Thursday, November 25, 2010

Barn-find Bugatti Type 38 makes seven times its estimate at auction

A 'barn-find' Bugatti amounting to little more than a loose collection of bits has sold at auction for more than seven times its estimate.

Completely dismantled, incomplete and lacking its engine and body, the 1926 Bugatti Type 38 was expected to fetch only around £9,000 when it went under the hammer at a Bonhams sale in Australia.

But seven telephone bidders fought against six absentee bids and five people in the Sydney auction rooms for what was described as a 'restoration project'.

After a tense showdown, a mystery bidder - identified only as 'living in the northern hemisphere' - triumphed, with a bid of £68,000.

When Robert Glover, Bonhams' Head of Motor Cars Australia, informed the lady owner of the winning bid, said an auction house spokesman, there was a 'stunned silence followed by a tearful thanks'.

As the picture reveals, the new owner has quite a job on his or her hands. All that remains are four sorry-looking wheels, battered fenders bearing traces of red paint, the radiator, a headlamp, steering wheel, rear bumper, axles, other assorted components, seat shells and what is left of the doors.

A Type 38 in concours condition, however, would be worth around £200,000.
Bonhams says that a 'handful' of Type 38s found their way to Australia via the London Bugatti agent. The car in question was first owned by a Dr Feather of Roma, Queensland but passed through various hands until it was sold to the vendor in the 1960s, by which time it had already fallen into disrepair.

At the same auction, a 1925 Bentley 3- litre sold for £203,000, while a right -hand-drive 1949 Jaguar XK120 Alloy roadster changed hands for £154,000.

Source (via Jalopnik);

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