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.
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 Gooding & Company | London, U.K. | April 1, 2020
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.
Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 6, 2020
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.
Up next we have RM’s Saragga Collection sale in Portugal. All of our feature cars sold, led by the Denzel and the HRG, which sold for $345,025 and $181,745 respectively. The overall top sale was $746,297 paid for this 1931 Bentley 8-Litre Tourer.
The Chrysler New Yorker we featured was withdrawn from the sale, but you can look through the rest of the results here.
Finally, we have one more from Bonhams: their Swiss supercar sale, including a bunch of cars confiscated from the son of an African dictator. Fun! Our feature feature car was the overall top sale: the Lamborghini Veneno Roadster, which sold for $8,330,076. The Lagonda Taraf failed to sell. In the spirit of over-the-top supercars, Most Interesting goes to this 2010 Lamborghini Reventon Roadster that found a new home for $1,966,823.
We start in September with Worldwide Auctioneers’ Auburn sales results, which somehow were posted before their Pacific Grove sale. We’ll get to those later. But to start, the top seller here was a 1948 Tucker for $990,000.
Next up, Brightwells Leominster Classic & Vintage sale. The Bristol 412 we featured sold for $17,258. The top sale was $259,565 paid for this 1960 Aston Martin DB4 project. More results can be found here.
Following up on Worldwide’s Pacific Grove sale, the Riker electric car and the Simplex failed to sell. The Stevens-Duryea brought $115,500. The top sale was a 1958 Porsche 356 1600 Speedster for $264,000, but they’ve taken the photos off of their website. 🙁
We’ll start in August with Mecum’s Harrisburg sale, where an insane thing happened: the Plymouth Superbird we featured (that also happened to be Richard Petty’s former race car), failed to sell… for $3,500,000. Yeesh. The overall top seller was this 1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda Sox & Martin drag car for $429,000. Click here for complete results.
And to wrap this post up, RM Sotheby’s much-talked-about sale, where the expected star, the 1939 Porsche, failed to sell after mass confusion. They did manage to set a record for a McLaren at auction, selling this 1994 McLaren F1 “LM-Spec” car sold for $19,805,000. These cars are not done appreciating.