Bugatti Type 54 ex Achille Varzi
1931 Monza: The Bugatti Type 54 of Achille Varzi refuels under the watchful eye of team principal Jean Bugatti (copyright P-Y Laugier)

Works Bugatti T54 Headlines Bonhams Paris 2013

An ex-works Bugatti Type 54 will headline the Bonhams Paris 2013 auction held 7th February during Retromobile week. Next year’s auction returns to the Grand Palais after a one-year stint at La Halle Freyssinet.

Already consigned for the 2013 Bonhams Paris auction is the ex-works Bugatti Type 54 that raced at Monza on 6th September 1931 in the hands of Achille Varzi. The IV Gran Premio Di Monza at the Autodromo di Monza was the first race for the 4.9-litre twin overhead cam, supercharged straight eight-cylinder Type 54s, which were the largest capacity Bugatti Grand Prix cars ever produced.

In the heats the 300hp cars – which were capable of a top speed of 150mph (240km/h) – dominated, with Achille Varzi finishing first and Louis Chiron second. However, despite challenging for the lead and setting what would prove to be the fastest lap of the race at an average speed of 102mph (164km/h), two burst tyres for Varzi in the final affected his chances of the overall win. He recovered to finish third.

The Type 54 will be in action again at the Goodwood Revival meeting in Chichester, UK, over the weekend of 13th to 15th September 2012 prior to its return to France in February. It carries a pre-sale estimate of €2.5 million to €3.5 million.

Another early consignment for the sale is a 4.4-litre four-cylinder 1911 Panhard-Levassor Type X14 25hp Tourer with seven-seater coachwork by Achille Vanvooren of Paris (estimate €200,000 – €300,000).

With its original grey paintwork and deep buttoned leather upholstery conserved by specialists, and offered with a complete set of original Panhard tools, the car’s history is preserved. It is also in good mechanical condition, its present owner having driven it many hundreds of miles during a 17-year tenure.

For the first time, in 2013 the Bonhams Motor Car, Motorcycle and Automobilia departments will combine with the 20th Century Decorative Arts and Wine departments to conduct a series of sales at the historic Grand Palais venue.

For further information, visit bonhams.com call +33 1 42 61 10 11.

[Source: Bonhams]