Rare Bugatti Discovered In British Garage – 1/2/2009

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When it comes to collectors, it amazes me how much money one will spend on a particular item. While I understand it generates an awesome feeling knowing that a person possesses something no one else has in the entire world, or being one of the very few that does; nevertheless, it must be nice to have a lot of cash available to pay what some of these items are worth. Take for example what someone actually spent on a vehicle that was originally made over 70 years prior. Media outlets reported on January 2nd, 2009 that a rare un-restored Bugatti Type 57S Atalante Coupe 1937 was discovered, in all places, a British doctor’s garage. The car made its’ way a month later to a Paris auction where, on February 7th, sold for roughly $4.4 million.

This was one of only 17 57S Atalante coupes ever built by Bugatti and this black two-seater vehicle was in the possession of an orthopedic surgeon-Englishman by the name of Harold Carr starting in 1955. Interestingly, when Carr passed away in 2007, it had been noted that the surgeon had the antique car stored in his garage going all the way back to the early 1960s; Carr hadn’t driven the vehicle in fifty years. The vehicle was originally owned by the 5th Earl Howe, Francis Richard Henry Penn Curzon, and was constructed in May of 1937. Francis was previously a victor of the 24 Hour Le Mans race as well as the British Racing Drivers’ Club’s first president.

When the 57S Atalante Coupe was first constructed, it was capable of achieving speeds that was faster than 120 miles per hour; during this era of time, the average vehicle was unable to reach speeds excessive of 50 miles per hour. Many individuals must have wondering why someone would build a car that could travel over double the legal speed limit. Some may have even suggested that the only two types of individuals who would purchase such a vehicle would be someone in law enforcement or a person trying to keep away from the police. Other notable mentions was its’ featured pig-skin upholstery, its’ low-slung frame and V-shaped radiator. Carr’s automobile was reported to have an odometer reading of 26,284 miles as well as being in good condition by the time the auction started.

The Italian-born Ettore Bugatti (1881-1947) established in 1909 the Bugatti car company in present-day Molsheim, France and gained a reputation for building high-priced racing and cutting-edge sports cars. The company produced less than 8,000 automobiles from the time it was created until the 1940s. The company ended up in decline and ownership several times changed hands after Bugatti passed away in 1947. This continued for over fifty years until Volkswagen purchased the rights in 1998 to construct vehicles under the name of Bugatti. The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport was introduced by the company in 2009 and this convertible sports car carried a price tag of over $2 million as well as being capable of reaching speeds of roughly 253 miles per hour; the Veyron was able to achieve 60 miles per hour in less than 2.5 seconds.

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