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.
Offered by Gooding & Company | London, U.K. | April 1, 2020
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.
Offered by Mecum | Houston, Texas | April 10-12, 2014
Photo – Mecum
I really love the look of 1920s Cadillacs. There were some very fancy cars available for purchase in the 1920s but it’s really hard to beat the good looks and understatement of this car.
The Type 59 was the second-to-last version of the Type 51. The Type 51 was new for 1915 and a war broke out right after that. It was Cadillac’s first V-8 powered car. The Type 59 was built for 1920 and 1921 only and uses a 5.1-liter V-8 making about 31 horsepower.
This car is in very nice and very usable shape – which is a big win for anyone looking to purchase it. You can read more here and check out more from Mecum in Houston here.
Update: Not sold, high bid of $25,000.
Update II: Sold, Mecum Kansas City, 2014 for $24,250.