The Gooding & Co. auction house held its last auction in Hampton Court, England. The main attraction of the event was three Bugatti.
Bugatti Type 35C Grand Prix (1928)
One of the most successful race cars of all time, it recorded more than two thousand race wins between 1924 and 1930, including the (unofficial) World Championship title and five consecutive Targa Florio championships.
The specimen offered for auction was attended by the 1928 Targa Florión and had only three owners for the past 92 years. Its 2.0-liter, in-line eight-cylinder (!) Engine was powered by an carburetor, taking air through a Roots compressor, bringing its maximum output to 125 horsepower. The transmission has four gears, the axles are rigid and leaf springs, the brakes are bovdenes, but it acts on at least all four wheels.
Bugatti Type 59 Sports (1934)
This ‘57248’ chassis number car was also the first at two Grand Prix; René Dreyfus won with him in Belgium and then Jean-Pierre Wimille in Algeria in the 1934 season. The car is then III. Lipót became the property of the King of Belgium, he ordered them to be painted black; the yellow bar evokes the official Belgian competition color.
The 3.3-liter in-line eight-cylinder engine received two carburetors and a compressor with a maximum output of 250 horsepower. Four-speed transmission, mechanical drum brakes on both axles – this was the state of the art at the time.
Bugatti Type 57S Atalante (1937)
The body of the Type 57S Atalante two-seater coupe was designed by Jean Bugatti himself and built by the factory workshop (Carrosorie Bugatti). The Atalante is not to be confused with the legendary Atlantick: the former has no dorsal fins or a two-piece windshield. Only seventeen pieces of the Atalante, the simplified successor to the Atlantic, have been made, four of which live in the factory museum.
Its 3.3-liter in-line eight-cylinder engine received a Stromberg carburetor and a Marshall compressor, delivering 220 horsepower. The transmission was four-speed, the four drum brakes were operated by cable.
As a layman, we’d guess Atalanta brought in the most money at the auction, but it wasn’t, that glory belonged to the Type 59 Sports race car, which is an inconceivable £ 9,535,000 (HUF 3.77 billion) found a host.
Atalanta brought in “only” £ 7,855,000 ($ 3.1 billion), while the Type 35C Grand Prix hit £ 3,935,000 ($ 1.55 billion) when knocked down. They had never paid so much money at auction for Bugatti – not even 1.5 billion forints, but 3.1 and not even 3.8. So a new world record was set, three.
And before you even think that nearly 8.5 billion forints have been issued for three inoperable junk, watch the video below, which shows the main characters of the auction.