The Unobtainables -Bugatti Type 51

by Zoot Rollo

August 5, 2016

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Bonhams Press Release:

Influenced by Miller, the Bugatti Type 51 Grand Prix car introduced twin-overhead camshafts to Bugatti’s brand of thoroughbreds. The example offered is one of the best known and most distinctive of all Grand Prix Bugattis.

Bugatti Type 51 chassis ‘51121’ began its career in the ownership of the great British motor sporting personality Francis Curzon, The 5th Earl Howe. It was campaigned by him throughout the UK and Europe, including at Monaco on 4 occasions, Brooklands, the Nurburgring, Donington Park, and at the famed Shelsley Walsh and Klausen Hillclimbs. On one special occasion, at the Brooklands Autumn Meeting of October 1933 – on his way back home to Italy after winning the RAC Tourist Trophy race at Ards in Ulster for MG – Tazio Nuvolari, arguably the greatest race car driver of all time, drove the car as evocatively depicted.

Arriving on the market for the first time at public auction, and from more than 30 years of continuous ownership this remarkable Bugatti has recently been entrusted to renowned engineering experts Leydon Restorations of Lahaska, Pennsylvania. It was carefully checked over and made to run again and its history and authenticity have been verified by a Mark Morris/David Sewell report.

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