Photo Courtesy of BonhamsAt Bonhams’ annual sale during the UK’s famous Goodwood Festival of Speed on June 29, the London-based auction house will offer a 1938 Bugatti Type 57C formerly owned by Ettore Bugatti, who founded the legendary marque bearing his name in 1909. The stunning vehicle, which is expected to fetch over $1.5 million, is fitted with several bespoke features and is believed to have been one of the very last to be designed by Ettore’s eldest son Jean Bugatti, who produced some of the firm’s most iconic cars.
It’s believed the Type 57C in question was originally presented to Ettore as a birthday present from the workers in his factory in Molsheim, France. In 1939 when it became clear that a German invasion of France was imminent, Bugatti factory driver Robert Benoist smuggled the car to a safe hiding place for the duration of the war, only narrowly avoiding capture in the process.
It was not until after the war and Ettore’s death in 1947 that the car finally returned to the Bugatti factory, where it became a favorite of Pierre Marco, the company’s Director General, who drove it regularly. It remained in the factory’s collection until 1959 during which time it was updated with new custom features. The car rarely been seen in public, though it did appear at the 1985 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Go to Bonhams.com to learn more.