A King’s Bugatti And Rare Aston Martin Highlight Upcoming London Auction
On April 1st, Gooding & Co. will host its first sale in London, and the auction house is making sure it will be one to remember. Going under the hammer at the Passion of a Lifetime sale will be an astounding 16-car collection that includes three cars expected to snare around $10 million or more each: a rare Aston Martin and two pre-war Bugattis, one previously owned by a king.
And the 1934 Bugatti Type 59 Sports is certainly fit for royalty. This racer was originally part of the Bugatti works Grand Prix team in 1934 and ’35, claiming 3rd place at the Monaco Grand Prix and victory at the Belgian Grand Prix. It was sold and went on to further motorsport glory in 1937 before moving on again to King Leopold III of Belgium the next year. With a 3.3-litre inline eight-cylinder engine that made 250hp, this could be one of the most important Bugattis ever to cross the block. The estimate of this Type 59 is more than £10 million ($14 million).
If the Type 59 is one of the most desirable race cars ever made, then its brother, the 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante, is certainly one of the most desirable for the road. This is but one of 17 examples built with Jean Bugatti’s Atalante coachwork; the ‘S’ denotes that this model is lighter, faster and more advanced than the ‘regular’ Type 57. It was originally sold to Earl Howe, a racing driver and president of the Bugatti Owners’ Club, then went on through a few English owners until it was found in ‘barn condition’. It has undergone a full restoration, and is expected to fetch in excess of £7 million ($9 million).
The 1961 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato is easily one of the most beautiful – and desirable – cars of its era. One of just 19 DB4 GT models built with the lighter and more elegant Zagato bodywork, this one has had just five owners in its life, with the original owner from England holding on to it for more than 20 years – we can see why. Amazingly, it’s never had to undergo a full restoration, and its 3.67-litre inline six-cylinder engine, with 314hp, is numbers-matching. The estimate for this glorious sports car is between £7 million and £9 million ($9 million and $11.6 million).
The rest of the lot could stand on its own as well, with various and rare models from Bentley, Lamborghini, Lancia and others in stunning condition. We’ll be watching closely come the spring.
*Images courtesy of Gooding & Co. and Mathieu Heurtault