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Bugatti sets new
action records

Lower estimates for sale prices were exceeded again and again, resulting in records tumbling.

Over the course of its 115-year history, Bugatti has produced some of the most sought-after cars of all time. Renowned for their engineering ingenuity, their inherent beauty and their rarity, the opportunity for enthusiasts to buy a Bugatti at auction is always met with excitement . 

At the recent Selections from the Mullin Collection Auction by Gooding & Company, each Bugatti model outperformed its estimated sale price.

The Mullin Collection lots were offered from the former Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California. It was renowned as the greatest collection of French Classic and Art Deco automobiles in the world, alongside many other star attractions. It closed permanently following the death of its visionary founder, Peter Mullin, in September 2023.

The Mullin Automotive Museum housed more than 75 pieces of furniture by Carlo Bugatti, numerous sculptures by Rembrandt, and the largest private collection of Ettore and Jean Bugatti automobiles in the world. For a long time, the highlight of the museum was the Jean Bugatti-designed 1936 Type 57SC Atlantic.

At the Gooding & Company sale, the star of the auction was a 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Aravis “Special Cabriolet”, with a lower estimate of $2,500,000. It sold for $6,605,000 – a world record price for this model. 

The supercharged Type 57C is one of only three examples of the Gangloff-bodied Aravis that survived until today, ordered new by Avignon agent Granat & Fils for famed Bugatti team racing driver Maurice Trintignant. 

Featuring ivory bodywork with dark blue fenders and trim, chassis 57768 was successfully raced in-period by Trintignant at the Grand Prix du Comminges in 1939. It underwent a nut-and-bolt restoration in 2005 by Sargent Metal Works and has been part of the Peter Mullin Collection since 2002.

A Bugatti Type 46 Semi-Profilée Coupe also shattered the world record for a Type 46, selling for $1,105,000, against a lower estimate of $650,000. 

Adorned in replicated semi-profilée-style coachwork, this rare Type 46 was ordered new by Bugatti agent Vladimir Gut in Prague, where it spent a portion of its early life gracing the stables of prominent Czech owners. After passing through a succession of owners it underwent a restoration in the early 2000s, when Harry Kouwen was contracted to make a replica of the Semi-Profilée.

It was not only the restored cars that attracted attention and were sold at top prices. Several highly original and unrestored Bugattis performed well above their estimates, including a 1927 Bugatti Type 40 “Break de Chasse”. 

The Bugatti was ordered and delivered on December 2, 1927, to Fernand Huck and during the 1930s or 1940s, the Type 40 was converted to the distinctive, wooden “shooting brake” body it wears today. It sold for $445,000, with a lower estimate of $100,000. T

Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux models – both with original engines and bodywork – achieved double their estimates alongside strong sales for the 1927 Bugatti Type 40 Faux Cabriolet and 1931 Bugatti Type 40A Roadster.

“Bugatti is consistently among the most revered marques for car collectors, with each car a treasure trove of history, beauty and innovation,” says Christophe Piochon, president of Bugatti Automobiles. “These latest auction results from Gooding & Company reveal that the appetite for Bugatti models isn’t just retained, but it’s accelerating. Fierce bidding battles between passionate customers, each hoping to own another piece of the Bugatti story, pushed values far above expectations.”

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