A 1938 Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet by Letourneur et Marchand was announced for the Gooding Geared Online classic car auction for early August 2020.
Gooding announced a green 1938 Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet with coachwork by Letourneur et Marchand, estimate $1,300,000 – $1,600,000, for the Geared Online classic car sale in early August 2020. The classic Bugatti had only two owners since 1945 and was a class winner at the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®. This classic Bugatti joins the previously announced trio of modern supercar Ferraris — 2003 Ferrari Enzo, 1995 Ferrari F50, and 1992 Ferrari F40 — in the Geared Online sale. The online-only auction will take place in early August with staggered bid closures rather than a live sale. Gooding’s annual premium Pebble Beach 2020 sale was canceled like most of the traditional mid-August Monterey Motoring week.
Gooding Geared Online Classic Car Auction 2020
Gooding & Company announced a new platform for auctions to be held exclusively through the company’s website and mobile bidding app. The inaugural event begins on August 3rd and ends August 7th, 2020, and will mark a new milestone for the auction house, which has seen success with online bidding during recent auction events. Gooding’s virtual auction series will complement the company’s annual live auction events and offer a selection of reserve and no reserve lots.
Gooding & Company plans to house all vehicles included in the online auction within one accessible setting, providing interested bidders with the unique ability for on-site inspections of each available lot.
With the Geared Online sale, Gooding seems to follow a similar auction format as RM Sotheby’s with the staggered closing of online bids over a few days, rather than Bonhams’ live auction format with online, phone, and commission bidding.
1938 Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet (Estimate: $1,300,000 – $1,600,000)
The Bugatti Type 57 was introduced in 1934 and is widely regarded as a masterpiece from the hands of Jean Bugatti. Recognized worldwide by classic car historians as a brilliant example of automotive artistry, the Type 57 Bugatti is admired by enthusiasts for its magnificent twin-cam inline eight-cylinder engine, sublime Art Deco styling, and exceptional attention to detail.
The 1938 Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet (Estimate: $1,300,000 – $1,600,000), chassis 57644, wears its original elegant Three-Position Cabriolet bodywork from Parisian coachbuilder Letourneur et Marchand finished in green with cream coves. This stately Bugatti was initially sold through the Paris concessionaire and then passed into the hands of a Dutch textile manufacturer following WWII. In 1949, the Bugatti was sold to Major Rudi van Daalen Wetters, whose family would retain the car for the next 66 years. It was not until 2015 that the Wetters family sold their beloved Bugatti to the current owner, a close family friend and pioneering collector of prewar French automobiles.
In the care of the current owner, chassis 57644 benefitted from a complete, concours-quality restoration overseen by esteemed Bugatti authority Scott Sargent of Sargent Metal Works in Vermont. This work saw the car returned to its original splendor, with the Cabriolet coachwork beautifully refinished in a dynamic two-tone green color scheme. Consequently, the experts at Leydon Restoration completely rebuilt the original engine and included the fitment of a Brineton Engineering supercharger, bringing the car up to full 57C specification.
Upon completion of its three-year restoration, the Type 57 entered the 2018 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® where it successfully won a class award and has since participated in several American Bugatti Club events across the US.
Bugatti Prices at Public Auctions
The most-expensive Bugatti ever sold at public auction in nominal terms was 1932 Bugatti Type 55 sold for $10,400,00 at the Gooding Pebble Beach 2016 sale. It was the only Bugatti result above $10 million ever although a few Type 57 SC and S cars came close. RM Sotheby’s sold a 1939 Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet by Letourneur et Marchand for just over a million at the Arizona 2017 sale. In recent years, a few Type 57s went for below a million-dollar, although those were not in Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® class winning condition. An elegant 1937 Bugatti Type 57C Ventoux is offered in the RM Sotheby’s Shift / Monterey sale with an estimate of $700,000 – $850,000);
This listing takes only nominal prices into account. If adjusted prices are used, the 1931 Bugatti Royale Kellner Coupe that Christie’s sold for $9.8 million in 1987 would be near $22 million in today’s money. If it comes up for auction now, it would probably fetch more than “just” $20 million. Similarly, the 1931 Bugatti Royale Berline de Voyage that Kruse sold for $6.5 million in 1986 would be around $15 million in current money.
The two most-expensive cars thus far sold at public auction in 2020 were both Bugatti Type 55 cars sold by Bonhams.
Monterey Motoring Week 2020
Most of the traditional Monterey Motoring Week events scheduled for mid-August 2020 were canceled. Gooding canceled the Pebble Beach 2020 Auction and replaced it with Geared, its first online-only auction ever. Bonhams Quail Lodge 2020 will be a live auction but behind closed doors (telephone, online, and commission bidding) while RM Sotheby’s plans a Shift/Monterey online-only auction.
Monterey 2020 Announcements
- Bonhams Quail California Streamin 2020 — 1959 Porsche 718 RSK
- Gooding Geared Online – Ferraris F40, F50 & Enzo
- Gooding Geared Online – Bugatti Type 57
- Gooding Geared Online — Gullwing and 911 Rally
- RM Sotheby’s Shift/Monterey — Early Highlights (500, F50, BMM M1)
- RM Sotheby’s Shift/Monterey – Competition Ferraris
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
- September: Bonhams Brussels Sale, RM Sotheby’s Auburn Fall (Sales from September onwards may be traditional auctions if conditions allow.)