An Air of Elegance: Bugatti Type 55
A rare 1931 two-seater vintage Bugatti Type 55 is soon to go under hammer for between $4 million and $5 million dollars at the Gooding & Co sale in Scottsdale, Arizona in January 2018. Recognised as one of the most coveted sports cars from the 1930s, some of the distinct features found in Type 55 were not seen in the later versions of the Bugatti.
Defining features that are uniquely Bugatti Type 55 Roadster
This Type 55 is unique for its GP-style hood with shortened louvers on the side, diagonal louvers in the top of the hood, and yellow-tinted glass on the headlamps. The vehicle came with a chassis number 55201, which was a requirement from the automaker for the motor vehicles manufactured prior to 1989.
Only 38 units of the Type 55 examples were manufactured by the Italian between 1931 and 1935, and it was proudly displayed at the 1931 Paris Motor Show, and has been described as “one of the most coveted pre-war sports cars.”
To make a comparison between the Type 55 and the modern day’s Chiron, the engine under the bonnet of this classic Bugatti features a supercharged, twin-overhead cam eight-cylinder with a four-speed manual transmission and an output of 132 horsepower.
The chassis 55201 won the French Cup
Previously owned by Duc de le Tremoille, one of the prominent French aristocrats and then by Dr Peter Williamson who has a penchant for Bugatti. The Bugatti Type 55 Roadster was finally restored by a marque specialist in 2012 before the chassis 55201 went on to win the French Cup at The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®.
“It’s easy to see why the auction estimate is so high.”