Bonhams announced the recent discovery of a rare 1938 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupe, which will be one of the highlight lots at the two-day Fairfield County Concours d’Elegance Auction on Sept. 17-18th.
An example of Bugatti’s famed twin cam Type 57, Bugatti chose the names of mountain passes for their series of coachwork on these cars. The sporty two door coupe, with its steeply raked windshield and fall-away tail was called the Ventoux. This particular car is one of the desirable later series of the 57 model, by which time the cars had received many upgrades including hydraulic brakes, and is estimated to draw bidding in the $150,000-$200,000 range.
Bugatti records show that the car was originally delivered new to Switzerland, and wore dark blue paint and a matched dark blue interior. The car is known to have been imported to the U.S. from Switzerland and shortly after this came into the late owner’s hands in the early 1960s. An electrical and mechanical engineer, he began to refurbish the car, re-wiring it and getting it running, but no further work was ever completed and the car lay unused until his death earlier this year. Today, the car still has its original dark blue leather upholstery, and with very little wear to this, or its pedals, it seems likely that the 22,000 kilometer reading may be from new.
“A ‘barn find’ Bugatti is the ultimate find for an auctioneer. This remarkably original example was chosen by its passionate engineer owner in the 1960s and then never restored, ensuring that it has survived intact,” commented Bonhams specialist Rupert Banner. “Bonhams has a long tradition of sleuthing some of the greatest finds that have ever crossed the auction block, it’s a wonderful experience to hear of a ‘barn find’ car, but when the magic name ‘Bugatti’ is mentioned it makes it all the more special.”
Bonhams Fairfield County Concours auction catalogs are available online at www.Bonhams.com/fairfield, by mail, and through the New York and San Franciso offices now. Auction previews begin Sept. 16.
Click here for more barn finds at the Fairfield County Concours d’Elegance.
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