Get set for a Bugatti bonanza at Bonhams’ Paris sale

| 20 Jan 2020
Classic & Sports Car – Bugatti bonanza at Bonhams’ Paris sale

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Bugattis will dominate Bonhams’ Paris sale next month, with seven of the French classics including a 1931 Type 55 Two-Seat Supersport (above) heading to auction. 

Between them, the superb septet could fetch a combined €13m, with the Type 55 accounting for more than half of that total thanks to a pre-sale estimate of €4-7m (£3.4-6m).

And it’s not hard to see why it’s so highly valued, given that it started life as a works Le Mans racer, entered into the 1932 edition and driven by Guy Bouriat and Louis Chiron.

Classic & Sports Car – Bugatti bonanza at Bonhams’ Paris sale
Classic & Sports Car – Bugatti bonanza at Bonhams’ Paris sale
Classic & Sports Car – Bugatti bonanza at Bonhams’ Paris sale
Classic & Sports Car – Bugatti bonanza at Bonhams’ Paris sale
1931 ex-Le Mans Type 55 Two-Seat Supersport

Sadly, a split fuel tank led to chassis number 55221’s retirement from the epic French endurance race and it was sold soon afterwards to Parisian magazine publisher Jacques Dupuy.

A few months after that, it was rebodied by Figoni with the sweeping, two-tone coachwork it still wears today.

Dupuy kept the car for several years, before selling it to a wine merchant, but not before taking it to victory on the 1933 Paris-Nice rally and showing it at concours.

Classic & Sports Car – Bugatti bonanza at Bonhams’ Paris sale
Classic & Sports Car – Bugatti bonanza at Bonhams’ Paris sale
Classic & Sports Car – Bugatti bonanza at Bonhams’ Paris sale
Classic & Sports Car – Bugatti bonanza at Bonhams’ Paris sale
This Type 39 from 1925 was a racer, too

This eye-catching 1925 Bugatti Type 39 has also been consigned to Bonhams’ Paris sale – and it, too, is a former works racer.

In the hands of Carl Junker, this car won the 1931 Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island. And before that, it came third in class at the Grand Prix de Tourisme at Montlhéry, driven by Giulio Foresti in a 1-2-3-4 finish for the manufacturer, as well as seventh at the 1925 Italian Grand Prix, among other successes.

More racing and a period in storage followed, before this Type 39 was restored in the ’80s. It heads to auction in a few weeks with a €1,050,000-1,400,000 estimate.

Classic & Sports Car – Bugatti bonanza at Bonhams’ Paris sale
Gangloff-bodied Type 57 Atalante Coupé

Another Bugatti on offer is this unique 1938 Type 57 Atalante Coupé – a one-off due to its coachwork by Carrosserie Gangloff.

Chassis number 57633 was ordered by Fernand Crouzet, who we have to thank for this bodywork, and was first registered on 7 April 1938.

Crouzet owned it until 1943, having hidden it during WW2 for safe keeping. It was then restored and came to the UK to serve as one of the French Embassy's official cars, before being sold to an owner in Scotland in 1948. 

Some years and a few owners later, it was auctioned as a barn-find in 1987 and shipped to Michigan in the USA for a no-expense-spared restoration.

It has been with its current custodian since 2006 and is expected to achieve €1.5-1.8m.

Classic & Sports Car – Bugatti bonanza at Bonhams’ Paris sale
Classic & Sports Car – Bugatti bonanza at Bonhams’ Paris sale
Classic & Sports Car – Bugatti bonanza at Bonhams’ Paris sale
Classic & Sports Car – Bugatti bonanza at Bonhams’ Paris sale
Elegant 1939 Bugatti Type 57C Stelvio Cabriolet

Another Gangloff-bodied lot in this Parisian sale is this stunning 1939 Bugatti Type 57C Stelvio Cabriolet, one of the last cars the marque produced before the outbreak of WW2.

It’s covered fewer than 47,000km in its 81 years and, interestingly, its tachometer was never connected – according to the vendor's family, Ettore Bugatti had it like that because Georges Groslambert, its first owner, usually confused kph with rpm!

And in a neat twist of fate, this Type 57C, chassis number 57836, was displayed in October 1938’s Paris Motor Show at the Grand Palais, which is where it will be sold next month with a €1.35-1.65m guide price.

Classic & Sports Car – Bugatti bonanza at Bonhams’ Paris sale
Classic & Sports Car – Bugatti bonanza at Bonhams’ Paris sale
Classic & Sports Car – Bugatti bonanza at Bonhams’ Paris sale
Classic & Sports Car – Bugatti bonanza at Bonhams’ Paris sale
Type 23 Torpedo Sport is a very original example

However, when it comes to this 1922 Bugatti Type 23 Torpedo Sport, much less is known.

Chassis number 1573 was delivered new on 14 December 1922 and it still has its original three-seater body with coachwork by Carrosserie Moderne de Schiltigheim.

Bonhams says it is in very ‘original’ condition and describes it as being partly restored, following a repaint sometime around 1960.

The cabin’s black-leather trim is original, while the front cushion was reupholstered and the hood retrimmed last November, at which point a few other jobs were done.

Its pre-sale estimate is €500-600,000.

Classic & Sports Car – Bugatti bonanza at Bonhams’ Paris sale
Classic & Sports Car – Bugatti bonanza at Bonhams’ Paris sale
Classic & Sports Car – Bugatti bonanza at Bonhams’ Paris sale
Classic & Sports Car – Bugatti bonanza at Bonhams’ Paris sale
This Type 40 ‘Grand Sport’ Roadster is also in the Grand Palais sale

Having been with its current owner since 1997, this French-registered 1927 Bugatti Type 40 ‘Grand Sport’ Roadster is expected to sell for €350-450,000.

This car, chassis number 40273, was ordered by Jérôme Wagner and delivered new as a rolling chassis on 14 February 1927 – the Wagners were good friends of the Bugatti factory, and Jérôme’s father even helped Ettore Bugatti to set up his Molsheim factory in 1909.

It’s spent a significant amount of its life in the UK, where it was restored, at which point it is assumed it received its ‘Grand Sport’ coachwork.

Classic & Sports Car – Bugatti bonanza at Bonhams’ Paris sale
Classic & Sports Car – Bugatti bonanza at Bonhams’ Paris sale
Classic & Sports Car – Bugatti bonanza at Bonhams’ Paris sale
Classic & Sports Car – Bugatti bonanza at Bonhams’ Paris sale
It is estimated that this Type 13 Sports will achieve €190-240,000 in Paris

The seventh car set to cross the block at Bonhams’ sale in the French capital is this 1913 Bugatti Type 13 Sports.

Potential owners will be bidding for a car with a 1,327cc 8-valve engine – number 155, formerly part of chassis 506 – with a replica chassis frame built by Alan Wragg and a new body made by Michel Blanchard.

Between 2008 and 2014 it was displayed at events including Lyon’s Époqu’Auto, Rétromobile in Paris and Techno-Classica in Essen, and it has been with its current owner in Belgium since 2017.

It goes to auction with an estimate of €190-240,000.

Check out the full lot list from Bonhams’ Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais sale here.


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