Bonhams Legends of the Road

Rare Bugatti Sells for over £4 Million at Bonhams Legends of the Road Sale

Bonhams Legends of the Road Sale delivered a 100% sell-through rate for the six rare collector cars on offer. The sale collected over £7 million, with the standout sale being a rare 1937 Bugatti Type 57S, which sold for £4,047,000 in the live and online auction.

“Today’s sale shows that exceptional examples of rare and pedigree collectors’ motor cars are attracting strong interest and bids from passionate collectors and enthusiasts. 

James Knight, Bonhams Group Motoring Chairman

The sale prices for the cars on offer at Bonhams Legends of the Road Sale are as follows:

VehicleSale Price
1937 Bugatti Type 57 Surbaisse 3.3-Litre Four-Seat Sports Grand Routier ‘Dulcie’£ 4,047,000
1960 Aston Martin DB4GT Coupé£1,975,000
1965 Ferrari 275 GTSSold by mutual agreement in advance of the sale for an undisclosed sum
1934 Frazer Nash TT Replica£253,000
1955 Jaguar XK140 3.8-litre Roadster£92,000
1913 Panhard et Levassor 2.2-litre 12hp X19£32,200

Here’s a look at the 6 cars that sold at the Bonhams Legends of the Road Sale:

1. 1937 Bugatti Type 57 Surbaisse 3.3-Litre Four-Seat Sports Grand Routier ‘Dulcie’

Sold for £4,047,000

The Bugatti Type 57S was the fastest road car of its time and one of only 42 units produced at the Molsheim factory. 

1937 Bugatti Type 57 Surbaisse
b&W 1937 Bugatti Type 57 Surbaisse
back of 1937 Bugatti Type 57 Surbaisse

They were equipped with an unsupercharged 3.3-liter, twin-overhead-camshaft straight-8-cylinder engine with magneto ignition and dry-sump lubrication.

Using a two-plate clutch and a 4-speed manual gearbox, the power unit is driven to the live rear axle, mounted on the forward ends of two reversed quarter-elliptic leaf springs. 

Bonhams Legends of the Road
1937 Bugatti Type 57 Surbaisse

Instead of being slung beneath, the reversed quarter-elliptic leaf springs passed through two large apertures in the deep-section chassis side, a feature unique to the model.

The design considerably lowered the car and its center of gravity height, improving its road-holding compared to the longer, taller, and heavier standard Type 57.

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The ‘S’ in ‘57S’ is widely accepted to mean ‘surbaissé,’ which is the French word for ‘low’ or ‘lowered’ although the alternative word ‘Sport’ is also accepted.  

The vehicle sold was presented in an exceptional original condition, having been stored in its owners North Staffordshire workshop since 1969.

Bonhams Legends of the Road
engine of 1937 Bugatti Type 57 Surbaisse

Its body’s black paintwork has largely been kept intact along with its cream leather and original coachwork.

While the car was in the late owner’s possession it had been mechanically restored and rebuilt to his meticulous personal standards.

interior of 1937 Bugatti Type 57 Surbaisse

 2. 1960 Aston Martin DB4GT Coupé

Sold for £1,975,000

The Aston Martin DB4GT sold at auction, chassis 0113/R, was the second highest-selling car with an eight-way telephone bidding contest ultimately ending in a sale price of £1,975,000

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First owned by Syd Green, creator of the Gilby Engineering Grand Prix racing team, the DB4GT was acquired by its late owner in 1966, who experimented with its Grand Tourer abilities on various European road trips before commencing its restoration in 1983.

Aston Martin DB4GT

Since the example has been off the road since the 1980s, it was offered in a semi-restored and dismantled state.  

Chassis 0113/R has kept its original gearbox and engine block with visible correct numbers.

Aston Martin DB4GT

The DB4 engine ledger from the factory shows that engine 0113 as having block no. 433, with the numbers clearly seen on the rear elevation of the engine block.

In 2010, marque specialists Bodylines restored the chassis and body and returned its original Snow Shadow Grey finish.

Aston Martin DB4GT

The Northampton University Campus-based The Leather Conservation Center did restorative conservation of the original red-leather seats.   


3. 1965 Ferrari 275 GTS

The 1965 Ferrari 275 GTS, chassis 07171, is one of only 19 right-hand drive examples of the 200 luxury 275 GTS variants created. It was sold by mutual agreement in advance of the sale for an undisclosed amount.

Bonhams Legends of the Road
1965 Ferrari 275 GTS

In April 1972, the original engine 07171 was changed to 6345. The engine used was a 5.0-liter unit from a left-hand drive Ferrari Superfast ‘6345’ that had been written off.

Under the current stewardship, the Ferrari was restored and returned to its original spyder configuration. The work started around 2011 and it included installing a correct engine (07741) which was originally a USA-delivered 275 GTS. 

1965 Ferrari 275 GTS
interior of 1965 Ferrari 275 GTS

In 2015, NG Restorations worked on putting the headlights back to original specification, while ADR Performance Engineering did the engine rebuild.


4. 1934 Frazer Nash TT Replica

Sold for £253,000

The 1934 Frazer Nash TT Replica sold, chassis number 2109, had been in the care of its current owner for more than 55 years.

1934 Frazer Nash TT Replica
1934 Frazer Nash TT Replica
1934 Frazer Nash TT Replica

The example was delivered to Hugh Hunter, a famous  Brooklands competitor, on February 13, 1934.  The Autocar magazine featured the example on their March 23, 1934 edition described the automobile as having a striking appearance mainly due to its unusual color scheme “which is golden brown with cherry-red upholstery.”  

Bonhams Legends of the Road
1934 Frazer Nash TT Replica

The Autocar article also listed some of its great features including Scintilla Vertex magneto ignition, large Bosch headlamps and spotlights, a Burgess silencer, Elektron cooling ribs to the brake drums, an additional (emergency) hand-operated fuel feed system, and adjustable hydraulic shock absorbers at the rear.  

The automobile has been off the road for roughly 10 years, with marque specialists Blakeney Motorsport recommissioning the vehicle and fitting a replacement magneto.

1934 Frazer Nash TT Replica

5. 1955 Jaguar XK140 3.8-litre Roadster

Sold for £92,000

The 5th highest selling car was the 1955 Jaguar XK140, one of only 74 right-hand drive XK140 roadsters constructed.

Bonhams Legends of the Road
1955 Jaguar XK140 3.8-litre Roadster

The example is the 21st created with the purchase receipt on file show]ing that the current vendor’s father purchased it in 1969.

According to the old-style logbook issued in 1964, the Jaguar was previously registered as ‘OWK 662’ and eventually changed to ‘993 HYT.’

When it left the factory, it had a 3.4-liter engine and overdrive gearbox.

1955 Jaguar XK140 3.8-litre Roadster

The engine currently installed in the example is a 3.8-liter competition unit that Albert Betts, a legendary Jaguar saloon racer, previously used.

The engine’s interesting features include a modern distributor, straight-port cylinder head, and twin 2” SU HD8 carburetors on an early XJ6 manifold. 

It has been given many beneficial upgrades, including servo-assisted XK150 disc brakes all around, Getrag five-speed gearbox, twin exhausts, new wiring loom, Polybushed suspension, and up-rated road springs.

interior of 1955 Jaguar XK140 3.8-litre Roadster

Barton & Son of Luton retrimmed the Reutter bucket seats and interior, and it comes with a hood frame (but no hood) and tonneau cover.  

During the 2010/2011 rebuild, marque specialists CKL Developments were contracted for the project, and no expense was spared, as could be seen from the detailed bills that will come with the history files.

1955 Jaguar XK140 3.8-litre Roadster

Included in the sale was the rebuilt original 3.4-liter engine and the original inlet manifold and overdrive gearbox.


6. 1913 Panhard et Levassor 2.2-litre 12hp X19

Sold for £32,200

The 12hp Panhard et Levassor X19 with a UK registration number of ‘SV 6925’ was part of ‘The Bill Turnbull Collection’ along with the 1937 Bugatti 57S that was on offer. 

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The example is one of the last of the poppet valve Panhards and is a 1913 Model that is rated at 12 R.A.C. horsepower.

Aside from the fitting of electric lights, the model is in original condition. Therefore, the example is not one of the more famous Panhards from the earlier years, although it has kept many characteristics of a car made for racing during the period.

 The example is fitted with a four-cylinder engine with side valves, magneto ignition, and a fully automated carburetor patented by Panhard et Levassor.  

engine of 1913 Panhard et Levassor 2.2-litre 12hp X19

The engine peaks at 1,500 rpm with a normal cruising speed of 1,000 rpm. All parts of the example are in working order and are splash lubricated.

Despite the engine being lubricated by splash, the oil is circulated through a cooler and replenished automatically using a reservoir.

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instrument

A very advanced feature was that the clutch is completely enclosed and is placed with the engine and gearbox.


The next auction to be held by Bonhams will be its first fully digital sale, being the Les Grand Marques du Monde à Paris Sale on 3 to 10 March. 

[Source: Bonhams]