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Historically significant Bugatti tops £1 million at Bonhams’ Greenwich Concours sale

The Type 57 was the first new model created under the direction of Jean Bugatti in 1934. It showcased many new features and gorgeous flowing coachwork. The 1938 57C on offer had complete history from new, having been researched by marque authority Pierre-Yves Laugier; it was owned for more than 40 years by US Bugatti collector Miles Coverdale. It sold for just over £1 million.

The Bugatti was one of 95 classic cars on offer at Bonhams’ Greenwich Concours D’Elegance auction in Connecticut, USA, on 31 May. Cars from the estate of another well-known US collector, Geoffrey Howard, are also in the sale, including a rare 1935 SS 90 roadster. It was number 10 of only 23 such models built by the Swallow Sidecar and Coachbuilding Company, in Liverpool, UK, the company run by William Walmsley and William Lyons that’s credited with helping to shape future Jaguar models. Although in need of restoration, it’s sold for just over £140,000.

Other high achievers included a 1964 Lancia Flavia convertible. Sold by the Italian Vintage Car Collection, it had been treated to a £60,000 restoration a couple of years ago. It sold for £43,000, more than £13,000 above estimate.

A 1975 Porsche 911S Targa also sold for just over £43,000. A two-owner car with full history, it had covered only 31,000 miles.

In contrast a 1960s American icon - the last Checker Cab to have been in active service in New York City – went for just £5,000, making it the cheapest car of the sale. Preserved in 'as retired' condition, the cab was said to have transported many celebrity passengers including Jacqueline Onassis, Muhammad Ali and Walter Cronkite.

More on this…

  • Full Bonhams Greenwich sale results – see all the prices achieved
  • Bugatti values – price trends for all models

By Claire Evans

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