1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante Coupe

It may not have been quite the “discovery” that the press suggested, but it was eagerly awaited

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Francis Richard Henry Penn Curzon succeeded to the peerage in 1929 on the death of his father, becoming the Fifth Earl Howe. At that time he resigned his seat in the House of Commons and began a long association with motor racing.

Howe’s place in the history of motorsport was assured by his 1931 Le Mans victory, driving an Alfa Romeo and partnered by Sir Henry Birkin. He competed at Le Mans six times and mixed freely with the “Bentley Boys.” Indeed, Howe’s support led to the formation of the British Racing Drivers’ Club, and he was elected the first president in 1929.

Howe raced a number of Bugattis-Types 43, 51, 54, and even 59-and ordered a 57S for his own road use in 1936. The car was delivered to him in June 1937, and he was a familiar figure with it until 1945, when he sold it following an accident. After several owners, it was bought by Dr. Robert Carr of Newcastle-on-Tyne in 1955, who kept the Bugatti Coupe hidden away until his death in 2007.

Simon Kidston

Simon Kidston - SCM Editor at Large

Simon is from an old British motor-racing family. He started his career at Coys, leaving to co-found Bonhams Europe in Geneva. Over the next decade, he staged high-profile auctions around the world, branching out on his own in 2006 to found Kidston SA, a consultancy responsible for some of the larger deals you rarely hear about. Simon also judges at Pebble Beach and is “the voice” of the Villa d’Este Concours and the Mille Miglia.

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