The timeless luxury, design and performance of Bugatti’s past creations has once again received expert endorsement, as the marque sets yet more auction records and receives yet more awards at the most prestigious automotive gathering in the world.
Celebrating its 70th anniversary, Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance has long been a showcase for Bugatti’s engineering excellence, stretching back to 1956 when the 1930 Bugatti Type 37 Grand Prix secured the marque’s first outright win with a ‘Best of Show’ accolade.
In 2021, Bugatti’s trophy cabinet welcomed further prizes, collecting two highly prestigious awards, granted by world-leading experts. Moreover, two auction records for individual Bugatti models were set at the Gooding & Company and RM Sotheby’s Pebble Beach 2021 classic car auction.
The renowned ‘Chairman’s Trophy’ is granted each year to a Concours d’Elegance entrant personally selected by long-standing chairwoman, Sandra Button. This esteemed award is granted only to the most deserving winner, which this year was the iconic Bugatti Type 35 B Grand Prix from 1929.
The Type 35 B Grand Prix is globally recognized as one of the most successful racing cars of all time. An engineering marvel of its era, the Type 35 dominated races throughout the 1920s and 1930s, with this particular example – Chassis 4938 – winning the 1929 French and Spanish Grand Prix at the hands of racing legends Louis Chiron and William Grover-Williams.
With the automobile’s outstanding provenance and status as an icon of early Grand Prix racing, this Type 35 B was offered at the Gooding & Company Pebble Beach 2021 classic car auction and set a new record sale price for the model at $5,615,000, significantly exceeding the estimated auction value.
Fast-forward 65 years from 1929, and a pristine 1994 example of the Bugatti EB110 Super Sport also set a new model record at this year’s RM Sotheby’s Monterey auction. As the definitive super sports car of the 1990s, just 39 examples of the EB110 Super Sport were ever produced, making this 610PS, 351 km/h titan an ultra-rare offering. As the first super sports car with carbon fiber bodywork, all-wheel drive and quad-turbochargers, this specific example set the new model record at $2,755,000.
Joining the Type 35 B Grand Prix as a 2021 Concours d’Elegance award winner was the magnificently presented 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Corsica Drophead Coupé, which secured the top prize in the ‘European Classic Sports’ J-1 class. Jean Bugatti’s iconic Type 57 design was further advanced with the arrival of the Type 57S in 1934, featuring a re-engineered and sportier chassis powered by a re-tuned 3.3-liter inline eight-cylinder engine, resulting in a 40hp increase in output to 175hp.
The model was key to solidifying Bugatti’s prominence as the definitive luxury and performance automobile manufacturer of the period, as the Type 57S was able to reach a top speed of 120mph – the fastest French production car of the time. Proving itself on track, Type 57S derivatives would secure three Grand Prix victories alongside the overall 24 Hours of Le Mans victory in 1937 and 1939.