Lot 3189

Gene Ponder Collection

1957 Bugatti Type 252 Recreation


$253,000 USD | Sold

United States | Marshall, Texas



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US Title
  • Faithful recreation of the one-off concept car that proved to be Bugatti’s final proposed model
  • Built on the frame of a 1952 Jaguar XK 120 and equipped with Coventry’s inline six-cylinder engine
  • Four-year build process completed in April 2022
  • Exquisitely rendered lightweight aluminum coachwork
  • Documented with build/restoration invoices
Please note that this lot is titled as a 1952 Jaguar.

A last-gasp effort that begs the question “what if?”, the Type 252 was the swansong of Bugatti’s original family ownership. Following Ettore Bugatti’s 1947 passing, the marque languished for several years before experiencing a brief period of prosperity during the 1950s, largely fueled by defense contracts. This set the stage for a final series of automotive projects that ultimately failed before the marque was acquired by Hispano-Suiza in 1963. Before this demise, however, Roland Bugatti commissioned one last sports car, the Type 252.

Clothed with beautiful roadster coachwork penned by Giovanni Michelotti, the one-off 252 was never approved for production. While the original car currently resides in a museum in France, a small number of convincing recreations have been built over the years, including this impressive example.

In February 2018, Mr. Ponder acquired a bare rolling Jaguar XK frame fitted with an XK engine, with the dream of recreating an automotive unicorn. As reflected by invoices on file totaling over $238,000, he began sourcing Jaguar parts to overhaul the mechanical components. In November 2019 the frame was submitted to Red Car Restorations of Rockwall, Texas for complete setup of the chassis, including construction of the bumpers and wheels, installation of the instruments and wiring, and repairs to the Weber carburetors and radiator.

ADC Enterprises of Ferris, Texas was commissioned to create a CAD-designed body buck, over which aluminum panels were shaped and smoothed. New steel tubing was rendered to build a complete cockpit frame, with front and rear end sections. ADC also fabricated door frames, bumpers, and a grille, and installed the windscreen and dashboard. Finally, Foster Vintage of Northlake, Texas administered a full cosmetic finish of the frame and painted the aluminum coachwork in a striking hue of French blue, with the blue leather interior provided by Marshall Custom Upholstery of Marshall, Texas.

Fresh from completion of the four-year build, this beautifully executed recreation answers the question of Type 252 ownership, offering a chance to acquire an expression of the last drop of the legendary Pur Sang.