Lot Number

1928 Bugatti Type 40 Roadster

Sold For €168,000

Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.

RM | Sotheby's - MONACO 14 MAY 2016 - The Count Agusta Collection

Chassis No.

Documents: Italian Libretto

  • Offered from the Count Agusta Collection
  • Charming and fascinating “boat tail” coachwork
  • Long-term ownership in its home region of Alsace
  • Documented by Bugatti historian Kees Jansen

46 bhp, 1,627 cc SOHC inline four-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, live front axle with semi-elliptical leaf spring suspension, live rear axle with inverted quarter-elliptical leaf spring suspension, and four-wheel cable-operated drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,710 mm

Introduced in May of 1926 as the successor to the famous “Brescia” Bugatti, the Type 40 boasted a 1,496-cubic centimetre engine that proved to be very reliable and strong, making it popular with Bugatti customers. Some 780 examples were built, and in the eight decades since, they have continued to hold their charm and appeal to sporting drivers the world over.

According to the records of Dutch Bugatti historian Kees Jansen, chassis number 40532 with engine number 516 was one of 67 Bugattis produced in August 1927. Interestingly, factory records indicate that the car was originally intended for Jamac Schurch, only to have that name crossed out and replaced by “IIIe prix G.P. Bugatti”, or “third prize Grand Prix Bugatti”, indicating that it was then intended as a gift to a particularly successful driver at the first Bugatti Grand Prix held at Le Mans in 1928. This is further borne out by the car not having a delivery date and not having been sold.

The Type 40 was subsequently registered in the department Haut Rhin in Alsace as 6181-PB2 on 5 April 1935, then, half a year later, in Bas Rhin as 2707-NV3 on 4 November 1935 for E. Horning of Strasbourg. After surviving World War II, it relocated back to Haut Rhin and was registered there in 1947 as 5024 PB 6 for an unknown owner. On 4 January 1952, it was sold to R. Pannetier of Colmar and registered as 404 AD 68.

Around 1964, the car received its present restoration by Manzardo & Zanette in Italy, with the bodywork revised into the present Roadster, with its distinctive “boat tail” with a polished wooden surface, and racing-style cut-down doors. In this form, the car was owned in 1973 by Bruno Smaniotto of Schio, Italy, prior to joining the distinguished collection of Count Corrado Agusta. It was subsequently inherited by his son, Count Riccardo “Rocky” Agusta, from whose illustrious ownership it is being made available today.

The Type 40 still carries the paint and upholstery from 1964, which have been cleaned and are well preserved for their age. The wooden dashboard and steering wheel are polished and in beautiful condition. Under the hood, the engine and chassis numbers have been removed from the engine, which is believed to be a replacement and re-stamped 40532, while the cambox is the original one, stamped 516. The lower crankcase has an internal number 77, and the frame is stamped number 537.

An attractive and interesting “driver’s Bugatti”, this charming little automobile would be ideal for various rallies and tours, benefitting from long-term history, attractive styling, and decades of care by one of Italy’s most renowned and respected motoring families.

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