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Type 51

Toby Nippel for Road and Track, 1970's.

March 2, 2023 Bonhams' the Amelia Island Auction Fernandina Beach, Florida, USA

  • 1934 Bugatti Type 57 Stelvio Convertible, Chassis no. 57195, Engine no. 13. Estimate: US$500,000 - US$600,000
  • 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Sports Tourer, Chassis no. 57541, Engine no. 29S, Body no. 3595. Estimate: US$10,000,000 - US$12,000,000

1934 Bugatti Type 57 Stelvio Convertible, Chassis no. 57195, Engine no. 13

  • Offered from the Estate of Howard Fafard
  • Recently fully researched by marque expert Pierre-Yves Laugier, report on file
  • Matching numbers, coachwork original to this car since 1935
  • Presented in exceptional cosmetic condition
  • Not shown at Concours events in a decade

Mention the word 'Bugatti' in almost any conversation and even to the least informed person and ideas of craftsmanship and beauty immediately spring to mind, to some it may the mean furniture of Carlo Bugatti, to others the exquisite stylized bronzes of tigers and elephants of Rembrandt Bugatti, while to most it will unquestionably be the automobiles of Ettore and Jean Bugatti. For three decades father and son marketed their own breed of equally individual designs on the race circuits and roads of Europe. Rarely for an automobile company they excelled with both, their Grand Prix cars took literally thousands of awards through the Twenties and Thirties, while their successful single cam and twin cam eight cylinder road cars provided the classiest chassis for coachbuilders to practice their art upon. It is little wonder that the legend that they created has continued to be emulated to this day and that the qualities they prized live on in the latest revival of the brand with the 1,000hp Veyrons and Chirons that we have seen in recent years.

Bugatti, introduced in 1934, marked Jean Bugatti's emergence as Bugatti's leader and creative force. It was the first new model built under his direction and it incorporated many features that were new to Bugatti. Its dual overhead camshaft eight-cylinder engine had dimensions of 72 x 100mm, offering 3,257cc displacement. The crankshaft ran in five main bearings. The camshafts were driven by a train of helical-tooth gears at the engine's rear with a further crankshaft bearing behind them. Finger cam followers minimized side thrust on the valve stems.

The Type 57 also marked Bugatti's first use of a transmission fixed to the engine crankcase and a single plate clutch. The Type 57 The top three gears in the four-speed gearbox were constant mesh. Jean created a novel independent front suspension system using transverse leaf springs for the first two examples of the Type 57 before Le Patron spied it and insisted it be replaced by a proper Bugatti hollow tubular live axle. Thenceforth suspension was traditional Bugatti semi-elliptical front and reversed quarter-elliptical rear leaf springs with cable-operated mechanical drum brakes.

One of the blessings of the touring Bugattis as compared with their Grand Prix counterparts is how uncomplicated and chartable their histories have proven to be, particularly aided through the tireless research work of a handful of enthusiasts such as David Sewell in the UK and Pierre Yves Laugier in France.

The latter can be thanked for the comprehensive chain of ownership, much of this knowledge has been freshly researched and substantially improves the known history of the car. Its tale begins on March 29, 1934 when it was delivered in chassis form to a Marcel Gagneraud, in France. M. Gagneraud was an industrialist of some note, and in this period ran the firm founded by his grandfather specializing in railways and public works. According to the Bugatti works, it was briefly bodied as a four door 'Berline' built by the lesser-known coachbuilder Mignot & Billebault of Boulogne-sur-Seine (Paris). Bugatti had paid some 13,000 French Francs for this coachwork. For Gagneraud, this was the latest in a succession of Bugattis, it replaced his Type 50T, a Gangloff Berline, which in turn had replaced a Type 46, as the top of the range production cars had progressed from single cam to twin cam and then the refined 57, he had followed suit. Interestingly, he would receive 50,400 FF back for trading in his Type 50T.

But Gagneraud did not keep his latest Bugatti for long and its second owner preferred the car to take an open form, as Laugier confirms at some point in the second half of 1934 the car returned to Gangloff in Colmar and was rebodied with the coachwork that remains on the car to this day. Proof of this comes very simply from its export papers into Basle in Switzerland on December 28, 1934 where its is described as a "Drophead Coupe 4 Seater, weight 1,500kg".

According to Laugier, Swiss road registration records do not survive for the pre-war years, so its first confirmed Swiss owner is charted as Marc Saugey of 14 Boulevard Helvetique, in Geneva, who returned the car to the road on April 23, 1948. It is easy to see that M. Saugey would have appreciated the quality and design of the Bugatti, as his profession was architecture. Having studied under Le Corbusier in Paris and later in Germany, from 1938 through to 1971 he would be responsible for numerous important buildings in Geneva in this period. He also taught at the University of Geneve.

From registration records, we know that Marc Saugey kept the Bugatti until September 1, 1952 when his plates were surrendered back to the local Police jurisdiction. Its next formal owner was Richard Hoffman, a mechanic who registered it for the road in his home town of Neuchatel, slightly north on Lake Geneva, on July 30, 1955. A photograph of the car in this period survives showing it at Garage Vivot in Saint Blaise, Neuchatel in this period. Roughly a year later the car returned into the Geneva based ownership of Pierre Adler who would house it at his home on Schaub Street also keeping it for around one year.

By 1958 it had become the property of Robert Baer, an Anglo-Swiss gentleman who traded a number of Bugattis in this period. Perhaps unsurprisingly, from Baer it passed to another notable trader of these cars, Jean de Dobbeleer of Belgium, who Bugatti aficionados will recognize as the source for many of the cars that are in the USA today, a large number being traded between he and Gene Cesari. Whether this followed that path or not is uncertain, but later that same year it was in the American ownership of Bernard Haines.

Next, the car came onto the radar of noted collector, Judge John North and was purchased by him. He appears to have kept it for 4 years before it moved to the long term custody of John Metzgar. In Hugh Conway's register for 1962, the car is listed as 'undergoing complete rebuild. Was in good running condition but is being restored as new. All parts being replaced where worn, new top, upholstery, plating etc. Believed to be original except upholstery'. Metzgar who would retain the car through to 2007, when it joined the collection of the late Mark Smith, of Pennsylvania.

Offered for sale by Mr. Smith having received considerable work carried out by respected Sargent Metal Works, in Vermont, Mr Fafard purchased the Bugatti 11 years ago. He elected to repaint the car in one of his preferred schemes, being of two tone coloring, of a rich dark blue over silver, an effect which suits the car well.

The car's new color scheme was ready by the spring of 2013, and it was in this guise that the car was seen on the American Bugatti Club rallies of that year in Mont Tremblant and the following year at Lake Placid. Over the course of the last few years the car was stationed here in Florida and exercised occasional by Mr. Fafard until his passing 2 years ago.

Mr. Laugier reports that Gangloff are understood to have built only 17 four seater dropheads in the early season of these cars from 1934 to late 1935, and that only 2, possibly 3 have survived the vagaries of time. A beautifully presented touring Bugatti which would provide a welcome entry to any concours lawn or indeed tour, it is a (relatively) affordable entrée to the world of this famed marque.

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1937 Bugatti Type 57S Sports Tourer, Chassis no. 57541, Engine no. 29S, Body no. 3595

  • Original New York Delivery
  • Concours, Award-Winning Restoration
  • One-off Vanden Plas Sports Tourer coachwork
  • Original Coachwork and Fully Numbers Matching
  • A collector car that ticks all the boxes

"The car sped along at 80 mph with the comfort and quietness one associates with the Type 57... We were quite willing to believe that Jean Bugatti has achieved the 435 kilometers to Paris in just under 3½ hours in the Type 57 - an average of 77mph..." - Motor Sport, May 1939, writing about the normally aspirated Bugatti Type 57.

Introduced in 1934, the Type 57 marked Jean Bugatti's emergence as Bugatti's leader and creative driving force. It was the first new model built under his direction and it incorporated many features new to Bugatti. Its dual overhead camshaft eight-cylinder engine had dimensions of 72x100mm, offering 3,257cc displacement, with a five main bearing crankshaft. The camshafts were driven by a train of helical-tooth gears at the engine's rear with a further crankshaft bearing behind them. Finger cam followers minimized side thrust on the valve stems. The Type 57 also marked Bugatti's first use of a transmission fixed to the engine crankcase and a single plate clutch. The top three gears in the four-speed gearbox were constant mesh. A proper Bugatti hollow tube live front axle was suspended by semi-elliptical front and reversed quarter-elliptical rear leaf springs with cable-operated mechanical drum brakes.

Despite financial problems, development of the Type 57 continued with the introduction of a stiffened frame and rubber-mounted engine, along with the supercharged Type 57C model in 1936. Driven by the camshaft drive at the rear of the engine, the Roots-type supercharger ran at 1.17 times engine speed. This provided a 5-6 psi boost and a healthy 160 bhp which made close to 120 mph possible. The Type 57 in all its forms attracted discerning owners who were only satisfied with the best, among them land speed record holder Sir Malcolm Campbell, who wrote: "If I was asked to give my opinion as to the best all-round super-sports car which is available on the market today, I should, without any hesitation whatever, say it was the 3.3 Bugatti... it cannot fail to attract the connoisseur or those who know how to handle the thoroughbred. It is a car in a class by itself."

Bugatti's line of "super sport" competition road models began with the superb Type 43 that was replaced by the legendary T55 and the concept would reach its zenith with Type 57S, where the S stood for surbaissé, or lowered – virtually a Grand Prix car in touring car guise. Offered as a competition sports car it was intended for use in events like the 24hrs of Le Mans - at which Bugatti would score two victories with the 57S based "tanks". Although the 57S shared a few features with its progenitor, the differences between the two models placed the 57S in a league of its own. The lowered stance required fitting a special crankcase with dry sump lubrication derived from the T59 GP car, including separate scavenge and pressure oil pumps supplied from a 20 liter tank. High compression pistons, and special cam shafts gave the new engine a significant performance edge, and the clutch a dual plate unit to cope with the extra output. Ignition was by a Scintilla Vertex magneto driven from the left-hand camshaft. With its low weight, abundant power and small frontal area, the 57S had suddenly become a very, very fast automobile.

However, the fundamental difference between the 57S and the standard Type 57 lay in the low-slung frame design with its shorter wheelbase - identical length to the t43 and T55 it replaced. The special frame sees the rear axle passed through the frame, while the hollow, split front axle with de Ram shock absorbers provided damping cleverly engineered to increase with speed. The resulting car was so low in fact that the standard exhaust tube and silencer would not clear the ground and the exhaust had to be divided among six individual small tubes with a thin box silencer. This new low chassis and the distinctive 57S vee-shaped radiator was a gift to the stylist, and the Jean Bugatti-influenced Atalante Coupé styling that was fitted to 17 of the 57S chassis, blended impeccably with the sculpted radiator design. Production was very limited. A mere 48 Type 57S chassis were built until the outbreak of hostilities. Two of these were 57SC models, fitted with a supercharger by the factory to create the ultimate-specification 200 bhp prewar French supercar. Along with the legendary Alfa-Romeo 8C 2900, the Type 57SC was quite simply the fastest road car in the world. With these extraordinary credentials, it is little wonder then that the 57S has been held in awe across the decades by collectors and enthusiasts alike, right up to the present day.

Even rarer than the Type 57S chassis that were bodied with Bugatti factory designs built by Gangloff in Colmar, were the very few that were handed over to outside coachbuilders. The car offered here is one of these ultimately rare cars. The Carrosserie Van den Plas was incorporated in Brussels in 1898. Automobile body manufacture commenced in 1900, and the company grew quickly. From about 1906, Metallurgique cars with Van den Plas bodies were imported into England by a company called Warwick Wright, which acquired the license to manufacture Van den Plas bodies and designs for the United Kingdom in 1910. In 1913, Vanden Plas (in two words) Ltd. was incorporated which then became a coachbuilding company in its own right.

The two companies led separate lives but co-existed peacefully over the years. From 1924 to 1931, the English Vanden Plas company became famous for its rakish bodies on W.O. Bentley chassis, of which about 700 were built. With its reputation for quality coachwork well-established, Vanden Plas also bodied a number of Alvis, Armstrong Siddeley, Bentley, Daimler, Lagonda, and Rolls-Royce chassis in the 1930s. Vanden Plas bodied a total of two Type 57S chassis, namely the subject car and chassis 57572 which was given two-seater cabriolet coachwork in the autumn of 1937.

The history of 57541 described here relies on the work of Bugatti expert Pierre-Yves Laugier, as well as on that of Bernhard Simon and Julius Kruta. All three have published chassis-by-chassis accounts of the Type 57S, which have been used.

Factory records indicate 57541 was ordered by Colonel Sorel, the London agent on Brixton Road. The chassis was sent to Vanden Plas and given a four-seat touring-roadster body no. 3595. Painted gray with red accents, the cost of this exquisite bolide was £275. Interestingly the Vanden Plan records state the coachwork as being ordered by Ettore Bugatti. Bodied in the classic minimalistic British style with sporting cut-down doors, 57541 resembles the Vanden Plas 4 1/4-liter Bentley Tourer body no. 3340 delivered to Malcolm Campbell in April 1936, as well as the 4.3-liter short chassis Alvis body no. 3588 built in 1937. Historically and stylistically, these three bodies can trace their lineage directly back to the great Vanden Plas-bodied W.O. Bentleys from the late 1920s. In this period a body with four-seats was mandatory for events like the 24 hours of Le Mans and the most minimal, light weight seat was fitted to this sports tourer. It has the clever feature of being hinged and of light alloy construction to allow instant access to the rear brakes, axles and batteries. Colonel Sorel must have been justifiably happy with the result, as 57541 was pictured in the company's 1937-1938 catalog.

George Rand and Samuel Collier, US Bugatti importers had 57541 shipped to New York where it is likely that it was used at the A.R.C.A. races on September 25, 1937. Period images exist of the car taken at the Roosevelt Raceway race in New York without the fender skirts it was fitted with initially. Rand was unable to find a buyer for the car, and it was shipped back to England and shown on the Bugatti stand at the London Motor Show held at the Olympia from October 13 to 22, 1938. On November 3, 1938, it was registered with the number FGW 384. The first English owner remains unknown. It is likely that 57541 remained in England, but according to Pierre-Yves Laugier, it is possible that by the end of 1938, 57541 was in the ownership of Herman H. Harjes, Jr., director of the Harjes and Morgan Bank on the Place Vendôme in Paris.

57541 vanished from sight during the hostilities, but towards the end of the war, it appeared for sale at the Continental Cars garage which was owned by Rodney Clarke, and it is likely that it was given registration number DXP 970 in 1947. That same year, the car had no less than three owners, namely Rodney Clarke, Brian Finglass, and Sir Alfred McAlpine, all of whom were managers of Continental Cars. Using Jack Bartlett as intermediary, they sold 57541 to Jack Robinson, who exported it to Trinidad, where it was registered as PB 371. According to Pierre-Yves Laugier, Robinson stated in a 1952 issue of Bugantics that when he bought the car through Bartlett, it was equipped with a Type 35B 3-blade racing supercharger. Robinson also noted that major work had been done to the car including fitting a new crankshaft, crankcase, cylinder block, pistons and connecting rods. In 1952, the car was completely overhauled, but its original gray color was kept. As Laugier succinctly states, "After its restoration, Robinson made the XK120 Jaguars pay dearly at the Trinidad Aerodrome, where he reached speeds of more than 180 km/h."

Robinson kept 57541 for more than thirty years and sold it to Peter Agg in 1985, with Leonard Potter possibly acting as middleman. Via his Trojan company, Agg undertook a complete restoration of the car. The engine was given to Crosthwaite and Gardner, who replaced the 35B supercharger with a correct Type 57 unit, thereby bringing 57541 up to factory correct 57SC specification. Hydraulic brakes were fitted and the car was repainted in the light metallic blue color that it wears today. Agg took great joy in using 57541, and he was regularly seen participating at the Prescott hill climbs and various circuits. In 1995, the car was sold to its previous owner, who retained it for the over 20 years. In 2016 57541 finally entered the ownership of a collector prepared to bring it back to its original glory.

As purchased and carefully reviewed, 57541 was a very proper and correct car that had suffered from an insensitive 1980s restoration. The goal was to reverse this work and make the originality front and center with a heavily researched and sensitive refurbishment appropriate to a car of its stature. Many of these valuable Type 57S cars have been thoroughly restored and much of the original "hands of the makers" are erased it in an effort for artificial perfection.

The philosophical guidelines for the restoration were:
Bring the car back to its original delivery configuration, with original crank case.
Bring the wonderful subtlety back to the body work that had been lost through poor repairs.
Use all the original body metal, replace only the smallest damaged areas if necessary.
Use original materials and techniques particularly period pant and fabrics.
Locate original Molshiem hardware to replace any modern fasteners and hardware.
Paint the car its original colors in nitrocellulose lacquer paint.
Leave any factory hand work and tooling marks visible.
Use cotton-based material as original for canvas parts.
Do not embellish anything - it should be as good but no better than it left the factory.
Use all original engine turned surfaces and polish only what the factory polished (engine block in particular).
Have the car be fully usable for any rally event and be in unmodified factory form.

The project was lead and managed by Evan Ide's Historic Vehicle Services who handled the metal work, mechanicals and assembly. F40 Motorsports prepped the metal work, painted the nitrocellulose paint and did all final sanding and polishing. Interior Motives handled the upholstery and trimming and Holman Engineering was used for engine assembly and testing.

A tremendous amount of research was done to find out exactly how this car was configured as new and every effort was made to get the smallest detail correct. The bodywork, despite a clean, simple appearance has wonderful complexity in the details. In particular, features such as the stunning fenders that through years of minor parking damage and old repairs had their beauty compromised, were returned to their original lines. A large effort was made rebuilding the edges of the fenders to bring back these wonderful styling dhetails that visually lower the car and give it a feeling of motion. The backs of the rear fenders - a vulnerable spot when backing up were nearly 4" higher than when the car was built. The car also received the correct wheel spats and the proper disc-wheel covers it had when new.

Mechanically, the work extended as far as the huge task of ensuring that nearly all the hardware used was original factory hardware. Unlike most manufacturers of the day Bugatti designed and manufactured his own unique fasteners. It was essential that only this original Bugatti hardware be used one such an important car. The philosophy of no reproduction parts extends even to the iron cylinder block which is the original to the car - very rarely seen.

The top material was specially made in a cotton-based material so it would have the proper black color not the dark synthetic color of modern acrylics typically used. The goal was for the material to begin to fade and weather like the original over time. The foot boxes were fitted out with the proper rubber mats and exposed sides revealing the factory hand tooling marks. These floor boxes nestle alongside the fully exposed transmission - weight saving was paramount to this design.

The original crankcase was reunited with the original engine components. Every piece was found to be the original numbered Molshiem components and were reassembled. The engine was in excellent condition and consumable parts were renewed as needed. Extensive time was spent hand scraping the main babbit bearings until the crank would keep spinning on its own after a light a swing by hand. The final product is a strong and punchy engine with excellent low-down torque and smoothness. The original multi-tube exhaust system was rebuilt to preserve the proper growl, a notable characteristic of these cars.

When finished, the reaction was that this Bugatti was as close to the factory delivered article as could be achieved. A cursory inspection quickly provides the feeling that the car has a wonderful authentic appearance, something not possible in a more conventional restoration. The other goal of the restoration was for the car to be able to age gracefully like the original, which has been achieved by using the nitrocellulose, rather than thick modern plastic-based paints, so that the paint finish will age softly and not develop the thick cracking that can occur with modern products.

Also, when it comes to road performance, such an important aspect of these cars, with no modifications mechanically it drives like it should - an absolute beast of a car but with beautifully direct and light handling. With nearly 200hp and only a little over 2000lbs of car it gives up nothing to its most potent contemporaries.

Since 57541 has received numerous awards at Pebble Beach, Amelia Island, Audrain Newport Concours, and a recipient of Best Restoration at the Villa D'Este Concours d'Elegance. And, it is certainly no 'trailer queen' the 57S has spent many miles of on the road unleashing its thrilling performance.

Remarkably, 57541 has a virtually unbroken chain of protective owners who have taken extremely good care of this automotive jewel since it left the factory. Factor in the unbeatable combination of its unique coachbuilt body and genuine 1930s supercar underpinnings, and the result is truly a heady cocktail. The Bugatti Type 57S embodies the highest standards in road holding, engineering refinement and maximum performance in a prewar car. It also displays a sheer mechanical elegance that is the very pinnacle of mid-1930s aesthetic finesse - one can lose oneself just contemplating the gorgeous engine compartment!

The Type 57S ticks every box – it is in many ways the ultimate pre-war supercar, and in SC form, certainly faster than virtually anything else on the road at the time. The production run of the 57S was brief as manufacturing costs were high, and a devastating war intervened. The full production and current ownership record is summarized by Bernhard Simon and Julius Kruta in their reference work on the model. The list represents a stunning statement of the importance and exceptional esteem that collectors have held these cars in almost from new. When such things were still possible the Schlumpf brothers cleverly snapped up no fewer than 9 of them, precluding 20% of the production from changing hands again. Trend setting collector Ralph Lauren is one who can count 2 in his definitive stable, the majestic Atlantic Coupe as well as a convertible for example. As one analyzes this list today the potential to secure one, let alone an open car becomes so much more daunting, given that so many are now in long term ownerships or Institutional collections.

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March 4, 2023 Broad Arrow Auction - the Amelia Island Auction Fernandina Beach, Florida, USA

  • 1937 Bugatti Type 57C Vanvooren Roadster, Chassis no. 57742. Estimate: $1,100,000 - $1,400,000

    Please note that this same car was auctioned by Henderson Auction on October 29, 2022, and then fetched $710,000....

Introduced in 1934, the Bugatti Type 57 would emerge as the first model built under the direction of Jean Bugatti, the well-respected engineer, designer, and son of founder Ettore. One of the most sophisticated, highly praised road-going chassis of Bugatti's illustrious history, the Type 57 featured elegantly designed coachwork from some of Europe's most notable coachbuilders. As a result, ownership of a Type 57 provided not only one of the finest driving experiences, but also a statement of high fashion and automotive sculptural taste.

The Type 57 would also include many luxury refinements providing better ease of use for customers. As opposed to the bevel gears used on previous Bugattis, the Type 57 would use spur gears to transmit power from the crankshaft to the camshafts, dramatically reducing noise levels. Featuring four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes and a solid front axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs and live rear axle with quarter elliptic leaf springs, these upgrades provided the Type 57 chassis impressive stability at high speeds. These improved touring characteristics were demonstrated by Jean Bugatti boasting claims of completing the 270-mile trip from Molsheim to Paris in less than three and a half hours.

Bugatti Type 57 Chassis No. 57742
According to research provided by highly respected Bugatti Historian David Sewell, chassis no. 5774 was produced in November 1938 and fitted with Galibier four-door saloon coachwork built in-house at Bugatti's Molsheim factory. Completed on 27 January 1939 and finished in Ermine Red with Havana Brown leather trim, it was then delivered to Bugatti's Paris agency and added to their stock held at their Foire de Lyon depot. Factory records indicate the vehicle was first delivered to Besancon, France about 30 miles from the Swiss border to its first owner St. Martin. While subsequent history remains unclear into the 1960s, Type 57 no. 57742 was eventually re-discovered and purchased in the 1960s by Jean Serre. A reclusive collector, Monsieur Serre would build up an impressive, but largely secret collection of automobiles, also to include this one-off Vanvooren roadster body acquired from Hans Weber Henning which originally belonged to Bugatti Type 57 chassis no. 57430.

One-off Vanvooren Coachwork
Based in the Northwest suburbs of Paris, Carrosserie Vanvooren was responsible for some of the most beautiful automotive creations throughout the 1920s and 30s. Among their creations is this stunning one-off roadster body, originally ordered by Prince Louis Napoleon for Bugatti Type 57 chassis No. 57430. A direct descendant of Napoleon Bonaparte, Prince Louis was an enthusiastic amateur racing driver and experienced Bugatti customer who originally ordered this body using his alias 'de Montfort'. At some point in its life, this Vanvooren coachwork was removed and later fitted to the car on offer, chassis No. 57742. While the exact details of when exactly this occurred remain unknown, a photograph in a 1976 issue of Pur Sang confirms the Vanvooren body was removed prior to that date.

With both Type 57 chassis no. 57742 and the special one-off Vanvooren roadster body now belonging to Jean Serre, he would eventually sell the chassis and body to a collector in Southern California sometime between 1997 and 2003. During this period, the body and chassis were united and also upgraded to supercharged configuration. Boasting over 210 horsepower with a supercharger (compresseur), this upgrade delivers significant performance advantages over the already capable Type 57.

In 2005, records indicate that Dutchman Tony Paalman had shown this vehicle at the Techno Classica Essen with his then firm “Car Discoveries”. After this period, chassis no. 57742 was delivered to the US by famed car collector Howard Fafard in Framingham, Massachusetts who commissioned a complete restoration at Competition Motors Portsmouth, NH. During this restoration, beginning January 2006, meticulous documentation and over one thousand photographs were taken and archived. These documents tell a story of an extensive, frame-off restoration with detailed invoices noting specific work performed to the vehicle. Restored in formal Black over Aubergine specification complete with an exquisite and unexpected ostrich leather interior and black folding convertible top, records on file indicate that Competition Motors would then assume ownership once completed in 2012. Following completion of this multi-year restoration costing over $800,000, this vehicle was shown at the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and also featured in advertisements by Ralph Lauren Purple Label for their 2012 Fall collection.

Spurred on by the motto of Ettore Bugatti “if it is comparable, it is no longer Bugatti”, their long-standing tradition of excellence plays a crucial role in maintaining their extreme collectability among enthusiasts. Not simply a work of art, the consignor reports at the time of cataloging this Type 57C drives and performs as expected of a fully restored, Pebble Beach entrant. What can only be considered a exquisite example, this Type 57 is ready to be appreciated by a new caretaker for its extraordinary blend of French style and sporting performance the likes of which only a Bugatti can deliver.

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January 26, 2023 RM - Sotheby's Arizona Auction USA

  • 1994 Bugatti EB110 GT, Chassis No. ZA9AB01E0RCD39068, Serial No. 068, Engine No. 063
    Estimate $1,600,000 - $2,000,000

Benefitting from a short ownership chain of a handful of doting collectors, and attention from some of the world’s most respected EB110 specialists, this Bugatti is a particularly noteworthy example of the celebrated Campogalliano supercar. According to the research of Johann Petit’s Bugatti EB110 Registry, chassis number 068 is approximately the 51st of 85 examples built to GT specifications, and it was completed as a second-series car equipped with a revised cooling system and a modified rear bumper.

Ordered in May 1994 by the dealer Zdenek-Auto on behalf of a client in the Czech Republic, the Bugatti was finished in Bugatti Blue paint and appointed with an interior upholstered in dual-tone gray leather in a non-standard special-order configuration. After being delivered to the first owner in August 1994, the EB110 was frequently enjoyed on the open road while being consistently maintained.

In 2001 the Bugatti was sold to its second owner, another enthusiast residing in the Czech Republic, and he immediately submitted the car to the specialists at Dauer Sportwagen in Nuremberg, Germany—the company responsible for the Le Mans-winning Dauer 962, and the officially licensed continuation builder and servicer of EB110 examples following Bugatti Automobili’s receivership. At this time the original engine number 090 was replaced by the motor currently installed, engine number 063, a correct GT-specification motor. The car was also fitted with the revised rear fascia panel it now wears, featuring a centrally-placed Bugatti logo.

The EB110 GT remained in the Czech Republic through 2012, at which point the car was exported to Italy and exhibited at the Auto e Moto d’Epoca concours d’elegance in Padua. Sold to a noted Italian collector, 068 enjoyed the company of numerous flagship supercars until the collection’s offering by RM Sotheby’s in late 2016.

After being presented at the London Concours d’Elegance in June 2017, the Bugatti was sold in 2018 to an enthusiast based in Denmark before more recently passing to the consignor, who soon submitted the car for servicing to B Engineering in Emilia-Romagna, the current rightsholder to EB110 production and official marque-endorsed maintenance; over $12,000 was invested in the maintenance of the Bugatti at this time. Accompanied by an owner’s manual and warranty booklet and documented with service invoices from Dauer and B Engineering, this mildly used Bugatti displays 31,930 kilometers (~19,840 miles) at cataloguing.

The beautifully presented EB110 GT should steal the heart of any supercar enthusiast or Bugatti collector. Ideal for presentation at concours d’elegance or enjoyment of its groundbreaking high-performance engineering and design envelope, it is sure to deliver visceral thrills at speed. It ably epitomizes the undeniable success of Romano Artioli’s short-lived dream, a muscular thoroughbred emitting the panache and style for which Le Pur Sang has become a thing of legend.

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February 1, 2023 RM - Sotheby's Paris Auction Paris, France

  • 1928 Bugatti Type 43 Roadster by Lavocat et Marsaud, Chassis 43233, engine 62, Estimate 1.0 - 1.3 M euro
  • 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster in the style of Jean Bugatti, chassis 55219, Estimate 1.8 - 2.2 M euro
  • 2009 Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport, chassis VF9SK252X0M795040, Estimate 1.3 - 1.5 M euro
  • 2022 Bugatti Chiron Profilée (One off, new), Chassis VF9NC3V36NM795004, engine DAL 001 398, Estimate 4.2 - 5.5 M euro

1928 Bugatti Type 43 Roadster by Lavocat et Marsaud, Chassis 43233, engine 62
The Bugatti Type 35 is unquestionably among the greatest racing cars of all time, and the Type 43 is effectively its roadgoing counterpart. It is true that in creating the Type 43, which debuted in 1927, Bugatti needed to make some changes; the wheelbase is longer than that of the Type 35, for example. Yet the fundamentals remained—including the supercharged 2.3-litre overhead-cam inline-eight engine.

The Type 43 on offer, chassis 43233, was delivered in chassis form to Stand Auto Garage on the Champs-Élysées in Paris after being invoiced in September of 1928. One month later, the Bugatti received standard Grand Sport coachwork and was registered to its first owner, Robert Senechal. A Delage Works driver and former manufacturer of cyclecars, Mr. Senechal was exactly the type of esteemed character one would expect to purchase such a fine automobile in the period; in fact, according to a report on file from marque expert Pierre-Yves Laugier, he ordered six Type 43 chassis, apparently intending to become an agent for the marque.

He would soon put this chassis, then wearing temporary torpedo bodywork, to work; he achieved overall victory at the 1928 Rallye de Pau while entered in the lower 2-to-3-litre category, followed by a class win a few days later at the nearby Morlaas hillclimb. Soon after, respected Parisian coachbuilders Lavocat et Marsaud completed a two-seat roadster-style body for the chassis.

After the coachwork was fitted in January 1929, the campaign continued at the French Motorcycle Club Hill climb that same month, with a class win at the Gometz le Chatel hill climb coming that October. Not long after, the car was sold to an unknown buyer, but in 1932 chassis 43233 entered the ownership of Jean Trevoux. Several months later, he won the Paris-Nice Rally outright with his new purchase. A class win at the La Turbie hill climb soon followed.

Four additional Frenchmen are reported to have taken ownership of the car before the war. Beginning in 1945, Jean Charbonneaux and his family would be owners for just over a decade. Charbonneaux owned a separate Type 43, chassis 43251 with engine number 62, and at some point during his ownership, the engines were swapped. It would be sold to François Claude Pruvot, an engineer, in 1955, before passing to a Parisian mechanic, Jacques Banao, in 1962.

By 1965 the Bugatti had landed on English shores, entering the collection of Peter Newens. After being purchased by Franck Wall in 1971, an extensive mechanical and cosmetic restoration occurred. A photograph from the period shows the Type 43 painted in a single shade of dark blue and wearing a plate numbered “FGW 27C”.

In October 1978, chassis 43233 sold at auction in London to the Seydoux Collection in Paris; after exactly 50 years, the Bugatti had returned to its original hometown. The vehicle would remain on the continent after being purchased by Oscar Davis at auction in 1996. Invoices and correspondence from the period show the Bugatti was maintained at a shop in the Netherlands in order to be used at a moment’s notice for a number of European rallies.

Davis eventually sold the car to a New Hampshire gentleman in 2002 but would eventually buy back this wonderful machine in 2007. A year prior to this purchase, the car received a FIA Historic Technical Passport.

Today, the Type 43 is finished in a deep shade of red with a black leather interior. A suite of Jaeger gauges reading water temperature, amperes, engine speed, road speed, and oil pressure complement the finely finished wood dashboard. The car has been maintained by Leydon Restorations of Lahaska, Pennsylvania throughout ownership of the consigning owner. Work has included the installation of a new wiring harness, a valve job, a full reseal of the engine including new water plates, and the fitment of a new radiator core by Chuck Niles at American Honeycomb.

With approximately just 160 examples of this model produced, this extraordinary Bugatti is both rare and desirable in equal measure.

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1932 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster in the style of Jean Bugatti, chassis 55219
Like many premier automakers in the early-20th Century, Bugatti used its success in competition to elevate the profile of its road cars. In the case of the Type 55, introduced by Bugatti in 1932, the ties to motorsport were quite explicit: it was a direct descendent of the Type 51 race car, and was similarly powered by a supercharged 2.3-litre dual-overhead-cam inline-eight. The 38 Type 55 Bugattis produced typically wore sporting bodywork—often open-topped—that further emphasised the model’s racing roots.

According to the report by marque expert David Sewell, the Swiss Bugatti Agent Bucar of Zurich ordered chassis 55219 in the winter of 1932 on behalf of their client Mr. Edmond Reiffers, a notary in the city of Luxembourg. Once completed later that spring, a factory employee delivered the unbodied chassis with a temporary seat to the border just 160 kilometres away from the factory.

Mr. Reiffers intended to commission coachwork of his own choosing for the car—but not before one of his three sons, Ernest, entered the chassis with only a bonnet, headlights, and seat in several local events organized by the Automobile Club of Luxembourg. Finally, in October of the same year, Pritchard & Demollin of Angleur, Belgium constructed a four-seat cabriolet body for the Type 55.

In 1938, the car was sold to industrialist Rudi Cloos, a fellow resident of Luxembourg. However, the Bugatti changed hands two more times in the following two years within the Grand Duchy before being hidden away during the war. When peace finally arrived in 1945, the vehicle was unearthed and registered to Pierre Schickes, an electrician. Unfortunately, the Bugatti would suffer front end damage under his ownership. Subsequent photographs after the accident show the car received modified front wings which hang down to the front crossmember; the remainder of coachwork stayed intact. By 1955, ownership had changed hands once more to a Belgian named Gillard, but in 1957 well-known Bugatti dealer, Jean de Dobbeleer of Brussels, purchased the Type 55.

Part-owner of Precision Motor Cars, Bob Estes of California, eventually took ownership of chassis 55219 in order to use it as a parts car for his other Type 55, chassis 55230. The remainder of the car was then sold to Ray Jones of Birmingham, Michigan, in 1963. The Type 55’s present, highly attractive bodywork built in the style of the famous Jean Bugatti roadster design was created and fitted in the 1970s.

In 1988, the consigning owner purchased a car containing elements of 55219 and a four-year endeavour would soon commence to make the Type 55 whole again. After a great deal of research, three chassis were ultimately purchased to bring this goal to reality: 55219, 55229, and 51127. The Bugatti Owners Club officially recognised the reconstituted car on 17 August 1993 and issued a replacement chassis plate.

In 2008, a comprehensive mechanical and cosmetic restoration was undertaken by Leydon Restorations of Lahaska, Pennsylvania, bringing together the original components from the three cars acquired. While disassembled, independent Bugatti researcher David Sewell inspected the car. He concluded the chassis frame, engine, bulkhead assembly, gearbox, and differential casing contain the stampings indicating them to be correct to chassis 55219. However, during the restoration parts of the engine were determined to be too worn to use and today, the car utilises a different top crankcase and cylinder block. Both pieces remained in the possession of the consignor and accompany the sale.

Prior to being acquired by the consigning owner, the lower crankcase had been machined, removing some of the original factory stampings. Luckily, assembly number 36 remained on the front left arm and matched the same assembly number found on the top crankcase which further bore the correct “11” engine number stamping. Additionally, “11” was found stamped on the upper camshaft drive housing, in addition to both the exhaust and inlet camboxes.

This highly sought-after Type 55—clothed in timeless roadster bodywork in the style of the great Jean Bugatti—can be enjoyed by enthusiasts for decades to come.

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February 2, 2023 Bonhams' Auction - LES GRANDES MARQUES DU MONDE À PARIS Paris, France

  • 1932 Bugatti T55 Cabriolet, Coachwork by Vanvooren, Chassis no. 55217, Engine no. 24
    Estimate 3 - 4 Million Euro
  • 1939 Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet Project, Chassis no. 57751 Engine no. 542
    Estimate €230,000 - €260,000

1932 Bugatti T55 Cabriolet, Coachwork by Vanvooren, Chassis no. 55217
At the end of 1931, the Parisian Bugatti agent Dominique Lamberjack (junior), a friend of both Jean Bugatti and Robert de Prandières, the director of coachbuilders Vanvooren in Courbevoie, agreed between them that most of the Bugatti Type 55 '300' chassis delivered to Lamberjack's dealership would be sent to Vanvooren for bodying. Among the seven Bugatti Type 55 chassis delivered in Paris, six would be bodied by Vanvooren and one by Figoni in Courbevoie. The register of sales and deliveries confirms that the five Type 55 chassis ordered and delivered to Lamberjack in 1932 were numbers '55204', '55208', '55214', '55217' and '55227'. They were all invoiced for 72,500 French francs. The sixth chassis, '55236', was shipped by rail to Paris in June 1935 to be bodied by Vanvooren, but was destined for the Bugatti dealership in Amsterdam.

This Type 55 chassis with engine '24' was assembled at the factory in May 1932, as were chassis with engines '17' to '23'. Chassis '55217/24' was transported by road from Molsheim to Paris on 29th July 1932 and was invoiced that same day to Lamberjack's Paris dealership for the sum of 72,500 French francs. The chassis was then sent to Vanvooren in Courbevoie to receive a two-seater cabriolet body.

Dominique Lamberjack junior has stated that the car, once back from the coachbuilder, had remained on display in his showroom at the corner of rue Bayen and boulevard des Marechaux, for more than three years without finding a single buyer. It would take four years before a loyal Bugatti customer stepped in and bought it.

The Type 55 was registered new on 12th May 1936 at the Pas de Calais prefecture, under the license plate number '3988 NA 6' in the name of Eugène Leleux (junior). Born on 17th October 1906 in Lille, Eugène Florimond Albert Leleux was a brewer by trade and ran the Croix de Grès brewery in Divion. The Leleux family's first Bugatti was a Type 40A convertible acquired on 23rd June 1932. It was replaced in October 1936 by a Type 57 cabriolet which was sold to finance the purchase of the Type 55. Lamberjack's Société Franco-Américaine d'Automobiles' original invoice for the Type 55 cabriolet is made out to 'Mr Eugène Leleux son, Divion' and is dated 6th May 1936. It details 'A Bugatti 2L300 type 55 car number 55217. New, bodied as a two-seater Vanvooren convertible. For a payment of sixteen thousand francs in cash, twenty-five thousand francs in ten installments and the trade-in of a Bugatti 57143 as it is'.

On the back of one of the original photographs of the Bugatti, taken in the courtyard of the brewery, Eugène Leleux has written: "2l 300, type 55, year 1936, 8 cyl in line 2 compressor camshafts, 18 fiscal hp 4 floor speeds, 180 km/h, Gearbox separated from the engine Cable brakes, drums incorporated in the aluminum wheels, magneto Scintilla, Connecting rods and crankshaft on ball and roller bearings. Convertible Vanvooren 2 places, Yellow, Wings and black hood." This note seems to indicate that at the time of purchase by Leleux, the car was not yet equipped with a Cotal pre-selector gearbox, otherwise this feature would have been mentioned, so detailed is the car's description.

In 1941, the Lille newspapers reported that Mr Eugène Leleux, a brewer in Divion, had filed a complaint with the police concerning the theft of his car, which he had left on rue de la Comédie. He was able to regain possession of his car, which had been discovered during a police patrol. We do not know if it was his Type 55 cabriolet, but the notion is appealing.

In 1942, the car was entrusted to the good care of the Bugatti repair workshop at 75 quai Carnot in Levallois, managed by the famous Doctor Gabriel Espanet. A first letter and invoice dated 28th August 1942 states: "Following your letter of August 24, we have the advantage of sending you a single speed, two type 55 front springs and a steering wheel. As regards the rear spring slide supports, the model of which you sent us, we are writing to our factory in Bordeaux to send us a pair as soon as possible..." The invoice for 1,053 French francs was attached. By letter of 14th October 1942, the rear slides were provided in turn for the sum of 1,318 French francs.

A final letter of 30th December 1942, relates to the repair of the cylinder block: "As we had let you hope, in our letter of the 10th instant, we have been able to take, despite the current working conditions, the arrangements which have enabled us to finally complete the perfect repair of your cylinder unit. If the delay was a little long, the execution of the work is as precise as in normal times. The valves supplied in particular are of the best pre-war special steel and we have been able to maintain the old price for one last time. You will find them mounted in their guide, broken in, ready to run.
"During the assembly of the engine, it will be necessary to take care to leave them all in their respective place in each cylinder/the clearances (which are 50 hundredths intake and 60 hundredths exhaust) must therefore be obtained, possibly, by filing on the spot and the valve stem very carefully.
"Attached is the invoice concerning the repair of the unit by autogenous welding and the rectification, as well as the supply of the valves and guides, for a total sum of 6,519 French francs."

These letters shed light on the Bugatti factory's ability to continue its activities at the Levallois repair workshop and the relocated factory in Bordeaux. Soon this factory would close and the tools would be repatriated to Alsace by the new owner, H Trippel.

It is probable that the Type 55 convertible was used for another four years. A request for 'non-pledge' of the vehicle was registered in March and again in October 1947. The Bugatti was then sold in the Nord department and registered as '6803 ME' on 11th February 1948 in the name of Eugène Mulnard, an electrical engineer resident at 108 rue Grand Chemin in Roubaix. On 27th February 1951, the Type 55 was registered in the name of Miss Andrée Desplats, a secretary living at 58 rue du Molinel in Lille. The Bugatti was re-registered as '3553 AF 59'. Eugène Mulnard would later divorce his wife and marry Andrée Desplats in Lille in September 1965.

Eugène Mulnard was president of the Écurie Flandre, founded in Lille just after the war, whose notable members included the pilot/manufacturer Paul Delbarre, the Simca specialist Monnier, Jacky Pollet, Flamencourt (the team's official mechanic) and Werry the administrative director. Mulnard raced in the Monnier Spéciale with a BMW 328 engine at the Chimay Grand Prix in 1953 but retired with a gearbox problem.

In July 1988, Eugène Mulnard was kind enough to commit his Bugatti memories to paper for Bugatti authority Pierre-Yves Laugier: "The Bugatti 55217 was equipped when I bought it with a Cotal 32 mkg gearbox. I do not know if the assembly was done by Bugatti or any other mechanical workshop. The engine block was leaking some water at a spark plug cupola I repaired. In 1950, the Bugatti company rue Carnot in Levallois supplied me with pistons and rings. I completely dismantled the engine and all the parts remained detached for many years, not having time to take care of them.

"In 1975, I put everything back together. The only part that I could not find at Scintilla: the battery charge regulator. In 1980 the Bugatti was in perfect working order. This car has never been damaged, and always perfectly maintained. I did 117,000 km with it.

"Only one problem: while I was in Switzerland, around 1948, I filled up with gasoline, in this gasoline was incorporated at the time Tetra-ethyl lead. I had to drain and replace with unleaded gasoline. "In 1949, I was in Germany. During my stay, there were heavy snowfalls, roads rutted by the war. The engine being very close to the ground. It had to stay two months in the garage. I was president of Écurie Flandres in which there were eight cars. We raced in Formula I and did rallies and hill climbs. The Bugatti has never been entered in any competition; it was the car I drove every day."

Dealer Bruno Vendiesse remembers that as a young enthusiast aged twenty in 1974, he went to see the Bugatti on display in the window of Flamencourt, who was a Simca agent in Mons en Baroel, and saw it again in the garages of the General Heating Company at 37 avenue du Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny in Saint-André-lez-Lille. Mulnard had no place to park the car, which was stored at Georges Tranchet's saddlery in Lomme from 1976 to 1979, before its sale the following year.

The great Bugatti lover Marc Blanc of Montbrison bought the Type 1955 cabriolet in 1980. He had known Mulnard for years, paying him frequent visits, but Mulnard was never inclined to sell the car. One day Mulnard contacted Marc Blanc, saying that he had decided to part with his Bugatti. He confided in him that he had four potential buyers but wished to visit them in turn to determine which was best able to restore the Bugatti to correct original specification. At that time Marc Blanc was reassembling his Type 35A in his garage. Mulnard was pleasantly surprised and immediately handed Blanc his business card as a bill of sale. The transaction, for a price of 250,000 French francs, satisfied both parties.

Blanc traveled to Wattrelos to take possession of the Type 55, which arrived in Montbrison towed by a Peugeot 504 belonging to the company. According to Marc Blanc, the Bugatti had had a minor collision leaving one of the wings out of line. The car remained in its garage in Montbrison between two Bugatti Grand Prix cars for nearly ten years, without being restarted. Marc Blanc then dismantled the engine, which he entrusted, together with the Cotal gearbox, to his official mechanic Marc Defour of Sury-le-Comtal for an overhaul. In 2009, the Type 55 was exhibited for the first time, at the Salon d'Avignon, and four years later was sold to collector Ton Meijer through dealers Bruno Vendiesse and Jaap Braam Ruben.

The Bugatti was driven to its new home in Carpentras but the engine was running poorly. It was decided to undertake a complete restoration, which was entrusted to the Ventoux Moteurs workshop run by Laurent and Raphael Rondoni. The rebuild would take more than three years to complete. The chassis was stripped bare and all the mechanicals overhauled, with some worn parts replaced. The cam boxes and the camshafts were manufactured by Rondoni together with the water pipes and compressor mounting gear. The split cylinder block was replaced with a new block obtained from Crosthwaite & Gardiner in Buxted, UK. The original roller-bearing crankshaft was overhauled with new connecting rods with cages and rollers from Brineton Engineering of Wolverhampton.

During the replacement of the Cotal gearbox, the old Bugatti gearbox's fixing holes were found, as well as those of the levers and the braking system, which had been modified to suit the Cotal which required a special crosspiece. A new gearbox from Crosthwaite was machined by Ventoux Moteurs and fitted with dog gears from Brineton Engineering.

The lined black hood and the upholstery work were entrusted to Ventoux Saddlery in Carpentras. The backs of the seats have been reduced in thickness and the door panels have been kept; only the seats have been changed. A beige carpet, identical to that on the base of the doors, was used as the cabin carpet.

The electrical wiring harness was remade by Rondoni, while the Scintilla lighting and magneto are original. The radiator was only cleaned, and the rear axle overhauled, as were the shock absorbers and the brakes. The front axle was re-nickeled and the original cast aluminum wheels retained. The exhaust, which had been shortened, was extended by a muffler and a silencer under the running board.

Restoration of the bodywork was entrusted to the good care of renowned Dutch workshop Dijkhof in Achterveld, which also took care of the restoration of Mr Meijer's former Bugatti Type 55 roadster. The body's timber framework was changed in large part because it was rotten,and the Bugatti was finally delivered to its owner around Christmas 2018. All original mechanical parts that were replaced were returned to the owner and are offered with the car.

Among the six Type 55 cabriolets bodied by Vanvooren in Courbevoie, '55217' is the only one to have retained its original bodywork on its 1932 chassis; all the others have been modified to a greater or lesser extent, while '55227' and '55236' no longer exist.

Bonhams would like to offer its grateful thanks to marque expert Pierre-Yves Laugier for his assistance in compiling this description, a longer report in French is available upon request.

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1939 Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet Project, Chassis no. 57751
This Bugatti Type 57, number '57751', was produced as a rolling chassis with engine in December 1938 for the Bugatti agent Créquy et Cornette in Lille, whose client's name was Mignot. It is an example of the Series 3, the most developed and refined of the Type 57 chassis. The car was duly completed with a factory Galibier saloon body on 9th May 1939 and delivered four days later. The Bugatti's wartime history is not known but the car was registered on 18th July 1945 in the department of Nord. One year later it was re-registered as '5385-YC7' for Marie Louise Ansalin de la Moyère in Montfermeil, Seine et Oise.

Registered in the Seine department as '58810-RQ' on 9th December 1947, the car then spent several years off the road in storage before ending up in the possession of Jacques Leli?re in Toulon. The Galibier body was removed and placed on another car. A new body in the style of the British coachbuilder Corsica was made for '57751'. Subsequently this car's identity became confused with that of another Bugatti (a not uncommon occurrence) but all numbers on the car are compatible with '57751' and clearly the '49' on the authentic chassis plate is an over-stamping (see Bugatti Registry extract on file).

Believed to have covered only some 30,000 kilometres in its lifetime, the Bugatti is offered as an incomplete rolling chassis together with a quantity of non-original body parts. The chassis was restored recently and is presented in excellent condition. Offered with Netherlands registration papers, this Type 57 is a potentially most rewarding project for the Bugatti enthusiast.

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February 3, 2023 Artcurial Retromobile Auction Paris, France

  • 1929 Type 35C Grand Prix, chassis 4920, engine 166, ex Bart Rosman. Estimate 2,500,000 - 3,500,000 €
  • 1929 Type 43, chassis 43303, engine 130, ex Bart Rosman, ex Guillaume Prick. Estimate 1,200,000 - 1,800,000 €
  • 1936 Bugatti Type 57 Atalante, Chassis 57432. Estimate 2 - 3 Million €
  • Type 35 project, engine from chassis 4867, ex Bart Rosman, Estimate 80,000 - 120,000 €
  • Many lots of parts from the Bart Rosman collection in another Artcurial auction on February 5

1929 Type 35C Grand Prix, chassis 4920, ex Bart Rosman

  • Unmodified since 1931, unquestionable history
  • Prestigious racing history and drivers including 4th place in the 1929 Monaco GP
  • Ex-Baron George Philippe de Rothschild
  • In the Bart Rosman Collection since 1997
  • No reserve

The 2-litre supercharged engine 166 C was assembled at the factory in May 1928 along with 2-litre engines n°164 to 167 and 2-litre 300 engines n° 168 to 170.
The Type 35C chassis 4920/engine 166 C was delivered to the driver Guy Bouriat on 11 March 1929. He had taken delivery of the Type 35C chassis 4921/171 the day before. The two vehicles were billed to him for 91.500 FF each.

Georges Philippe de ROTHSCHILD (1902-1988)
He was the son of Baron Henri James de Rothschild, the renowned playwright and a doctor by training. From 1922, having been introduced to the racing driver Robert Benoist by his older brother, the young Philippe began motor racing in events such as the Paris-Nice. In 1929, under the pseudonym "Georges Philippe", this amateur driver began Grand Prix motor racing in earnest. Philippe de Rothschild had the two Bugatti Type 35s, at his disposal, delivered by Guy Bouriat at the start of March, for the start of the 1929 season. He made his GP debut at Juan les Pins on 1 April in the car registered 2678 RB 6, chassis 4921, and suffered an accident halfway through the race.

Therefore, for the Monaco Grand Prix on 14 April, he used 4920, its registration number 2677 RB 6 clearly visible in photos. He finished an honourable 4th place behind the Mercedes SSK of Caracciola.
In the first Grand Prix de Bourgogne, held at the circuit in Dijon, on 9 May 1929, the Rothschild team entered both 35Cs, the 4920 (2677 RB 6) for Bouriat and 4921 (2678 RB 6) for Rothschild. Bouriat quickly took the lead and Rothschild managed to follow him, in front of Gauthier. After a battle lasting 3 hours and 47 minutes, Rothschild claimed victory, after Bouriat gave way to his boss and finished a fifth of a second behind in the Bugatti 4920.

The team came together again for the second Bugatti Grand Prix, organised by the Molsheim boss at the Le Mans circuit on 2 June 1929. Bouriat took part in testing in 4920 N° 33 and Rothschild in a new and as yet unregistered 35C N° 34, (probably 4930 bought two weeks earlier). Having broken a rod in his Bugatti, Juan Zanelli acquired 4920 on the weigh-in day from Rothschild who decided to drive his Type 44, while Bouriat moved to the wheel of N°34. Zanelli, who was racing 4920 for the first time, won the Grand Prix. He repeated this feat in 1930, this time at the wheel of 4921 which he also acquired from the Rothschild team, before Hellé Nice took it over for the following two seasons.

In 1929, Guy Bouriat was in charge of Baron de Rothschild's racing team before becoming the director of sales for the new Bugatti showroom at 46, avenue Montaigne. Juan Zanelli (1906-1944), the young Italo-Chilean millionaire and vice-consul for Chile in Nice, had been racing Bugatti since 1926. It is believed he acquired, or was lent for the race, Bugatti 4920, just before the start of the Bugatti Grand Prix held at the circuit at Le Mans on 2 June 1929. The registration plate of the Chilean's winning Bugatti, 2677 RB 6, was clearly visible at the finish. At the Marne GP on 7 July 1929, Zanelli drove Rothschild's other Bugatti 35C, 2678 RB 6, namely 4921, and at San Sebastian on 25 July, Zanelli entered 4921 for Foresti as well as his new 4939, acquired ten days earlier. He appears not to have used 4920 in any other event during 1929.

A life in Lyon.
The Bugatti 35C was registered in the Rhône region with number 7466 PF 1 in March 1930. It was acquired at the end of the 1929 season by a young enthusiast from Lyon, Marcel ROUSSELET (1904-1984). He was born on 24 April 1904 in Cublize, the village where his father worked as a pharmacist. In 1931 he lived at 289, Cours Lafayette with his mother and older brother Jean, who took over the family pharmacy at the same address. By 1933 he was a trainee lawyer at the Court of Appeal in Lyon, and would go on to become a judge. In all likelihood, he bought the Bugatti 35C at the start of 1930, when he was just 25 years old and not yet fully qualified as a lawyer. The purchase of the Bugatti 35C which was under a year old, required funds that probably came from the family. He married in Lyon in February 1939 and was awarded the Liberation medal in 1947. M. Rousselet died in Neuilly sur Seine on 19 July 1984.

As early as 1929, he acquired a Bugatti Type 37A which it is thought Eddoura used for testing during the Laffrey hillclimb on 18 August 1929. Using the pseudonym " Ralph " Rousselet began racing in his 37A from the spring of 1930. He took part in several hillclimbs, at Camp in May, and at Les Alpilles and Val de Cuech in June, again in the 1500cc class. In the summer of 1930, he lent his 2-litre supercharged vehicle, which he had not yet competed in, to the young motorcycle prodigy Eddoura.

Edouard GRAMMONT (1906-1930).
The Grammont business was founded in Pont de Cheruy in 1849. It became one of the largest groups in the world before 1914, comprising factories for wire drawing, foundries, rolling, and later the first underwater telephone cables before finally branching out into rubber and its derivatives. The various factories employed more than 2,000 people and the business continued to operate until the start of the 1960s. Edouard Grammont was born at Château Grammont, the family home in Pont de Cheruy, on 30 January 1906. In July 1919, when he was just 13 years old, Edouard Grammont applied for an automobile driving licence. By 1920, he was already riding around on a 4 HP Koehler Escoffier. In June 1922 " Eddoura " made his first appearance, finishing 5th in Moto Club Lyon's kilometre sprint on a Koehler Escoffier. He had his first win the same year, on 24 September in the Planfoy hillclimb, competing in the 750cc class. The following year, in the same event, he set the outright record time. The young prodigy continued to clock up victories and on 18 August 1929, he set the outright record for the Laffrey hillclimb. He had familiarised himself with the route by driving day and night, at the wheel of a 37A, probably Rousselet's.

From September 1926, the grounds of the château Grammont resonated to the sound of Bugatti on an improvised circuit at the property. The young Edouard, who had just turned 20 years old, drove a Brescia and a Type 37, probably bought new. At the start of the 1930 season, Marcel Rousselet decided to put his faith in the young motorcycling prodigy and entrusted him with a drive in his powerful supercharged Bugatti 2-litre. At the Lyon Grand Prix on 15 June 1930, Eddoura, competing in the 2-litre class, in the 35C 4920, was classified 6th despite retiring on the 24th lap.

On 20 July, Eddoura, driving the 35C, set the fastest time and the outright record for the race at Baraque, completing 10km in 5 min 44 sec at an average speed of 104,651 km/h. On 10 August 1930, the spirited driver lined up for the start at the Circuit du Dauphiné in Grenoble. Some of the best Bugatti drivers were amongst his competitors. On the first lap, Etancelin was in the lead with Eddoura second, followed by Lehoux who took over the lead in the fourth lap. On the sixth lap, Eddoura beat his own lap record at 127 km/h and overtook Etancelin, before running in first place during a pit stop by Lehoux. A few laps later, while overtaking Savora in his 2-litre Bugatti at the end of the straight, Eddoura caught his front left wheel. The driver was thrown out and died instantly, while the 35C rolled three times, hit a tree and came to rest on the rails of the tram line. The remains of the car were picked up along the entire length of Me. Delamarche's property. Photos show it was only the rear of the car that was completely destroyed. The radiator, bonnet, engine and bulkhead appear to have been left intact. The chassis was totally bent and the axle broken. An imposing monument in Eddoura's memory was erected on the site of the accident from a subscription made by the Moto Club Dauphinois. The brothers Jan & Joel Martel made four bronze plaques, recounting Eddoura's victories and passions. The Grammont family reimbursed M. Rousselet for the full cost of the car.

For the 1932 season, Rousselet - alias Ralph - got his Bugatti 35C back, which had been completely rebuilt by the factory at Molsheim. He participated in the Camp hillclimb, winning the 2-litre class. On 5 June, he was second in Les Alpilles hillclimb. He also took part in the race at Klausen in Switzerland on 7 August 1932.
Race results for 'Ralph' in 1932 :

  • 24 April : Camp hillclimb : 1st in 2 litres.
  • 5 June : Les Alpilles : 2nd.
  • 7 August Klausen : 2nd in 2 litres.
  • 4 September Mont Ventoux : winner in 2 litres.
At the start of the season in 1933, he registered for the Val de Cuech event on 30 April, in the 2-litre class, but it appears he didn't take part. He used his 1500cc at Les Alpilles, Nîmes, La Baraque and finally Ventoux which would be his last competitive event in a Bugatti. He came off the road at the Saint-Estèphe bend and after that, Rousselet alias 'Ralph' took no further part in racing.
However, he kept his Bugattis for a while longer. On 7 October 1936, the last Lyon owner following Rousselet registered the 35C for a two week period, still with the number 7466 PF 1.
This was likely to have been an automobile dealer as, on 19 October the Bugatti was registered in Ain. This was in the name of Claudius Triffe, a grocer from the village of Hauteville, with the registration number 7997 AB 2. In 1923, his mechanics workshop had been declared bankrupt and in 1928, he sold a furniture business. He was no more than an intermediary in the sale of the Bugatti which he kept for under a week. On 24 October 1936, the Bugatti returned to the Rhône department with the number 954 PF 8. Details of the owner are unknown as police records were destroyed.

The Bugatti 35C has probably not left the city of light and was re-registered in the new system on 11 July 1955, given the number 6397 AM 69. Around 1960, a young enthusiast by the name of Antoine Toti, confided to his friend Michel Payet, that he knew of a racing Bugatti that he hoped to recover. Toti told the Bugattist Bernard Viallon that he had got the information from his uncle Nazare Toti, the talented mechanic for the Malartre collection in Rochetaillé sur Saône since 1952. The car was believed to belong to a coal merchant by the name of Girard, whose company was located at the quays in Gerland in the 2nd arrondissement of Lyon. The wholesale coal company supplied heating coal for the entire Lyon conurbation, and occupied these premises between 1946 and 1964. The date the company was sold may correspond to the purchase of the Bugatti, as it is believed that Antoine Toti, then 54 years of age, succeeded in acquiring the car in 1964. The vehicle was registered at his address, 12 rue du Repos Lyon VII, on 11 May 1965. Bernard Viallon came to work on the car in Toti's hangar in Corbas around 1983. He was asked to adjust the valves, but only the engine was made accessible to him. He was not allowed to uncover the rest of the car. After a week's work, the Bugatti was running again and was driven around the yard before being put away again for another fifteen years. Bernard Viallon remembers that the front axle was chrome with front and rear clips conforming to a 1931 Type 51. This is logical as the rebuild following the accident must have taken place that year.

The car was sold by Antoine Toti on 26 September 1997 to the Dutch collector Bart Rosman through the dealers Bruno Vendiesse and Jaap Braam Ruben.

The current vehicle :
We know that the original chassis, frame 617, assembled at the start of 1929, was destroyed in the accident in August 1930. It was replaced by the factory with a new frame, number 669, dating from the end of 1930. In photos taken after the accident, we can see that the front of the vehicle remained intact. The bonnet and dashboard were not damaged. The number of the current gearbox, 427, suggests this must be the original one. The axle was replaced in 1930 with case number 395, again by the factory. The rest of the body, including the fuel tank and all other parts that were damaged in the accident were replaced during the winter of 1930, and are therefore period parts supplied by the factory. Today, the car is in the exact configuration that it was after its retirement from racing with Ralph at the end of the 1932 season.

#4920 has been raced by such prestigious drivers as Guy Bouriat, Baron Philippe de Rothschild, Juan Zanelli, Eddoura, and Ralph with notable successes in major events. It is one of the best preserved and most original and authentic Type 35Cs to survive, one of just 55 examples produced between the spring of 1927 and the summer of 1930. A thoroughbred of this kind rarely comes up for auction, the stables containing them jealously guarded by their enlightened owners.

Some might have been tempted to keep such a masterpiece under wraps in the hushed confines of a heated garage, but Bart Rosman was not such a man. His training as an engineer and decades of mechanical experience, especially with Bugatti, meant that his cars were always ready to go, with meticulously assembled and tuned engines. This 35C was the perfect illustration of his know-how and philosophy: a true race car, he used it as such, at 100% of its capacities, even using a mixture of petrol and methanol as was the practice in competition at the time. During the various Historic Monaco Grand Prix in which he took part at the wheel, the car's performance, combined with the excellent driving skills of its driver, left a lasting impression. Never driven, but always driven, this fabulous 35 is just waiting to be put back on the track, it will have to benefit from a careful restart after a few years of disuse. It comes with a lot of parts including a front axle, a stone guard, an incomplete engine whose lower crankcase will have to be repaired, 2 seats and a consequent backrest.
Pierre-Yves Laugier

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1929 Type 43, chassis 43303, ex Bart Rosman, ex Guillaume Prick

  • Fascinating history, ex-Guillaume Prick, ex-Pim Hascher
  • Unquestionable authenticity, one of the best 43s
  • One of the best models built by Bugatti
  • In the Bart Rosman Collection for 15 years
  • No reserve

The Bugatti Type 43 we are presenting has the advantage of a continuous history which shows that it has remained completely authentic. This is confirmed by the study below by the Bugatti specialist Pierre-Yves Laugier.

Engine no. 130 was assembled at the works on 9 September 1928, but it was only at the end of 1929 that the chassis with engine no. 130 was dispatched from Molsheim to the showroom on the avenue Montaigne in Paris. And so, on 25 November 1929, the car, with the chassis plate 43297, arrived in the capital. It is possible that it remained in stock for some time, on display or as a demonstrator, before returning to Molsheim. On 29 January 1931, with its definitive chassis number 43303, it was sent by train to Zurich on behalf of the company B.U.C.A.R. It remained in stock there for another few years, possibly in the free zone in the firm's premises at Saint-Louis (near Basel) as it was not cleared through customs in Switzerland.
It was only in 1934 that the torpedo GS 43303/130 was sold to the Bugatti dealer in Amsterdam, H. van Ramshorst, whose garage C.V. Albatros was located at 21-27 Pieter Baststraat. A Dutch insurance document even mentions 1932 as the year in which it left the factory.

The car's first private buyer was an amateur Dutch racing driver and pilot, Johannes-Willem Rens, who was quite a character. He was born in 1896 into a Dutch colonial family, whose company Fuchs & Rens distributed Chrysler, de Soto, Plymouth and Renault in the Dutch East Indies and also had a branch in Amsterdam. The family returned to Holland in 1902 and Rens had an eventful life in Brazil and then in Canada, serving a few months in prison for desertion, before his first marriage in 1919 and then a second in 1931 to a young woman from Burgundy, Georgette Gatheron, who held shares with him in a garage in Calais. They were a colourful couple, as in October 1934 Georgette shot him in the jaw with a revolver before he shot her in the foot.

As a result, they separated in January 1935 and Rens instituted legal proceedings to reclaim his shares in the garage in Calais which he ran jointly with a M. Rejeange. He returned to Holland for good and it was at this point that he expressed his interest in the Bugatti Type 43, which was for sale at van Ramshorst's Albatros garage. Rens started by renting the car from 10 May to 1 July 1935 and insured it for the substantial sum of 225 florins. He was then supposed to buy the car for 4000 florins.

Rens asked van Ramshorst to convert the Type 43 3/4-seat torpedo into a two-seater, most likely for tax reasons. The modification was carried out on 4 June 1935, but instead of being shortened, the car was fitted with a (removable) metal panel covering the rear seats. The panel can be clearly seen in family photographs from the time. The car was also fitted with a bonnet strap and stone guard.

The insurer J.-Herm Schroder recorded the registration number GZ 17555 for the insurance policy on 5 September 1935; the vehicle licensing records for Amsterdam also indicate that this number was transferred to Rens on 16 May 1935 at his address at 102 Euterpestraat.

Rens held out the promise to van Ramshorst of the French inheritance - his shares in the garage - he was due to receive. His lawyer was none other than the best man at his wedding in Paris, Maître Raymond Hubert, a leading barrister who had pleaded in the Stavisky affair. One wonders how he had become friends with the infamous Dutchman. Before the affair was settled, Rens managed in May 1936 to get his mother to pay for his latest fad, a secondhand Bugatti Type 51, which would be seized in 1938.

In April 1940, he tried to serve his country courageously by asking the Secretary of the Swedish Legation for the possibility of enlisting as a pilot instructor in the service of the Swedish government, pointing out his perfect knowledge of German, English, French and Dutch, but it does not seem that he was able to obtain this assignment.

On 17 August 1941, after a wild rant in front of one of his neighbours in Amsterdam with a revolver in his hand, he was arrested and sent to the Gross Rosen concentration camp at Rogoznica in Poland. He died there on 9 April 1942.

Meanwhile, the Type 43 had been sold in spring 1939 to Bernard Cramer, the heir to a long line of Dutch industrialists who produced paper and cigars. Rens put a fanciful value of 3000 florins on his Bugatti, but Cramer finally bought it on 10 March 1939 for 475 florins plus his Hillman taken in part-exchange. The record from the Albatros garage states: "IR. B. Cramer Heerde-Ende Wapenveld (Gelderland) - Bugatti and chassis/engine 43303 'mit kompressor'".

In December 1939, Cramer bought a secondhand supercharger, no. 154, and had some work carried out on the car. According to the recollections of some local people, however, Cramer's young wife could not stand the noise the Bugatti made and he soon had to sell it back to the Albatros garage. As the marriage between Bernard Cramer and Anna Catharina van Marle was celebrated at Wapenveld on 4 August 1942, it may be assumed that the Bugatti was sold around then.

The Type 43 torpedo joined the stock of at least ten Bugattis tucked away in large premises known as 'The Temple', next to the Obrechtkerk church in Amsterdam. In an old photograph showing the Bugattis in this secret location, the Type 43 torpedo can be seen second from the left. It was registered in the name of van Ramshorst's garage as G 70670.

The hiding-place was kept secret through the war, and in 1950 van Ramshorst decided to shorten the Type 43 chassis to race it at Zandvoort. Several photographs show the modified car in the streets of Amsterdam, with the registration plates G 274, and then with the racing number 40 driven by van Ramshorst at Zandvoort.

A year later, the car was sold to the Bugatti enthusiast Guillaume Prick in a purchase agreement dated 16 July 1951. Prick registered the car as P 5198 and christened it 'Prima Donna'. In his ownership, the torpedo became part of the origin of Bugatti's legend in Europe, as from 1951 Prick spread his gospel at circuits and on rallies across the continent. For him, the world had begun the year in which the founder of the Molsheim company was born!

Prick founded the Dutch Bugatti Club in 1956 and also contributed to the creation of the Bugatti Club Deutschland that year. The car travelled to Ermenonville for the 1958 Rallye, then to Molsheim in 1961 for the Rallye International. Prick also went to Alsace as often as possible, bringing with him the first Bugatti collectors. For more than 30 years, he drove his Type 43 all around Europe; it was sold by his family the year after his death.

It was bought by Pim Hascher, an unconventional collector born into a family of musicians in Leiden; he became the proud owner of the Type 43 torpedo on 13 October 1984 and registered it as PX-51-RG. Hascher had driven Bugattis since the start of the 1950s, first a Chevrolet-engined Type 40 and then, from 1953, a Type 37. But for him, the Type 43 was the final stage in his initiation into the legend of Bugatti, the design of whose engines was instrumental in the revelation he experienced.

On 9 February 2008, at Bonhams' auction at Rétromobile, the Type 43 torpedo was sold to the engineer and Bugatti historian Bart Rosman for 1,327,500 €. The car joined his collection, which had long included a Type 40 GS, a Type 37, a rare 35C and a Touring-bodied Ferrari 340 America Barchetta.

Today, we can make the following observations based on an examination of the Type 43. The original chassis plate is engraved '43303 Bas Rhin', as it is a car sold after 1929. Engraved by the Dutch authorities, the plate shows the number 43303 in place of the engine number and below it the capacity of 2246 cc. There is no number visible on the front axle, which had been chromium-plated, but the chassis number 43303 and engine number 130 are present on the sump.

According to the notes from the factory, the original crankshaft was no. 165. It has not been possible to check whether this was noted when the engine was stripped down. The gearbox and its casing are numbered 131, and the strut 132.

The original rear axle, no. 132, was swapped for no. 52 from the Type 43 chassis no. 43196 which Prick also owned in the 1960s. No. 43196 still has the rear axle no. 132 previously fitted to chassis no. 43303. Bart Rosman and the other owner intended to refit these parts to their original chassis. The original, shortened chassis frame is no. 131.

Pierre-Yves Laugier, December 2022

Combining the performance of a Bugatti 35 B with the comfort of a touring torpedo body, the 43 Grand Sport was one of the best models produced by the marque from Molsheim. We had the pleasure of spending several hours test driving this example, which can be considered one of the best performing cars in circulation today. In fact, beneath the superb patina of its bodywork, the mechanics are set up optimally, the result of a lifetime of observation and working on Bugatti. The car's acceleration is impressive, accompanied by the exhilarating roar of its supercharged 8-cylinder engine. Every start feels like the start of a Grand Prix, while the powerful braking allows full use of the car's capabilities. It is clear that in 1929, there wasn't a road in Europe that allowed you to exploit to the max the potential of such a car, which could be compared retrospectively to the philosophy of Supercars. Today, Prima Donna remains, more than ever, an invitation to take to the road, for no particular reason other than the chance to enjoy its performance and its fascinating history, etched into every detail of its bodywork.

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1936 Bugatti Type 57 Atalante, Chassis 57432
This is a car with a complete and fascinating history, and it was used for what it was intended: to be driven.

The first owner Charles Olivero used it for various rallies: the Rally des Alpes (with a female friend Daisy), the Rally de Monte Carlo and the Liège Rome Liège (both with his brother Jean).

The second owner was a famous pilot Leon Givon, who crossed the Atlantic Ocean (but alas after Charles Lindbergh had managed to do it in the other direction) and who used it extensively.

The third owner wanted to have a new Atalante after the war but as the factory could not build one anymore, he had this car restored to ‘as new’ with a new engine and gearbox, a closed more ‘modern‘ aerodynamic body (mince coupe fermé) and he renumbered it. The rebuild took ten months and cost more than a new car and as such was called ‘the Millionen auto’ (after the money).

It saved the life of the fourth owner and his wife when he had to flee the Congo (on that day over 70 Belgians were killed in an uprising by the rebels).

The car was restored back to its original shape in the early nineties when its original chassis number was retrieved (as a result of the research of Pierre Yves Laugier).

The last two decades the caretaker of "57432" was a well-known Bugatti Historian.

This car had a real life but it has kept its soul!

Article in the Bugatti Revue: The history of Bugatti Type 57 Atalante "Toit Ouvrant", chassis nr. 57432

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Type 35 project, engine from chassis 4867, ex Bart Rosman

  • Numerous original parts, including engine
  • Project almost complete with French title
  • No reserve

It was around 1984 that Bart Rosman bought a collection of original Bugatti 35 parts from Bernard Viallon, the well-known haulier and collector from Meurthe-et-Moselle. The parts included a cam box (no. 85), a steering box, a complete gearbox (no. 186) from A.F. Loyens' stock in Luxembourg, a rear axle (14x54) from Antoine Raffaelli's stock, a front axle, a clutch, a steering wheel, an oil pump and a water pump, as well as various items including brake compensators.

To this collection is added a rebuilt chassis (probably by Eysseric at Nyons), a radiator and stone guard, apparently from A.F. Loyens' stock, the pointed aluminium tail section of the body, as well as the scuttle, both of them remanufactured, while the bonnet appears to be original. The floor pans are also present, as are four detachable rim wheels with large drum brakes, shod with tyres, four wheel hubs, four brake flanges and the brake shoes. The engine, with the number 4867 on the lower sump, is currently being assembled, and the crankshaft, conrods, pistons, new valves and valve springs are all present. This lot also includes a roughcast throttle body, a Bosch 8-cylinder magneto, some spring leaves, a remanufactured fuel tank and many other valuable parts, either original or remade after much careful thought. This can be seen in the seat squab and backrest, the pair of Marchal headlamps with their supports or the fuel filler cap. This collection of parts, coming with a French title, is exceptional in terms both of its quality and its completeness, as so few items appear to be missing.

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February 5, 2023 Artcurial Retromobile Auction: Sale Racing, Flying & Yachting Paris, France

Many of the Bart Rosman collection will be sold in this auction, not the cars which will be sold on February 3, but many lots of spare parts, mostly type 35 and type 37 Bugatti.
Apart from the items from the Rosman collection, there will be many more interesting things for sale, like the drawing above. Seems to be a waterpump?

  • Dessin de construction
  • Type 57, overhaul instructions booklet and spare parts catalogue
  • Bugatti Baby Replica
  • Three carburettors
  • A large set of counters and gauges
  • Lot including 2 magnetos, 5 ignitors, 1 starter, 1 dynamo
  • Lot including fuel parts, filters and pumps
  • Two bronze Zénith carburettors type 48K741
  • Scintilla magneto Type AM8-S
  • Lot of Bugatti wooden casting moulds and patterns, water pumps a.o.
  • Lot of mechanical parts notably for Bugatti 35/43 including 5 cylinder blocks, rods, pistons, bearings, valves, etc
  • Various mechanical and spare parts presumed to Bugatti type 40, some refurbished, including 2 rims, 3 cylinder blocks, 2 tyres, a wooden dashboard, etc.
  • Bugatti cast iron vice replica with a pair of replica legs
  • Bugatti Touring aluminium 4-speed gearbox, #151, complete
  • Various Bugatti mechanical and spare parts including nuts and bolts, camshafts, clutch, engine plate, etc.
  • Bugatti Touring aluminium 4-speed gearbox, #744, partly complete and dismantled
  • Five Scintilla magnetos "Vertex"
  • Three Scintilla magnetos "Vertex"

All parts are sold as is, without reserves. Estimates seem to be quite low, though of course the condition is unknown.

Please note that the lots in this collection will not be exhibited at Rétromobile but will be visible by appointment only Wednesday 25 January 2023 in Tremblay-en-France (93290).

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February 1-5, 2023 Retromobile Paris, France

As usual, there will be stands like those of Ivan Dutton, William I'Anson, the French Bugatti Club with Bugatti's.

However, this year Jaap Braam Ruben of Fineautomobiles will host a large stand with Bugatti's only!

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Drawing by Mark Lacey, with T57 Ventoux.

January 4 - 15, 2023 MECUM KISSIMMEE Auction USA

  • 1927 Bugatti Type 37, Chassis No. 37212, Engine no. 117
    Estimate $1,000,000 - $1,100,000
  • 1936 Bugatti Type 57 Binder Coupé Chassis No. 57295
    Estimate $450,000 - $650,000, no reserve

927 Bugatti Type 37, Chassis No. 37212, Engine no. 117
Following up on the brilliant Type 35, Bugatti’s definitive and dominant Grand Prix car of the 1920s, a 1.5L version designated Type 37 was unleashed for voiturette racing in 1926. The successor to the iconic Type 13 Brescia, the Type 37 featured much of the Type 35’s engineering yet cost considerably less to produce and was easier to maintain, making it an ideal and highly competitive choice for enthusiastic privateers or amateur racers.

Displacing 1496cc, the 4-cylinder Type 37 engine was in essence half the inline 8-cylinder unit of the Type 35, featuring a compact cylinder block with small water passages, a single overhead camshaft and three-valve cylinder heads. Unlike the Type 35 powerplant, the 1.5L engine of the Type 37 utilized plain—rather than roller—bearings and a simpler one-piece crankshaft, yet it could be operated up to 5,000 RPM. Power output for the Type 37 was rated at 60 HP at 4,500 RPM, and in 1927, Bugatti released the Type 37A with a Roots-type supercharger, raising power by 20 HP.

As with the Type 35, the Type 37 specification featured a low center of gravity, excellent directional control and strong braking. Underpinnings included Ettore Bugatti’s favored live front-axle suspension with friction-type dampers and characteristic reversed quarter-elliptic leaf springs with friction dampers to the rear. Brakes featured Bugatti’s proven cable-type system. Fitted with simple cycle-type fenders, the Type 37 and Type 37A contested and won at the greatest road races of the era, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Mille Miglia and Targa Florio, with a litany of top drivers behind the wheel. Production spanned 1926-1933, with just 290 Type 37 and a mere 67 Type 37A models built.

Bearing Chassis No. 37212 and powered by Engine No. 117, this compelling 1927 Bugatti Type 37 was delivered new in October 1927 to the original selling dealer in Paris, France. The rolling chassis and Engine No. 117 were acquired in 1958 by famous Bugatti dealer Jean De Dobbeleer of Belgium, who purchased a separate Grand Prix body from Seyfried at the factory at Molsheim and placed it on Chassis No. 37212. In 1959, this 1927 Bugatti Type 37 was acquired by Antonio A.N. Carvalho of Portugal from De Dobbeleer, and it then remained in the care of the Carvalho family for nearly 60 years. A restoration was completed in 1960, when the car was fitted with a fendered body and a Type 13 Brescia-type gearbox; a correct Type 37 unit will accompany the sale of the vehicle. Following that restoration, the car was put on display at the Museo do Caramulo in Portugal. The SOHC, water-cooled, 1496cc, inline 4-cylinder engine was recently rebuilt and is equipped with a Zenith carburetor and a proper one-piece crankshaft. Marchal headlamps, cycle fenders, blue paint and wire wheels, including the side-mounted spare, complete this wonderful Bugatti Type 37, which exudes Ettore Bugatti’s “Pur Sang” ethos in every possible way.

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1936 Bugatti Type 57 Binder Coupé Chassis No. 57295
As the 1930s unfolded, Bugatti focused on a single new chassis designed under the direction of “Le Patron” Ettore Bugatti’s talented son Jean, replacing the firm’s prior multimodel strategy. Designated Type 57, the new Bugatti was based upon the DOHC engine design of the Type 49, yet carefully refined by Jean Bugatti. While certainly drawing on the company’s rich tradition, the Type 57 marked an entirely new era at Molsheim and served as Bugatti’s primary road model and the foundation for its incredibly fast Grand Prix and Le Mans racing cars until wartime returned to Europe.

Type 57-based racing cars achieved many international successes in the hands of prewar driving legends including Robert Benoist, Réné Dreyfus, Raymond Sommer, Pierre Veyron and Jean-Pierre Wimille, including achievement of many world records in 1936 and outright victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1937 and 1939. The basic Type 57 even lived on as the foundation of the postwar Type 101, Bugatti’s last.

Serious Type 57 production commenced in 1934 and continued until 1940 along two generally accepted series. The Galibier sedan, Ventoux coach (two-door sedan) and Stelvio drophead coupe comprised the bulk of Type 57 road-car production, followed in 1935 by the Atalante coupe, with coachwork mostly built in Bugatti’s Molsheim coachworks or in small numbers by Gangloff in nearby Colmar. While the Type 57 was an unqualified success for Bugatti, production only reached 710 examples in all along numerous road and competition variants.

While all surviving Bugatti automobiles are immensely collectible, valuable and, above all, enjoyable, this singular Type 57 is a particularly attractive and fascinating example. Carrying Chassis No. 57295 and Engine No. 121, it has been a part of The Rick Grant III Estate Collection since 1968, after Grant found the car in a classified ad placed in the January-February 1968 issue of Antique Automobile, the magazine published by the AACA (Antique Automobile Club of America). Purchased for $1,850 from Emil Schrickel of Costa Mesa, California, the Type 57 was previously believed to have been fitted with Gangloff coachwork. However, following intensive research at the Bugatti Trust in England, Grant discovered the body was in fact one-off coachwork by Henri Binder of Paris. Binder’s expertise with Bugatti chassis was considerable, with the firm having already earned critical acclaim for its Coupe de Ville coachwork for the low-production, massive and breathtakingly expensive Bugatti Type 41 Royale.

In 1994, Grant commissioned Bugatti expert Donald Koleman's Competition Motors of Salem, Massachusetts, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to perform an extensive restoration, including an engine rebuild, with the work completed in 2016. Handsomely finished in distinctive Eggplant and black paint with striking two-tone brown and tan upholstery, the Type 57 is complemented by a black top with formal, Victoria-style blind rear quarters and black-painted, knock-off wire wheels.

The 3257cc twin-cam inline 8-cylinder engine and engine compartment are highly detailed and well presented, including Bugatti’s signature details, with the engine paired to a 4-speed manual gearbox. Awarded Best of Show at the 2016 Dayton Concours and the Cincinnati Concours, this one-of-one, Binder-bodied Type 57 was also displayed at the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and completed the Tour d'Elegance required for competitive exhibition. In addition, the Bugatti garnered a special award at the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance. The only Bugatti of its kind with its elegant, yet sporting Henri Binder coachwork, this Type 57 carries all the earmarks of collector car greatness with its incomparable heritage, interesting provenance, concours-quality restoration and appearances at the top events in the collector car world.

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