Marvel at the beauty of this classic Bugatti Grand Raid roadster...

 

Beautiful, isn't it? It will be appearing for sale in Monterey between August 19-20.

And, in addition to its aesthetic beauty, this car is super-rare: one of only 10 Bugatti Grand Raid roadsters built, and one of just two examples bodied by Carrosserie Worblaufen in Switzerland.  

The Grand Raid was originally specially commissioned by the flamboyant Swiss collector, Mr. Jules Aellen.

Bugatti pulled out the stops and had this car, 57260, ready just in time for Aellen and his wife to show it off at the second Concours d'Elegance at Lake Geneva, in Spring 1935. 


Born and raised in Switzerland: the Bugatti Grand Raid roadster


There, the car duly won the Grand Prix d'Honneur.

After Aellen's ownership, RM says that the car remained in Switzerland - in Geneva, no less, where its elegant curves would have been the perfect accoutrement to the canton's fine wristwatches. 

There it stayed until the 1950s, before being moved to France until an American collector acquired the automobile as recently as 2000.

A complete restoration was commissioned over 18 months, "with no expense spared" according to RM's notes. This included a full study of coachbuilder Worblaufen's archives to ensure absolute correctness.  



The car won the Grand Prix d'Honneur at the Concours d'Elegance at Lake Geneva, 1935


57260 went on to win 2nd in Class at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in 2005. Needless to say, the term "rolling work of art" oft-used among collectors was coined to describe cars like this.

The sale promises to be another massive success for Bugatti.

Its relative, the Type 57sc Atlantic was auctioned by Gooding and Company in 2010 for an undisclosed sum - believed to be $30m-40m, making it the most expensive car in the world ever auctioned.

 

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