1931 Bugatti Type 51 to star in Quail Lodge auction

A 1931 Bugatti Type 51 Grand Prix racing two seater is to sell at Bonhams.

The car will be offered in the August 21 Quail Lodge auction.

Bugatti Type 51
The 1931 Bugatti Type 51 can reach speeds up to 130mph

The Type 51 was introduced as an improvement on the marque's previous generation of racers and offered phenomenal performance.

This example has a fascinating past, having been raced by both Tazio Nuvolari and Lord Howe across the UK and Europe.

It was entered into the Monaco Grand Prix four times during the 1930s, most notably achieving fourth place in 1932.

Bonhams comments: "As ever with Bugatti, the aesthetics in every form compliment the incredible power of this American-inspired, Franco-Italian supercharged 2.3-litre twin-cam racecar.

"The result is a highly dynamic and potent sculpture of beauty capable of producing 160hp and a speed of 130mph.

"Never publicly offered for sale, in the present ownership for more than 30 years, unseen publicly for more than 20 years, and with just two owners since the 1950s, this Bugatti is one of the finest examples in existence."

Bonhams has not released an estimate for the car, but it's likely to achieve several million dollars.

Another 1931 Type 51 in similar condition was offered with an estimate of $4.5m at RM Sotheby's in 2010, although it failed to sell.

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