Hidden Bugatti Type 57 Surbaisse To Be Offered For Sale

Bugatti Type 57 Surbaisse
The hidden 1937 Bugatti Type 57 Surbaisse

An amazing 1937 Bugatti Type 57 Surbaisse which has been hidden and off the road for the last 50 years will be offered for sale in London on the 19 February 2021. The rediscovered original high-performance 3.3-litre twin-cam Bugatti is one of only 42 ever produced by the marque and has been in single ownership for over half a century.

Having remained since 1969 in the North Staffordshire workshop of its late owner, respected engineer and Bugattiste Bill Turnbull, the British bodied rarity is said to be in ‘exceptionally original condition‘ and is one of the world’s most valuable and desirable pre-war motor cars.

Mechanically restored to Mr Turnbull’s high standards and essentially only in need of some final re-assembly, the Bugatti will go to auction with an eye-watering estimate of £5,000,000 – 7,000,000.

Bugatti Type 57 Surbaisse
Bugatti Type 57 Surbaisse (Est: £5,000,000 – 7,000,000)

Originally ordered new by Robert Ropner, a member of the Ropner Shipping Line family, from renowned London dealership Jack Barclay, the classic 57S was a custom-built 4-seater sports Grand Routier body fashioned by the celebrated coachbuilders Corsica of London and powered by a 3.3-litre engine, making it the fastest road car of its day.

Wearing the British registration of ‘DUL 351’ with pride, the car was affectionately named Dulcie by its owner and has been identified as having a chassis of only three special lightweight frames produced for the 1936 season of Grand Prix winning and multiple world-record-breaking Bugatti works Type 57G Tank streamlined sports-racing cars, the factory racing derivative of the 57S.

Bugatti Type 57 Surbaisse

Mr Turnbull made contact with all four previous owners soon after purchasing the car, then proceeded to begin a full restoration in his workshop, which was almost complete up until his untimely death. The missing Bugatti is said to be largely intact with black paintwork, cream leather interior and original coachwork and in exceptionally rare condition,

Sholto Gilbertson, Director, Bonhams Motor Cars UK, said:
This really is an extraordinary example of one of the most valuable and desirable pre-war motor cars. Other 57S Bugattis are in museums or known collections, and to offer the car to the open market for the first time since 1969 is going to be tremendous.

This could well be the last ‘hidden’ pre-war Bugatti of note and we are delighted to present this rediscovered true legend of the road next year at New Bond Street.

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Bugatti Trio

The discovery follows an earlier ‘Passion of a Lifetime’ sale in which a Bugatti trio of prewar masterpieces including an incredible King Leopold 1934 Bugatti Type 59 Sports, 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante and remarkable 1928 Bugatti Type 35C Grand Prix, sold for a staggering £21,325,000 at Hampton Court Palace in September this year.

The Bugatti Type 59S accounted for £9,535,000 of the trio sale

More information on the Legends of the Road Sale can be found here

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