In the enthralling world of classic car auctions, where fortunes are made and dreams come true, Santa Monica-based Gooding & Company has had an exceptional year, selling over $125 million worth of coveted retro rides.
Vintage Marvel: 86-Year-Old Bugatti Sets Record as the Most Expensive Car of 2020
Among the stellar collection, one car stood out, capturing the hearts of collectors and enthusiasts alike. An 86-year-old Bugatti, the iconic 1934 Bugatti Type 59 Sports, became the most expensive car sold in 2020, fetching an impressive $12,681,550 at the “Passion of a Lifetime” event held by Gooding & Co. in the UK.
With a rich history that dates back to the late 1920s, the Bugatti Type 59 Sports enjoyed a glorious track record in European Grand Prix races.
Notable achievements include a triumphant win at the prestigious Spa circuit in Belgium and a remarkable third-place podium finish at the revered Monaco race. Steeped in legend and power, this prewar grand prix car holds a special place in automotive history.
Having been embraced by royalty, this exceptional Bugatti was once owned by none other than King Leopold III of Belgium. Over the years, it gracefully passed through the hands of four collectors, each preserving its “time-warp” condition with utmost care.
Painted black after its racing days, the vintage vehicle boasts a striking supercharged 3.3-liter straight-eight engine, complemented by twin carburetors and a four-speed manual transmission. The car’s eye-catching features include piano-wire wheels and a charming single-seat roadster layout.
Gooding & Co.’s Precious Prewar Trove
The allure of prewar Bugattis proved irresistible to collectors and automotive enthusiasts alike. Apart from the record-breaking Bugatti Type 59, two other Bugatti models secured eight-figure yields for Gooding & Co. in the eventful year of 2020.
The list of top 10 most expensive lots auctioned by the prestigious auction house in 2020 includes an array of legendary automobiles:
1. 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante – $10,447,150
2. 1928 Bugatti Type 35C Grand Prix – $5,233,550
3. 1971 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV Speciale – $4,265,310
4. 1955 Aston Martin DB3S – $3,998,005
5. 1995 Ferrari F50 – $3,222,500
6. 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB Long Nose – $3,080,000
7. 1932 Hispano-Suiza J12 Dual Cowl Phaeton – $2,425,000
8. 1914 Rolls-Royce 40/50 HP Silver Ghost Torpédo Phaeton – $2,205,000
9. 1948 Tucker 48 – $2,040,000
The Symbol of Automotive Rarity
Each car on this coveted list stands as a testament to the unyielding passion of collectors who recognize the true value of automotive artistry and craftsmanship. These masterpieces from the past continue to captivate the hearts and imaginations of people around the globe.
As the sun sets on an eventful year in the world of classic car auctions, the 86-year-old Bugatti Type 59 Sports stands tall as the undeniable jewel of 2020. With its storied racing history, aristocratic connections, and timeless elegance, this vintage Bugatti serves as a symbol of the indomitable spirit of automotive greatness.
As enthusiasts look to the future, they eagerly await the next chapter in the legacy of classic cars and the captivating tales they hold.