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The Zoute Sale / 1924 Bugatti Type 30 Torpedo Chassis no. 4224

Lot 158
1924 Bugatti Type 30 Torpedo
9 October 2022, 13:00 CEST
Knokke-Heist, Place Albert de Knokke Le Zoute

€320,000 - €380,000

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1924 Bugatti Type 30 Torpedo
Chassis no. 4224

•    Only four owners from new
• Matching numbers
• Outstandingly original chassis, engine, gearbox and drive train
• New body to original pattern retaining the original bonnet
• Well documented history
• Past Mille Miglia Storica and Flying Scotsman rally participant
• Pierre-Yves Laugier report on file


Introduced in 1922, the Type 30 has a special place in Bugatti's history, for it was the company's first straight-eight engine to go into production and the first to use Bugatti's classic single-overhead-cam cylinder head, making it one of the most famous automobile engines of all time. With a capacity of 1,991cc, with three valves per cylinder operated by the single gear-driven overhead camshaft and breathing via twin Solex carburettors, this beautiful engine produced approximately l00bhp at 4,500rpm.

Coming from a family of artists, Ettore Bugatti - 'Le Patron' - was renowned for his exquisite designs and the new eight-cylinder engine was no exception. This beautiful new power unit was installed in what was essentially a lengthened Brescia chassis, resulting in a touring car that was notably fast and powerful for its day, and that possessed many of the characteristics of the famous racing Bugattis. The eight-cylinder engine was very flexible and, once mastered, the Brescia-type gearbox a delight to use. Of some 600-or-so Type 30s produced, fewer than 50 cars are known to survive today, with original examples possessing known history especially desirable.

In 1924 this Type 30, with chassis number '4224', was delivered new in Barcelona, Spain to the official Bugatti agent Bertrand & Serra. There it received a three-seater torpedo body designed and built by the noted pre-war firm of Casimiro Solá, also from Barcelona. Sold new to Mrs Felisa Florensia Boixades, '4224' was often seen in the streets of Barcelona before the Civil War (1936-1939). During the hostilities, the car was carefully hidden for three years until it was recovered at the war's end. Mrs Boixades was still driving it on the streets of Barcelona in 1943. After more than 30 years of ownership, Mrs Boixades sold the Bugatti in the late 1950s to Mr Martinez, owner of Platerias Martinez, a jewellery store in Barcelona.

By 1962 the car had been acquired by Mr Carlos del Val, a recognised Spanish collector, enthusiast and sportsman who, among his racing adventures, raced the London-Mexico Rally in 1970 and the famous Paris-Dakar rally in the 1980s driving a Pegaso truck. Mr Del Val removed the original torpedo body and replaced it with a shorter two-seat body, emulating the legendary Type 35. Fortunately, he took some photographs of the original coachwork before the car was re-bodied (copies available). Mr Del Val would own the Bugatti for more than 50 years, driving it in various rallies and events, including the 1976 Monte Carlo Rally, the first time that the car had left Spain.

In 2013 and at the age of 82, Mr Del Val sold his much-loved Bugatti to the current owners. Two brothers, the new custodians re-commissioned the car to full working order and had a new body built from the scuttle back retaining the original bonnet, based on period photographs, exactly reproducing the original three-seat torpedo body.

Today this exceptional and rare Bugatti still retains all its original mechanical components, including engine, chassis, gearbox, steering, axles and also the bonnet. It is fully operational and comes with the original Spanish licence plate from 1924 and a FIVA passport (Class A3).

The car has given great satisfaction to its current owners, participating in events such as an informal Sicilian rally in the heat of the 2014 summer; the 2015 Flying Scotsman Rally; and the 2016 Mille Miglia, which it successfully completed. During these events the car never failed to attract considerable complimentary attention from organisers and participants alike. Today, this wonderful Bugatti represents a unique opportunity to own a highly original Type 30 with excellent provenance.

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