THE auction, called ‘Passion of a Lifetime,’ will be held in the beautiful settings of the UK’s Hampton Court Palace on September 5, and Gooding and Co say it will represent one of the world’s most revered private collections, reflecting decades of passion, research, and dedication. 

Taking the centre stage will be not one, but three very rare Bugattis, which should send the heart rates of the brand’s followers into danger territory. 

The trio comprises a 1934 Bugatti Type 59 Sports, 1937 Type 57S Atalante, and a 1928  Type 35C Grand Prix.

The 1934 Type 59 Sports is described as the ultimate Bugatti Grand Prix Car.

Competing in two Grand Prix, the ‘57248’ was one of the four-car team at Spa, Belgium in 1934, in the Belgian Grand Prix. 

René Dreyfus took first place followed by Antonio Brivio, both in the Type 59. 

And in the Algerian Grand Prix later that year, French ace Jean-Pierre Wimille crossed the line first in the Type 59. 

After its racing life, it was sold to no other than King Leopold III of Belgium, who ordered it repainted black, his favourite car colour, with a yellow stripe to honour Belgium’s racing livery.

The car has a 3257cc twin-cam straight 8 engine with twin Zenith carburettors and a Roots-Type supercharger, a 4-speed gearbox and cable-operated drum brakes.

The 1937 Type 57S Atalante was a two-seater sports coupe with coachwork by Jean Bugatti and body style by Carossorie Bugatti. 

It was built on the 57S chassis, and was similar to the Atlantic, but with a single-piece windscreen and no fin. 

Only 17 Atalante cars were ever made with four of them on display in the Cité de l’Automobile Museum in Mulhouse, France.  

Although the Atlantic was a beautiful work of art, its high set doors and split front window made it difficult for a series production. 

The design was revised into the Atalante which included the flat windscreen, Aérolithe’s teardrop shape, a separate trunk area with recessed spare-tire and full-size doors with signature kidney-bean windows.

The one on auction also has a 3.2-litre but with a single Stromberg carburettor and a Marshall supercharger.

The 1928 Bugatti Type 35C Grand Prix is one of the most successful racing cars of all time. 

The French manufacturer’s open-top sports car secured more than 2000 wins between 1924 and 1930. 

The supercharged variant, the Type 35 C, and its derivatives, the Type 35 T and Type 35 B, won multiple Grands Prix  up to 1930, as well as the unofficial World Championship title in 1926 and five consecutive victories in the world’s most famous road race, the Targa Florio.

Emilio Materassi won the the 1927 Targa and Alberto Divo drove another 35C to victory in the 1929.

The one on sale was a Works entry in the 1928 Targa Florio and raced in major European Grands Prix and hill climbs. 

It’s had only three owners and had a mechanical restoration by Ivan Dutton Ltd. 

The car has a 2.0-litre straight 8 with a Roots-type supercharger and a single Zenith carby.

If Bugattis aren’t your things, ther are also 15 other extraordinary cars on offer, among them a quartet of Aston Martins, two Bentleys, three Lamborghinis, four Lancias, a couple of Rolls-Royces and a 1924 Vauxhall 30/98 OE Type Wensum.

The auction is to be held remotely and broadcast live on Gooding’s website, YouTube and mobile apps, with telephone and absentee bidding. 

In case you need to check how much you have in your piggy bank, the auctioneers estimate the 1934 Bugatti Type 59 Sports will go for more than $18 million Australian, the 1937 Type 57S Atalante for around $13 million and the 1928 Type 35C Grand Prix for at least $5.5 million.

Bon chance with your bid, mon ami.

 

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Buys

Bill Buys, probably Australia’s longest-serving motoring writer, has been at his craft for more than five decades. Athough motoring has always been in his DNA, he was also night crime reporter, foreign page editor and later chief reporter of the famed Rand Daily Mail. He’s twice been shot at, attacked by a rhinoceros and had several chilling experiences in aircraft. His experience includes stints in traffic law enforcement, motor racing and rallying and writing for a variety of local and international publications. He has covered countless events, ranging from world motor shows and Formula 1 Grands Prix to Targa tarmac and round-the-houses meetings. A motoring tragic, he has owned more than 90 cars. Somewhat of a nostalgic, he has a special interest in classic cars. He is the father of Targa star Robert Buys, who often adds his expertise to Bill’s reviews.
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