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1934 Bugatti Type 50 Drop Head Coupe

The Type 50 was a breakthrough car for Bugatti-a luxury sporting model. It was designed on a short wheelbase Type 46 chassis and given an upgraded Type 46 engine. This 4.9-liter straight-8 was the first Bugatti engine with twin overhead camshafts, and it boasted a supercharger. It could produce 200 bhp, delivering speeds of over 115 mph, and was considered dangerous in unsophisticated hands. Between 1930 and 1934, 67 of these luxury cars were built. The coachwork on this car was by the small firm of Brainsby-Woollard in Peterborough, England, a company known for straightforward design.

The first owner of this car was J. Lemon Burton, who enjoyed it for several years. In 1940, it was imported to the United States. The chassis arrived accompanied by two bodies; one was the close-coupled convertible currently fitted to the car and the other was a lightweight touring body. The touring body later disappeared and the other was later sold to Bob Heller with whom it remained for the subsequent years.

The chassis remained detached from its bodies for many years until East Coast collector A.A. Garthwaite Jr. acquired it in 1947. He purchased the convertible coachwork from Mr. Heller for $250 and reunited it with the Type 50 chassis.

Dr. Peter Williamson purchased the car in the early 1970s and gave it to his father, Norris, as a birthday present. Mr. Williamson Sr. had the car restored and finished in Dartmouth green, as he was a graduate of Dartmouth. When he passed away, Peter and Susan Williamson assumed ownership.

The drop head body has recently been refinished in period Bugatti colors of Black and Yellow over a caramel leather interior. At the Pebble Beach Concours, this car received honors for its impression restoration, authenticity, dramatic styling and historical significance.

In 2010, this Bugatti Type 50 was offered for sale at Gooding & Company Auction held in Amelia Island, Florida. The car was estimated to sell for $1,250,000 - $1,500,000. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $1,100,000, inclusive of the buyer's premium.

2010 Gooding and Company : The Amelia Island Auction

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $1,250,000-USD $1,500,000 
Sale Price :
USD $1,100,000

Recent Sales of the Bugatti Type 50

(Data based on Model Year 1934 sales)
1934 Bugatti Type 50 Cabriolet
Sold for USD$1,100,000
  2010 Gooding and Company : The Amelia Island Auction
1934 Bugatti Type 50 image  1934 Bugatti Type 50 image  

Bugatti Type 50s That Failed To Sell At Auction

1934 Bugatti Type 50's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High

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1934 Bugatti Type 50

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1934 Bugatti Type 50 Vehicle Profiles

1934 Bugatti Type 50 vehicle information
Drop Head Coupe
Coachwork: Brainsby-Woollard
Chassis #: 50144
Engine #: 34