Gooding sold the most-expensive Bugatti ever, a Type 59 Sports for $12,681,550 as the top result of the London Passion of a Lifetime Sale 2020.
The most-expensive Bugatti ever sold at public auction is a 1934 Bugatti Type 59 Sports that Gooding sold for $12,681,550 at the Passion of a Lifetime classic car auction in London on 5 September 2020. New world auction models records were also set for a Bugatti Type 35C Grand Prix racer, a Bugatti Type 57S Atalante, and a Lamborghini Miura. A 1924 Vauxhall 30-98 OE-Type Wensum sold for a marque record $1,658,510.
Gooding Passion of a Lifetime Auction in London 2020
Gooding & Company’s “Passion of a Lifetime” auction, its first-ever sale outside of the US, originally set for April 2002 but postponed due to COVID-19, took place during the Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court Palace in London, U.K., on 5 September 2020.
Only 15 cars were on offer but the special selection easily made this the auction of the year. The sensational results included six world auction model records, two marque records — including Bugatti — and eight cars sold for over a million dollar. Gooding earned £34,048,900 ($45,285,037) with a recorded average price per car of £2,432,064 ($3,234,645).
These 15 extraordinary cars hail from one of the world’s most revered private collections and represent the culmination of decades of research and dedication. The collector’s meticulous passion for the very finest brings together the most coveted and valuable examples of European sports and racing automobiles of the 20th century.
Results of Gooding Passion of a Lifetime Sale London 2020
The following eight cars sold for over a million dollar at the Gooding Passion of a Lifetime auction in London:
|Year||Car||Price ($)||Price (£)||Estimate (£)|
|1934||Bugatti Type 59 Sports||12,681,550||9,535,000||In excess of £10,000,000|
|1937||Bugatti Type 57S Atalante||10,447,150||7,855,000||In excess of £7,000,000|
|1928||Bugatti Type 35C Grand Prix||5,233,550||3,935,000||In excess of £3,000,000|
|1971||Lamborghini Miura P400 SV Speciale||4,265,310||3,207,000||£1,600,000 – £2,000,000|
|1955||Aston Martin DB3S||4,004,360||3,011,000||£3,000,000 – £4,000,000|
|1935||Aston Martin Ulster||2,105,390||1,583,000||£1,600,000 – £2,200,000|
|1924||Vauxhall 30-98 OE Type Wensum||1,658,510||1,247,000||£800,000 – £1,200,000|
|1919||Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost Alpine Eagle Tourer||1,360,590||1,023,000||1,000,000 – £1,400,000|
Note: Auction held in British Pounds. £1=$1.33 conversion used during auction.
The only car not sold in the auction was a 1961 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato (Estimate: £7,000,000 – £9,000,000) which failed to sell with a highest bid of £6.3 million.
1934 Bugatti Type 59 Sports – Most-Expensive Bugatti Ever
The King Leopold 1934 Bugatti Type 59 Sports (Estimate: In Excess of £10,000,000) was the most valuable car in the Gooding London 2020 auction and set a new marque record when it sold for $12,681,550 (£9,535,000).
The 1934 Bugatti Type 59 Sports was mostly driven by René Dreyfus during the 1934-35 season. It was initially a part of the Bugatti works Grand Prix team during which it achieved an outright win at the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa as well as a 3rd Place finish at the Monaco Grand Prix. Shortly after, the Type 59 was developed by the factory for sports car events by modifying the chassis and bodywork.
The Type 59 Sports earned enormous success during the 1937 season, dominating its rivals along the way. Collectively through its racing years, this Bugatti has been driven by some of the most famous and accomplished names of the era starring Robert Benoist, Louis Chiron René Dreyfus, Piero Taruffi, Achille Varzi, and Jean-Pierre Wimille.
This Bugatti Type 59 Sports participated in Grand Prix and major races across Europe with several victories and pole finishes before ultimately retiring from the sport in 1937. In 1938, the car was repainted black by the factory and sold to King Leopold III of Belgium, an important patron of the marque. To this day, it remains in outstanding unrestored condition, appearing as it did in King Leopold III’s possession.
Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, only one Bugatti has ever sold at public auction for more than $10 million in nominal terms. This 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster sold for $10,400,000 at the Gooding Pebble Beach 2016 sale. The 1931 Bugatti Royale Kellner Coupe that Christie’s sold for $9.8 million in 1987 would be around $22 million in today’s money. If it comes up for auction now, it would probably fetch more than simply the adjusted value.
1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante
The rare and extremely desirable, 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante sold for $10,447,150 as only the third Bugatti to ever have achieved more than $10 million at auction. It set a new model record for any Type 57 version.
This rich, well-documented 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante (Estimate: In Excess of £7,000,000) was delivered new to famed British racing driver and Bugatti enthusiast Earl Howe. It is one of only 17 fitted with Jean Bugatti’s sensational Atalante coachwork.
An outstanding comprehensive restoration was recently overseen by Bugatti expert Ivan Dutton Ltd to present an incredible piece of Bugatti history.
1928 Bugatti Type 35C Grand Prix
The 1928 Bugatti Type 35C Grand Prix sold for $5,233,550 to set a new model record for any Type 35 version. Chassis 4871, was originally built as a factory works car for the 1928 Targa Florio.
Bugatti’s two-liter, eight-cylinder Type 35C is one of the finest racing cars of its period and largely viewed to be one of the most enduring designs of all time.
Driven by its first private owner, Jannine Jennky to an overall win at the inaugural Coupe de Bourgogne, and later, this Type 35C raced in Grand Prix events throughout Europe. This Bugatti has been carefully preserved in unrestored condition, with just four owners since 1932.
1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV Speciale
The Lamborghini Miura P400 SV Speciale set a new model record when it sold for $4,265,310 at the Gooding London 2020 sale. This was nearly double previous prices paid for a Miura.
The Miura was one of only 150 P400 SV versions built. It was made to special order for the devoted customer and French industrialist Jacques Dembiermont with specific mechanical requirements for his engine – the experimental dry sump lubrication and a ZF limited-slip differential.
Following notable owners from around Europe, this special 1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV Speciale was sold to its current owner who had it carefully restored by two leading Italian Lamborghini experts, Carrozzeria Autosport and Top Motors.
1955 Aston Martin DB3S
The rare 1955 Aston Martin DB3S/102 sold for $4,004,630. It was ordered new by the Kangaroo Stable, an Australian racing team led by David McKay and Tony Gaze. As the team’s lead car, chassis 102 raced around the world at various competitions up until 1960. More notably, this DBS3 set a new Australian Land Speed Record in 1957, averaging 143.19 mph.
This beautiful Aston Martin competition car has been painstakingly restored, successfully campaigned in numerous historic events, and is accompanied by its original engine.
Gooding sold a 1955 Aston Martin DB3S for $5.5 million at Pebble Beach in 2014.
1935 Aston Martin Ulster
The 1935 Aston Martin Ulster, one of 21 Ulster customer cars produced, sold for $2,105,390.
Delivered new to Prince Bira and Chula of Siam, the Ulster was added to the royal’s legendary White Mouse Stable, where it competed in the 1935 Tourist Trophy.
This Ulster hails from well-documented provenance with just two private owners since 1949. It has been authentically restored by Ecurie Bertelli and is offered with an extensive history file, as well as its original engine and scuttle bodywork.
Two Ulsters sold for just over $2 million in 2017 but a Works racer achieved $4.4 million at Bonhams Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2015.
1924 Vauxhall 30-98 OE-Type Wensum
The 1924 Vauxhall 30-98 OE-Type Wensum (Estimate: £800,000 – £1,200,000) sold for a sensational $1,658,510 to set a new marque record. It is one of approximately 12 examples supplied with ultra-sporting Wensum coachwork. Formerly owned by well-known collectors Jack Broadhead and Reg Parker, this Vauxhall 30-98 OE-Type is one of the finest surviving examples of the legendary marque.
The 30-98 was recognized at the time to be one of England’s finest high-performance car and in 1922 the original E-Type 30-98 was updated and renamed OE-Type.
1919 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost Alpine Eagle Tourer
This 1919 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost Alpine Eagle Tourer (Estimate: £1,000,000 – £1,400,000), chassis 24LW, sold for $1,360,590. It is a premier example of the in-demand Alpine Eagle and was delivered new to a prominent Uruguayan politician, winemaker, and ambassador to the Holy See in the Vatican.
24LW is specially equipped with an optional short-throw gearbox, D-type steering rake, nickel fittings, and French chassis plate.
Major Online Classic Car Auctions in 2020
Some of the major classic car online-only sales by major auctioneers in 2020 include:
- May: RM Sotheby’s Driving into Summer – Results
- June: RM Sotheby’s European – Results
- July: RM Sotheby’s Open Roads: European & North American
- RM Sotheby’s Shift/Monterey
- Bonhams California Streamin — Results
- Gooding Geared Online — Results
- September: Gooding London — Results, Bonhams Brussels Sale, RM Sotheby’s Auburn Fall (Sales from September onwards may be traditional auctions if conditions allow.)
- October: Gooding (Geared Online)