1947 Bugatti Type 73C Racing Car

Exceptional Motor Cars at the Monterey Jet Center
August 17, 2006

New York – Christie’s International Motor Cars 2006 flagship sale takes place on Thursday August 17 at the Monterey Jet Center in California. It serves as the perfect introduction to a much-anticipated long weekend of car enthusiast events surrounding the annual Monterey Historic race meeting and Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. The evening Exceptional Motor Cars at the Monterey Jet Center auction features 50 cars and is expected to realize in excess of $10 million.

Led by a strikingly beautiful 1928 Mercedes-Benz Torpedo Roadster estimated at $3 million to $4 million, the sale features a comprehensive selection of collector classics, including an impressive single-owner collection of Porsches, a sports-racing 1952 Ferrari 225, an important 1947 Bugatti Type 73C and a 1954 Volkswagen van.

1928 Mercedes-Benz 26/120/180 TYP S Torpedo Roadster
This spellbinding and dramatically-styled car, one of only 124 Typ S models built in 1928, was ordered by a Mrs. Charles Levine from Mercedes-Benz, with Saoutchik coachwork from Paris. Mr. Levine may have known nothing of his wife’s plans, for he refused to pay when presented with the bill. The car stood unwanted in the Mercedes showroom in New York until it was bought by a Mr. Bedford and dubbed the ‘yellow peril’. Among many other stories, Mr. Bedford drove his future wife home in the car when they first met at a party in Pennsylvania even though she arrived at the event with another date; the car has stayed with the family ever since (estimate: $3,000,000-4,000,000).

The ultimate supercar of its time, the S was a sportswagen for select, successful owners who prized quality, flair and performance above all else. The S racers of 1928 won 53 events and set 17 records, including one at 110.4mph. This particular example has only been shown once, in an Antique Automobile Club of America concours in 1982 – and it was awarded a National First Prize.

Eight Porsches from a Private Collection (separate press release available)
A stunning collection of eight Porsches sourced directly from a private U.S. collector is expected to fetch between $2,600,000-3,330,000, and each car presents a unique insight into the history of the illustrious German manufacturer. The eight will be sold separately and include a 1960 Porsche 356 GTL Carrera Abarth (estimate $600,000-800,000), a 1964 Porsche 904 Carrera GTS (estimate $450,000-550,000), and a 1967 Porsche 911R (estimate $475,000-575,000).

1952 Ferrari 225 Sport Spyder, coachwork by Vignale
To this day few vehicles entice more excitement and passion than a Ferrari mid-1950s big-engined sports racer. Developed during a period of triumph and passion at Ferrari, these racers personify every aspect of the marque’s road racing legend. This particular example was built in two months at the start of 1952, and was race ready by March 9. Entered in the XII Tour of Sicily on behalf of Scuderia Ferrari and wearing race number 443, this 225 posted the fastest overall time. In September of the same year, it was raced at the Gran Premio di Bari and then tested at Imola in October. In early 1953, the Argentinean Roberto Bonomi took ownership, and placed it first overall at the Gran Premio Ciudad de Buenos Aires – the first of many successful outings for the car in South America (estimate: $1,200,000-1,500,000).

1947 Bugatti Type 73C Racing Car
The most successful racing car designer of all time, Ettore Bugatti spent the Second World War planning future models with his designers Noel Domboy and Antoine Pichetto – one of which was a 1,500cc car to be produced in a wide variety of forms, including a single-seater racing car. Post-war, more details were released and only twenty examples were to be built. Five sets of parts were produced along with two chassis, but Bugatti died in August 1947 before a single example had been assembled.

In late 1960 a Belgian Bugatti dealer constructed a Type 73C from the stored parts – and produced this example which was shipped to the United States body-less. It became the only Type 73C listed in Hugh Conway’s 1962 Bugatti Register and by 1973 was fitted with a Donington Collection’s rendering of the second of Pichetto’s 1945 73C body designs. The 73C may be an unfinished factory prototype, but can claim to be the very last racing car designed by Bugatti himself (estimate: $300,000-500,000).

1954 Volkswagen Kombi Model 211 Microbus
A Dutch VW importer was inspired by the stripped down Beetle chassis taking parts around the vast VW factory in 1947 and sketched a design for a Beetle-based van. The next year, the new chief executive furthered the idea and the first VW van was launched at the Geneva Motor Show in November 1949. Production began in 1950 and the basic design remained the same for four decades, with over five million manufactured. It served countless numbers as a utilitarian transporter and cargo hauler, but its destiny would eventually rest with the counter culture of the Sixties. This particular example was purchased in 1954 and underwent a major restoration that commenced in 1994. Since then, it has received numerous awards at shows in the Pacific Northwest, featured on the cover of Hot VWs in 1999, and will be sold without reserve (estimate: 30,000-40,000).

Auction: Exceptional Motor Cars at the Monterey Jet Center

August 17, 2006 at 7p.m.

Viewing: Monterey Jet Center, Monterey, California

August 14 – 17

Christie’s is the longest continuous name in the collectors’ car market, having held auctions devoted solely to motor cars since 1972. Christie’s remains the choice of the individual who wishes to sell a unique and rare motor car or collection. Uniquely placed in the market, Christie’s International Motor Cars concentrates on quality rather than quantity. The Department consists of eight specialists based in London, Brussels, New York, Texas and California, devoted to a wide network of sale sites that stretch from Monterey to Paris and include regular auctions in London, Paris, Le Mans, Monterey and Connecticut.

Visit the Christie’s Car Department at www.christies.com/cars

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