Sold for $2,970,000 at 2014 Gooding & Company : Pebble Beach Concours.
Chassis #: 4863
The Bugatti Type 35 was unveiled at the Grand Prix of Lyon in August 1924. It was given a roller-bearing overhead-cam engine and was capable of producing nearly 100 horsepower, a very impressive figure for a normally aspirated two-liter machine in the mid-1920s. The engine was installed into an extremely light chassis and featured the company's revolutionary hollow front axle and cast-aluminum wheels, with integrated drum brakes.
The Type 35 was very successful in racing, dominating the scene from the late 1920s to the early 1930s, with over 1,000 wins in a variety of competitions throughout Europe. Doing the math, this gave the Type 35 an average 14 race wins per week and, by the close of 1926, it had established 47 individual speed records. In 1926, it won the Grand Prix World Championship, won the Monaco Grand Prix three times, and the Targa Florio five times.
This Type 35 Grand Prix wears chassis number 4863. It was constructed in December 1926 and fitted with engine number 111. On July 2, 1927, 4863 was invoiced to Marco Andriesse of Amsterdam and then driven from Molsheim to Paris, where it was delivered to its first owner.
C.J. 'John' van Hulzen was the second owner of the Bugatti, taking delivery from Dutch Bugatti agent Herman Stam. On March 30, 1929, van Hulzen, having by then moved to Molsheim, registered 4863 in Strasbourg with number '2048 NV.' His first recorded outing in 4863 was an 11 km sprint between Toul and Nancy in July 1929, in which he finished 3rd. From there, he campaigned the Type 35 in the first Dieppe Grand Prix where he finished in 6th place after having a recorded average speed of 61.69 mph. Van Hulzen's third and last recorded race in 4863 took place at the Doullens circuit.
After the race, van Hulzen traded his two-year-old Type 35 for an ex-works Type 35B and 4863 returned to Molsheim from where it was sold, on March 29, 1930, to Helle Nice.
Mme. Nice drove 4863 in the Bugatti Grand Prix, held at Le Mans on June 1, 1930 where she finished in 3rd place. This would be her only outing with 4863 in 1930. Her first event in 1931 took place at the Marne Grand Prix, a 50-lap race held at the fast Reims road circuit. There, she finished last, a full six laps behind winner Marcel Lehoux, who averaged 88.97 mph in his brand-new Type 51. In July, she raced 4863 at the four-hour Dieppe Grand Prix and placed 7th. In her last two races with 4863 – the Comminges Grand Prix and the Monza Grand Prix – she achieved back-to-back 9th place results.
From that point in history, little is known about 4863 until London Bugatti dealer Jack Lemon Burton imported it into England from Holland in 1937 or 1938. On February 3, 1938, the Type 35 was sold by Burton to Tom S. Grimshaw of Yeadon, England. By this point, the car had been given a supercharger and was described as a Type 35C.
Grimshaw continued 4863's racing pedigree at a number of local events throughout 1938, winning on three occasions. In early 1939, he sold the Bugatti to R.S. Shapley, who continued to race it until the outbreak of World War II.
In 1941, London dealer Jack Lawrence purchased 4863 and by 1944 it had passed to W.B. Hindes. After the War, E.V. Buck purchased the Bugatti and raced it once at Shelsley Walsh before selling it to Jack Perkins. During Mr. Perkins' ownership, the car was finished in a gray-green color and registered for the road as 'HUE 939.' Perkins competed with 4863 four times at Shelsley Walsh – twice in 1950, once in 1952, and once in 1956.
In 1974, the Bugatti was purchased by T.A. 'Bob' Roberts. During his ownership, the Type 35 was entrusted to Crosthwaite and Gardiner, who performed a comprehensive restoration over a period of four years. During the rebuild, the original crankshaft was replaced with a 100 mm-stroke crankshaft; thus, 4863 effectively became a Type 35B.
Ben Rose purchased 4863 in 1982 and remained with him for 15 years. During that time, it played a starring role in the film Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
In April 1997, Ben Rose consigned his collection to Christie's Tarrytown Auction. 4863 was the cover car and featured lot of the sale. It was sold to collector Oscar Davis of Elizabeth, New Jersey. In 2001, Brian Brunkhorst of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, purchased 4863 from Mr. Davis and actively campaigned the Bugatti throughout several seasons of vintage racing.
The current owner had the car treated to a comprehensive mechanical restoration.By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2014