Paris

5-6 February 2014

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Lot 20

1930 Bugatti Type 40 Roadster

  • Chassis no. 40868
  • Engine no. 774

Sold for €252.000


45 bhp, 1,627 cc single overhead-camshaft four-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, live front axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, live rear axle with inverted quarter-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel cable-operated drum brakes. Wheelbase: 2,560 mm

  • One of 13 surviving Jean Bugatti Roadsters on the Type 40 chassis
  • Matching-numbers example
  • Remarkably well-documented
  • History traced by Pierre-Yves Laugier
  • Engine upgraded to desirable Type 40A specifications


The Type 40 was introduced in May 1926, and it was launched as the successor to the Bresica Bugatti. The 1,496-cubic centimetre motor proved to be very reliable and strong, making it popular with Bugatti’s customers. Some 780 examples were built, with Jean Bugatti taking the first roadster for himself.



Of those 780, Bugatti produced only 42 roadsters, with their bodywork being designed by Jean Bugatti and produced in-house. The roadster body was originally created in 1929 for the eight-cylinder Type 43A, so Bugatti had to shorten the design to suit the more compact dimensions on the Type 40 chassis. The result was remarkable, and the roadsters were considered to be the most sporting and desirable Type 40 Bugattis.



According to noted Bugatti historian Pierre-Yves Laugier, this 1930 Bugatti was assembled in early 1930 as the 25th Type 40 Roadster produced, and it was painted green with a black stripe on the bonnet and black wings. In June 1930, it was sold, under the registration number 9045 NM, through the Bugatti dealer in Bayonne, France, to its first owner, Monsieur Barel, whose family owned a well-known hair salon also in Bayonne. Barel’s first job was as a prothesiste dentairé, or prosthetic dentist, in a military hospital in Paris after the First World War. Barel was responsible for facial reconstruction on soldiers who had been wounded and disfigured in combat, and he was one of the first visagistes to take up this occupation. After moving back to Bayonne, he created his own cosmetics shop, called Institut de Beauté. There’s no doubt that the Type 40 appealed to Barel, as he was a man so intimately connected to medical and cosmetic aesthetics. The Type 40 represented the same attention to detail that Barel was so admired for in his own work.



Barel sold the Bugatti on 14 June 1939 to Raymond Rossier, who kept the car until November 1941, under registration number 3206 FY2. Then, later that year, it was registered in Toulouse with plate 7506 F56. After the war, chassis 40868 was registered in Agen, with plate 285 G47, in the name of Jean-Yves Paris. It was then listed as registered in Gers in 1956, with plate 154 AZ 32, and then Toulouse in 1959, with plate 786 HN 31, before being listed as residing with Andre Dufau in Biarritz in H.G. Conway’s 1962 Bugatti Register and Data Book. During this time, the engine was upgraded to the more powerful Type 40A specification, and its displacement was increased to 1,627 cubic centimetres.



The car was then purchased by Maurice Broual, in Paris, sometime around 1962. Broual overhauled the car in 1960, and he continued to frequently use it until 1968, when it was put in his private museum. It remained there until Broual’s death in 1992. After his death, the car was purchased by an active member of the Bugatti Club in the Netherlands, who had the car completely restored over a three-year period to its present configuration.



The car, which has been with its current owner, also an active Bugatti Club member, since 2001, has participated in numerous rallies, and it remains in excellent mechanical and cosmetic condition. This Bugatti is incredibly well-documented, and it is accompanied by a plethora of information, including service records, previous titles and registration documents, letters to previous owners, numerous photographs of the car and its mechanical components, notes on servicing and operating the car from the current owner, and its Laugier report. The binder of documentation is nine centimetres thick!



This Type 40 is presented with a well-documented history, and it is a splendid example of one of Jean Bugatti’s best designs. It is more than ready to return to the road, just as Ettore’s son intended.






Moteur quatre-cylindres en ligne à 1 ACT, 1 627 cm3, 45 ch, boîte manuelle à quatre rapports, essieu avant rigide oscillant sur ressorts à lames semi-elliptiques, pont arrière rigide oscillant sur ressorts à lames quart-elliptiques, quatre freins à tambours commandés par câbles. Empattement: 2 560 mm.



  • Un des 13 Roadster Jean Bugatti survivants sur châssis Type 40
  • Numéros concordants
  • Remarquablement bien documenté
  • Historique retracé par Pierre-Yves Laugier
  • Moteur porté aux spécifications supérieures du Type 40 A




Lancé en vue de succéder à la Bugatti « Brescia », le Type 40 fut présenté en mai 1926 comme son remplaçant. Le moteur de 1 496 cm3 qui se révéla très fiable et puissant assura aussitôt son succès auprès des fidèles de Bugatti. Environ 780 exemplaires en furent produits et Jean Bugatti réserva le premier roadster pour son usage personnel.



Sur ces 780 voitures, Bugatti ne produisit que 42 Roadster habillés d’une carrosserie dessinée par Jean Bugatti et construite à l’usine. Cette caisse ayant été créée initialement en 1929 pour le Type 43 A huit cylindres, Bugatti dut la raccourcir pour l’adapter aux dimensions plus réduites du châssis Type 40. Le résultat fut remarquable et les Roadster furent considérés comme étant les Bugatti Type 40 les plus sportifs et les plus désirables.



Selon l’historien réputé de Bugatti, Pierre-Yves Laugier, ce Roadster Type 40 de 1930 assemblé au début de l’année fut le 25e Type 40 Roadster produit, peint en vert avec une bande noire sur le capot et les ailes. Il fut vendu en juin 1930 à son premier propriétaire, M. Barel, dont la famille possédait un salon de coiffure réputé à Bayonne (France), par l’intermédiaire de l’agent Bugatti de cette ville où la voiture fut immatriculée 9045 NM. Le premier métier de M. Barel avait été « prothésiste dentaire » dans un hôpital militaire de Paris après la Grande Guerre. Barel, qui avait fait partie du service de « reconstruction faciale » qui traitait les soldats blessés ou défigurés au combat, fut un des premiers « visagistes » spécialistes de ces traitements. Après avoir déménagé à Bayonne, il créa son propre centre de soins cosmétiques appelé « institut de beauté ». Il est certain que le Type 40 séduisit Barel sensible à l’esthétique médicale et cosmétique. Le Type 40 devait présenter cette même attention aux détails pour laquelle Barel avait été admiré dans son travail.



Barel vendit la Bugatti le 14 juin 1939 à Raymond Rossier qui la conserva jusqu’en novembre 1941 sous le numéro d’immatriculation « 3206 FY2 » avant qu’elle ne soit immatriculée plus tard dans l’année à Toulouse « 7506 F56 ». Après la guerre, le châssis 40868 fut immatriculé à Agen « 285 G47 » au nom de Jean-Yves Paris. Il fut ensuite mentionné à la fois sous les numéros « 154 AZ 32 » dans le Gers en 1956 et « 786 HN 31 » à Toulouse en 1959 avant d’être cité comme étant chez André Dufau à Biarritz dans l’ouvrage de 1962 de H. G. Conway, Bugatti Register and Data Book. À cette époque, le moteur fut élevé aux spécifications du plus puissant Type 40 A par augmentation de la cylindrée à 1 627 cm3.



La Bugatti fut alors achetée par Maurice Broual de Paris au début des années 1960. Broual refit le moteur et continua d’utiliser fréquemment la voiture jusqu’en 1968 lorsqu’il la plaça dans son musée privé. Elle y resta jusqu’au décès de Maurice Broual en 1992. Après sa disparition, la voiture fut achetée par un membre actif du Bugatti Club aux Pays-Bas qui la fit totalement restaurer sur une période de trois ans pour l’amener dans son état présent.



Avec son propriétaire actuel, également membre du Bugatti Club, la voiture a, depuis 2001, participé à de nombreux rallyes en demeurant en très bon état mécanique et cosmétique. Exceptionnellement bien documentée, cette Bugatti est accompagnée d’un grand nombre d’informations comprenant le détail des opérations d’entretien, des anciens titres de propriété et d’immatriculation, les correspondances des anciens propriétaires, de nombreuses photos de la voiture et de ses composants mécaniques, des notes d’entretien et d’utilisation du détenteur actuel ainsi que du rapport de Laugier. Le dossier joint fait plus 9 cm d’épaisseur !



Présentée avec un historique très documenté, ce Type 40, magnifique exemple d’un des meilleurs dessins de Jean Bugatti, n’a qu’une hâte : retourner sur la route comme le fils d’Ettore l’avait souhaité.

Alexander Weaver

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

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asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

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bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

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dswig@rmsothebys.com

+1 415 302 2247
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drose@rmsothebys.com

+1 617 513 0388
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dgould@rmsothebys.com

+1 954 566 2209
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gduff@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

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jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

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kforry@rmsothebys.com

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

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Matt Malamut

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

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msquire@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

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mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 352 4575
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ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
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pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
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pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+1 519 784 9300
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smyers@rmsothebys.com

+1 310 559 4575
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tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+31 653 84 19 60
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