Sold for $440,000 at 2008 Gooding & Company
This 1932 Bugatti Type 46 sports Saloon (four-door) was given its coachwork by Freestone & Webb. The original owner was Victor Rothschild who took delivery in December of 1930. There are cast-aluminum wheels with integral brake drums and turbine blade cooling fan spokes. There are many interesting features to this car, such as the center-hinged doors, curved and flowing running boards, and low roof and windows.
Its ownership history includes Eric Giles, Gene Cesari, David B. Hancock, and D.F. Mallalieu. Hancokc acquired the car in December of 1959, who later sold it to Lew Gotthainer in Montclair, New Jersey. It was purchased by Dr. Peter and Susan Williamson in August of 1971. A restoration was begun and completed many years later, in the early 1980s. In 1994, a set of new alloy wheels were installed.
The car is finished in dark green with black fenders, black coachwork accents and a red coach line. There is a black covered padded roof and Saddle Brown leather interior. The Lucas King-of-the-Road headlamps have been replaced with a set of Marchal lights.
In 2008, this Type 46 Sports Saloon was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company Auction held in Pebble Beach, California. It was estimated to sell for $650,000 - $850,000 and offered without reserve. The lot was sold for $440,000, including buyer's premium.By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2009
The Bugatti Type 46 was produced from 1929 through 1936 with a total of 444 examples produced. The supercharged version, the Type 46S, was introduced a year later - in 1930. In total, there were only 18 examples of the Type 46S produced.
When Bugatti introduced the Type 46, they had an impressive lineage of vehicles in which they offered their clients. At the top of the pack was the legendary Bugatti Royale (Type 41), which was far beyond what most customers could ever afford. The Type 46 was to become Bugatti's luxurious flagship that was both large and comfortable. It included many of the design elements that could be traced back to the Royale.
The Type 46 Bugatti was fitted with a straight-eight engine, a three-speed gearbox, Rudge wire wheels, and cable operated brakes. The engine was fitted with a Smith-Bariquand Multi-Jet Carburetor, had single overhead camshafts, a 5359cc displacement size, and a deep one-piece cylinder block, which incorporated the main bearing supports and the Type 41's 130mm piston stroke.
The one-piece cylinder block and head was almost completely covered by a hand-scraped aluminum plate secured by rows of brightly polished fasteners with polished fittings and covers.
With its ultra-long stroke, the Type 46 had impressive low-speed performance, thus its need for only a three-speed gearbox, which was mounted in unit with the rear axle.
The car rode on a comfortable 137.8-inch wheelbase. The engine was rubber-mounted in the frame which aided in quiet operation. With 444 naturally aspirated Type 46 models sold and an additional 18 with superchargers, the Type 46 was a very successful commercial product for the Bugatti Company.
Bugatti had added their own coachworks facility in Molsheim in 1928, thus allowing them to provide their own coachwork. The upper-class clientele needing more were able to take the rolling chassis to the coachbuilder of their choice.
By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2009