First Bugatti Type 55 sports car on docket for Gooding’s Scottsdale auction

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2023
First Bugatti Type 55 sports car on docket for Gooding's Scottsdale auction
Bugatti introduced its first Type 55 roadster at the 1931 Paris Auto Show | Mathieu Heurtault/Gooding

The first Bugatti Type 55 roadster, a Pebble Beach Concours class winner, will highlight Gooding & Company’s Scottsdale auction on January 19 and 20 during Arizona Classic Car Week.

The roadster, one of just 38 Type 55s ever produced, debuted at the Paris Auto Show of 1931. Built on the same chassis as the Type 45 and 47 grand prix race cars, the Type 55 is powered by a supercharged straight-8 engine that produces 130 horsepower. Fully restored, this car retains its original chassis and numbers-matching engine.

“Jean Bugatti developed the sensational Type 55 Roadster as a world-class sports car to appeal to Bugatti’s most discerning clients,” according to the Gooding catalog description.

This rare piece of Bugatti history is valued at $4 million to $5 million.

Other “blue chip” European sports cars offered by Gooding in Scottsdale include:

First Bugatti Type 55 sports car on docket for Gooding's Scottsdale auction
Brian Henniker/Gooding photo

1967 Ferrari 330 GTS – Designed by Pininfarina, the convertible is one of just 99 produced. This numbers-matching example has been restored in black with a green-leather interior, and comes with a tool roll, owner’s manual and Marcel Massini history report.

The V12-powered GT is valued between $2 million and $2.4 million.

First Bugatti Type 55 sports car on docket for Gooding's Scottsdale auction
Brian Henniker/Gooding photo

1963 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL roadster – The elegant and beautifully restored roadster is one of the final ones built, benefitting from years of development to include four-wheel disc brakes and an alloy-block engine, among other improvements. Just 1,858 of the 300 SL roadsters were produced, starting in 1957.

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In light gray with black hard and soft tops, the roadster is valued at $1.6 million to $1.8 million.

First Bugatti Type 55 sports car on docket for Gooding's Scottsdale auction
James Lipman/Gooding

1953 Ferrari 212 Europa coupe – This 212 is one of only 17 Europas built with coachwork by Pinin Farina, which went on to style many Ferraris (later combining its name into Pininfarina). The V12 coupe has been completely restored and not shown since its rebirth, allowing the next owner to introduce it at a concours display.

An early Ferrari, it is valued between $900,000 and $1.3 million.

First Bugatti Type 55 sports car on docket for Gooding's Scottsdale auction
James Lipman /Gooding photo

1959 Aston Martin DB Mk III drophead coupe – This handsome Aston is one of just 14 DB Mk III drophead coupes (or convertible, in U.S. parlance) with left-hand drive, and it is powered by the optional high-performance, triple-carbureted, OHC inline-six engine.

Restored in Elusive Blue with a light-gray interior, the Aston Martin is valued from $650,000 to $750,000.

The two-day Gooding auction will be held at Scottsdale Fashion Square. For more information, visit the auction website.

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Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

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