December 22, 2020
This T57S, chassis 57503, was in the possession of Bill Turnbull for many decades, until he died a few years ago. Experts knew about this car, but it was presented as a dicovery anyway, and deserved a long article in the December issue of the English magazine Classic & Sportscar, written by Mick Walsh.|
That Bugatti is nicknamed “Dulcie,” because of its registration number, which reads “DUL 351.” “Dulcie” has been with the same owner for 51 years, the late esteemed Bugattiste Bill Turnbull, but his estate has agreed to part with it.
It will be the highlight of the upcoming Legends of the Road auction at Bonhams, taking place on February 19, 2021, and is expected to fetch between £5 million and £7 million. It will sell without reserve.
This 57S, chassis no. 57503, is in highly original and excellent condition. Turbull was not its first owner but he was the one to try and repair and restore it, as the video at the bottom of the page can confirm. Until just recently, he kept it hidden in his North Staffordshire workshop.
The 57 Surbaisse has a 3.3-liter twin-cam Bugatti engine and original body by Corsica Coachworks. The chassis is of the type made for the three Bugatti Type 57G “Tank” streamlined sports-racing cars, with the auction house saying that one of the two lost chassis was possibly re-used for this vehicle. Only 42 57Ss were ever made, but this one is all the more special for this reason.
It has "nearly perfect" black paintwork (In the article referred to above, it was not painted black yet), cream leather interior, and the original coachwork. It sells with certification and a well documented history file, including Turnbull’s correspondence with the previous owners, conducted as part of his efforts to restore it.
“This really is an extraordinary example of one of the most valuable and desirable pre-war motor cars,” Sholto Gilbertson, Director, Bonhams Motor Cars UK, says in a statement. “Other 57S Bugattis are in museums or known collections, and to offer the car to the open market for the first time since 1969 is going to be tremendous. This could well be the last “hidden” pre-war Bugatti of note and we are delighted to present this rediscovered true legend of the road next year at New Bond Street.”
December 20, 2020
My friend Nik Levecque from Belgium is an expert model builder, I wrote about his models in these pages (and the Bugatti Revue) various times already. He also was one of the winners of this year's BugattiPage contest.|
His work has now been recognised internationally, as two of his scale Bugattis were recently decorated in the online 'Euro Scale Modellers 2020' contest:
The Fellow awards were elected by 160 contest participants, from Holland, Belgium, Germany, France, Spain, Gibraltar, Portugal, Italy, Turkey, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungaria, Hong Kong, New Zeland, Brasil, USA, Canada, Ireland and England.
More info and pictures on this contest euroscalemodelling.nl/results-online-competition-2020/
More about Nik's models in articles previously published in the Bugatti Revue:
The Volkswagen Board of Directors has decided that Lamborghini and Ducati will remain part of the group. Bentley will be under the responsibility of Audi to facilitate the luxury brand's transition to electric driving. Bugatti's future is still uncertain.|
The future of Volkswagen seems to be in calmer waters now that the Board of Directors of the Volkswagen Group has expressed its support for CEO Herbert Diess. Under the leadership of Diess, the group is engaged in a considerable transformation, especially when it comes to electric models, new software and autonomous technology.
However, the Board of Directors is silent about Bugatti, the showpiece of the late Ferdinand Piëch. Previously, Porsche, Bentley and Bugatti were part of the "Sport & Luxury" industry within the Volkswagen Group. Now that Bentley comes under the responsibility of Audi, only Porsche and Bugatti would remain in this group.
With that, a possible sale of Bugatti seems to be increasingly likely. CEO Diess said earlier that Volkswagen is "constantly reviewing" its portfolio in the midst of a rapidly changing industry. Time will tell what Volkswagen has in store for Bugatti.
Thus: My earlier comment that Mr. Stephan Winkelmann became president of Lanborghini alongside Bugatti, to keep him inside the Volkswagen group when Bugatti will be sold, became much more plausible. Lamborghini remains with VW, and Bugatti will probably be out. Of course, VW will not publish about this before the deal with a buyer (Rimac?) is final. However, their silence about the future position of Bugatti within the VW group in itself is clear enough!
December 12, 2020
Bugatti has been rather busy developing complete new models which they either did present but did not produce, like the 2009 Galibier, or did develop, but did not even present, like the Bugatti W16 GT, a coupé version of the Galbier with the W16-engine in the front, the 2015 Bugatti Atlantic (on the right, presented on these pages on March 15, 2020 ), a smaller car than the Veyron and Chiron, and with a smaller V8 engine also. |
Another one which was not presented, but was also developed in 2015, is the Type 35D shown here.
The Type 35 D was developed by Uedelhoven Studios, a German company for design and fabrication of prototypes which works mainly for Audi and thus for the Volkswagen group. They also made the 2009 Bugatti Galibier Concept.
The prototype is called the Type 35 D, as if it would be a follow-up to the Type 35 C (wrong of course, as the Type 51 was what followed the T35C).
Like on a proper open-wheel race car, the suspension components and wheels are fully exposed. What is unlike the original, however, are the fat tyres, massive rear diffuser, and super-slim tail lights, with the third brake light neatly integrated into the central strip that runs from front to back.
There is no information on what would power this prototype. Electrical maybe, or would it share the V8 engine with the 2015 Atlantic concept? There seems to be no space for the W16 engine. Maybe there is no engine at all?? Clearly visible is that it is rear-wheel drive.
There is not much information on the interior, but we do get to see lots of beautifully finished wood, aluminium, and carbon-fibre trim, along with acres of brown leather. Apart from the ‘EB’ logo on the steering wheel, the centre stack bears more than a passing resemblance to the one in the Chiron’s cabin, especially the digital gear indicator.
So do I like it? In fact, no, it seems to me like a stressful try to create a modern version of the GP Bugatti. As the original was perfect from every angle, all attempts at trying to recreate it in a modern fashion are doomed to fail. Do you like it? Well; that is up to you to decide!
December 6, 2020
As you may know, the new VW-Bugatti puts a lot of 3D printed parts in their automobiles, in the "Bolide" even more than in the "standard" Chiron. More about this in the article on my visit to the factory, in 2019.|
However, more and more people have either their own 3D printer, or have acces to one through a friend or relative or so. And, on-line quite a few toys (as above, quite a cute one, and it's almost Christmas) and miniatures are available. That is, the files, which you need to make the 3D printed model. And they are for free! My friend Bart Oosterling sent me both the above picture of the one which his brother-in-law printed for him, as well as links to the files themselves.
The links are given here:
November 25, 2020
Apart from a new Chiron-based series of Legends of the Sky (Légendes du Ciel), there is news about Stephan Winkelmann, who will also become head of Lamborghini, and about the new Baby II.|
BUGATTI IS HONOURING ITS RACING DRIVERS FROM THE “GOLDEN DECADE” WITH A NEW EDITION.
“Bugatti has had close associations with aviation since the company was established more than 110 years ago. Many successful Bugatti racing drivers, such as Albert Divo, Robert Benoist and Bartolomeo ‘Meo’ Costantini, flew for the French Air Force, the French aviator legend Roland Garros privately drove a Bugatti Type 18 to be as fast on the road as in the air,” says Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti. “It is therefore almost an obligation for us today to pay tribute to the legends of that time and dedicate a special edition to them.”
Company founder Ettore Bugatti admired the fearless character and technical expertise of his drivers who were fascinated by high speeds – and also mastered them. On the road, the racing drivers benefited from the experience gained in aircraft cockpits. They in turn admired Ettore Bugatti for his talent as an engineer and were fascinated by his agile, light and speedy vehicles, embodying on the road what their planes were in the sky. Roland Garros even called him the “incomparable artist who alone knows, how to give life to steel.”
Ettore Bugatti has always been inspired by aviation. In around 1915, Bugatti himself designed aircraft engines and from 1937 he also developed an entire aircraft intended to break speed records. The project was stopped because of the outbreak of the Second World War. Ettore Bugatti kept in close personal contact with the pilots throughout his life.
The "Les Légendes du Ciel“ edition Bugatti is honouring these legends of aviation with the "Les Légendes du Ciel“ edition, based on the Chiron Sport and limited to 20 vehicles. The new edition references many features of the historic aircrafts in which Bugatti pilots gained profitable experience. In addition to the unusual colour of the paintwork, the vehicle includes a special full leather interior with hand-drawn sketches and diamond cut aluminum.
A striking feature of the Chiron Sport “Les Légendes du Ciel” is its special, matt-grey “Gris Serpent” paintwork, a modern interpretation of the exterior colour of the aircrafts from the 1920s. This stretches across the entire vehicle and is traversed from the front to the rear via the extending rear spoiler with a high-contrast, white gloss center stripe. The front wings are adorned with the "Les Légendes du Ciel“ logo. The “Le Bleu-BlancRouge” tricolour in Blue, White and Red decorates the front area of the side sills made of exposed black carbon fiber.
The horseshoe shaped radiator grille also has a black gloss finish. The radiator grille mesh is made of laser-cut and deep-drawn aluminum, on which the dynamic pattern of the stitched seams is repeated on the leather seats, reminiscent of planes flying in formation in an air parade. The door entry lights project the edition logo onto the ground when the doors are opened. The door sills are made of brushed aluminium with the "Les Légendes du Ciel“ logo on the middle console inlays also characterises the new edition. The W16 engine cover is made of black exposed carbon fibre. These lightweight components are contrasted by white lettering. Black exposed carbon fibre and a black-coated exhaust trim cover made of 3D printed, high-temperature-resistant Inconel dominate the rear.
The interior also visually evokes aircraft from the past century. Bugatti uses fine “Gaucho” leather for the entire vehicle interior of the Chiron Sport “Les Légendes du Ciel”. The light brown leather is reminiscent of natural leather in these aircraft of days gone by. The natural material is contrasted only by aluminum trims, an aluminum inlay with the logo "Les Légendes du Ciel" that can also be found on the headrests as well as the special edition numbering “1 of 20”. Bugatti optionally offers comfort seats and the glass roof “Sky View” through which occupants can gaze into the sky like in open-top aircraft of the past century.
On the door panels there is a hand-sketched racing scene between the Nieuport 17 aircraft and a Bugatti Type 13, which symbolizes the two souls honored by the edition.
The Nieuport 17 is a very special aircraft: it is a French biplane aircraft that was built from 1916 and was very popular with its pilots due to its reliability, speed, agility and manoeuvrability. The single-seater aircraft was powered by a 9-cylinder engine that delivered up to 130 PS.
The Bugatti Type 13 is a very special vehicle in Bugatti’s history spanning 110 years. It was the first model to bear the name Bugatti. From 1910, the Type 13 impressed with its lightweight design, agility and the high output for the time of more than 15 PS. More than 110 years ago, the "Pur Sang" (thoroughbred) already reached speeds of almost 100 km/h and won many races over the following years. The vehicle laid the foundations for Bugatti’s racing success. The perlée-finish, polished aluminum of the armrest tray and the centre console insert, are also reminiscent of the historic racing cars.
“The Chiron Sport “Les Légendes du Ciel” with a W16 engine and a capacity of 8.0 litres delivers 1,500 PS and 1,600 newton metres of torque. Its maximum speed is electronically limited at 420 km/h. Bugatti will start production of the Chiron Sport “Les Légendes du Ciel” towards the end of 2020. The edition, limited to 20 units, costs 2.88 million euros net each.
Stephan Winkelmann additionally becomes the new
President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A.|
Over the last three years, Stephan Winkelmann has successfully initiated and driven forward a number of exciting projects at Bugatti. Never before has Bugatti presented so many different and unique projects in such a short period of time, such as the Divo, La Voiture Noire, Centodieci, Chiron Pur Sport, Chiron Super Sport 300+ and Bolide. Last year Bugatti set a speed record that is still valid. And with the now delivered Divo, Bugatti has also transformed modern coach-building for the 21 century. Lamborghini is also well-known territory for Stephan Winkelmann: he was President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. in Sant` Agata Bolognese, Italy, for over eleven years up to 2016.
Then I wonder why this step at this moment? Is this to secure a role for Stephan in the VW concern, even after the sale of Bugatti???
MOLSHEIM / LOS ANGELES, 23-11-2020
As part of the tour, the Bugatti Baby II took to the historic race track at the renowned Willow Springs International Raceway, providing a lucky few the opportunity to drive a ‘Blanc’ Vitesse specification vehicle in its delimited ‘speed key’ mode. The Bugatti Baby II will also be on display in Bugatti Newport Beach and Bugatti Beverly Hills showrooms until December.
In partnership with The Little Car Company, Bugatti will produce just 500 of these 75% scale Type 35 vehicles. While a majority of the units have been accounted for, a small amount of the build slots have been reserved for Bugatti customers and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Bugatti Baby II can be enjoyed by multiple generations of collectors and enthusiasts. Each model, built on an electric, rear-wheel drive platform, offers short and long range battery options with a range of up to approximately 31 miles, depending on driving style. Owners will enjoy the combination of authentic Type 35 handling and modern technological elements, including regenerative braking, adjustable dampers and the famed Bugatti Speed Key, giving drivers the ability to reach the top speed of 42 mph.
The Base model is available in French Racing Blue with black leather interior, while the Vitesse and Pur Sang offer a line of vintage colors that pay homage to Bugatti’s memorable racing liveries and drivers in history. Also available for these two models is a contemporary palette that features colors offered for the Chiron, allowing existing customers to match their new Bugatti Baby II to their current vehicle.
Once purchased, Bugatti Baby II owners receive automatic membership to the prestigious Bugatti Owner’s Club and The Little Car Club, both offering the chance to drive their Bugatti Baby II on some of the world’s most celebrated racing circuits.
Take a look at the photo on the right: A grown man does look rather ridiculous in the Baby II....
November 17, 2020
Message from Stephan Winkelmann,
President at Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S.|
In a year such as this, many a company goes through hardship, as the current global situation is highly volatile. At Bugatti we consider ourselves fortunate to have a very healthy business, fueled by long-term planning, quick reactiveness, a strong partner network and very passionate customers. We have kept our cool and steered our course, with the dedication, excellence and especially courage that make Bugatti such a unique reality within the automotive industry.
We are reaching the end of 2020, and without having the final figures yet I can already say that we are on our way to exceeding all expectations. We have kept our promise of delivering the first Divo to our customers, and also the Chiron stays hot, fueled by the great feedback we get for the Pur Sport.
Despite challenging months, we will outperform 2019 and, thus, register the best financial result in modern Bugatti history.
This third record year in a row makes me very proud of the Bugatti team – and of the entire Bugatti family.
October 31, 2020
RM / Sotheby's "The Elkhart Collection" Auction, October 23 - 24, 2020
Bonhams Auction: The Golden Age of Motoring Sale '1886-1939', London, England, October 30, 2020
Below you can read the official info from Bugatti. This car is a purely track-focused automobile, and indeed has a kg/HP rating of 0.67: 1,850 HP and 1,240 kilograms (dry weight). |
Whether the Bugatti Bolide will go into series production, has not been decided yet.
Scroll further down this article for a movie of the presentation, and the technical characteristics. .
Info on Bugatti.com
Romano and Chucchetti in a Bugatti T37, at the start of the Mille Miglia, 1930.
Bugatti T251 drawing by Brian Hatton.
November 14, 2020 The First Ever Virtual Vintage Bugatti Day Internet, Facebook
On Facebook 10.00 am – 4.00 pm GMT|
A free virtual celebration day of vintage Bugattis hosted by The Bugatti Trust in its official Facebook group with contributions from international clubs, restorers, enthusiasts, historians, artists, and educational establishments. Full programme announced closer to the event and everyone is welcome!
The curator of The Bugatti Trust was inspired to organize the first ever Virtual Vintage Bugatti Day by the Trust’s contribution and involvement as a volunteer for Adam Gompertz’s three successful online REVS Limiter events (www.facebook.com/groups/revslimiter/) during the 2020 lockdown period in the UK.
For November 14th, the team is bringing together an engaging day of visual material by much valued contributors to celebrate virtually vintage Bugattis, their history, their beauty, their legacy, their active community and their educational power. Entirely done in the spirit of enthusiasm, the contributions will come in all shapes and sizes, some filmed by a professional some by a keen Bugattiste on his or her mobile and some in between.
Confirmed so far are contributions from the Bugatti Owners’ Club in the UK, a number of overseas Bugatti clubs including France, Italy, America and Australia, the Cité de l’Automobile Museum in Mulhouse, France, artist Stefan Marjoram, the historic archives, interviews with authors, driving footage, workshop tours including a presentation by Tim Dutton and some lives. (NB: actual Prescott site will be closed on the day as this is an online event only.)
Everyone is invited to attend ‘virtually’ and to contribute with their own images, videos and memories if they wish. Simply join the Bugatti Trust’s Facebook group at any point between now and November 14th. The group can be found using the following link www.facebook.com/groups/889331591127366/ or using the Facebook link on the Trust’s main website www.bugatti-trust.co.uk/
Bugatti continues to publish teasers (apart from the photo's of a camouflaged prototype which appeared), apparently the last one today..
In this case it is a photo of the inside of the car, showing the huge engine (seems to be the same W16 with 4 turbochargers) and the extremely low seating position. Definitely not a variant of the Chiron.
On the Bugatti.com website the announcement is for tomorrow:
Something else what Bugatti has been publishing as part of the teaser is the number 0,67, as on the right. Without explanation, so this can be? Kg/HP? Fuel consumption in miles per gallon? Acceleration from 0-100?
I'm sure we will know more tomorrow!
A few days ago, on October 20, Bugatti posted the above teaser. An announcement of the (digital) presentation of the next Bugatti model. |
Apparently, the car is intended for the circuit. The official presentation should have been already 2 months ago during the Monterey Week, which was of course cancelled due to the global pandemic.
The presentation will now be organised on-line, though the exact date has not been revealed, just the photograph above, revealing an X-signature of the rear lights.
However, even before the presentation, news has come out about this Bugatti track car. A more or less camouflaged car was photographed on the Circuit du Castellet (Paul Ricard) in France. Rumours are that the car will be a one-off (like the "La Voiture Noire") and until now we do not know neither it's name, nor the manner of propulsion, though there are some rumours that it will be 100% electric. However, if it is electric, it will be a new platform, and can not be a one-off based on the Chiron. And, comparing the silhoutte with that of the Chiron, it seems to be too different to be based on that car. Also the windshield is an entirely different shape. There is a large quantity of air-intakes in the body, too much for just the cooling of the brakes, which indicates a large number of radiators, so probably not electric...
Well, we will know more, probably within a few weeks.
Osenat Auction: AUTOMOBILES DE COLLECTION, AUTOMOBILIA, October 20, 2020|
Carlo BUGATTI ( 1856-1940), Two Frog-style horns
Art-Nouveau style horn, head and legs in nickel-plated bronze on a brass horn body. The exorbitant red tinted glass eyes accentuate the fantastic and caricatural aspect of the animal, which is characteristic of Carlo Bugatti's work influenced by nature, plants and insects, which he interprets to his own taste.
So, I hope we can see one of these (or both) on a Bugatti soon!
Bonhams' The Bonmont sale, Cheserex, Switzerland, September 20, 2020 |
The 2007 and 2013 Veyrons which were not sold, say "Amended" on the website, but I believe that is very much the same....
Bugatti itself calls it a rumor and refuses to comment
A report from the U.K.'s "Car" magazine says Volkswagen is in talks to sell Bugatti to Croatian EV startup Rimac.
Bugatti is refusing to comment on a report in the U.K.'s Car magazine that the Volkswagen Group is planning to offload its grandest subsidiary to Croatian performance EV maker Rimac. Given that Bugatti's entire portfolio is currently powered by a quad-turbocharged W-16 engine, that doesn't seem like the most obvious fit—but Rimac is intent on producing an even more powerful all-electric hypercar, so there could actually be some synergies. However, the most synergy is for Volkswagen itself, who is very eager to expand it's knowledge on Electric Vehicles.
Magazine "Car and Driver" did get the chance to interview Bugatti boss Stephan Winkelmann at an event in Italy this weekend. That was before this sale story broke, but some of his answers are very interesting in light of this new development.
"You have to make the right step at the right time," he told us. "I think that a [straight switch] would be the better one, as hybrid brings additional weight and complexity."
What Do Bugatti Buyers Want?
Other issues with a potential acquisition include the fact that Rimac is working closely with other automakers, several of which already own a stake in it. Porsche has 15 percent of Rimac's stock, with Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, and Koenigsegg all holding smaller shares. Rimac is also working with clients including Pininfarina Automobili, which is planning to use the C_Two’s underpinnings as the basis for its forthcoming Battista megacar. Would it be possible to also use the same architecture for a Bugatti?
Volkswagen made a huge investment in Bugatti when it was controlled by Ferdinand Piëch. Consider that the Veyron project alone cost around $1.6 billion to make 450 cars. So it would seem strange for the larger company to get rid of its prestigious subsidiary just when it has become modestly profitable. Bugatti is still able to sell every car it can produce, and Winkelmann's strategy of creating more dynamically focused models seems to have resonated well with the company’s clientele. To surrender control of Bugatti could potentially bring leadership in the race to produce the high-performance EVs that will ultimately persuade supercar buyers to shun combustion. If so, Volkswagen Group’s leadership could well see it as a price worth paying.
Gooding & Company: Passion of a Lifetime Auction, Hampton Court Palace, September 5, 2020 |
Prices attained for these three magnificent Bugattis are close to the estimate, or just under (Note that the sold prices are including auction costs, while the estimates usually are not...). Still the best prices paid for Bugattis in the last years (though there were a couple of T55's that reached close to, or over 5 million at the beginning of this year), and logical, for these unique automobiles.|
However, the era that Bugattis would attain twice their estimate or even more, has long passed....
RM | Online Only Auction, Monterey, USA, August 13 - 15, 2020 |
Bugatti T35 large silkscreen print on aluminum panel by Geoff Bolam, UK.
Over the weekend of the 29th will be the commemoration of Bugatti's victory at Le Mans. A group of 25 cars are hoping to convene in France to celebrate this event.|
The picture was drawn by Richard Wade
Bonhams Motoring Auction Bicester Heritage, July 25, 2020 |
Gooding & Company, Geared online auction, August 3 – 7, 2020
Artcurial Motorcars Monaco auction, July 21, 2020 |
RM | Online Only Auction: The European sale featuring the Petitjean collection , June 3 - 11, 2020|
May 25 / 31, 2020
The "1939" Delahaye USA Pacific (est: $150-200,000) that is...
Wow! Will you just look at that. But, as you might’ve guessed looking at RM Sotheby’s pre-sale estimate, all is not as it perhaps seems.|
Despite its title, this is a 21st-century tribute to Bugatti’s voluptuous Type 57S Atlantic by Terry Cook. It's wearing a glassfibre body and is powered by a BMW fuel-injected 12-cylinder engine mated to an automatic transmission, with mod cons including air-con and electric windows.
Nevertheless, it is definitely a head-turner! Imagine driving up to the start of a Bugatti Rally in one of those!
Bidding closed on 28 May, with the top bid being $220,000.
April 27, 2020
Luxury car manufacturers like to pull out all the stops. The faster and more hallucinatory, the better. However, these cars have a hefty price tag. Owning such a luxury car is often only for the wealthy of the earth. Because there is no harm in dreaming, we have put together a top 5 of the most expensive new cars in the world. In which, as you might expect, the modern Bugatti is somewhat over-represented and classic brands like Ferrari, Lamborghini etcetera do not even appear....|
1. Bugatti La Voiture Noire - € 17 million
2. Rolls-Royce Sweptail - € 11.5 million
Does the asking price of the Sweptail seem a bit too high? A slightly more affordable Rolls-Royce was launched last year. Maybe this is more within your budget. However, compared with the La Voiture Noire, this Rolls-Royce sure is ugly, especially from the front!
3. Bugatti Centodieci - € 8.1 million
4. Mercedes Benz Maybach Exelero - € 7.3 million
5. Bugatti Divo - € 5 million
So, I hear you think, after so much dreaming; get back on your feet and realise that compared with some of the classic Bugattis, these are cheap automobiles. Relatively that is. We know that the Type 57SC Atlantic was sold to Peter Mullin and an associate for over 32 million $. If any of the Royales would come to market now, one should think more in the region of 50 million....
On the other side; one does not always need a deep pocket to buy something completely unique. I did last week, it's the last one in existence, which is something that can't be said of most Bugattis!
April 12, 2020
Of course, this hardly qualifies as "News", as it is more than 110 years ago, and the publication of the document itself was in 1948, so 72 years ago. However, there's not much more news about Bugattis than that at this moment: All rallies, shows and auctions have been either cancelled or postponed... What I do see from the number of parts offered and sold on my website, is that Bugatti owners use this extra time to either make their collection of surplus parts available to those who need them, or to actually use these parts to improve their Bugatti or get further with their project.|
The above is an excerpt of a publication by the Bugatti company in 1948, which was mostly a review of the history of Ettore and the Bugatti company in Molsheim. The 4-page document was called "Les 50 Années de Génie Mécanique d'Ettore BUGATTI 1898 - 1948" (The fifty years of mechanical genius of Ettore Bugatti, 1898 - 1948)
It clearly states that the year 1910 was the year that the company started in Molsheim, translated in English it reads:
So hopefully this will finally end all discussions and that 2020 is the year that the Bugatti company was founded 110 years ago. Of course I would not mind if any of my readers, in these times that outdoor water activities are banned, dive into their libraries of books and other documents, and see if they can help me find the exact date that the Bugatti company was established in Molsheim!
Lastly: I hope you and your families are all well, with only some computer virus popping up now and again, but not the real desease!
March 21, 2020
This first day of spring usually for most of us bitten by the "Bug" marks the start of a season of motoring in the great outdoors, as in the above artwork by Guy Sabran. However, a pandemic of a whole different nature will stop most of us (temporarily) to do so. I haven't heard of Bugatti rallies having been canceled, but they most probably will be.|
The entire world is hit by the Covid-19 virus (or Corona in some countries, even called the "Chinese" virus by our friend the president of the USA), and the strict measures in an attempt to control it.
The virus even affected this website; I have seen an increase in visitors over the last week, by about a quarter. Rest assured that this website will remain enitrely virus free; you can access it without mouth protection, can even sneeze at it without risk, and do not need to keep 1.5 meters distance....
So for all of you: Heads up, and if you're feeling bored: You can enjoy yourself for several hours reading all Questions, all news items and event announcements since 1995, and all 62 back issues of the Bugatti Revue!
March 15, 2020
In the past decade, Bugatti SAS has developed more models than they actually produced. Some, like the 4-door Galibier was in fact presented to the public. This "small" front engined V8 Atlantic was not.|
However, there were rumours about a smaller Bugatti, and thus it seems now, that these rumours were in fact true!
So what were the characteristics: A front mounted twin-turbo 4-litre V8, in fact the same one which was used by Bentley and produces more than 500 HP there, it might have produced even more in the Bugatti. Other options would have been a fully electric Atlantic, which would have had 4 electric motors. And there were even plans for a roadster!
Pricewise: it would have been "cheaper" than the Chiron, probably around 1 million only.
So what did indeed happen? Achim Anscheidt remembered the Atlantic, though not fully approved for production yet, was tentatively scheduled to make its public debut at the 2015 edition of the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. The various posters decorating the design studio's walls all reference that date, but the launch was pushed back and the delay proved fatal. The far-reaching Dieselgate scandal fulminated less than a month after the world's wealthiest enthusiasts convened on California's picturesque Pacific coast and sent all of Volkswagen's brands into panic mode. Bugatti worried about its future more than others because it's the smallest and most fragile part of the automaker. |
"Our president at the time, Wolfgang Dürheimer, pulled all the strings just to get Bugatti to a black zero so we were at least not costing the group money. We needed to be on the safe side to avoid being sold off from one day to another, because, in the first year, nobody could really judge the dimensions of the coming financial catastrophe. Everything was play it safe. It stayed that way for us for nearly two years," Anscheidt explained.
The Chiron was at a much more advanced stage in the development process so it was too late to cancel it. "We were five months away from the 2016 Geneva Auto Show where we planned to unveil it," Anscheidt explained. He candidly told me executives would have otherwise pulled the plug on the project to save as much money as possible, and they would have put Bugatti in a "freeze frame" while they riddled out what to do with the brand.
"We showed it to Stephan Winkelmann. He said 'I really, really like it, it's super exotic, we would find customers that would be interested in that. But, there's no chance in technical development we can make this fly, we have so many things do to. Can we not create this story, La Voiture Noire, on the base of the Chiron?' That's where it all started," he revealed, referencing the one-off, $19-million coupe unveiled in 2019. The former Lamborghini executive gave Anscheidt the freedom he needed to make the La Voiture Noire a reality, and he played a key role in fast-tracking other projects (like the Divo and the Centodieci) to production.
And my personal opinion; not an ugly car, except for the radiator-grille, which looks like a horseshoe for one of the fattest horses in equestrian history. However, such a small car, would be much more useable than the Veyron or Chiron are. It even has room in the boot to put your crates of beer you just bought at the supermarket! |
Below: video by "Supercar blondie", where you can see how annoyingly slow the doors actually open. Though, that may have been faster in the production model.
March 14, 2020
Bonham's - Amelia Island Auction, USA, March 5, 2020 |
RM Sotheby's - Amelia Island Auction, USA, March 6 - 7, 2020
So, apart from the T55 and T57 Cabriolet by D'Ieteren, which both sold quite nicely close to their lower estimates, Pasta machines sell better than automobiles!
March 4, 2020
With a name all too obviously referring to "Pur Sang", The new Chiron Pur Sport should be fast in corners, voracious on country roads.|
Flat front end, dynamic design and impressive rear spoiler – it’s clear from the outset that the new Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport1 yearns for corners and challenging country roads. Pure and unadulterated. A genuine thoroughbred.
Bugatti has been producing sports cars homologated for public roads for over 110 years. In the past, vehicles such as the Type 13 and Type 35 have claimed countless victories at international hill climbs and road races. The Chiron Pur Sport1 is no exception to this long-standing tradition. The new model is an uncompromising hypersports car for exactly those winding roads – a new aerodynamic configuration generates more downforce while the lower weight increases agility. Even travelling at average speeds will stimulate all the senses thanks to a close-ratio transmission, high-performance tyres with a new material mix geared towards extreme grip as well as an agile chassis and suspension setup. By contrast with the Chiron Super Sport 300+, the recordbreaking car that exceeded the threshold of 300 miles per hour for the first time, the Chiron Pur Sport focuses on extraordinary, tangible performance throughout the entire range of speeds.
“We spoke to customers and realised they wanted a vehicle that is geared even more towards agility and dynamic cornering. A hypersports car that yearns for country roads with as many bends as possible. An unadulterated, uncompromising driving machine. Consequently, the vehicle is called Chiron Pur Sport1”, explains Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti. “By cutting the weight by 50 kilogrammes while simultaneously boosting the downforce and configuring an uncompromising, sporty chassis as well as suspension setup, the Chiron Pur Sport1 boasts incredible grip, sensational acceleration and extraordinarily accurate handling. It’s the most uncompromising yet agile Bugatti of recent times.”
A new optional split paintwork design has been developed for the Chiron Pur Sport. The entire bottom third of the vehicle features exposed carbon fibre to make the vehicle seem even lower. From the sides these dark surfaces merge with the colour of the road surface and make the Pur Sport* appear even flatter.
The rear of the Pur Sport proudly carries the vehicle’s rear spoiler spanning 1.90 metres to generate serious amounts of downforce, and the striking diffuser also significantly boosts the vehicle’s aerodynamics. In this process, angled wing mounts form a large X in conjunction with the rear apron, a feature that is inspired by elements of science fiction and motorsport . The design is rounded off by the extremely lightweight and highly temperature-resistant exhaust tailpipe made of 3D-printed titanium. This production method gives the components very thin walls, thus helping to save weight where it really matters.
The vehicle interior is deliberately sporty and raw, and has been reduced to the absolute minimum. Large surfaces have been upholstered with Alcantara to save weight. Dynamic patterns have been lasered into the Alcantara door trim panels featuring contrasting fabric highlights with a metal look. Alcantara guarantees an ideal grip on the steering wheel and improves the side support on seats – even at extreme lateral acceleration levels. All trim and controls are made exclusively of either black, anodised aluminium or titanium. Contrasting cross-stitching adds colour highlights, as do the steering wheel’s 12 o’clock spoke and the blue centre spine.
Sophisticated aerodynamics and exhaust system
New wheel design
New tyre development
Uncompromising chassis and suspension setup
Apart from the four familiar EB, Motorway, Handling and Sport drive modes, the Chiron Pur Sport features the new Sport + drive mode to make this enhanced performance more emotionally tangible. In contrast to Sport mode, the traction control system kicks into action on dry race tracks at a significantly later point in the new mode aimed at more skilled cornering experts, making it possible for drivers to change their personal driving style even more than before from razor-sharp ideal lines to drifts, also through fast corners.
New transmission development
Production output and cost
March 1, 2020
Artcurial Sale Racing, Flying & Yachting Auction, February 8, 2020|
Silver sculpture, old lost wax cast bearing the stamp of the founder Valsuani. According to a model created in 1904 and chosen by Ettore Bugatti to serve as mascots for the radiator caps of the Bugatti Royale produced in the workshops of Molsheim from 1926
Model similar to that auctioned on July 5, 2009 during the sale of the Estate of Madame Fritz Schlumpf by the house of Gasser Audhuy in Strasbourg.
Provenance: sale June 16, 2013, Châlon auction house, SVV Dessaut, lot 100.
February 27, 2020
On January 9, I published the 110 Years Bugatti Contest. I can't say that I was overwhelmed by the number of reactions I received, but there were interesting and beautiful ones.|
To start with, the "Bugatti Chassis number contest" only received one reaction. Ulf Kossenjans had 12 out of 18 of the Bugattis (one of which appeared twice) in the 5 collages correct. So he is the deserved winner. Congratulations Ulf!
The correct answers were:
2.1: Veyron 16.4 GrandSport Vitesse Black Bess (Les légendes)|
2.2: La Voiture Noire
4.1: #37140 |
Luckily there were a lot more contestants for the "Bugatti Artistic contest", 10 in total, most of them sent in more than one artwork, different styles, different qualities, different subjects and of course there were miniatures, stories, paintings and digital artwork. |
After long deliberations amongst the team of judges, considering quality, originality of the subject and of course also the important matter of taste, the winners are Nik Levecque and Geoffrey Severin.
Nik sent in an original short story, The Bordoli Bugatti, though in the meantime he is also competing in another category...
Most of us know the original Bugatti drawings by Francois Chevalier, as collected in his book "Le petit Bugattiste Illustré" from 2003. There are loads of fantasy Bugattis in the book (see on the right), some of which Geoffrey turned into 3D miniatures, the one at the top of the article, as well as the one shown below. He also made some of his own fantasies in 3D though! Well executed and original! Congratulations Geoffrey!
The winners will be asked to take their pick of the available prizes (I'm sorry to say, but I never did receive a reaction from Mr. Winkelmann). All entrants for the contest, from the winners and all other esteemed contestants, will be available soon in a special issue of the Bugatti Revue.
January 9, 2020
As promised, I present to you the 110 Years of Bugatti and 25 Years of BugattiPage contest! Such a festive year, 2020, does need something special!|
So, what do we have?
In fact there are two contests, one for the mathemagicians amongst the Bugattistes, the other for the Artistic ones!
Bugatti Chassis number contest
Bugatti Artistic contest
February 14, 2019
(Descriptions of most of the classic Bugattis that were on auction in the Retromobile period in Paris can be found here)|
Worldwide Auctioneers Riyadh auction, November 23, 2019
RM - Sotheby's Arizona Auction, January 16-17, 2020
RM Sotheby's - PARIS Auction, February 5, 2020
Bonhams Auction, Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais, Paris, February 6, 2020
Artcurial Retromobile Auction, February 7, 2020
One may consider the estimates for some of the classic Bugattis rather on the high side, fact remains that the majority did not sell. Of the 12 Bugattis on auction only 4 were sold! The ones that did sell were of course the fabulous Type 55 Figoni (though that one only just touched it's lower estimate) and a few others, as well as the modern Veyrons, the latter always seem to sell at auction.|
One thing I had missed, and which sold for €2550 at the Bonhams Auction, was a rather special Mascot by Bugatti (and stamped Bugatti!), the "Oiseau de Vitesse" or "Speed bird".
It is nickel-plated brass, stamped with Bugatti emblem to underside and with stamped number 37 to underside of tail, of simple form (or one could say, a cubist approach to a flying bird) and believed to be a mascot design for Bugatti Type 37A, 21.5cm long. Apart from the famous Royale Elephant, it is the only mascot by Bugatti that I know of.
An example of this mascot was fitted to the Comte Souza Dantos "La Cage a Mouche" ("The Fly Cage") Type 37A Bugatti with coachwork by Million-Guiet.
February 14, 2020
THE NEW RANGE FOR HISTORICAL MODELS FROM THE TRADITIONAL FRENCH BRAND|
Tradition is one of the core pillars of Bugatti. Bugatti is launching the new “La Maison Pur Sang” program to enable even better care for the historical vehicles in the future. For the first time, the French luxury brand presented the new offer for the certification and restoration of classic Bugatti automobiles at the Rétromobile Motorshow in Paris, the annual international exhibition of classic vehicles.
The New "La Maison Pur Sang" Program
The program is being rolled out gradually, based on the certification of the authenticity of historic cars. The genuineness of an automobile is determined by Luigi Galli and his team of experts through intensive research of all available information - historical documents, admission registers, photo documents, or even the comparison of certain component numbers. After successive stages of expansion, the restoration of historic automobiles from Bugatti will also be carried out in the future.
“Tradition and history are a great privilege, but also a great responsibility for us. We are always faced by it. We’re conscious of our 110+ years of tradition and want to enable many of our historical vehicles to continue to drive perfectly on the road or to be in collections even after decades,” explains Stephan Winkelmann. "With 'La Maison Pur Sang' we offer an official framework for these automotive treasures. It is very important to protect and preserve Bugatti's tradition and heritage, as well as the existing knowledge of the brand. ”
Bugatti Veyron Turns 15 - with a New Loyalty Program
If you want to give your Veyron a fresh new look, you can do so in the future. In the first step, reconfiguration and restoration is offered for the Bugatti Veyron, followed by recertification. Specially trained technicians in Molsheim examine the vehicles closely and record every detail. Then they combine the results in an extensive booklet. Measurement taking as part of the loyalty program and “La Maison Pur Sang” will further support the positive performance of the Bugatti Veyron in recent few years.
January 25, 2020
LOOKING FORWARD TO ANOTHER EVENTFUL AND EXCITING YEAR AFTER A RECORD-BREAKING 2019|
Several outstanding models, a world record and a great 110th (109th) anniversary celebration. 2019 was an eventful year for the French luxury manufacturer of hyper sports cars. Bugatti celebrated its 110th anniversary in this year, making the company one of the oldest hyper sports car marques still in existence. Bugatti also developed several exclusive Edition models in what turned out to be a record year in all respects.
“We designed some outstanding hyper sports cars in 2019,” says Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti. These included the Chiro “110 ans Bugatti”, a homage to the French homeland. There was also the “La Voiture Noire”, for Bugatti enthusiasts the most exclusive, beautiful and valuable Gran Tourismo there is. It’s the haute couture of automotive engineering – elegant, powerful and unique. Since the summer, Bugatti has also referenced the Italian intermezzo of the Bugatti marque with the “Centodieci”. At the same time, this is a nod to the Bugatti EB110, the super sports car of the 1990s.
“Although we’re proud to look back on our past, we’re looking forward to the future with purpose and pleasure. In 2019, we were again able to increase our production and also deliver more customised Chiron vehicles to our customers. This year, the first Divo model will leave our studio in Molsheim,” explains Stephan Winkelmann. With the Divo, Bugatti has extended its longstanding tradition of coach-building, which involves placing specially designed bodies on an existing chassis. This is a concept which has received great interest. The small series, limited to 40 cars, is sold out even before the official world premiere. Moreover, production of the Chiron is planned through to the end of 2021, and fewer than 100 of the 500 hyper sports cars are still available.
Stephan Winkelmann promises further highlights in the model series for 2020. “We’re living in a revolutionary era. We will present further high-performance vehicles in 2020, because Bugatti remains true to its philosophy of developing the best cars in the world.” At the same time, Bugatti will retroactively make its locations worldwide and the kilometres driven by Bugatti vehicles CO2-neutral from 2018. “By doing this, we’re taking responsibility for generations to come and placing Bugatti in a sustainable position for the future,” says Stephan Winkelmann.
La Marque is followed by continuing speculation. Rumours revolve around new models and bear witness to the enormous passion of Bugatti enthusiasts worldwide. However, Bugatti will not reveal its plans for the year. “All I can say is this: we’ll be presenting a few interesting surprises in 2020. We have several ideas and are continuing to work on the future of our traditional marque,” promises Winkelmann.
January 21, 2020
A friend of mine sent me a series of photographs, including photographs of the original old registration papers, of a Bugatti T37A. The car allegedly was completely original, original paintwork, first hand. Only 1.8M Euro. Chassis number 37186.|
However, the paintwork directly rang a bell in my head, I had seen this exact type of paintjob before, a kind of leather-look never before seen on a GP Bugatti.
So, it is certainly not original, I saw this exact same car at Retromobile in February 2018, on the stand of Pur Sang, see: www.bugattirevue.com/revue59/retro.htm Scroll down quite a bit...
Since I saw it on Retromobile, some more instruments have been added to the dash, as well as some ornaments to the front. They stuck a pair of "old" licenseplates to it and tried to make the car look old. They also found documents from somewhere, which maybe the original documents of the real 37186 (the chassis of which is now in another Bugatti). Or if not, they are convincing fakes. They also stamped the number 37186 in the engine (using the wrong type of numbers). I communicated with another friend of mine in the Bugatti world, he also knew about this car being offered, though for € 450k in that case.
So, this car, how original it may look, is a full replica, with Pur Sang origins.
I'm afraid the owner has an asking price which is a factor 10 too high (I'd value it at around 150,000 euro in this shape, if you get it registered in the country you live in. This is usually difficult for a replica these days...
The fake number 37186 (Typeface which Bugatti never used) on the engine, and the very convincing document.
January 1, 2020
"110 Years of Bugatti?" I can see the questionmarks on your forehead, "Wasn't that last year?"|
No, it wasn't. 110 Years of Bugatti is now, 2020. Did Bugatti SAS make a mistake? Yes they did, the same as what they did in 2009, when they said it was 100 years of Bugatti. Of course they had to continue that error of 11 years ago last year.
But what is the truth about this? In fact yes, Bugatti was talking with investors about starting for himself, already in the summer of 1909. Some sources state that Ettore Bugatti and Ernest Friderich were in the Hardtmühle in Dorlisheim painting the walls of the building towards the end of that year, while another source (Steinhauser) states that it was Friderich alone who was in Dorlisheim during Christmas of 1909, to make preparations to the building, and also was looking for new staff for the company.
However, the official papers to register the company were signed not earlier than Januari 1 (or 2, depending on the source), 1910. While (again Steinhauser) states that Bugatti did not come to Molsheim / Dorlisheim before January 13, 1910.
Thus, the conclusion is, that the Bugatti company was founded not before January 1910, and that the exact date of the start of the company changes a bit depending on the source you are using, ranging from January 1, to maybe the 14th of January, 1910. And thus, 110 years of Bugatti can be celebrated the whole year 2020!
Luckily, the exact start of the BugattiPage is better known. It started on February 27, 1995, as can be read in the "birthday" article of one year later. In 1996, I also started the Bugatti Revue, on April 1, 1996.
The oldest save of this website (at the then address dutoc74.iotudelft.nl/bugjaap.htm) which I could find was from January 19, 1997, see below. These old versions of a website (any website in fact) can be found on the "Wayback machine", at https://archive.org/web/web.php.
On the occasion of 25 years BugattiPage, I plan on organising a contest again, like I have done in the past. The last one was back in 2008, and was a writing contest. The ones before that were in 2005 (a photo contest) and in 2002 (General contest of art, stories, miniatures). Results of these past contests can be seen in the "past issue" part of the Bugatti Revue.
So stay tuned to this page where the announcement for the next contest will be published soon!
October 20, 2020 Osenat Auction: AUTOMOBILES DE COLLECTION, AUTOMOBILIA Fontainebleau, France
Carlo BUGATTI ( 1856-1940), Two Frog-style horns
Art-Nouveau style horn, head and legs in nickel-plated bronze on a brass horn body.
The exorbitant red tinted glass eyes accentuate the fantastic and caricatural aspect of the animal, which is characteristic of Carlo Bugatti's work influenced by nature, plants and insects, which he interprets to his own taste.
It can be compared to the knife holders in Mr. and Mrs. Lesieutre's collection.
A similar model (not nickel plated) at the Louwman Automobil Museum in The Hague, The Netherlands.
"Das Automobil in Der Kunst 1886- 1986", by Peter Stepan, Prestel publishing house in Munich 1986. Work presented under number 110 of the catalogue.
"BugattiPage 2016, opening photograph", by Jaap Horst. Link: BugattiPage.com/2016news.htm#Frog. The unplated version at the Louwman museum looks much more aggressive.
The small "Angry Frog" horn
Census: As far as we know, apart from the item in the Automobil in der Kunst catalogue which belongs to a well-known Swiss collection and the one in the Louwman Museum, there is another in the United States in Memphis.
October 30, 2020 Bonhams Auction: The Golden Age of Motoring Sale '1886-1939' London, England
1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer, Chassis no. 40764
Introduced in 1926, the Type 40 Bugatti succeeded the Brescia types, being built on a longer wheelbase and equipped with a more powerful engine. Virtually identical to that used in the Type 37 Grand Prix car, the latter was a four-cylinder unit displacing 1,496cc and incorporating an all-plain-bearing bottom end with five mains. A single overhead camshaft operated three valves per cylinder (two inlets, one exhaust) and the Type 40's maximum power output of 45bhp or thereabouts was transmitted to the rear wheels via a separate four-speed gearbox. A total of 790 Type 40s had been made when production ceased in May 1931, with a further 40 Type 40As completed with the 1,627cc engine by the end of that year. It is estimated that fewer then 200 survive today.
Bugatti Type 40 number '40764' was purchased by the late Tony Clark in August 1957 having been seen advertised in The Autocar. The car belonged to the son of the owner of an engineering company, C J Driver, in nearby Great Barr, Birmingham. In Tony's own words: "I drove it for a few miles and realised it needed a lot doing to it. It spent the next 12 months under a sheet on the front drive until I had another garage built. I then decided to take it apart. The body was taken off and stored at work for 10 years. I did a lot of restoration work myself although the engine was rebuilt by experts. The car was mostly original apart from the electrics and I didn't expect to find Lucas lamps and starter on a French car. Over the years I managed to locate everything I needed which was the part I enjoyed. I eventually got the body back home and brush painted it myself which turned out well. It took another 10 years to complete and take out for the first time. It has a crash gearbox, i.e. no synchromesh, which takes a little getting used to. It handles very well and the brakes, although cable operated, are very good.
"It has a hood and side screens which do their best to keep the rain out. I have driven it all over England and taken it on rallies to Italy and Alsace. Apart from the ignition switch breaking it has never let me down. It cruises at 60mph with a maximum speed of 80mph."
'MT 4870' started life in Southport, Lancashire and some photographs have recently been found of its early days. From emails received recently, and a stereoscopic colour transparency, the first owner's initials have been established as A. J. F. Unfortunately, their name is not known. The earliest photographic record of the car dates from 1936 and depicts it in the Southport area with A. J. F. at the wheel, seemingly about to embark on a lengthy journey. The old-style continuation logbook lists the following subsequent owners:
The car remains remarkably original, with all removed parts retained and any original parts required located from the UK and overseas. Described as in good condition, running well, the engine was started regularly up to the end of Tony's life, and fired up at first time of asking in July 2020 when the car was moved for storage. The chassis is said to be sound, with no rust, and the bodywork to be in excellent condition. The hand-painted finish has the charming patina of an older restoration, with only one or two minor marks reflecting its age. The black leather interior likewise has an excellent patina. There are no known problems associated with the transmission, and the electrics are said to be in good working order. A tonneau, hood and side screens in black canvas are included in the sale.
Tony Clark (1927-2019)
Tony was a member of the Morris Minor Club, the Bugatti Owners' Club, the Riley Register, the American Bugatti Club, and the VSCC, which he joined in 1957. The family recalls outings to Silverstone, Curborough, Madresfield and Prescott, always enjoying wonderful picnics whatever the weather. Tony loved all forms of transportation, especially anything steam driven - regular and narrow gauge railways, traction engines, etc - and also took his family to the Isle of Man TT races and on boating trips. After renovating the Bugatti, he and his wife Joan took part in rallies in Italy, France, Germany and Holland. Beautiful and reliable, 'MT 4870' gave many hours and days of delight, and over the years many close friendships were formed all over the world. The car was also entered in many local events including the Birmingham 'Round the Houses' run.
When Joan sadly passed away on Tony's 90th birthday, his family and friends supported him in the continuance of his active life. He continued to enjoy driving his beloved Bugatti until the end of his days.
September 5, 2020 Gooding & Company Passion of a Lifetime Auction Hampton Court Palace, UK
Three Bugattis, amongst which the most famous Bugatti Type 59 Sports "King Leopold" (Chassis: 57248,
Engine: 5) are among the 16 dream classics in Gooding & Company’s debut London auction later this year. Well, much later in fact due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. The King Leopold 1934 Type 59 Sports is the catalogue’s highest-valued lot and carries a £10m-plus estimate.|
This may well be the most famous of all sporting Bugattis, having scored massive success in the 1930s, including multiple Grands Prix victories, in the hands of such luminaries as Robert Benoist, Louis Chiron, René Dreyfus, Piero Taruffi, Achille Varzi and Jean-Pierre Wimille.
It retired from the sport in 1937 and was then sold to King Leopold III of Belgium – it goes to auction in gloriously unrestored condition.
The other Bugattis on offer are hardly much less notable.
First is the 1937 Type 57S Atalante (Chassis: 57502,
Engine: 26S) , which carries a £7m-plus guide price. One of just 17 built with the breathtaking Atalante coachwork, it was delivered new to racer and enthusiast Earl Howe and recently benefited from a comprehensive restoration.|
The 1928 Bugatti Type 35C Grand Prix (Chassis: 4871, Engine: 139) , meanwhile, is valued at a mere ‘In excess of £3m’ and is another one to have raced in Grands Prix in period.
September 13, 2020 Bugatti Festival 2020 Molsheim, France
This year, there will be short version of the Festival, on the Sunday only (under the currect circumstances, subject to changes).
There will be a short tour, the rest will be open to public , members and participants.
If all will go well, Thomas Valko will be presenting his book there: Ettore Bugatti's Baby.
Ettore Bugatti being photographed with his greatest pride, the Royale. The Coach Weymann in this case.
Thanks to Marvin van der Geld
July 25, 2020 Bonhams July Motoring Auction Bicester Heritage, Bicester, UK
1914 Peugeot Bebe
Chassis No. 11034
Estimate 66 000 - 88 000 €
This Peugeot Bebe had spent its entire life in Italy until being imported in 2018, much of its earlier days being used in the grounds of a villa on Lake Garda. It comes with correspondence from its first owner, Turin-domiciled Pietro Chilesotti, with Peugeot in 1914. More recently it has been used in historic events and tours and after a recent transmission re-build is said to be fully operational and running, the 855cc four-cylinder engine delivering a top speed of 46mph.
An opportunity to acquire a car designed by Ettore Bugatti but at a fraction of the price of those bearing his name, and is said to be functioning perfectly.
August 3 – 7, 2020 Gooding & Company, Geared online auction no location
1938 Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet, Coachwork by Letourneur et Marchand
Chassis: 57644, Engine: 470
The Bugatti presented here, chassis 57644, was produced in 1938 and produced as a limited number of Type 57s originally fitted with elegant Three-Position Cabriolet bodywork from Parisian coachbuilder Letourneur et Marchand and finished in green with cream coves. This stately Bugatti was initially sold through the Paris concessionaire and then passed into the hands of a Dutch textile manufacturer following WWII. In 1949, the Bugatti was sold to Major Rudi van Daalen Wetters, whose family would retain the car for the next 66 years. It was not until 2015 that the Wetters family sold their beloved Bugatti to the current owner, a close family friend and pioneering collector of prewar French automobiles.|
In the care of the current owner, chassis 57644 benefitted from a complete, concours-quality restoration overseen by esteemed Bugatti authority Scott Sargent of Sargent Metal Works in Vermont. This work saw the car returned to its original splendor, with the Cabriolet coachwork beautifully refinished in a dynamic two-tone green color scheme. Consequently, the experts at Leydon Restoration completely rebuilt the original engine and included the fitment of a Brineton Engineering supercharger, bringing the car up to full 57C specification.
Upon completion of its three-year restoration, the Type 57 entered the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® where it successfully won a class award, and has since participated in several American Bugatti Club events across the US. Featuring spectacular original coachwork by Letourneur et Marchand, a history chronicled by respected marque historians, and exceptional provenance, chassis 57644 offers an exciting opportunity to acquire a historically significant and exquisitely restored Type 57 Bugatti.
August 13 - 15, 2020 RM | Online Only Auction- SHIFT/MONTEREY Monterey, USA
1937 Bugatti Type 57C Ventoux Chassis No. 57584, Engine No. 507
July 21, 2020 Artcurial Motorcars Monaco auction Monaco, France
1939 Bugatti 57 Cabriolet 4 places by Vanvooren
Chassis No. 57780, Engine n° 546,
Frame n° 438,
Body n° 2940
Estimate 600 000 - 800 000 €, No reserve
Chassis n° '57780' / engine n° 546
Amongst others, the list included 5 finished cars (2 type 57 'C's, 3 non-supercharged type 57s). As usual, the rolling chassis were all denoted by their respective engine numbers. They were: Moteur 110C, 109C, 546, 539 and 547. None of the finished or unfinished rolling chassis were given a chassis number, which was usually only allotted at the very last moment when the chassis left the factory. And none of these would ever be given a chassis number by the factory, even at a later date. They had simply been stamped with the engine number, and the chassis numbers that were later used were 'numbers of convenience'. In the factory records (the 'Pracht Carnets') Pracht usually noted the chassis number in pencil and added the engine number, the customer and the delivery date later; this was made definite in ink once the car left the factory. For the non-supercharged cars, he had noted in pencil the following chassis numbers: 57780, 57781, 57782. He assigned the number '57780' to engine 546, and this is clearly what it would have become if the circumstances had not dictated otherwise. This car was the latest model, with vertical telescopic shock absorbers, factory hydraulic brakes (standard since 1938) and a type III 57 engine. It has always been, and still is, registered as 546."
Chassis '57780'/546 is still completely original. It bears the frame number 438, which shows that the engine 546 was installed in the frame after June 1939. The number 546 can also be found on the rear axle differential. The engine block bears the number 446, which is also stamped on the original cylinder heads. The entire powertrain with all assembly numbers has not been changed since production over 80 years ago. For comparison: the famous last Bugatti Coupe Vanvooren 57835/102C has frame number 430 and engine block 432.
In 1941, after the occupation of France by the German Wehrmacht, the Bugatti inventory that had been transferred to Bordeaux, including the new chassis, was taken back to Molsheim by the order of Hans Trippel. It is not possible to date exactly when the car received its coachwork there. But there are indications that this happened during the time of the German occupation.
Vanvooren body n° 2940
In 1922, a brilliant engineer from Lyon, Marius Joseph Daste took over the company and his patents revolutionized the world of coachbuilding. In 1929, together with his new partner René de Prandières, a former Bugatti race driver, he developed and patented a metal-panelled, flexible body, using 'Silentbloc' mountings and joints. In 1930 he introduced their pillarless four-door saloon design at the Paris and London Motor Shows. Patented as the 'Silent Travel' system, it was considered by many to be the best of the post-Weymann systems, successfully combining the advantages of a lightweight, flexible body with a quiet drive, housed in attractive coachwork.
In 1932 Daste moved to Hispano-Suiza, which led to a strong relationship between Vanvooren and the manufacturer. Between 1931 and 1937, approximately 200 of 450 Hispano-Suizas built were bodied by Vanvooren. De Prandières was on good terms with the established agent Dominic Lamberjack, and as a consequence, some 150 Bugattis were fitted with Vanvooren bodies, including at least 36 cars of the 57 and 57S types, 20 of which were 2- or 4-seater cabriolets. Between 1900 and 1950 Vanvooren created approximately 2500 unique bodies that were fitted to chassis belonging to over 40 different manufacturers. Today, it is thought that only about 150 Vanvooren cars are still in existence. Among them are famous cars, which today can be found in the most important collections of the world. All of them are unique pieces, which are committed to the restrained elegance of the Vanvooren design lines, and which always took into account the wishes of the customers. The quality was of the highest standard and beyond any doubt.
Body n° 2940, intended for the stand of the 'Carrosserie Vanvooren' at the 1938 Paris Motor Show, was completed in September 1938. It was mounted on Bugatti chassis 57757/52C with frame n° 339, which had been delivered from Molsheim on August 12th of that year. On 30 September, one week before the Salon, the car was sold for 110,000 francs to the Brussels agent D'Ieteren and his customer Jean Washer. It was then delivered to Belgium on 15 November 1938, and both the design sketch by Vanvooren and three advertising pictures of the car, taken in the Bois du Boulogne, have been preserved. They were kindly provided by the Washer family, as well as pictures of Jean Washer himself and, incredibly, a silver trophy that he had won during his time as a tennis pro. Jean Washer, who was born on 22 August 1894 in Berchem and died on 22 March 1972 in Geneva, came from a family involved in the textile industry in Brussels. He started playing tennis after the war and his most successful year came in 1923 when he was ranked 9th worldwide. Professionally, he was responsible for the synthetic fibres department in the UCB Group (Union Chimique Belge). In 1928, Jean Washer acquired a splendid park in Drève de la Meute, Bois de Waterloo, in which the property "le Manoir" was situated. There the Bugatti found a home in November 1938. A photo taken during the winter of 1939 is showing Jean Washer, in gloves and helmet, posing next to his new acquisition, which was fitted with Belgian number plates. Half a year later, on May 10, 1940, the Germans invaded Belgium. The country surrendered on 28 May and the occupying forces installed themselves in Wallonia. They set up their quarters in "Le Manoir" and an officer confiscated the fast 57C cabriolet for his own use. The next trace of the car is found in Germany, in a body shop north of Frankfurt. During the car's recent restoration, when the woodwork and seats were dismantled, the coachwork number was revealed. It was stencilled on the back of the seats, in blue crayon on the wood and lead pencil on other parts. In total, the Vanvooren number 2940 appeared on over ten pieces of the coachwork. In the chronology of Vanvooren body numbers, it corresponds exactly to a production date of September 1938. Analysis of various parts of the body has revealed the rest of the story. The inside of a door panel shows a long inscription written in Sütterlin, an old German script used only until the early 1940s: "Erwin Leun, Karosseriebauer, Giessen. Klein Linden, Dammstrasse 14, Deutschland". The town of Klein Linden is located 400 km east of Waterloo, to the north of Frankfurt, and Leun's workshop is known for his work for the Wehrmacht during the war. Leun was commissioned to convert the Bugatti into an officer's radio car - a vehicle with large rod antennae and a cabinet-sized field radio on a trailer. For this purpose, the position of the spare wheel had to be altered, which was prominently located on the left fender. It was placed in a specially made mould in the trunk, the hole in the fender was closed. This gave space for the mounting of the 4m high rod antenna, whose drill holes and reinforcement plates became visible after the paint was removed. Aesthetically this change was a gain, because the car has a more elongated appearance without a spare wheel. A tow bar was welded on at the back, which involved cutting out a few centimetres at the bottom of the rear bodywork. The name Hammerstein appears engraved in the metal of the two front seat sliders. This could be the name of a German officer from the famous military family von Hammerstein, and be connected to the name of the officer who considered the car as loot and took it with him to Germany. The work at Leun's workshop was carried out in 1940/41. As for why the Vanvooren body was subsequently separated from its original chassis 57757/52C - there is a likely explanation for this.
The assembly of chassis '57780'/546 with Vanvooren body 2940
Thanks to the BIG (Bugatti Identification Group) today we know what happened to the old chassis. The rear axle 52C and the frame 339 appear to have been subsequently used on the car of an enthusiast from Colmar right after the war. It received engine 283 ex-57404 (a car that was also on the Bordeaux list and whose engine could possibly be purchased on the same occasion) and a Gangloff four-seater cabriolet body from 1938 - 1939. From then, that car became known under n° 57404. The engine 52C never appeared again. Therefore we may assume that the engine was blown and could not be used anymore, which gives us an explanation for the disassembly of the Vanvooren body of 57757/52C.
After the war
In 2014 the car became part of the Volante collection in Germany. The owner, a Vanvooren enthusiast and for many years archivist of the Carrosserie Vanvooren, united the Bugatti in his collection with a group of 9 other vehicles with Vanvooren coachwork, the largest group of this kind worldwide. He did so without knowing the special history of this Bugatti, solely out of appreciation for the coachbuilder. What he then found out in the course of the subsequent comprehensive restoration in cooperation with the Bugatti specialists inspired him all the more. A thorough analysis of the surfaces, carried out by Dr. Gundula Tutt, revealed remnants of both the original nitrocellulose paint and the original interior and leather upholstery. According to these specifications, the two original colours black and blue were remixed and the blue leather, which had a unique structure, was dyed and embossed in Italy by a specialist according to the historical model. The Bugatti was then entrusted to the workshop of René Grosse for a full-scale two-year restoration that cost in excess of 300,000 €. The seat set turned out to be original Vanvooren, it only had to be upholstered and covered anew. The rear of the car, modified during the war, was restored to its original configuration. Over 4,000 photographs were taken of different stages of the restoration, documenting the meticulous attention to detail taken by the team at Grosse's workshop, who have been familiar with the manufacturing techniques of the Vanvooren workshop in Courbevoie for many years, thanks to the orders of the Volante collection. There was no-one more qualified to return this 1938 Paris Motor Show Vanvooren cabriolet to its former glory. In 2018, the Volante collection successfully sold part of its vehicles at the Artcurial Retromobile sale. This exceptional Bugatti now presents another opportunity to purchase a historically unique vehicle from this high-quality collection. '57780'/546 was awarded at the FIVA A Concours "Masterpieces" at Schloss Dyck in June 2018. In a group of no less than six Bugatti Type 57, the judges, led by Julius Kruta, honoured the car with the Bugatti Award - a wonderful recognition of the significance of this unique vehicle and the work carried out on it.
Since then the Bugatti has been on display in the Volante Collection and has not been moved. A service before putting it back on the road is recommended.
June 3 - 11, 2020 RM | Online Only : The European sale featuring the Petitjean collection no location
1939 Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet by Gangloff
, Estimate €750,000 - €850,000
Chassis No. 57731, Engine No. 527
Very few race-car drivers figure as prominently in the annals of Bugatti history as Jean-Pierre Wimille, who was recruited to the factory team as a 26-year-old sensation in 1934 in the wake of Willie Grover-Williams’s retirement and Achille Varzi’s return to Alfa Romeo. As the son of a motoring writer for Le Petit Parisien, Wimille was raised in the pits, so to speak, weaned on concepts of high-speed driving and racing strategy. His first entry in a grand prix in 1930 saw him behind the wheel of a Bugatti Type 37A, a relationship that propitiously blossomed over the following years. Wimille was a centrepiece of Bugatti’s Le Mans efforts during the late 1930s, winning the famed Sarthe race in 1937 and 1939 while piloting Type 57 “Tank” Bugattis. In more recent years, the driver’s brave participation in the French Resistance during World War II has come to light, adding even greater lustre to his legacy of derring-do.|
Like many drivers of his era, Wimille was not merely a component of Bugatti’s competition concern, but an active road-car driver and representative of the marque. After all, manufacturers could not create a better endorsement of their products than having one of their best drivers use the cars about town during social forays. To this end Wimille was the recipient of several Bugattis during his career, of which the featured car was an important example. In addition to benefitting from such significant ownership provenance, this Type 57 was also a company show car before becoming the centrepiece of a major collection for 56 years.
Chassis no. 57731 was one of 11 examples built in late 1938 as an official 1939 model. The chassis was specified with unique, one-off “special cabriolet” coachwork penned by Lucien Schlatter and was dispatched to the nearby Gangloff carrosserie in Colmar, which was contracted to clothe the company’s open Type 57 models, the Stelvio and the Aravis. The resulting coachwork was quite similar to the Stelvio design, yet it incorporated several nuanced differences in its lines. Distinguishing details included a more steeply raked windshield, a single side-mounted spare, and an unusual rear deck treatment, while more common Type 57 cues were evident in the dual front bumperettes and headlamps integrated into the fenders. Differences from the Stelvio are no doubt partially attributable to the chief builder, as most Stelvios were built by Gangloff employee Schmitt, while 57731 was instead built by an employee named Zubern.
Completed in October 1938, the Type 57 was first utilised by the factory as a show car, debuting on the manufacturer’s stand at the 16th Geneva Salon in March 1939. The Bugatti was then employed as a factory demonstration car and entrusted to Jean-Pierre Wimille for his personal use. Although the Type 57’s history is unknown during World War II, the car was re-registered in Rouen, France, in 1950, according to the research of marque expert Kees Jansen. In the early 1960s it was purchased by the marque dealer Paul Sac, under whose ownership the car is recorded in Hugh Conway’s seminal 1962 Bugatti Register. In 1964 the cabriolet was sold to Italian enthusiast Gianni Mazzocchi, the founder of Quattroruote magazine, and the car went on to become a centrepiece of his important Quattroruote Collection, where it spent the following fifty years.
Refinished in a colour combination of cream and black and still retaining its original engine, the Bugatti was then acquired by the consignor in 2016, and he has continued to fastidiously maintain the car. Over the last few years, the cabriolet has been treated to a variety of maintenance measures by the consignor’s private staff, including an overhaul of the carburettors, fuel pump, fuel tank, and exhaust system. Claiming important history as a factory show car and demonstrator, and the significant ownership of the great Jean-Pierre Wimille, as well as 56 years of ownership within the respected Quattroruote Collection, and retaining its original factory-equipped engine, this impressive Bugatti is ideal for presentation at major concours d’elegance and premium motoring events. Such an important Type 57 would make a splendid complement to any pre-war collection, ideal for Bugatti enthusiasts worldwide.
Photographs by Remi Dargegen
Shakespeare with Bugattis
A collector contemplating one of his many cars....
Bugattianti corona action
By Belgian Willy de Page
Willy is a non profit painter (see galerie-garage-depage.be), he has made a Bugatti T35 painting as an anticorona action
His anticorana time Race is free for auction and at our disposal.
It will be sold to the highest bidder, the proceeds will be going to a non-profit anticorona action! The auction will end on May 15, the non-profit cause will be to the choice of the high-bidder himself. Of course there is an undisclosed minimum.
The painting is quite big: 2.35m high, 1.65m wide, Acrylic on Canvas.
Please send your bids to te BugattiPage Webmaster: J.J.Horst@BugattiPage.com
February 15 - 27, 2020 International Bugatti Meeting New Zealand
March 5, 2020 Bonham's - Amelia Island Auction Fernandina Beach golf club, Florida, USA
Ettore Bugatti's personal pasta machine
Besides being a legendary craftsman and car maker, Ettore Bugatti was also a very particular gourmand. Famously well mannered, and expecting the same from his guests, he is understood to have refused to sell a gentleman of royal lineage a car on account of his poor table manners. Ettore's attention to detail when it came to dining stretched from his building a hen house on his property to provide the freshest eggs to a personalized table setting with his own custom made cutlery-all of which were engraved with his initials.
The story of this contraption goes that Ettore's Italian chef reported that the pasta machine had broken and it would be some time before a new one could be delivered to Alsace. Not wishing to go without his noodles, Ettore drew up a design for his own machine and had his team in the Bugatti factory custom fabricate it. While most pasta makers are powered by a hand crank, Bugatti pulled a Type 46 steering wheel out of the parts bin and installed that instead. It seems rather fitting that he would rather steer his way to spaghetti than tirelessly crank as if attempting to start a dead car.
There is an alternate story from the one Bonham's gives; this is that the pasta machine is in fact a gift by the factory workers to Ettore Bugatti. I don't remember where I read it, but it does sound more credible!
Fitted with a mounting bracket, it is designed to be mounted on the edge of a table with the steering wheel perpendicular to the ground. Three beautifully assembled pasta dies accompany the device, any one of which can be fitted into the tightly fitting threaded aperture at the bottom of the pasta maker.
It is pretty safe to say that this overbuilt pasta making machine solved Ettore's pasta plight permanently, and as such he never made another. While most of Bugatti's products just produce fumes out the back end, this one makes something much more delicious!
1925 Bugatti Type 30 Sports Tourer
'Bugattis encapsulate concepts of engineering which, once seen, change your ideas radically and definitively. Drive them, and you realize that each car is form and engineering in equilibrium, and a work of art.' – William Stobbs, Les Grandes Routières.
Introduced in 1922, the Type 30 Bugatti has a special place in motoring history, for it was the first small 'straight-eight' to go into production and the first to use Bugatti's classic single-overhead-cam engine, one of the most famous automobile power units of all time. Typical of the time, the Bugatti 'eight' was a 'long-stroke' design of 60x88mm bore/stroke for a capacity of 1,991cc. The three valves per cylinder were operated by single gear-driven overhead camshaft, while the crankshaft was carried in three roller bearings with plain big ends. Breathing via twin Solex carburetors, this jewel-like power unit produced approximately 100bhp at 4,500rpm.
This engine was installed in what was essentially a Brescia type chassis, resulting in a car that was notably fast and powerful for its day, possessing many of the characteristics of the racing Bugattis. The eight-cylinder engine was very flexible and, once mastered, the Brescia-type gearbox a delight to use. Of some 600-or-so Type 30s produced, fewer than 50 are known to survive today, with original examples possessing known history especially desirable.
Offered here is a lovely example of the racing-derived, eight-cylinder Bugatti Type 30, featuring elegant open Sports Tourer coachwork. Well documented and recached, Dutch Bugatti historian and expert Kees Jansen has compiled a dossier on this fine example, chassis no. 4725, and notes that the new Bugatti was ordered by Bugatti agent Dubuisson of Saint-Quentin, France for his customer Monsieur Chavel. The chassis was completed at the famous Bugatti Works in Molsheim, Alsace France in January of 1926 to then be clothed by a coachbuilder of Dubuisson's choice in the elegant two-door Sports Tourer configuration featuring the rakish vee'd windscreen as seen on the car today. The Bugatti was driven on garage plates 1651 WW5 by Bugatti racing driver, Louis Charavel, who was known to compete under the pseudonym of Sabipa. Once delivered to Monsieur Chavel, Bugatti Type 30 chassis no. 4725 would remain in his ownership until 1960, when it was acquired by J.P. Le´ger of Dreux, France. A photograph from this period in Yan Verdier's famous book Une Vie pour Bugatti shows Bugatti Type 30 chassis no. 4725 at Henri Novo's famous Bugatti garage with the engine removed, and at this point the Sports Tourer would receive the engine fitted in the car today, engine no. 418; a period correct Type 30 engine. Bugatti Type 30 chassis no. 4725 would receive its current and very appropriate color scheme of yellow over black chassis, fenders and wire wheels around this time. The next custodian of Bugatti Type 30 chassis no. 4725 would be renowned French collector Monsieur Henri Chambon, who would acquire the car in 1972. Chambon would use the car and showed it at a Bugatti meet in Denmark during the 1970s.
From Chambon's ownership, the Bugatti passed on to another well-known French collector, Monsieur Bernard Viallon. Viallon had many great Bugattis, and his cars were famously used for color illustrations in the legendary book Bugatti Magnum, written by renowned Bugatti historian Hugh Conway. Type 30 chassis no. 4725 is illustrated on page 111 and 112. The elegant Bugatti Type 30 Sports Tourer would later be exported to the United States, where it has resided in a prominent collection for the past two decades.
Today, this stunning Bugatti shows beautifully throughout. The engine compartment displays the powerful eight-cylinder all-aluminum engine, featuring the overhead camshaft operating 3 valves per cylinder. The two brass Solex carburetors are polished and give the compartment an impressive look. The cockpit is trimmed in dark wood and neatly contrasting chocolate-colored leather hides. The classic four-spoke wood rimmed Bugatti steering wheel sits in front of the beautiful white-faced instruments and gauges by Jaeger, Paris. A black convertible top and rear mounted spare wheel is fitted, and large Marchal headlamps with yellow reflectors grace the front, as does the classic Bugatti horseshoe shaped radiator.
According to contemporary press reports, the Type 30 was 'A full blooded, real man's motor-car, by intention and performance' and '4724', with its graceful Sports Tourer coachwork, is a particularly fine example of the marque.
1928 Bugatti Type 44 Cabriolet by F. Gerber
"The three-liter Type 44, smooth and fast, was one of the best of all Bugattis", Bill Boddy – The Bugatti Story
By the early 1930s, Ettore Bugatti had established an unrivalled reputation for building cars with outstanding performance on road or track; the world's greatest racing drivers enjoyed countless successes aboard the Molsheim factory's products and often chose them for their everyday transport. Considered the finest touring Bugatti of the 1920s, the Type 44 was introduced in 1927 and was produced until 1931. Debuted at the Paris Auto Salon in October 1927, the Type 44 replaced the 2-liter Type 38. It shared much of the Type 38's chassis, although strengthened to withstand the increased power output.
1,095 were built, of which around 10 percent are believed to survive today. The Type 44 was powered by the revised single-overhead-cam straight eight engine, one of the most famous automobile power units of all time. Because of its lengthy run of success, Ettore Bugatti remained committed to his single-cam design, only adopting the double-overhead-camshaft method of valve actuation on the Type 50 of 1930 after considerable prompting by his eldest son, Jean. The Type 44's twin-block, three-valves-per-cylinder, single-plug engine displaced 2,991cc and produced approximately 80bhp, an output good enough for a top speed of over 75mph.
Most importantly, the engine received an entirely new crankshaft, one having nine plain bearings for the eight cylinders, thus becoming one of the most solid and reliable crankshaft Bugatti ever made. Driving via a four-speed gate-change gearbox, the Type 44 used a finely tuned leaf spring suspension, and had large, effective drum brakes on all four corners. "The 3-liter Type 44: Smooth, fast and reliable"'- that's how renowned Bugatti historian H.G. Conway headlines his chapter on the Type 44 in the Bugatti book of his The Great Marques series. That really sums up the great Type 44.
Dean Edmonds' second Bugatti was this elegant two seater cabriolet which he acquired in 2006 some 21 years after the Type 55. Knowledge of the car's history has been carefully pieced together in the last few years leading to a predominantly complete chain of ownership being published in the most recent American Bugatti Club Registry in 2018.
It is recorded as such: Bugatti Type 44, number 857 was produced by the works in December 1928, it was subsequently ordered on February 11th, 1928 by Swiss agents Blanc and Paiche of Geneva and delivered to them promptly 5 days after the order. As new, its first owner, who is noted as a Mr. Weckmann or Wegmann (the annotation is not clear), received the Bugatti with coachwork by a well known local builder Graber, of Wichtrach. That coachwork is listed to have been a two seater cabriolet, however there is no visual evidence that survives of the car in this form.
Since the mid-1930s and remaining in the same guise to this day, it is understood that the original coachwork was either updated or replaced by another less-known Swiss carrossier, F. Gerber. The car had passed to new ownership in the hands of Ernest Maring a Basel based librarian who showed it at the Concours d'Elegance in Villars in 1935. Some 20 years later Maring remained its custodian when he offered the cabriolet for sale in the Bugatti Owner's Club Bugantics publication in 1955. A published photo shows the coachwork to have fender skirts, wheel discs and an interesting horizontally separated two tone color scheme. It should be noted, that these aesthetic details were very much the mid-1930s styling cues and would have made the car appear contemporary to the newer Type 57 model.
Shortly after this, the Bugatti migrated to the U.S. where it has resided ever since. The first of the American keepers was noted collector Dr. Milton Roth of California, and it would seem that he was responsible for repainting the car to a solid dark olive green hue and likely returning the fenders to their 1920s guise.
As for 100s of other cars, the '44 was later captured by Bill Harrah for his burgeoning collection in Reno, Nevada, where it would rest alongside many Molsheim products ranging from the original 'bathtub' or 'lobster' Type 10, to 57S and behemoth Royales. This particular car remained with Harrah until after his death and was included in the first dispersal sale in 1984, its buyer was Maurice Schwartz of Boca Raton, here in Florida. Sold by auction in 2006 here in Amelia Island, the car passed briefly to Robert Swarms before changing hands again through Donald Koleman's Competition Motors Ltd. to Dean Edmonds.
Owing to his stature, Mr. Edmonds found the seating and placement of the panel behind the seat to make it uncomfortable to drive, so he commissioned Koleman to modify this aspect with a shorter panel. In 2009, it was discovered that the radiator was leaking and the decision was made to have it re-cored in England. Other maintenance continued to be carried out by Cosmopolitan and latterly in Naples with Manfred's Automobile Specialties. Some question has been made of the unusual HCC badge which it wears, this has been verified to relate to the Harrow Car Club in the UK, albeit the connection to its history is uncharted.
44857 was regularly enjoyed by Mr. Edmonds and was even displayed at the ever popular American Bugatti Club New York luncheon at Sardi's in 2010, as well as at the International Bugatti in California that same year. The car was also displayed at the Greenwich Concours d'Elegance in 2012. It has since rested in his collection in Naples, Florida.
This car was sold in 2006 by RM Auctions also at Amelia Island, on March 11, 2006 for $165,000. See the 2006 news
1932 Bugatti Type 55 Super Sport Roadster
"I have waited for this particular car for 30 years, so that a life-long ambition was realized at Armoury House last December" – Dean Edmonds, July 1986.
It is said that the zenith of pre-war design in America was 1932, when fender lines, proportions and engineering technology combined harmoniously to deliver a balance of looks and performance yet seen in this country and now rightfully recognized. A car such as the Bugatti Type 55 Roadster with its in house styling gives credence to a similar theory for European design, but in actuality reflects more a peak of development and collaboration between Le Patron, Ettore Bugatti and the emergence of his son Jean as a major influence on the business.
Jean's design cues are all present in the Type 55, which rides on a chassis and running gear which is all of his father's making, yet with the guiding hand of Jean in terms of its twin cam power. Designing and building this car together must have been an incredibly rewarding project for them and is a tour de force of their respective talents.
On the technical side, Ettore's beautiful eight cylinder inline engine which had become the basis for thousands of Grand Prix victories had become outclassed with the advent of the Italian and American twin cams, had now followed suit, influenced heavily by Miller's Packard Cable Specials. For the first and only time, the 2.3-liter supercharged unit was used in a road car. The chassis was the beefed up, deep sided frame that was utilized in the Type 54 Grand Prix cars, all the while retaining the reverse quarter elliptic rear springing and front axle arrangement that hailed from the successful GP cars. A new format of gearbox similar to that used in the Type 49 joined the power to the road.
The potent mechanics were clothed in coachwork that can only be described as iconic, a cut down no door roadster with light bustle back tail, sculpted moldings, riding on striking alloy wheels and its lines so perfectly balanced with two more at its rear. From its warm nickel silver radiator to those, the car is exquisitely designed in every respect.
Production of these Super Sport Bugattis was very limited, just 38 examples leaving the Molsheim works between 1932 and 1935. Of that 3 dozen or so cars, only 14 left the factory with the definitive Jean Bugatti Roadster coachwork and today of those a mere 11 retain that original bodywork. Many of this small group reside in Institutions or collections of institutional status, the Musee National de L'Automobile which houses the collection assembled by the Schlumpf brothers holds two of them, another is in the Revs Institute here in Florida, meaning that they rarely appear for sale.
In this new decade, they continue to offer a remarkable array of possibilities as they were campaigned in period at Le Mans and in the Mille Miglia, making them both beautiful and eminently usable.
Of those eleven survivors of the esteemed, Jean Bugatti designed, factory bodied roadsters, 55220 is generally considered to be one of the very best and has a simple pedigree of English history, followed by the single U.S. ownership of Dean S. Edmonds Jr. since 1985.
The car has been cherished throughout its life, from day one when it was ordered by none other than Nathaniel Mayer Victor Rothschild. The Rothschild name is closely connected with the marque as a number of family members were owners of Bugatti's machines, and Victor as he was known, who was a mere 22 years of age at this point would later in the 1930s own one of the famed Atlantic Coupes.
At this point Victor was studying physiology at Trinity College Cambridge, he must certainly have 'cut the dash' in the University town. Being a British delivery, the '55 was ordered through agent Colonel Sorel. It had been built as a rolling chassis at the works in May 1932, and received its factory coachwork to be completed in August that year. The Bugatti was registered for the road with the distinctive road license plate of 'EPF 4'.
One of its next owners was the remarkable R. MacLeod-Carey, who is known as much for the cars he owned as for how he carefully documented his use and how to maintain them.
For the Type 55 there is the most beautifully hand typed and personally illustrated handbook which charts his ownership of the car, its prior owners and the full operational workings of it. Separated from the car in the pre-war era, it was discovered almost by accident by Bentley archivist Tim Houlding and re-patriated to 55220 in the 2000s.
Carey's precise typed notes state that he purchased the car on April 12, 1939 from Arthur Baron. Of particular interest and not previously recorded is ownership by Bachelier post Rothschild and then C. I Craig, both of whom were noted Bugatti owners in this period. Carey states 'The car was not used from early 1936 to April 1939, and was not driven by the last two owners.'
Over the course of 32 exquisitely typed and annotated pages, he educates himself about how the car operates, and describes a few journeys in it. On May 14 he drove to the home of the Bugatti Owners Club and up the famed Prescott Hill in a respectable 56.10 seconds, and two weeks later drove to Brooklands for the Whitsun Meeting – where the ultimate pre-war sportscar race the 'Fastest Road Car Challenge' took place.
Carey was suitably proud of the handbook that he had created and appears to have mailed the finished article to S.C.H. "Sammy" Davis at The Autocar, who responded 'I think you have made a wonderful history. I don't know how the dickens you can find the time to do it all, and it is very good of you to let me see it. It is by far the most elaborate log that I have ever seen.'
M.H. Scott bought the car from Walters, and subsequently sold it to A.A. Morse, who in turn sold to H. B. Murphie. Murphie and his daughter kept the Type 55 for more than an decade, and were responsible for the only material changes to its appearance in its career, being the alteration of the windshield to a taller format, presumably to aid touring and it is understood that the back axle was changed to a 15x54 ratio at this point (note today it still retains its original 13 x 54 casing).
In Murphie's latter years the family decided to part with the car and it was brought to the attention of Bonhams colleagues Malcolm Barber and Stewart Skilbeck, in their former employ. At a ground-breaking auction in 1985, at the Honorable Artillery Company in London, the Bugatti came under the hammer.
As Dean Edmonds would recount many times over the course of his ownership, this was a most memorable event, it is hard to better the way which he relayed it to Howland Blackiston who would put it in print for Classic Cars magazine:
"There was at that time a very eminent restorer (among the first in the business, I believe) named Peter Seferian, who ran a shop with the intriguing name of the Seferian Escadrille" "He knew of my passion for this particular automobile, and accordingly one day he called me in my office at Boston University and simply said 'Get over here, I have something to show you!' Now this was in the middle of the work week, but I had a very capable secretary who was able to reschedule a few things." As I approached Peter's shop, I saw him standing out in front holding a postcard with a picture of "my" car on it. The card announced an auction to be held at the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company Armory in London the following week. Nothing would do but I must attend, and so made arrangements to hop the Concorde after class on Thursday. I ascertained on Friday that it was really "my" car that was (among others) to be auctioned the following day and I was ready for action on Saturday."
"The auction was pretty dramatic, as this Type 55 is a fairly rare, not to mention desirable automobile, and there were various brokers, museum curators, and other bigwigs bidding" he continued. Recalling that the auction "people were wonderful. They seemed to sympathize with the lone little college professor who had loved this particular car for years and who was obviously out of his depth among all these high-powered professionals. Malcolm Barber, the auctioneer, did everything he could to favor my effort, even jumping the bid up a couple of times (he knew my limit) in the hope of driving other people out. Finally it came down to me" and one other "I was over my limit by this time and I thought to myself. "If he bids once more, I'm out! I cannot commit financial suicide over a car!' There was a dead silence in the room, and I could see Auctioneer Barber with his gavel raised wondering how long he must wait before he could bring it down to end the show. Time seemed to stand still..." "and finally the gavel came down and the car was mine!", emanating the fictional Indiana Jones character he finishes "I was back in class Monday morning".
Today, both Malcolm Barber and Stewart Skilbeck have fond recollections of the Bugatti as a dream find, the ultimate 'sleeper' that they thought might make £70,000 or £100,000 initially when consigned but quickly saw the interest grow. And the figure? A massive £440,000. Which at that point considerably eclipsed the £270,000 paid a year earlier for the Barnato Gurney Nutting Speed Six, then known as the Blue Train car, as the most valuable car ever to sell in the UK.
An article compiled pre-sale but printed after the auction in the British publication The Automobile, would suggest that a clinical static future awaited 55220, and precipitated a tort rebuff from Mr. Edmonds "the fact is that nothing could be further from my mind than making this car an "exhibition piece without oil in its sump and tyres that never roll on tarmac". Quite the contrary, I am a lover of engines in particular and machinery generally and would consider it most disappointing to limit myself looking upon this car as no more than a piece of sculpture, although it qualifies in that department far more than much that I've seen that claimed to be nothing else."
Naturally, having secured the roadster at his suggestion Peter Seferian was the logical choice for Mr. Edmonds to commission its restoration. Very sadly he would lose his friend and restorer within a year or so and at that point it was transferred to Donald Koleman's Competition Motors Ltd. of Salem, Mass for the majority of the work to be undertaken.
An exhaustive, but wholly sympathetic rebuild was carried out, during which the windshield was returned to its original height, and the dashboard layout to the standard configuration.
In conversation with Donald Koleman he recounted this 'wonderful' car and how a friendship blossomed with Dean Edmonds. Its debut post work was at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in 1993 where it took First in Class, testament to the quality of the restoration.
Dean Edmonds was true to his word, and the Bugatti was never considered a 'trailer queen', he followed up the Pebble Beach win with a run at the Mille Miglia and International Bugatti Rally in 1994, and it would later be shown at various events, including Meadowbrook Hall Concours d'Elegance and here in Amelia Island in 2001.
Mr. Edmonds passed in 2018 being the only reason that the car reemerges from 35 years of loving ownership. His custody and careful investment in a proper restoration has ensured that the car remains in such intrinsically authentic order. A thorough report on 55220's history has recently been completed by respected authority Mark Morris, but the pertinent essence is that it is a fully matching numbers car.
March 6 - 7, 2020 RM Sotheby's - Amelia Island Auction Amelia Island, Florida, USA
1927 Bugatti Type 38A Supercharged |
The Type 38A offered here, chassis no. 38470, was one of reportedly 39 examples built with a powerful supercharged engine. Fitted with the factory’s attractive boat-tailed aluminum Grand Sport coachwork, it remained at the factory for over a year before it was delivered at a special price to London dealer Colonel Sorel on 23 October 1928. Colonel Sorel, in turn, sold the car to the original owner, L.G. “Batch” Bachelier, a well-known racing driver of the period, who drove the car in the JCC High Speed trials of July 1929. In the early 1930s the car was sold to Denis Evans, who raced it in the British Automobile Racing Club Open Meeting Mountain racing handicap in 1931 and in the JCC High Speed Trial at Brooklands in 1932.
The car’s subsequent owner was named Child and lived near Rotherham, who in turn sold it to a B. Rees of West Hampstead, London. By this time its chassis and body had been shortened to make a two-seater, and the engine was replaced with the current unit. In this form the car was exported from England in the early 1960s and enjoyed a handful of new owners in the USA, including Richard Winer of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, who sold the car to Dr. Terry Bennett of New Hampshire.
At the dissolution of Dr. Bennett’s collection in 1991, the Bugatti became one of the early acquisitions in the noted collection of John Rich, Sr., in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. Mr. Rich commissioned a full restoration of the car to its original configuration by noted Bugatti specialist Donald Koleman’s Competition Motors. After restoration the car was regularly shown by Mr. Rich, appearing at the 1993 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, at Meadowbrook in 1994, and Amelia Island in 2004.
The current owner acquired the car from the Rich Collection in 2016 and has invested in sorting it for the road, including fitting a custom-made reproduction Bennington Blower. The engine, which runs on roller bearings, was prepped for spirited driving with an electric fan and a polished radiator expansion tank, and a 12-volt plug was fitted under the dashboard. The result is an excellent event car, which has reportedly been very reliable on several tours, including the most recent North American Bugatti Owners Tour. It is well suited for the same use with a new, enthusiastic caretaker.
Editor: This same car was sold in "The Finest Automobile Auctions, The elegance at Hershey, June 11, 2016", for $440,000, see announcement and auction result in the BugattiPage, 2016.
1938 Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet by D'Ieteren
In 1938 Jean Bugatti and the Molsheim bodywork leader Joseph Walter penned a new open Type 57 dubbed the Aravis, once again in a nod to an Alpine mountain range. A companion to the more common four-seat cabriolet model the Stelvio, the Aravis was a sleek two-seater with a more raked windscreen and a dramatically sloped tail that featured a small central dorsal fin.
As with the Stelvio, construction of the Aravis bodywork was delegated to Gangloff’s coachworks in Colmar, though very few examples were comparatively produced. It is believed that no more than 12 examples were built at Colmar, with just three extant today. Considering, however, that Type 57 models were also sold as rolling chassis to be clothed by the customer’s coachbuilder of choice, there is little surprise that several more cars were built to specifications very closely resembling the factory-contracted Aravis. Letourneur et Marchand built as many as six examples of a three-seat version (featuring a single rear seat), and D’Ieteren of Belgium built a single example in a similar style.
Originally specializing in chariot wheels, the Brussels-based D’Ieteren was founded in 1805 by Dutch coachworker Jean-Joseph D’Ieteren. By the late 19th century, the company had become the official supplier of the royal family of the Netherlands. In 1897 the carrosserie built its first coachwork for a motor car, which evolved into its principal business, as the company bodied chassis from over one hundred different marques over the next two decades, including Delahaye, Hispano-Suiza, Impéria, Mercedes-Benz, Minerva, Panhard, Peugeot, and Renault. By the 1930s D’Ieteren was one of just two official Bugatti agencies in Belgium.
According to the research of marque expert Pierre-Yves Laugier, as well as an extensive file of documentation that includes factory build sheets, restoration invoices, European registrations, a D’Ieteren photo album, and entries from the American and International Bugatti Registers, chassis no. 57589 is one of four Type 57 examples ordered by D’Ieteren in 1938. It is also the only such example built in the sleek three-seat body style. Factory records and the combined data of the Bugatti Registers indicate this Type 57 was initially completed at Molsheim as a rolling chassis in September 1937.
In March 1938 the chassis was delivered to D’Ieteren on behalf of a customer named Baggage, with a special notice for “urgent delivery.” Inspired by Letourneur et Marchand’s three-seater chassis no. 57826, Albert D’Ieteren set about creating distinctive one-off coachwork that benefitted from significant input from Monsieur Baggage himself. Notably, Baggage was particularly tall, resulting in the somewhat stretched cabin proportions. Featuring roll-up windows and a streamlined folding canvas top that was particularly low and sleek in either the raised or reclined position, the cabriolet was fabulously realized, conveying an elegant and distinguished character through its beautifully sculpted singularity.
Monsieur Baggage enjoyed using the extraordinary Bugatti for nearly two years before the German invasion of 1940 compelled him to hide it. The exact history of the car over the following ten years is currently lost to the fog of war. Sometime after the conclusion of hostilities, the Type 57 resurfaced and was offered by the French government as a “Vente des Domaines” and sold in late May 1951 to an industrial company in Paris.
After passing to two different Parisian magnates, the Bugatti was acquired in early 1952 by marque specialist Gaston Docime and sold that May to André Derain, the famed Fauvist painter and Bugatti collector. A corresponding Docime maintenance invoice and insurance paper are included in the car’s copious documentation. Derain owned as many as 14 important Bugattis during his lifetime, and chassis no. 57589 was the last, becoming his crowning acquisition.
The Bugatti was sold back to Docime in December 1956, and sometime over the following year the car was purchased by the well-known Bugatti dealer Jean de Dobbeleer. He exported the Type 57 through Gene Cesari for sale to American owner Julian Sano, a highly regarded Bugatti enthusiast.
In 1963 the Bugatti was purchased by Robert Wells of Akron, Ohio, and he went on to retain possession for a remarkable period of 35 years, notably presenting the Type 57 at the August 1969 meeting of the American Bugatti Club in Painesville. In 1999 the car traveled to Europe for a period of exhibition, being shown at the Rétromobile and the Techno Classica in 2000 and again at Rétromobile as well as the Festival Bugatti in Molsheim a year later.
In 2004 the Type 57 passed to Alfred Lechter of Jean, Nevada, and he displayed the car at the 2007 Palos Verdes Concours d’Elegance. Two years later the Bugatti received expert attention by marque specialist Jim Stranberg in Colorado. The cabriolet was then presented at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in August 2009 and participated in the Tour d’Elegance before being sold in 2010 to Greek collector Theodore Angelopoulos, who commissioned regular maintenance by the Swiss firm Pichler GFG AG Classic Center over the next five years.
In September 2015 the Bugatti was acquired by the consignor, a respected collector based in Florida. He submitted the car to the renowned Scott Sargent for a survey. Though the consignor was initially inclined to conduct a comprehensive restoration, Mr. Sargent noted that the Type 57 retained numerous original components and details, such as the firewall and remnants of original paint on the undercarriage that lent the car a definitive and irreplaceable authenticity. Consequently, to retain the utmost originality, it was decided to limit the restoration to cosmetic considerations and service of the original mechanical components as needed. The interior and top were retrimmed, while the unique coachwork was refinished in a very attractive and distinctive two-tone scheme of black with maroon details.
The Bugatti has been fastidiously maintained during the consignor’s conservatorship while being presented and driven at select events over the past few years, including the ABC Maine Fall Rally in September 2016, the Villa d’Este Concorso d’Eleganza in May 2018, and the Audrain Newport Concours in October 2019, where it won the Bugatti touring class. RM Sotheby’s specialist Donnie Gould reports that during a recent test drive the car performed extremely well, showing no smoke upon ignition and bearing a potent exhaust note. The Type 57 is precisely dialed in, displaying acute response of the brakes, throttle, and steering system and overall flawless running condition.
It should be noted that this extraordinary Bugatti retains most of its original factory components, including the important dual-overhead-cam straight-eight engine, the original chassis frame, and the exquisitely sculpted D’Ieteren one-off coachwork. Documented with restoration invoices from Jim Stranberg, Pichler, and Scott Sargent; a Swiss permis de circulation; a copy of the French carte grise; a D’Ieteren photo album featuring period images; entries from the American and International Bugatti Registers; a FIVA card; and a history by marque expert Pierre-Yves Laugier; and accompanied by tools and original unrestored luggage, this beautiful Type 57 is one of very few examples built in the Aravis-inspired three-seat body style, and the only example clothed by the Belgian coachbuilder D’Ieteren.
Continually maintained by devoted owners, this highly original Bugatti Type 57 offers a stunning addition to any important collection and is an ideal candidate for further presentation at major concours d’elegance and marque events. Also claiming the important provenance of ownership by the great Fauvist painter and Bugatti collector André Derain, 57589 would make a prudent acquisition for the Molsheim completist searching for a rare, distinctively attractive one-off example of the venerable Type 57.
1939 Bugatti Type 57C Stelvio by Gangloff
Type 57C chassis no. 57834 was built in July 1939 with the desirable late-production specifications of Lockheed hydraulic brakes and telescopic shock absorbers as well as, of course, the potent supercharged engine, no. 103C. The Stelvio cabriolet body was ordered from Gangloff by the Bugatti factory in black with a burgundy leather interior. Delivery was made through the Lyon agent P. Monestier et Cie to their client, Dr. Robert Perrin. Dr. Perrin first registered the car in Lyon as 9141-PG and appears later to have moved with it to Grenoble, as noted in the American Bugatti Register and Owner Book. Subsequent French caretakers are recorded as Messrs Turk and François Chevalérias.
In the late 1950s, Paul Pazery, a French-born diplomat living in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, inquired with Gene Cesari as to the acquisition of the best possible Type 57 via Cesari’s Parisian contacts. The great Bugatti broker came through with chassis no. 57834, which was enjoyed in France, still in its original livery, before it was shipped to the United States in 1959. A photograph of the car, taken in France in this era, was published in the American Bugatti Register, showing that it remained in excellent condition and, importantly, looked then much as it does today. Mr. Pazery had been serious about his desire, and he would keep the Bugatti for the rest of his life, eventually retiring with it to New Mexico and overseeing a cosmetic restoration in the late 1970s.
Following Mr. Pazery’s passing, his Bugatti passed to collector Jeffrey Ozan, from whom it was shortly thereafter acquired by Keith Crain in 2006. Mr. Crain, a discerning enthusiast seeking a top-of-the-line concours competitor, submitted the car to Brian Joseph’s respected Classic & Exotic Service of Troy, Michigan, for a complete, fresh restoration. Tim Purrier, Mr. Joseph’s successor, noted that the Type 57 remained in very good, solid condition, including an excellent original interior, and thus was a relatively easy restoration. Photographs of the work show that the car received a complete restoration, with the body removed from the chassis and finished in this elegant black, with rich, deep red upholstery.
Following restoration, the Bugatti was debuted at the 2007 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, followed by an appearance at the Meadowbrook Concours in 2008 and at the Concours d’Elegance of America at St. John’s in 2013. It returned to St. John’s in 2018, most recently receiving the Otto Rosenbuch Spirit of the Hobby Award.
Bugatti Club Nederland (BCN) welcomes Bugattistes from all over the world to the 2020 International Bugatti Meeting.
On behalf of the BCN, the ‘Stichting Evenementen Bugatti’ is responsible for the organization of this event.
From June 7th to 13th 2020 we will stay at the Castel de Pont à Lesse Hotel – entirely rented by us – in the
beautiful Ardennes area of Dinant (Belgium), perfectly suited for touring from there for 5 days. We will visit
interesting and surprising places along beautiful roads.
The garden of Earthly Delights - Bugatti 57S Atlantic
By Piero Costa
The (recent) painting is part of the “Legends” series, a meeting of legends, great works of masters of painting and cars that have left their mark in our recent history, but still able to arouse admiration and much nostalgia.
On the right: L'enigma dell'arrivo (De Chiricio) - Bugatti Type 46
Until January 27, 2020 Bugatti Exhibition Polytecnic museum, Moscow, Russia
With info, miniatures and some cars.
Thanks to Dmitriy V. Lisin
January 16-17, 2020 RM - Sotheby's Arizona Auction Phoenix, Arizona, USA
February 5 - 9, 2020 Retromobile Porte de Versailles, Paris, France
I have no confirmations yet, but usually there are more Bugattis at Retromobile then expected.
And always something unusual....
February 5, 2020 RM Sotheby's - PARIS Auction Place Vauban, Paris, France
February 6, 2020 Bonhams Auction, Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais Paris, France
1913 Bugatti Type 13 Sports|
Chassis no. 13 506 R, Engine no. 155
The Type 13 offered here consists of the 1,327cc 8-valve engine number '155' (ex-chassis '506'), a replica chassis frame built by Alan Wragg, and a new body made by Michel Blanchard. This car's major mechanical components passed through the hands of several well-known Bugatti collectors over the years before coming together as a rolling chassis while owned by John F Comey Sr of Ohio, USA. Among the genuine Bugatti parts Comey used were a non-braked front axle, a steering box and column, an oval radiator, and non-demountable wire wheels. In this form the Bugatti was sold from the late Mr Comey's estate at a US auction in June 2005, finding a new owner in France. The new body was ordered circa 2007 while the car was with Atelier Renaissance Automobiles. In early 2015, the body was modified by Theo and Juri Castricum of Castricum Collector Cars; the handbrake was moved outboard, new wings fabricated, a new fuel tank made, and the rear end redesigned to accommodate luggage.
Since returning to Europe, this Type 13 has been displayed at Époqu'Auto, Lyon (2008 and 2013), Rétromobile, Paris (2011) and Techno Classica, Essen (2010, 2011 and 2014). The Bugatti has belonged to the current (Belgian) owner since 2017. A full account of this Type 13's history and owners may be found in the accompanying Provenance Report compiled by Kees Jansen of The Bugatti Registry.
|1926 Bugatti Type 39, Chassis no. 4607 (No further info yet)|
1927 Bugatti Type 40 'Grand Sport' Roadster|
Chassis no. 40273, Engine no. 217
Bugatti Type 40 number '40273' was delivered new as a rolling chassis, provisionally for a two-seat body, on 14th February 1927 having been ordered by Jerôme Wagner of Mützig, France. The Wagners were very close friends of the Bugatti family; Jérôme Wagner's father, Camille Wagner, was proprietor of Bières Mützig, and together with his friend, Baron Augustin de Vizcaya, a prominent Strasbourg banker, helped Etorre Bugatti to set up his factory in Molsheim in 1909. Following a Type 13, Jerôme Wagner owned several Bugattis: a Type 40 (this car), a Type 49, and finally two Type 57s.
'40273' has been in the same ownership since 1997. The present owner acquired the car via Jean-François 'Frankie' Du Montant, who apparently had sold it to its previous owner, a gentleman in France, nearly 10 years earlier (circa 1988/1989). It is likely that Du Montant had brought '40273' to France from England around the time of Morand's purchase of the car.
Whatever the case, it is certain that '40273' spent many years in the UK where it was totally restored at some point. It is believed that the car received gearbox number '23' (with cover number '40') perhaps at a time when the well-known Bugatti aficionado Jack Lemon Burton was still active. A photograph of a portion of the chassis of '40273', taken during restoration, appears in Barrie Price and Jean-Louis Arbey's book Bugatti Type 40 (page 15). It shows an alternator mounted on a pulley on the gearbox. The pulley remains in place today. It is assumed that the car received its current 'Grand Sport' coachwork while undergoing restoration in the UK. The style or type of its original coachwork is unknown. At the beginning of 2000 the engine was rebuilt in France by Novo, while the interior was restored four years ago.
We are advised by the vendor that '40273' has no suspect or disguised parts: the chassis ('288'), engine ('217'), rear axle and most of the rest are completely original to this car, while the gearbox and cam box are not original to this chassis but are authentic Bugatti parts.
1931 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster|
Coachwork by Figoni
Chassis no. 55221
Following 56 years in the ownership of one British family, Chassis no. 55221 will be offered for the first time at auction next year. One of only 38 examples of the Type 55 Super Sports model produced between 1932 and 1935, it is one of just 29 known surviving models
Powered by a 2.3-litre, supercharged, twin-cam, eight-cylinder engine – a detuned variant of the engine in the Grand Prix-winning Bugatti Type 51 – at launch, the 110,000 FF ($7,500) model boasted blistering acceleration, covering 0-60mph in 13 seconds and setting a new road car top speed of 115mph. To the discerning motor car fan, the Type 55 was a wolf in sheep’s clothing, a Grand Prix challenger in a sports car body.
This fine example started life as a works entry in the 1932 24 Hours of Le Mans, driven by charismatic French racers Louis Chiron and Count Guy Bouriat-Quintart, and fitted with a temporary four-seater body in order to meet the event’s regulations. Unfortunately, the fuel tank split after three hours’ racing, and the Type 55 was forced to retire.
Fresh from Le Mans, Count Bouriat sold the Bugatti to wealthy French magazine publisher Jacques Dupuy, who immediately did away with the much-praised, doorless body, designed by Jean Bugatti, son of Ettore. Instead, he commissioned noted Parisian automotive designer Giuseppe Figoni to create a unique two-seat Type 55 coachwork, including full doors complete with wind up windows, providing ease of access and protection from the elements while retaining a continuous bodywork. Many argued that Figoni’s design considerably improved upon Jean Bugatti’s work.
New owner Dupuy then entered the Type 55 into the 1933 Paris-Nice Rally, La Journée de l’Elégance et de l’Automobile au Bois de Boulogne concours d’élégance. Predictably, it excelled in all three.
The Second World War put a stop to all racing activity, and in 1962 the Bugatti was brought to England by A.A. Morse, who the following year sold it to leading Vintage racer Geoffrey St John in 1963.
And in the St John family hands it has remained ever since, receiving first a restoration in 1966, and once again thirty years later following a road accident in France. Following this accident, the chassis was painstakingly repaired by specialist Gino Hoskins.
Of the rare auction piece, Director of Bonhams UK Motor Cars Sholto Gilbertson commented: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire an extremely historic and important motor car owned by the same family for 56 years.
“Over the years, the family have resisted many offers and we are very much looking forward to presenting the Bugatti for sale in Paris next February. Everyone will now have an equal opportunity to secure one of the most important motor cars to come to market in recent years.”
1939 Bugatti Type 57C Cabriolet 4 seats,
Coachwork by Gangloff|
Chassis no. 57836, Engine no. 93C
At the end of May 1939, G. Groslambert, owner of Garage Carnot in Besançon, ordered a drophead coupé Stelvio type 57C from the Bugatti factory. Chassis 57836/93C arrived at carrosserie Gangloff on June 8th 1939. The body was completed on July 24th for the sum of 30 000 francs. The drophead was delivered at Garage Carnot for Georges Groslambert, on July 28th 1939. The invoice amounted to 108.000 francs. No cars were delivered by the factory between July 8th and 28th 1939, for the obvious reason of summer holidays. This Bugatti Stelvio is one of the last two completed by Gangloff before the war was declared : 57834/103C and 57836/93C came out of the Colmar workshop in July 1939. It was the last Stelvio sold before the war. In May 1940 the last type 57C Gangloff drophead coupé, chassis 57805, was built and kept by the factory during the war.
After G. Groslambert's passing, his widow sold the Bugatti to one of his friends and clients, Pierre Sironi. He was also a native of Besançon, born in 1912 and the owner of the company « Éts Croméclair-Pistolux » whose offices were in Paris, 16 rue Clovis-Hugues and factories at Noisy-le-Grand, rue du 26 août 1944. He specialised in pneumatic pistols, cellulose and synthetic varnish sprayers for cars, bikes, pieces of furniture, radiators.... P.Sironi prided himself on having painted the ocean liner France. He registered the 57C drophead at his Parisian office address, 16 rue Clovis-Hugues. The car was registered in the new registration system under Georges Groslambert's name at his address, 61 avenue de la République, with plate number 6431 FZ 75, on May 7th 1957. The change to Pierre Sironi's name on the carte grise is dated June 9th 1957. According to Christian Groslambert's memory, grandson of the industrialist from Besançon, an engine breakdown of the vehicle stopped P. Sironi on his first drive from Besançon to Paris. Mrs Sironi could remember travels to Chamonix during the winters of 1958 and 1959... It is quite possible the car was used a few times before the final breakdown.
The mechanicals remained dismantled for a long time and the car would never really drive again. Nevertheless, it seems that it was repaired before being sold. On a nice day in 1969, looking for a Delage D8S he could not find, young Alain Galopin, drove through a small village in the Oise department when he noticed through the open gate of a mansion... half the grille of a Bugatti 57 in a garage at the bottom of the park. He got in touch with the owner, M. Sironi, and the deal was sealed under the control of his wife who appeared to be in charge of the couple's finances. The beautiful 57C was repainted in a less than flattering red by Sironi. In 1977, the car entered finally A. Galopin's collection who entrusts its restoration to the Établissements André Lecoq in Saint-Ouen. The original ivory colour was found on some parts of the bodywork and the Bugatti regained its original livery. The mechanisms were serviced by M. Sochon, appointed mechanic of the restorer.
When bought by A. Galopin the odometer read circa 30.000 km. It shows today a genuine 47.000 km! Three or four years after the sale, the Delage D8S of his dreams was offered to A. Galopin in exchange of his drophead 57C. He declined the offer having promised the vendor's family never to sell the car and also after having tested both vehicles on the road ! From 1978 on, the new owner used his proud drophead coupé regularly on few and rare chosen occasions. He was a faithful attendant at the Festivals Bugatti in Molsheim every year in September. The former race department chief mechanic Robert Aumaitre, he met at one of the Maurice Trintignant Jubilees in Carpentras in May 1982, was often his privileged passenger. He would give precious pieces of advice to the young Bugattiste... like the one suggesting to change to fourth gear as soon as possible over 60 km/h : « Take top gear, there's a blower ». Indeed the engine flexibility allows it and the engine would respond instantly with no lag time. The only fault with this method, was that consumption jumped to 24,5 litres. The two big 50 litres tanks were then very useful. On the highway, this grande routière finds its pace at 150-160 km/h then up to 180 km/h and shows modern cars that a Bugatti is still competitive. Lockheed brakes are very efficient to stop the drophead coupé weighing 1,700 kg.
February 7, 2020 Artcurial Retromobile Auction Retromobile, Paris, France
1927/28 Bugatti 37/44 monoplace|
Chassis n° 37334 Engine n°(44)686
This car began its career as a Bugatti 37 with a 1.5-litre engine. When it was owned by the wife of John Houldsworth, who used to race it, the car suffered a major engine failure, with the conrods going through the block. Houldsworth, a Bugatti enthusiast, then contacted a specialist who also raced Bugatti, Jack Lemon Burton, suggesting he buy the car for scrap. Which Burton promptly did in the 30's, for approximately £50, using it to build himself a " special " that was fast and suitable for hill-climbing. In place of the modest 4-cylinder original engine, he decided to install a 3-litre 8-cylinder Type 44 Bugatti engine, twice as big as the Type 37 engine and fitted with a supercharger. He recalls in a letter dated 23 July 1976 " That was hard work. (…) The steering wheel was a gift from R. Thomas to the younger brother of J. Duller, who thought it would go well on this car. " As the 3-litre engine was considerably longer than the original 1.5-litre engine, the Type 37 chassis, the hood and the engine mountings were all modified. The front axle was replaced with a wider Type 43/44 element with bigger brakes, better suited to the increased weight. The gear box and rear axle came from a Grand Prix Bugatti, although the transmission was subsequently replaced with an Armstrong preselector gearbox, which is still on the car and has made it possible to remove the standard clutch. It was then given a single-seater body allowing Jack Lemon Burton to take part successfully in his machine in various hillclimb and sprint events.
Burton then sold the car to his friend Kenneth Bear, another Bugatti enthusiast. Bear ran the car without the supercharger (powered by four carburettors) with a bit more gusto than his predecessor, finishing 2nd in a hillclimb at Prescott in 1939, just behind the Type 59 of Arthur Baron. When he died at the end of the 1940s, the car was bought by Bert Raven who continued competing in it, achieving some good results in the late 1950s. He kept the Bugatti until he passed away at the end of the 1980s, when it was restored by the specialist Ivan Dutton and offered for sale by Dan Margulies, one of the most well-respected British dealers. A copy of a letter dated from 1992 from the Bugatti Owners Club, coming in the file, confirms to him the car was built by Jack Lemon Burton before the SWW and is fitted with a genuine original Grand Prix Bugatti chassis frame.
According to a letter from the Bugatti historian and specialist David Sewell, the chassis is an authentic Type 37, in all probability n°557, which corresponds to car n°37334. It has a Grand Prix radiator with parallel sides and the centrally-mounted steering box has " R " stamped on the top and the side. The aero screen is an Avro and curiously, the bodywork has an Ettore Bugatti coachwork plaque fixed in the cockpit. The registration number, NPH 254 dates from August 1949. The engine is stamped with number 686 as well as the number of the chassis it came from, n°44999. The car comes with a history file and various letters and we advise anyone interested in this particularly original machine to consult these.
Eligible for VSCC and other historic events, this car has a lightweight chassis and an engine that is considerably more powerful than the original one. It has an unusually high performance, with the personality of a " muscle car " ahead of its time. Created as an indirect result of the failure of the original engine, it is typical of the modifications carried out by experienced enthusiasts, at a time when the value of the car didn't prevent creativity. Such a modification wouldn't be carried out today making this car an exciting testimony to the period, appealing to those enthusiasts who like the unusual.
Bugatti and Vanvooren
The Type 57s bodied by Vanvooren
The Type 57 cabriolets by Vanvooren 1934-1939
The car presented in the sale, chassis 57162, was built from the second design. In 1934, just four Type 57 cabriolets were produced by Vanvooren and 57162 was the last of these, delivered to Lamberjack on 10 November 1934. It had the spare wheels on the front wings. In 1935, Vanvooren produced three Type 57 cabriolets including 57269, which was the fourth and last car to be built from the second design, and the only one not to have spare wheels on the front wings. Between 1936 and 1939, only four other 4-seater cabriolets were built by Vanvooren, with a 2-seater cabriolet, chassis 57430, delivered in 1936 and a 2-seater roadster, chassis 57808c from 1939, completing the list. Of the twelve known cabriolets built, just four bodies have survived on their original chassis, including 57162.
The Cabriolet Vanvooren chassis 57162
Charles-Henri BRINCARD (1899-1970)
Pierre LOEB (1897-1964)
Bernard DUFOUR (1922-2016)
Henri PETIET (1894-1980).
Presented in 1933 and equipped with a brilliant 3.3-litre twin-cam engine, the Bugatti Type 57 was one of the best Grand Touring machines on the market, while not claiming to have particular sporting pretensions. At the Paris Motor Show in 1934, the constructor made an initial attempt to give it a more dynamic image by presenting a " Grand Raid " version with several modifications to the chassis. One of the most notable of these was the driving position, moved further back to allow sportier coachwork to be fitted. In total, it is believed Bugatti built 10 examples of these special versions.
It was one of these chassis that caught the eye of Gaston Descollas, who was then the Bugatti agent in Marseille and an amateur rally driver : in 1934, he won the French Rallye des Alpes and the international Coupe des Alpes at the wheel of a Type 57 Galibier, and no doubt the more sporting character of this new version is what appealed to him. He bought chassis n° 57300 and had a lightweight and minimalist torpedo body fitted, in aluminimum over a wooden structure. According to a friend of the Descollas family, this was carried out by the coachbuilder Dubos, from Marseille, and the car was registered on 3 January 1935 with the number 5822 CA 7.
Once the car was ready, it took part in the Ladies' Paris-St-Raphaël rally on 27 February, driven by Gaston's wife, Claire Descollas. This was a very popular event amongst women drivers, and over the years many well-known names have taken part, including Hellé Nice, Betty Haig, Claudine Trautman, Annie Soisbault and Marianne Hoepfner. In 1935, the winning driver was Olga Thibault in a Peugeot 201. Soon after this Gaston Descollas entered the 'Critérium international de tourisme Paris-Nice' known simply as the " Paris-Nice ", which set off on 13 April. There were over 100 participants, and this was a rally attracting experienced drivers. The previous year it had been won by Jean Trévoux who, at the wheel of a Hotchkiss 20 CV, was just beginning an impressive career that would see him win the Monte-Carlo Rally. Gaston Descollas performed magnificently, winning the event, before clocking up two other victories in the Rallye de la FNCAF and the Alpes Françaises. He had less luck in the Liège-Rome-Liège, in August, when he was forced to retire.
In 1936, the Bugatti was fitted with a closed Ventoux body, built by Gangloff, more comfortable for touring. On 24 March 1936, the car was registered in the name of Mr Giniès, with the number 4473 ZA 3 (Vaucluse), before returning to the Bouches-du-Rhône a few months later. It was registered in the name of Mr. Vives on 6 May 1936 with the number 6426 CA 8. Vives was a Spanish businessman, and it is possible that he imported the car into Spain. The Bugatti was still there on 18 December 1940 when it sold to Mr Senchermes, based in Barcelona, who registered it B-67.700. Astonishingly, this Bugatti then stayed in the same ownership until 2004, the year it was bought by the current owner, a German enthusiast. By 2004, the Ventoux coachwork had been replaced with an open body. Using photos sourced by the Bugatti Trust, the owner was able to restore the car to its torpedo configuration at the time of the 1935 Paris-Nice rally.
Apart from the rebuilt bodywork, most of the components are original, including the gearbox and the rear axle n°154, with assembly number 024. The engine block, which had been damaged, was replaced with an original block, and various parts were sourced through the Bugatti Owners Club. The bonnet is original and the car was repainted by the Matzner workshop. This is a piece of history, the 'missing link' between the Type 57 tourer and the future 57 G competition model that would win the Le Mans 24 Hours. Having rediscovered its original configuration, it is a stunning testimony to a period when an amateur driver could take part in an international rally without extensive race prep, and win.