AU$32 million in pre-war Bugattis for auction at UK Concours of Elegance

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

Bugattis for auction trio Bugattis for auction trio

A trio of Bugattis headline Gooding & Company’s auction next month

As many of England’s annual car festivities have chosen to forego operations for 2020, the global concours circus seeks to return with the 2020 Conours of Elegance set to go ahead at Hampton Court Palace from September 4-6.

One of the highlights and main attractions, aside from the concours itself, is Gooding & Company’s classic car auction. Titled Passion of a lifetime’, Gooding & Company are offering 15 top-shelf blue-chip classics, including a 1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV Speciale, and a 1961 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato.


It’s a trio of pre-war Bugattis however, that look set to be the headliners.

The first on the block is a 1934 Bugatti Type 59 Sports (Lot 6). Wearing chassis no. 57248 and a pre-auction estimate "in excess of £10,000,000" (AU$16,500,000).


The Type 59 Sports was a factory works grand prix car during the 1934 and 1935 seasons, and was later campaigned in the 1967 sports car season, with a number of wins and ole positions to its name. It’s regarded as one of the most significant and original Bugatti racers surviving today, and features a 3.3lt supercharged inline-eight, breathing through a pair of Zenith carburettors. The car was sold to King Leopold III of Belgium in 1938, and remains unrestored and original to his ownership.


Another Bugatti factory racer will cross the block as Lot 10 of the sale. The 1928 Bugatti Type 35C Grand Prix, chassis no. 4871, campaigned in the 1928 Targa Florio and also took part in a number of European Grand Prixes as well as other sports car races and hill climbs of the period. It’s powered by a smaller 2.0lt inline-eight and is estimated to fetch "in excess of £3,000,000" (AU$5 million).

The main event, and the final lot of the night, comprises of a 1937 Bugatti Type 57s Atalante.


Estimated to fetch over £7 million (AU$11,500,000), the Atalante represents one of 43 Bugatti Type 57S’, and just one of 17 built with Atalante coupe coachwork.


Beyond the four Atlantic coupes (three of which are known to survive) which represent the figurative holy grail of car collecting, the Type 57S Atalante is one of the most desired pieces for the discerning (and wealthy) Bugatti collector. This one wears chassis no. 57502 and features a supercharged 3.3lt inline-eight. Originally cxommissioned by Frnacis Curzon, 5th Earl Howe and swapped hands in 1955 to a doctor named Harold Carr. At some stage, Carr left the rare Bugatti in his home garage, where it layed dormant until it was discovered by his relatives after his death in 2008. The Type 57s Atalante was sold the following year at Bonham’s Retromobile sale in Paris, to the tune of AU$5 million.

Stay tuned at Unique Cars for the latest global auction news and results!


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