1929 Bugatti Type 44 Grand Sport
Offered by RM Auctions | Lake Como, Italy | May 25, 2013
The Bugatti Type 44 was the precursor to the Type 49. It was built from 1927 through 1930 and this particular car has a somewhat interesting history. In total, 1,095 were built – one of the highest production totals for any Bugatti model. It is powered by an 80 horsepower 3.0-liter straight-eight engine.
The Type 44 was one of the first Bugattis built as a road-going touring car. It wasn’t necessarily meant for the track. This car originally had a Gangloff cabriolet body on it and was delivered new to Belgium. It bounced back and forth between owners in Belgium and Luxembourg four times before coming stateside in 1953.
It was restored in the 1950s and a tourer body was installed that had come off a different Bugatti. Then, in 1969, the car was bought by General Motors (naturally). Why not? Their purpose of buying the car was to put it on display in the Auto Pub – an automotive-themed restaurant in the General Motors Building in New York City. Shortly after moving the car in, it leaked some gas onto electrical equipment and went up in flames.
The body was destroyed but the engine and chassis were salvageable. A new owner had a new body built in the style of Bugatti by Wilkinsons & Son of England. The car is listed as having a “astonishing” number of original, numbers-matching parts. I guess it would be astonishing, considering the car once burned to the ground. The car is pretty and drivable. Look for it to bring between $390,000-$460,000. Click here for more and here for more from this sale.