1932 Bugatti Type 49

Chassis Num: 49369
Engine Num: 217
Bugatti introduced the Type 49 in 1930 and this particular example, chassis number 49369, was produced in August of 1931 and fitted with engine number 263. It was given 'Conduit Interieur' coachwork by Ganglof of Colmar and then shipped to the Bugatti agent in Nantes, France (M. Mazureau). It was delivered by M. Mazureau to its first owner near the end of February of 1932. At some point the original engine was replaced by a factory spare engine, number 217, which is currently installed in the car.

The car wore its original body until at least 1955. Not long thereafter, the body was removed and replaced by a mid-1930s two-door four-passenger sedan body with coachwork by P. Marsaud et Cie. Around this time, the car came into the care of a Frenchman named Bouchier. Mr. Mouchier later sold it to its first United States owner, Steve Juillerat of New York. In 1973, it was sold to William Serri of Merchantville, New Jersey. Mr. Serri sold it to William H. Dyer Jones, only to be re-purchased by Mr. Serri several years later. In 1980, it was sold to its current long-term owner. Since then, the car has been given a restoration.

The P. Marsaud body has been removed (although still with the car) and has been fitted with a body built along the lines of the Murphy bodied roadsters of the 1930's. The original driveshaft has also been removed and put away. A Laycock over-drive unit plus a new driveshaft with modern unisveral joints has been installed.
By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2017
Coachwork: Henri Labourdette
Chassis Num: 49534
Engine Num: L423
Sold for $676,500 at 2017 Bonhams.
The Bugatti Type 49 was introduced at the Paris Salon in 1930 and was produced until 1934 with a total of 470 examples produced. It is believed that around 76 examples remain in existence. This would be the last of Ettore Bugatti's eight-cylinder, single-camshaft touring cars. The 3.3-liter model featured twin-plug ignition, an enlarged radiator, ball-change gearlever, and eventually cast aluminum wheels.

The Type 49 Bugatti's received quality coachwork from some of the finest and most distinguished coachbuilders of the era, as well as a variety of styles by the Molsheim factory.

This particular example wears coachwork by Labourdette. The Labourdette coachbuilder has a distinguished history that began as a carriage builder, eventually switching to horseless carriages. Their name was associated with quality and craftsmanship. Early in their career they clothed Panhard-Levassors, C.G.V.s, Delaunay-Bellevilles, and Mors motorcars, through the teen era Mercedes, Peugeot and Rolls-Royce joined that roster, then came Bugatti, Hispano-Suiza and the 40 horsepower Renaults. During the 1930s they produced coachwork for Delage and Talbot. Their list of individual clients was equally impressive.

Some of their finest creations were their wooden bodied 'Skiffs.' They pioneered lightness in the design for open cars, followed by light designs for the 'Vutotal' bodies in the 1930s. They registered numerous patented features and accessories from seating arrangements to lamps.

This Bugatti Avant grade Roadster has a sweeping tapered tail design with aerodynamic experiments that Labourdette were pioneering.

This example, which is believed to be unique, was ordered new through Parisian dealer Lamberjack in January of 1933. It is believed that it was commissioned for its first owner, Charles Drouilly at a cost of 15,000 French Francs. The car is a longer chassis variant which was necessary to accommodate the long coachwork. It is a two seater with a rumble/dickey seat with a sunken spare wheel behind this. It was given engine number L423, which is still installed in the engine bay. The eight-cylinder, 3257 cc unit is fitted with a single Schebler carburetor and offers 85 horsepower. There is a four-speed manual transmission and four-wheel drum brakes.

It is not known how long Mr. Drouilly would own the car. As early as 1946, the Roadster had re-surfaced in the care of Roger Teillac, who owned a prominent garage in Paris. Its owner around this time was a M. Rengnez. The next owner is believed to have been Francois Lecorche. By this point in history, its scuttle vents and side door had been covered up. Around the 1970s, the car migrated to dealer/enthusiast Jacques du Montant.

While in du Montant's care, the car was painted solid back from its previous yellow with black fenders. It left France for the first time in the early 1970s, and sent to the United Kingdom where it was photographed with two tone bodywork and painted side sweeps. From there it traveled to Japan and into the care of its next owner, residing with a Mr. Minuro Kawamoto for much of the next decade.

It arrived in the United States in 1983 passing through a dealer to Robert Marceca in New York. Just one further ownership occurred before the current custodian acquired the Bugatti in 1995.

During the past two decades, the Bugatti has been systematically refurbished. The work included an engine rebuild and trim work at Automotive Restorations in Stratford, paintwork by Blackhorse Garage in Bridgeport and the wiring and bodywork carried out by the Lefferts brothers' Vintage Auto Restorations in Ridgefield. The work was completed by the close of 2016.
By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2017
The Bugatti Type 49 was similar to the earlier Type 44 and produced from 1930 through 1934 with a total of 470 examples produced. This edition was the last of the early 8-cylinder Bugatti's which had begun with the Type 30. Parts, such as the gearbox, would later be re-used on the Type 55.
By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2008
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