The concept of an "ordinary Bugatti" doesn't exist, all the more so when you're talking about the ultra-desirable Type 57. But even by Bugatti standards, this example is... well, exemplary. What you're looking at here is Ettore Bugatti's own Bugatti, a unique example built in 1936 for the founder's birthday, and managed to stay in pristine condition ever since. While restoration is commonplace for vehicles of this vintage, this example is strictly original. Despite its embattled location in Alsace right on the French-German border, Bugatti managed to keep this Type 57 safe during WWII. Following the war after Ettore died, the company upgraded the car and sold it in the 50's. Since then it has only changed hands a couple of times, and is poised to do so once again at the upcoming Gooding & Company auction at Pebble Beach in August. If the controversial Auto Union D-Type #19 can't do it, then this vehicle surely stands a chance at breaking the auction record set last month by the $12m 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa, especially considering that the long-neglected Type 57 Atalante found in a barn recently sold for $4.4m. More information in the press release after the jump, and high-res images in the gallery below.
[Source: Gooding & Company]
GOODING & COMPANY ANNOUNCES ETTORE BUGATTI'S PERSONAL CAR
OFFERED AT NO RESERVE
FOR 2009 PEBBLE BEACH AUCTIONS ON AUGUST 15 – 16, 2009
Original 1936 Bugatti Type 57C Coupe to Headline Gooding & Company's Upcoming Auction
SANTA MONICA, Calif. (May XX, 2009) – Gooding & Company, the official auction house
for the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, is thrilled to announce the sale of an incomparable
piece of Bugatti history - the 1936 Bugatti Type 57C Coupe for its annual Pebble Beach
auctions, to be held August 15 – 16, 2009. The Type 57 is the quintessential Bugatti road car
and this specific car is considered to be one of the most historically significant examples of its
"This year's Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance will be honoring the Bugatti marque and
Gooding & Company is delighted to offer, at no reserve, one of the most spectacular Bugattis
ever built," said David Gooding, founder and president of Gooding & Company. Ettore Bugatti's
personal car will undoubtedly capture a great deal of attention during the week and will draw
connoisseurs worldwide to our auction."
Bugatti factory employees originally assembled this 1936 Bugatti Type 57C Coupe as a birthday
present for Le Patron, Ettore Bugatti. Deemed as one of its most cherished automobiles, the
Bugatti works went to great lengths to protect this precious vehicle during World War II. After
Ettore Bugatti's death in 1947, the car continued to be maintained and stored at the Bugatti
workshop in Molsheim, France, where it received factory upgrades as developments progressed.
Those upgrades included tailored interior accessories, a unique engine and transmission
combination and other subtle technical improvements that distinguished it from any other Type
57. The one-off coachwork is believed to be one of the last designs penned by Ettore's son, Jean
Bugatti before his death.
Since leaving the Bugatti factory in the late 1950s, Chassis 57335 has had only a few protective
caretakers, and remains one of the most correct and original Bugattis in existence. The more
recent owners of the car have preserved Ettore Bugatti's intrinsic connection with this
automobile. Used only sparingly, the car has never been restored and the breathtaking interior
evokes the presence of the legendary Ettore Bugatti himself. Every detail on the spectacular
automobile reflects the artistry of the Bugatti marque and it possesses a tangible connection to
some of the most important innovators in automotive history.
The Gooding & Company Pebble Beach Auction preview days will be from Wednesday, August
12 through Sunday, August 16, 2009. The auctions will commence at 6:00PM and are located at
the Pebble Beach Equestrian Center. Gooding & Company Pebble Beach Auction catalogs are
available for $100 and admit two to the viewing and the auction. General admission to the
viewing and the auction can be purchased at the tent for $40 per person. Bidder registration
forms, press credentials and additional auction information are available on
About Gooding & Company
Gooding & Company provides unparalleled service for those in the collector car market, offering
a wide range of services, including private and estate sales, appraisals and collection
management. At its previous four auctions, Gooding & Company sold a combined total of more
than $178+ million in collector automobiles, with 55 vehicles selling for more than $1 million
and nine vehicles selling for more than $3 million. As the official auction house for the Pebble
Beach Concours d'Elegance, Gooding & Company sold more than $64 million worth of
collector automobiles in August 2008. Gooding & Company will be conducting its annual
Scottsdale auction on January 23, 2010 in Scottsdale, Arizona. For more information, please
contact (310) 899-1960 or visit www.goodingco.com.
About Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
First conducted in 1950, the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance® (pebblebeachconcours.com)
has grown to become the world's premier celebration of the automobile. Only the most beautiful
and rare cars are invited to appear on the famed 18th fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links®, and
connoisseurs of art and style flock to see these masterpieces.