And now it's looking for a new owner to complete its restoration.
Bugatti as we know it today under the helm of VW Group is best known for producing some of the fastest hypercars in the world such as the Chiron and Veyron, but the marque has a long history dating back to 1909 when it was founded by Ettore Bugatti. Among Bugatti's most iconic models produced between 1909 include the Type 35 and Type 57C Atlantic, which inspired design elements of the Bolide track concept. Opportunities to own an original pre-war Bugatti don't happen very often, but this 1937 Bugatti Type 57S is looking for a new owner.
For the first time ever, the historic Bugatti will be sold at an upcoming auction in London next month. One of only 42 ever produced, this Type 57S has been rediscovered after being kept in storage for over 50 years.
Its first owner, Robert Ropner, a member of the Ropner Shipping Line family, ordered the custom-built four-seater sports car with a Grand Routier body designed by the coachbuilder Corsica of London. Thanks to a powerful 3.3-liter, the 57S was the fastest road car of its day and regarded as a Grand Prix car for the road during Bugatti's golden era of racing in the 1930s. Fittingly, its second owner was Rodney Clarke, founder of the post war British Connaught Grand Prix racing team.
What also makes this car so special is that the chassis is based on one of only three lightweight frames produced for the Bugatti works Type 57G Tank racer that won the 1936 Grand Prix. In 1969, engineer Bill Turnbull bought the Type 57S and began a full restoration at his workshop, where the car remained for over 50 years. The restoration was nearly complete at the time of his death, so it will be up to the car's next owner to finish the project and restore the car back to its glory as Turnbull intended.
Considering its age, the Type 57S is in remarkable condition, with its "largely intact" black paint, cream leather interior, and original coachwork.
"This really is an extraordinary example of one of the most valuable and desirable pre-war motor cars. Other 57S Bugattis are in museums or known collections, and to offer the car to the open market for the first time since 1969 is going to be tremendous," said Sholto Gilbertson, Director, Bonhams Motor Cars UK. "This could well be the last 'hidden' pre-war Bugatti of note and we are delighted to present this rediscovered true legend of the road next year at New Bond Street."
The Bugatti Type 57S will be sold at the upcoming Legends of the Road Sale in London on February 19, where's it's expected to fetch between £5,000,000 ($6.7 million) and £7,000,000 ($9.4 million). Yes, that's considerably more than a brand-new Bugatti Chiron.