Twelve Bugattis Will Cross the Gooding Block

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1937 Type 57SC Atalante Coupe
Santa Monica, CA, July 16, 2008 – The Dr. Peter and Susan Williamson Collection, the world’s finest collection of Bugattis, will be sold at Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach auction on August 16 and 17 in Monterey, California. This monumentous sale, expected to raise more than $15 million, marks a rare opportunity for bidders to compete to buy some of the world’s most valuable automobiles. The majority of the proceeds from the sale of this incredible car collection will be donated to the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and Dartmouth Medical School in honor of the late Dr. Peter Williamson.

Dr. Williamson was globally recognized as a leader in the fields of epilepsy and neurology. His pioneering work granted him the opportunity to become founder and director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and a professor of medicine at Dartmouth Medical School. Additionally, he served as Chair of the Transforming Medicine Campaign for Dartmouth Medical School and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, which is raising more than $250 million for research initiatives.

Away from the hospital, one of Dr. Williamson’s other passions was the Bugatti automobile. He amassed the most significant private collection of Bugattis in the world, twelve of which will be sold at Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach auction. Each of these prized Bugattis features a distinct history and all are in exceptional condition. Several of the highlighted vehicles include the 1938 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante Coupe, 1928 Bugatti Type 35B Grand Prix and the 1931 Bugatti Type 55 “Jean Bugatti Roadster.” Ettore Bugatti and his son, Jean are the only automobile manufacturers to build the finest sports, racing and luxury automobiles at the same time. All of the cars in the Williamson Collection uphold the highest standards of design and performance for which Bugatti is so well known.

“Bugattis are considered to be some of the world’s most coveted and collectable cars, and this is the most extraordinary collection ever to come to auction,” said David Gooding, founder and president of Gooding & Company. “The sale of these Bugattis will further benefit Dr. Williamson’s goals for medical advancement.”

The most exceptional Bugatti in the Williamson Collection is the Type 57SC Atalante Coupe. A stunning result of the 1937 collaboration between Ettore and Jean Bugatti, this automobile is wonderfully original and drives exceptionally well. Finished in two-tone shades known as London Fog with tan leather interior, it is sensual, graceful and beautiful. It is one of the most coveted automobiles of its time with groundbreaking design.

Another distinguished car in the Williamson Collection is the 1928 Bugatti Type 35B Grand Prix. The Type 35 forever defined the look of Bugatti’s Grand Prix cars and the Type 35B, powered by the 2.3 liter version of Bugatti’s overhead camshaft, eight cylinder, supercharged engine, set new standards of performance. Dr. Williamson’s 1928 Type 35B was originally owned by the great Louis Chiron in France, used in competitions around Europe by various drivers, and powered by a factory-prepared supercharged racing engine. Ultimately acquired by Dr. Williamson from Bob Hammel who for years drove it in Southern California as his only car, it was restored with full road equipment some years ago by Don Lefferts to very high standards and runs extremely well.

Another significant car in the collection is the 1931 Bugatti Type 55 “Jean Bugatti Roadster.” One of the most important and memorable of Bugatti sports cars, the Type 55 is the road-going version of the 2.3 liter supercharged Type 51 Grand Prix car. This particular car, chassis 55201, was the first Bugatti Type 55 and is a racy two-seat roadster displaying coachwork styling inspired by Jean Bugatti. This design established the talents of its designers. Sleek, majestic and reliable, this was Dr. Williamson’s favorite car for tours and events.

These three cars, along with nine other Bugattis , will be featured on the auction block at Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach auction. The majority of the proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and Dartmouth Medical School. Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center is a nationally ranked academic medical center located in Lebanon, New Hampshire. It serves northern New England and is comprised of several hospitals and clinics in the surrounding areas. Dartmouth Medical School focuses on educating and preparing leaders to transform medicine and science. The school aspires to be the best in the world at expanding medical knowledge and its students are committed to the challenges of discovery and innovation and their application to health care.

Other cars in the collection include:

1914 Peugeot Bébé, an Ettore Bugatti Design. No chassis number. The Ettore Bugatti-designed Bébé Peugeot is one of the foundations of the Bugatti legend and is recognized as the Bugatti Type 16. It is an important artifact of Bugatti’s career as a contract automobile designer for De Dietrich, Mathis, Deutz and Peugeot. Doctor Williamson bought this restored example from Miles Coverdale in the 1970’s.

1927 Bugatti Type 38 Roadster, Chassis 38385. Resting in the reliquary of the lower level of the Williamson’s garage is this intriguing Bugatti Type 38. It was acquired from Fred Beddiges in the late 1990s, who had bought it from the Vintage Car Store much before then. The engine number is 4001 which corresponds with Bugatti factory records identifying it as sold to the famous Bugatti racing couple Elisabeth and Vincent Junek in September 1927 and may be the Bugatti named known as “Donald” used by Madame Junek for reconnaissance for the 1928 Targa Florio race in which she finished fifth overall. A standard Type 38 except for an electric fuel pump, two SU carburetors, a Type 30 radiator and interesting coachwork, it has no other history – but very intriguing prospects.

1928 Bugatti Type 35B Grand Prix, Chassis 4817. The Type 35 forever defined the look of Bugatti’s Grand Prix cars and the Type 35B, powered by the 2.3 liter version of Bugatti’s overhead camshaft, eight cylinder, supercharged engine, set new standards of performance. Dr. Williamson’s 1928 Type 35B was originally owned by the great Louis Chiron in France, used in competitions around Europe by various drivers, and powered by a factory-prepared supercharged racing engine. Ultimately acquired by Dr. Williamson from Bob Hammel who for years drove it in Southern California as his only car, it was restored with full road equipment some years ago by Don Lefferts to very high standards and runs extremely well.

1929 Bugatti Type 44 Dual Cowl Phaeton, Chassis 44311. The Williamson Collection’s Bugatti Type 44 is bodied with attractive dual cowl, dual windshield lightweight phaeton coachwork that maximizes the performance of its 2,991cc engine. A long-time U.S. car delivered through George Rand’s agency in New York, it has pressure engine lubrication, Marchal lights and still looks wonderful after its 1980s restoration by Don Lefferts.

1931 Bugatti Type 35A/51 Grand Prix, Chassis 4654. The unified design concept behind Ettore Bugatti’s many models permitted this Type 35A to be comprehensively upgraded to Type 51 configuration with a Type 55 sports engine in France. It was owned by Dr. Sam Scher in the early 50’s and raced for him by Bill Milliken among others. Eventually a long-term restoration was begun by Bunny Phillips and completed by Jim Stranberg for the Williamson Collection. Its polished aluminum body, dual aeroscreens, open wheels and powerful Type 51/55 2.3 liter supercharged engine make this one of the most aggressive-looking and competitive of the Williamson Collection cars.

1931 Bugatti Type 55 “Jean Bugatti Roadster,” Chassis 55201. One of the most important and memorable of Bugatti sports cars, the Type 55 is the road-going version of the 2.3 liter supercharged Type 51 Grand Prix car. This particular car, chassis 55201, was the first Bugatti Type 55 built and is a racy two-seat roadster displaying coachwork styling inspired by Jean Bugatti, a design that established the talents of its designer. Sleek, majestic and reliable, this was Dr. Williamson’s favorite car for tours and events.

1932 Bugatti Type 46 Sport Saloon, Coachwork by Freestone & Webb, Chassis 46533. The Bugatti Type 46 is known as the “Baby Royale.” The single overhead camshaft 5,359cc inline eight cylinder engine made at least 140hp and incorporated a number of design features seen only on the Royale. The Williamson Collection’s Type 46 was bodied for Victor Rothschild in the U.K. by Freestone & Webb with attractive low roof Sport Saloon coachwork and was elegantly restored by Don Lefferts and Gus Reuter.

1934 Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet, Coachwork by James Young, Chassis 57169. There have been only four owners in the seventy-four year history of this Bugatti with highly unusual British coachwork by James Young. Bodied for Col. Sorel in the U.K., it was acquired by the Williamsons together with another Bugatti he was purchasing and came alive in a recent restoration by the Pebble Beach Bugatti Atlantic Best in Show team of Scott Sargent and Jim Stranberg in its present livery of two-tone Maroon with Dark Maroon leather and Black cloth top. It took Peter and Susan Williamson back to Pebble Beach in 2006 and its many unusual details of design, fittings and embellishment stand out even among the wonderful examples of Bugatti craftsmanship and coachwork in the Williamson Collection.

1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante Coupe, Chassis 57511.
The most exceptional Bugatti in the Williamson Collection is the Supercharged Type 57SC Atalante Coupe. A stunning result of the 1937 collaboration between Ettore and Jean Bugatti, this automobile is wonderfully original and drives exceptionally well. Finished in two-tone shades known as London Fog with tan leather interior, it is sensual, graceful and beautiful. It is one of the most coveted automobiles of its time with groundbreaking design.

1938 Bugatti Type 57C Atalante Coupe, Chassis 57624. Subtly different from the other Atalante in the Williamson Collection, 57624 enjoys all the developments of a late Type 57 including hydraulic brakes. Built as a Type 57, the Molsheim-sourced supercharger was added in 1952. It was acquired by the Williamsons in the mid-1960s. Its body and wood framing is original, restored by Ray Jones and later by Don Lefferts. The original body number (#25) is everywhere and Scott Sargent, who has kept these cars for the Williamsons for years, says, “It goes out and always comes back.”

1939 Bugatti Type 57C Galibier Sport Saloon, Chassis 57806. Only a passing few Bugatti Type 57s were originally built as supercharged Type 57Cs. Most were sporting two seat coupés and roadsters. The number of Type 57Cs built with Galibier Sport Saloon coachwork for the optimum combination of luxurious passenger accommodations and performance were nearly impossibly small. The Williamson Collection’s is one of them and it is highly correct: engine, transmission and axle. The original body number (#15) is all over its panels. It is one of the great Bugatti family cars, a ride that scoots like a sports car when the supercharger builds boost. It has always been a U.S. car, ordered through George Rand’s agency by L. Cabot Briggs and acquired by the Williamsons from only its third family ownership. Its performance will humble Bentleys and Cadillacs.

1926/1941 Bugatti Type 35 / Miller 4-Cam V8, Chassis 4748. Overton A. “Bunny” Phillips was one of the stalwarts of Bugatti history in the United States. A southern California Indy Car mechanic of note, he engineered and built this Indy Car special on a Bugatti Type 35 frame and front suspension and powered it with one of legendary Harry Miller’s four cam V-8 engines. It competed at Indy twice, completing 187 laps and finishing 13th in 1941 driven by Phillips and 25th in 1946 driven by Hal Robson. Phillips drove it to 12th in the 1940 AAA National Championship and 8th in 1941. The Bugatti-Phillips Miller V-8 was acquired by Dr. Williamson directly from Phillips and was restored by Jim Stranberg.

Gooding & Company’s collection of Pebble Beach auction cars will be on display and open to the public on Wednesday, August 13 through Sunday, August 17. The auctions will be held on Saturday, August 16, and Sunday, August 17, commencing at 6:00PM. Gooding & Company Pebble Beach auction catalogs are available for $100 and admit two to the viewing and the auction. General admission to the viewing and the auction can be purchased at the tent for the price of $40 per person. Bidder registration forms, press credentials and additional auction information are available on www.goodingco.com. To consign your classic car to the Gooding & Company Pebble Beach Auction, please call (310) 899-1960.