2021 Gooding Pebble Beach Sale (Bugatti Type 35B Announced)

A 1929 Bugatti Type 35B Grand Prix raced by Louis Chiron is on sale at the Gooding Pebble Beach classic car auction during Monterey Car Week in mid-August 2021.

1929 Bugatti Type 35B Grand Prix on sale at Gooding Pebble Beach 2021 auction
© Gooding

A 1929 Bugatti Type 35B Grand Prix (Estimate: $3,500,000 – $4,500,000) is the latest star car announced for the Gooding Pebble Beach sale in mid-August 2021 in California, USA. This Type 35 had a successful in-period racing career including victories at the 1929 Grand Prix de l’ACF and Spanish Grand Prix. It was raced by amongst others the legendary Monegasque driver Louis Chiron.

Gooding Pebble Beach Sale 2021

Gooding & Company will hold its traditional Pebble Beach sale on 13 and 14 August 2021 at the Pebble Beach Parc du Concours during the annual Monterey Motoring Week in California, USA. It will be a traditional live auction.

In 2021, Gooding earned $107,045,410 at Pebble Beach selling 115 of 132 lots for a sell-through rate of 87% and an average price of $930,829 per lot.

After Monterey Week 2020 was canceled, Gooding earned $14,497,443 in the replacement Geared Online 2020 auction selling 55 of the 77 lots on offer for a sell-through rate of 71%. Five cars sold for more than a million dollar.

In comparison, at Pebble Beach in 2019, Gooding earned $76,824,740 with a sell-through rate of 77% – 108 of 140 lots offered — and 17 cars sold for over a million dollar each. This was already down on the  $116.5 million earned in 2018 and the record  $129.8 million earned in 2016 at the peak of the market.

1929 Bugatti Type 35B Grand Prix at Gooding Pebble Beach 2021

Considered by many to be among the finest racing cars of its period, and no doubt one of the most enduring automotive designs of all time, the Type 35 Grand Prix is the definitive Bugatti. Initially unveiled at the 1924 Grand Prix of Lyon, the Type 35 came equipped with an overhead-cam eight-cylinder engine and produced an impressive 95 hp. Its extremely lightweight chassis was emblematic of Bugatti’s revolutionary engineering, including a hollow front axle and cast-aluminum wheels with integrated brake drums, beneath a lightweight, two-place aluminum body. With 340 built, the Type 35 dominated racing in the late 1920s and early 1930s, resulting in a total of over 1,000 wins.

The 1929 Bugatti Type 35B Grand Prix, chassis 4938, (Estimate: $3,500,000 – $4,500,000) features the powerful 2.3-liter, eight-cylinder engine fitted with a Roots-type supercharger. As documented in historian Hugh Conway’s Grand Prix Bugatti, chassis 4938, was originally equipped with engine no. 192T, which it retains today. 4938 experienced a brief but brilliant racing career, winning the 1929 Grand Prix de l’ACF and Spanish Grand Prix, raced by the legendary Monegasque driver Louis Chiron and the notable English driver William Grover-Williams. This example continued to achieve praise for its incomparable excellence, and in 1951, it appeared on the cover of Road & Track magazine.

From 1952 to 2000, 4938 remained in the ownership of a single-family, during which time it underwent a restoration carried out to the gleaming concours standards in the late 1980s. It was proudly exhibited at Pebble Beach and the Meadow Brook Concours d’Elegance in 1989. After transferring into the hands of English collector Chris Drake, 4938 underwent yet another comprehensive, well-documented restoration that was completed by Bugatti specialist Tim Dutton in 2006. Chassis 4938 was returned to a more period-appropriate appearance while its mechanical elements were fully restored. Since being acquired by the current owner in 2006, this Type 35B has been a fixture in a museum of historic racing cars.

In preparation for this extremely remarkable sale, Bugatti historian Mark Morris produced a comprehensive report on 4938, which is included in the car’s file together with an earlier report by David Sewell. The report verifies that this example retains its original chassis frame, engine, supercharger, gearbox, rear axle, front axle, data tag, and much of its Molsheim Grand Prix bodywork. Unlike many Bugatti competition cars from the prewar era, chassis 4938 remains in fundamentally original order, surviving for over 90 years –– making it truly one of the most desirable automobiles of all time.

Bugatti Prices at Public Auction

1928 Bugatti Type 35C Grand Prix
© Gooding

Classic Bugattis had significant auction success in the last two years. The five most expensive cars sold in 2020 were all classic Bugattis while two of the ten most expensive cars thus far in 2021 were Bugattis.

Only three Bugattis have ever sold for over $10 million (nominal) and all three were at Gooding auctions. Two of the $10-miilion-plus cars were sold at the Gooding Passion of a Lifetime London 2020 auction, where the new marque record was set by the 1934 Bugatti Type 59 Sports at $12,681,550 (£9,535,000), and a new Type 35 model record was established by the 1928 Bugatti Type 35C Grand Prix that sold for $5,233,550.

Monterey Motoring Week 2021

Most of the traditional Monterey Motoring Week events returned in mid-August 2021 after the cancellations in 2020. Top classic car auctioneers with sales during Monterey Week 2021 included Gooding (Pebble Beach), Bonhams (Quail Lodge), RM Sotheby’s, and Mecum.

Monterey 2021 Auction Results:

Monterey 2021 Auction Announcements:

Previous Monterey Week Auction Results

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