A rare ‘one of 29 remaining’ ex-Le Mans Bouriat/Chiron Bugatti Type 55 will be offered as a highlight at Bonhams Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais sale in 2020.
The Bugatti is now one of the most important sports cars of the marque’s golden era and will spearhead the 2020 Bonhams Grand Palais Sale in Paris on 6th February 2020.
This particular classic Bugatti Type 55 – chassis no. 55221 began life a works entry in that year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, co-driven by two of France’s finest and most charismatic racing drivers of the 1930s, Louis Chiron and Count Guy Bouriat-Quintart.
French automobile cuisine of the highest order, the 1932 rarity is being offered for the first time at auction following an incredible 56 years in the ownership of one discerning British family.
Sholto Gilbertson, Director, Bonhams UK Motor Cars, said:
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire an extremely historic and important motor car owned by the same family for 56 years.
“Over the years, the family have resisted many offers and we are very much looking forward to presenting the Bugatti for sale in Paris next February. Everyone will now have an equal opportunity to secure one of the most important motor cars to come to market in recent years.”
In its day the Bugatti Type 55 held similar esteem to the Bugatti Chiron, Veyron and EB110 models and even as the Great Depression loomed, the most style-conscious glitterati all aspired to this particular well-heeled classic.
With a chassis price tag of 110,000 FF ($7,500), only 38 examples of the Type 55 Super Sports model were produced between 1932 and 1935, 29 of which are known to survive.
Bugatti Type 55 – Blistering Performance
Boasting performance, style and affluence, the car was regarded in period as very much a Grand Prix car in sports car clothing, powered by a 2.3-litre supercharged twin-cam 8-cylinder engine – only slightly detuned compared to its source, the multiple Grand Prix-winning Bugatti Type 51. Even in 1932, its blistering performance boasted 0-60mph acceleration in 13 seconds and the hitherto unheard-of top speed of 115mph, which at the time was unheard of.
This particular Bugatti has a great racing pedigree, having contested the 1932 Le Mans 24-Hour race, with France’s Louis Chiron and Count Guy Bouriat-Quintart at the wheel. To meet the event’s regulations, the car was fitted with a temporary 4-seat body, but sadly its fuel tank split after three hours’ racing, forcing its retirement.
Anyone seeking more information on this car and auction details can do so by visiting this link.
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