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Old 02-12-2009, 08:05 AM
SwampYankee's Avatar
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Update: Barn-Find Bugatti fetches $4.4 Million

And apparently that was a "bargain".

One of the rarest cars in the world sold for $4.53 million after collecting dust in a garage for almost 50 years.

The 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante Coupe sold by the British auction house Bonhams is one of just 17 built by the famed French - Italian automaker, and it is remarkable for being entirely original and in great shape. Once owned by British racing driver Earl Howe, the car was last owned by an orthopedic surgeon who had not driven it since the early 1960s.

"This was the creme-de-la-creme of late 1930s sports cars," Simon Kidston, an expert on classic cars who attended the auction, told Bloomberg. "Of the examples that have come on the market, this had by far the best history, prettiest body style and no one has seen it for 50 years. Nothing drives collectors more crazy than a car they haven't been able to buy."

Bugatti represented the pinnacle of automotive design and engineering during the 1930s, and its cars command top dollar. The company founded in Molsheim, France by Ettore Bugatti, an Italian man considered something of an eccentric genius. It built just 7,900 cars between its founding in 1909 and its demise in the 1940s. Just 2,000 are believed to exist today. This particular car is especially valuable given its history - which Bonhams outlined in minute detail in the sales program - and condition. It was originally owned by Howe, the parliamentary official and race car driver who founded the British Racing Drivers' Club.

Dr. Harold Carr of Gosford, England purchased the car in 1955. He drove it for several years then put it away in the early 1960s, where it sat all but abandoned until his family discovered it following his death in December. The car - which was capable of 130 mph in an era when most cars topped out at 50 mph - has just 26,284 miles on the odometer. "People were taken aback by the condition," Kidston told Bloomberg.

The car's original eight-cylinder engine and body are intact, so the car can be restored without using reproduction parts. Bringing it back to like-new condition is expected to cost $700,000, according to Bloomberg.

Bonham's said five people bid on the car Saturday, with the winning bid placed by an unidentified European collector.

Another Type 57S sold for $7.92 million in August at the Gooding & Co. auction during the annual Pebble Beach Concours.


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Old 02-12-2009, 01:57 PM
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that's very nice....
"It's normal for these things to empty your wallet and break your heart in the process."
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Old 02-12-2009, 03:19 PM
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From the interior photos and overall condition if it weren't a Bugatti its ad would read:

Old black coupe with mild rust. Can't find parts for it so I am selling it. As-is no warranty. - $100 dollars OBO
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Old 02-12-2009, 08:32 PM
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And apparently I'm getting pretty good at this auction game, because the Auction house estimated value at $9m and I said "No way!"

The Previous Thread:
$9m Bugatti
- Brian

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Old 02-12-2009, 10:22 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Lafayette Indiana
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One year about fifteen years ago when I went up to the fall Auburn auction they had one of those quintessessential bugatti f1 cars from the early thirties or late twenties. I was stunned at how tiny it was. Every part was jewell like. the detailing was as I had heard exquisite. They are most impressive machines. The brakes were mechanical with cables going to the front wheels, the cables had no sheath but worked off a system of pullys which turned the corner and worked despite the ability of the front wheels to change angles. The front leaf springs went through the center of the tubular front axle.

I'd like the chance to look at one of the Miller Indy cars from the same era up close. I understand they are similar in their attention to detail.

The Bugattis, like the early Ferraris are one off (nearly) pieces of fine art, like Picassos (except I like them and don't particularly like Picassos) and are priced accodingly.
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Old 02-12-2009, 10:48 PM
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Nice car, but thats a lot of money for one.
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Old 02-12-2009, 10:51 PM
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I'd rather have a Veyron, and 3 million left over.

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