108 Roller

2008 Toyota TF108

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 6, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

Toyota competed as a constructor in Formula One between 2002 and 2009. And it did not go well. Despite dumping an untold fortune into the endeavor, they never won a race. They finished second five times, however, including once in 2008 using a TF108 chassis.

Not this chassis, though, because it is an engine-less show car. It was the fifth TF108 chassis built and, had it been a race car, it would’ve been powered by a 2.4-liter V8. Toyota’s 2008 drivers were Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli.

This show car is from Toyota’s penultimate year in F1 and would be a cool piece in any collection. It would also make for a great simulator base. It is expected to fetch between $67,000-$89,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $90,823.

Bugatti Type 39 Grand Prix

1925 Bugatti Type 39 Grand Prix

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 6, 2020

Photo – Bonhams

The Bugatti Type 39 is part of the Type 35 series and is very similar to the Type 35C. The main exception was the engine, which in this car was a 1.5-liter straight-eight. The cars were successful in competition upon their debut, taking the top four spots in their first race (this one was third).

This particular car was a factory racer that went to Australia under a privateer banner in 1926. It suffered a series of engine failures in the 1920s and then bounced between a number of owners leading up to and after WWII. It has since been completely restored.

I’ve always thought that Grand Prix Bugattis were too cheap. This car carries an estimate of $1,200,000-$1,600,000… which is a little less inexpensive. After all, only 10 Type 39s were built. You can see more about this one here, and see more from Bonhams here.

Update: Not sold.

Ferrari 126 C3

1983 Ferrari 126 C3

Offered by Artcurial | Paris, France | February 7, 2020

Photo – Artcurial

Ferrari’s 126 series of F1 cars were used between the 1981 and 1984 Formula One seasons. The 126 C3 was one of two cars used by the Scuderia for the 1983 season. The first was the 126 C2B, which was essentially their 1982 car with a flat bottom.

The C3 was a lighter version of the 126 C2B and used a carbon/kevlar shell. A 600-horsepower turbocharged 1.5-liter V6 provided the power. The car debuted halfway through the season, and four chassis were built. The competition history for this car includes:

  • 1983 Austrian Grand Prix – 2nd (with Rene Arnoux)
  • 1983 Dutch Grand Prix – 1st (with Arnoux)

The car fell back into reserve car status and was sold at the end of the season to the French Ferrari importer. But this car helped Ferrari win the constructor’s title for the 1983 season. It should now bring between $666,600-$1,111,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $1,583,200.

Lotus 88B

1981 Lotus 88B

Offered by BH Auction | Tokyo, Japan | January 12, 2020

Photo – BH Auction

Back when you were allowed to be innovative when designing racing cars, Formula One went through an era where ground effects were all the rage. It started in the late 1960s and peaked in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Things were getting pretty wild, and eventually, F1 cracked down, banning moveable aerodynamic devices.

Colin Chapman’s Lotus first started the wave, and they sort of ended it with this car, which was designed for the 1981 season. It features a twin-chassis layout that allows the standard chassis to hunker down at speed, while the second chassis works on mechanical grip. The other F1 teams were not amused and protested this car at every event. It practiced at the first two events, and later at the British Grand Prix (in 88B form), but it never raced.

Finished in John Player livery, the cars were used by drivers Nigel Mansell and Elio de Angelis in practice. Only two examples were built, and they’re powered by Ford-Cosworth 3.0-liter V8s. It is eligible for pretty much any historic F1 event and is being offered from a private Japanese collection. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Kuzma-Offenhauser

1961 Kuzma-Offenhauser

Offered by Barrett-Jackson | Scottsdale, Arizona | January 11-19, 2020

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

Eddie Kuzma built Indy roadsters in the 1950s and early 1960s. Kuzma won the 500 in 1952 with driver Troy Ruttman, the youngest person to ever win the race. Ruttman actually ran this very car at Indy in 1963, where he finished 12th.

This is a “lay-down” Indy roadster, meaning the 4.2-liter Offenhauser engine is laid on its side, protruding from the bodywork. This both reduced drag and increased the left-side weight bias, making it faster around ovals. The car was not used in USAC after 1963 (the rear-engined cars had arrived). Instead, it went east, where it was used as a super modified.

Unfortunately, Ruttman’s son, Troy Jr., was killed driving this car in an accident at Pocono in 1969. The car was purchased by Bob McConnell in 1980 and was restored by a later owner in 2004. The catalog lists this as a 1963 but also states it was built in 1961. Not really sure which is correct. Anyway, it is selling at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $165,000.

Ferrari 126 C2

1982 Ferrari 126 C2

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. | November 30, 2019

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The 126C was Ferrari’s 1981 Formula One car. It replaced the 312T series of cars that dated back to 1975. For 1982, the chassis was heavily updated to C2 specification, and it was iterated upon thereafter through 1984.

Power is from a turbocharged 1.5-liter V6 that made about 600 horsepower in race trim. Driving duties for 1982 were split between Gilles Villeneuve (who died mid-season), Didier Pironi, Patrick Tambay, and Mario Andretti. No single driver competed in every race. The competition history for this chassis includes:

  • 1982 British Grand Prix – 3rd (with Patrick Tambay)
  • 1982 French Grand Prix – 4th (with Tambay)
  • 1982 German Grand Prix – 1st (with Tambay)
  • 1982 Italian Grand Prix – 3rd (with Mario Andretti)
  • 1982 Caesars Palace Grand Prix (Las Vegas) – 19th, DNF (with Andretti)

The car left Ferrari’s private collection in 2000 and has been used in events since. This race-winning F1 car from the Scuderia is the only survivor of seven examples of the type built. It should sell for between $2,000,000-$2,500,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $2,143,750.