1929 BUGATTI 40
‘Bugattis encapsulate concepts of engineering which, once seen, change your ideas radically and definitively. Drive them, and you realize that each car is form and engineering in equilibrium, and a work of art.’ William Stobbs, Les Grandes Routières.
By the early 1930s Ettore Bugatti had established an unrivaled reputation for building cars with outstanding performance on road or track.
The world’s greatest racing drivers enjoying countless successes aboard the Molsheim factory’s products and often choosing them for their everyday transport.
Introduced in 1926, the Type 40 Bugatti succeeded the Brescia types, being built on a longer wheelbase and equipped with a more powerful engine.
Virtually identical to that used in the Type 37 Grand Prix car, the latter was a four-cylinder unit displacing 1,496cc.
Renowned for durability and dependability as much as for agility and verve, a total of 775 Type 40s had been made when production ceased in May 1931 with a further 32 Type 40As completed by the end of that year. Many cars did receive custom coachwork.
It is estimated that fewer then 200 survive today.
ABOUT THIS SPECIFIC EXAMPLE
This Bugatti is a rare example of the sporting and beautifully proportioned Grand Sport, Bugatti’s clever ‘crossover’ factory body that echoed the lines of their hugely successful Grand Prix cars but provided a more commodious four-seater cabin.
This fabulous Bugatti was produced in March 1929 and it received a usine Grand Sport body.
It was ordered via the Bugatti agent Joly in Tunis by the agent Henri Sagnier in Algiers on 14 May 1929 and delivered the next day 15 May 1929.
The first owner was a Mr. Ferrari in Algiers and the car had its maiden drive on 15 May to Marseille and from there to Algiers.
The car came back to France in 1932.
The line of owners that follow is well traced and known.
It was owned by Prince Gustave de Croÿ in Brussels in 1973.
He kept the car in his castle Chateaux De Drée in Curbigny in Saône-et-Loire in France. S.A.S Gustave de Croÿ, Prince de Croÿ Roeulx and Solre, was born in Roeulx 21 August 1911.
Wonderful old pictures of the car in his castles are in the history file of the car.
The Bugatti remained in France until 1997.
It was sold at the Important Collectors Vehicles and Automobile sale by Sotheby’s on 24 November 1997 in London and later sold through the Bugatti specialist French dealer Bruno Vendiesse to an Italian collector in Milan.
The new owner had the car restored.
In 2016 it passed in Italy into the hands of an even more meticulous owner than the previous enthusiast, who performed various complementary works for the Bugatti and rebuilding the engine in 2020 making a huge upgrade in the power of the Bugatti.
Following acquisition, a Bugatti specialist and a Prewar specialist have also undertaken a full suspension overhaul with all new bushes, bearings and shock absorbers, a complete brake refurbishment; a comprehensive rebuild of the (original) transmission with new bearings, synchros and shifting sleeves as required; fitting a new battery, tyres, and starter motor.
This rare Bugatti is in generally excellent technical condition. No costs are spared for the preparation of this car.
Since 2016 it has been used on a regular basis and successfully participated in the 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 Mille Miglia with a 21st place overall as best result, on a total of more then 400 participants.
It was also 4 times winner of Coppa delle Dame in 2020-2021-2022 and 2023.
Is important to notice that all the Mille Miglia editions were finished without any mechanical problem!
The car was extensively prepared for the Mille Miglia to achieve mechanical perfection yet leave the exterior unchanged, thereby preserving the well worn patina.
Due to the purchase of another 1.75 co-efficient car, the Bugatti is now waiting for a new owner who will continue the unique history of this car.
In the former owner’s custody, the car has been fully and very professionally prepared in Italy with a view to making the car as competitive and reliable as possible.
The body of the Bugatti is absolutely amazing, it has a wonderful shape and lining and is in a beautiful condition.
After every event the car has been fully inspected, checked and detailed where needed.
It is possible to find a minor scratch or stone chip but this belongs to a car with a serious Mille Miglia history.
The paint is nice and the nice details of the several original Mille Miglia race number is off-course amazing.
The beautiful interior features Black leather seats.
The seats, dash, floor, and rear shelf upholstery are all in a beautiful condition with a beautiful very light patina.
The car is complete with a tonneau cover.
In 2020, the 4 cylinder engine, has been rebuild by a well-known Italian engine specialist, to increase the power slightly to be even more fast in the current editions of the Mille Miglia.
The engine bay and underside both have the look of a well sorted and fully developed racing car.
“The Type 40 is, above all, thoroughly roadworthy, and this surely is the greatest recommendation of all. One can swing round a bend or stamp on the brake pedal on a greasy stretch of road without experiencing the slightest qualm. Comfortable at low speeds, the springing becomes positively luxurious at a mile a minute or over; indeed, it is one of the best-sprung cars of its type which we have yet driven, and there is no need, for instance, to vary the shock absorber adjustment even for wisely different conditions, such as low speeds in town and an all-out lap on Brooklands track” (The Motor, 10th December 1929).
Bugatti, one of the most evocative names in the history of motor sport .
The Bugatti is a beautiful appearance. The response on the car from people on the street is fantastic. It seems that everybody loves the car, young and old.
The car runs and drives extremely well. It starts easily and operates as it should. The brakes works well, the transmission shifts properly and the chassis and steering are communicative.
Bugattis are extremely difficult to find, especially original examples and such good driving condition as this one.
The car is driving extremely well. The handling is just perfect and the car is rather fast.
We have driven a few rallies in this car ourselves and enjoyed the experience immensely.
This car is a very unique and rare appearance. It has a beautiful history since new and an amazing Mille Miglia story.
Included in the history file are amongst other papers: