SANTA MONICA, Calif. (November 22, 2016) – Gooding & Company, the auction house acclaimed for selling the world’s most significant and valuable collector cars, is pleased to announce an outstanding array of pre-war examples from Bugatti, Alfa Romeo and Bentley at its 10th annual two-day Scottsdale Auctions on January 20 and 21, 2017. Exemplifying rolling art, these high quality classic cars from legendary marques exude class and style.
“Cars of this caliber and from this time period just have a visceral presence about them, which is why modern manufacturers continue to pull design elements from this wonderful chapter in automotive history,” states David Gooding, President of Gooding & Company.
This Type 35 Grand Prix, chassis 4487, was sold new in Paris to American Standard Oil heir, Wallis C. Bird. Mr. Bird garaged the car at his famed “Farnsworth” mansion in Long Island, New York, which he had recently purchased. He raced the Type 35 on several occasions in ARCA events on the East Coast (Mr. Bird’s ARCA racing plaque is still affixed to the dash) before passing away in 1941 in an aviation accident. The Bugatti sat among his stable of exotic automobiles until 1961, when his wife, Marjorie Winifred Bird, passed away. Following her death, the Bird estate held the “Car Auction of the Century” where 4487 was purchased by pioneering collector, Henry Austin Clark. The current owner purchased the car from Clark over 35 years ago and has been in his loving care ever since. With just three owners from new and in exemplary condition, 4487 represents the purest expression of the original Type 35 Grand Prix. Finished in French Racing Blue, it is a sensational example retaining its original chassis, bodywork, engine, and distinctive early-production features.
This striking Alfa Romeo, chassis 10814377, is a 6C 1750 Series V “Grand Sport” with lovely Figoni Cabriolet coachwork. Born in Italy, Giuseppe Figoni established a successful coachbuilding firm in the suburbs of Paris that become synonymous with quality, innovation, and style. Figoni bodied some of the finest sporting cars of the 1930s, including several Alfa Romeos that were sold new through the firm’s French distributor. Records indicate the first owner of this 6C 1750 might have been Pierre Louis-Dreyfus, of the famed Louis-Dreyfus commodity trading company. A genuine example of a sporting Alfa Romeo, and the only Figoni-bodied Grand Sport Cabriolet known to survive, this car retains its original French chassis and radiator badging that separate it from its Italian brethren. Recently restored by highly regarded specialists and presented today in its original white and black livery, this elegant Alfa Romeo has yet to be debuted at major concours d’elegance.
By 1926, Bentley saw a need for a new four-cylinder model. The result was a lightweight 3 Litre chassis with the added power of a larger 4 ½ Litre motor. With the new 4 ½ Litre, the Bentley Boys quickly amassed Le Mans and Grand Prix victories and the public took notice. Many enthusiasts flocked to the dealerships to purchase the sporting new Bentley model with handsome coachwork by Vanden Plas. These Bentley enthusiasts campaigned the 4 ½ Litre cars privately throughout Europe and they quickly gained a reputation as the best handling Bentley in the model range. The car presented here, chassis FT3221, retains its original chassis, engine, and elegant open Vanden Plas bodywork that has been beautifully restored in British Racing Green. This superb example is offered today with an extensive history file from new and is an ideal entry for touring and vintage rallies.
Date(s): Friday, January 20 at 11:00 am MST and Saturday, January 21 at 11:00 am MST
Location: Scottsdale Fashion Square, 4700 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Public preview: January 18-21
Auctions catalogues: $100, includes admission for two to the viewing and the auctions
General admission: $40, includes admission for one to the viewing and the auctions
Live auction broadcast: www.goodingco.com