Bugatti 59/50S

1935 Bugatti Type 59/50S

Offered by Bring a Trailer Auctions | June 2022

Photo – Bring a Trailer Aucions

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.

Update: Not sold, high bid of $500,000.

Chiron Pur Sport

2021 Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport

Offered by Bring a Trailer Auctions | June 2022

Photo – Bring a Trailer Auctions

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.

57C Aravis Special Cabriolet

1939 Bugatti Type 57C Aravis Special Cabriolet by Gangloff

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 19-20, 2022

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

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.

Bugatti Stelvio

1938 Bugatti Type 57C Stelvio Cabriolet by Gangloff

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 3, 2022

Photo – Bonhams

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.

Update: Not sold.

Bugatti 57S Atalante

1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante

Offered by Gooding & Company | London, U.K. | TBD…

Photo – Gooding & Company

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.

Update: Sold $10,016,185.

March 2020 Auction Highlights

March begins with Amelia Island, where Bonhams sold this 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Super Sport Roadster for $7,100,000.

Photo – Bonhams

The 1907 Renault Vanderbilt Racer was another big sale, bringing $3,332,500. Two old German cars sold, but the final sales prices were not listed, presumably because the new buyer is weird. They were the Opel Phaeton and the Demarest Benz. The other Benz failed to sell, as did a previously-featured Boyer and Knox.

The Volkswagen Kubelwagen sold for $58,240, and the Schwimmwagen $145,600. And the Marcos GT went for $33,600. Final results can be found here.

RM’s Amelia sale boringly saw this 2003 Ferrari Enzo sell for the most money (there were so many cool classics here, so a late model Ferrari is kind of a bummer). It sold for $2,782,500.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

All of our feature cars sold, led by two Duesenbergs. The Stationary Victoria sold for $1,325,000, and the Convertible Coupe brought $1,132,500. Cars that crossed the $100k mark included the Talbot-Lago at $250,000 and the Muntz Jet at $117,600.

The 1907 Cadillac sold for $53,200, the Nash-Healey brought $89,600, and the Offy-powered Indy car went for $95,200. A previously-featured Roamer also sold for $95,200. Click here for complete results.

Historics Auctioneers held a sale on March 7. The EJS-Climax we featured way back failed to sell here, as did the Bristol Brigand and the Panhard 24. The top sale was for this $404,519 1970 Aston Martin DB6 Mk II.

Photo – Historics Auctioneers

The Mean Can-Am sold for $36,928, and more results can be found here.

Gooding & Company’s Amelia Island sale saw this 1914 Rolls-Royce 40/50HP Silver Ghost Torpedo Phaeton by Kellner lead the way at $2,205,000.

Photo – Gooding & Company

The Porsche 356B Super Coupe sold for $395,500, and the Lamborghini failed to sell. More results are provided here.

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.

The Facel Vega we featured sold for about $74,345, and the overall top sale was this 1962 Alfa Romeo Giulietta SZ Coda Tronca for $750,825. The rest of the results are posted here.

Photo – Aguttes

January 2020 Auction Highlights

We kick off in January with RM Sotheby’s in Arizona where the top sale was this 2018 Pagani Huayra Roadster that sold for $2,370,000.

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

All of our feature cars sold, with the V-16 Cadillac leading the way at $1,105,000. Following that was the Hispano-Suiza at $445,000 and the Shelby Series I at $91,840. Other sales included the Chalmers for $61,600, the Locomobile for $58,240, and the Kaiser for $10,080. Click here for complete results.

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.

Photo – Gooding & Company

The Hispano-Suiza J12 Dual-Cowl Phaeton sold for $2,425,000. The Model A Duesenberg, and a previously-featured Model J, both failed to sell. More results are available here.

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.

Photo – Barrett-Jackson

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.

Across town was Russo & Steele, who managed to move this 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster for $1,045,000. The Rambler Marlin we featured went for $8,800. A great buy. Final results can be found here.

Photo – Russo & Steele

Finally, we have Bonhams at Retromobile. The top overall sale was this 1931 Bugatti Type 55 Supersport that sold for $5,045,740.

Photo – Bonhams

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.

Other sales included the Devin D for $100,914 and the Toyota F1 roller for $90,823. No sales were the Bugatti 39, Zagato Mostro, and the previously-featured Miller Shooting Brake and Brasier saloon. More results can be found here.

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.

Update: Sold $12,158,412.

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.

Update: Sold $5,017,656.

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.