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.
1939 Bugatti Type 57C Aravis Special Cabriolet by Gangloff
Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 19-20, 2022
Among the most valuable Bugattis – and pre-war cars in general – are variations of the Bugatti Type 57. This particular car is a rare version called the Aravis Special Cabriolet with coachwork by Gangloff, who were also responsible for the Stelvios.
This is a Type 57C, which indicates a racing chassis powered by a supercharged 3.3-liter inline-eight capable of 160 horsepower. This car is one of three Gangloff-bodied Aravis cars in existence, of what is thought to be six built (in addition to six from Letourneur et Marchand). Only two of the remaining three were factory-supercharged examples, with this being one of them.
In 1959, the coachbuilder Graber was hired to put a fixed roof on the car, a configuration it was rescued from after being purchased by its current owner in 1993. It has a replacement engine, but of the correct type. You can read more about it here.
1938 Bugatti Type 57C Stelvio Cabriolet by Gangloff
Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 3, 2022
Bugatti’s Type 57 was the last new Bugatti to be introduced before the start of WWII. Which makes it the last true production Bugatti, as post-war models were never produced in much quantity and later models were… well… Italian or Volkswagens.
There were various 57s, including the C, which was sold from 1937 through 1940. It’s powered by a supercharged 3.3-liter inline-eight rated at 160 horsepower. The Stelvio was designed in-house at Bugatti as a four-seat cabriolet. This one, as were most, was actually bodied by Gangloff. It could be had on a standard, non-supercharged Type 57 as well.
These are very pretty, very desirable cars. The pre-sale estimate reflects it: $910,000-$1,400,000. This particular example has had the same owner since 1963 and has known ownership history since new. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.
Offered by Gooding & Company | London, U.K. | TBD…
Gooding & Company calls this “the most desirable of all road-going Bugattis,” which seems a tad hyperbolic considering some of the other Bugattis out there. The Type 57 S was a lowered version of the already-great Type 57, which was introduced in 1934.
This car was built with a naturally aspirated 3.3-liter inline-eight, but after Bugatti sold a few Type 57 SCs with superchargers, most of the base 57 S cars came back to the factory to get fitted with a supercharger, which this car has (though it was added much later on). Output is rated at 220 horsepower.
Jean Bugatti was company founder Ettore’s son and designed an aluminum body for the 57 S dubbed “Atalante.” It’s a low two-door coupe very similar to the famed Atlantic. Only 17 were built, four of which are locked away in a French museum that I don’t much care for. This one carries a pre-sale estimate “in excess of $8,500,000”. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale, whenever it ends up being held.
Aguttes’ March sale might just be the last one we get to recap for while, considering that most sales in late March and heading into April and May have been either canceled or postponed until later in the year. You know, pandemic and all.
Next up, Gooding & Company, also in Arizona. This auction proved that bedroom wall car posters are key indicators of what’s going to skyrocket in value. In this case, it was a 1995 Ferrari F50 that outsold a Tucker at $3,222,500. It also way outsold the 250 GT Cabriolet that brought $1,462,500.
We move on to Barrett-Jackson, where the top sale was a charity lot: the first mid-engine Corvette. A 2020 Stingray that hasn’t even been built yet. This red pre-production car crossed the block, but the actual first one will be black.
I couldn’t even tell you what their overall top sale was that wasn’t a charity lot because the results page isn’t sortable :(. I have strong feelings on these moonshot charity auctions, but I will keep them to myself.
Every car we featured sold, which is no surprise because this entire sale is 99.9% reserve-free. The Superbird brought $313,500, the L88 Corvette $330,000, and the Kuzma-Offy $165,000. The Aerocar went for a lot less than I anticipated, bringing only $275,000. I think, had it sold 15 years ago, it would’ve gone for much more.
On the other side of things were the Lawil at $12,100 and the Bremen Sebring at $7,700. Click here for all of the results.
Other big-dollar sales among our feature cars included the Pegaso for $782,089, a previously-featured Delahaye for $227,058, a previously-featured Talbot racer for $964,997 (less than half of what it sold for in 2014), and a BMW-Glas prototype for $229,581.