Seemingly pulled right from the grainy, black-and-white footage of the first attempts at motor racing, a 1925 Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix Two Seater for sale in Monaco this weekend is a wonderful example of beauty by mechanical simplicity.
Bonhams estimates a sale price of $1.1 million to $1.7 million.
A purpose-built race car from the famous French manufacturer of luxurious and speedy automobiles, the car was raced to some success in Europe by a private owner before finding a new home in Australia, where it has remained to this day.
The car is well documented and exceptionally well maintained, despite almost constant usage to date — including several long rallies including drives across the entirety of Australia.
Take a look.
'As delivered, they lacked a rear-view mirror and an engine driven air pump for the fuel tank,' the auction house said. 'Since a riding mechanic was still mandatory for Grand Prix racing, his duties included maintaining fuel pressure while also acting as the driver's lookout to spot any imminent overtake from behind.'
The car also demonstrates the carmaker's very rudimentary, though undeniably innovative, understanding of aerodynamics at the time.
Bugatti, now a property of the Volkswagen Group, maintains a certain association with speed, and currently holds the record for the world's fastest production car -- the 1,000 horsepower Veyron, soon to be replaced by the even faster Chiron.
This Type 35 is incredibly well documented, and Bonhams provides an extensive history along with a good many pictures of it racing. Here, the car -- a bit sideways -- takes on the vaunted Shelsley Walsk Hillclimb in England in 1925.
According to Bonhams:
An account of Kidston's driving explains that he '...was in his first season of motor sport, and tended to favour win-or-bust tactics'. In a lurid but undeniably spectacular ascent of Shelsley Walsh hillclimb, Glen Kidston's '...lovely blue Bugatti clouted the bank by the Kennel Bend and then went into an almost broadside skid on the first corner of the Esses, showering grit and loose stones over spectators in the members' enclosure....'.
Bonhams estimates a sale price of $1.1 million to $1.7 million. Which is a good deal, considering next year's Chiron will cost about twice that.
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