<b>1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Three Seater Torpedo Sports</b><br />Chassis no. BC002<br />Engine no. 892 (ex-2526)

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Lot 234
Ex-Bob King
1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Three Seater Torpedo Sports
Sold for US$ 200,000 inc. premium

Lot Details
<b>1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Three Seater Torpedo Sports</b><br />Chassis no. BC002<br />Engine no. 892 (ex-2526) <b>1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Three Seater Torpedo Sports</b><br />Chassis no. BC002<br />Engine no. 892 (ex-2526) <b>1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Three Seater Torpedo Sports</b><br />Chassis no. BC002<br />Engine no. 892 (ex-2526) <b>1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Three Seater Torpedo Sports</b><br />Chassis no. BC002<br />Engine no. 892 (ex-2526) <b>1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Three Seater Torpedo Sports</b><br />Chassis no. BC002<br />Engine no. 892 (ex-2526) <b>1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Three Seater Torpedo Sports</b><br />Chassis no. BC002<br />Engine no. 892 (ex-2526) <b>1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Three Seater Torpedo Sports</b><br />Chassis no. BC002<br />Engine no. 892 (ex-2526) <b>1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Three Seater Torpedo Sports</b><br />Chassis no. BC002<br />Engine no. 892 (ex-2526) <b>1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Three Seater Torpedo Sports</b><br />Chassis no. BC002<br />Engine no. 892 (ex-2526) <b>1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Three Seater Torpedo Sports</b><br />Chassis no. BC002<br />Engine no. 892 (ex-2526) <b>1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Three Seater Torpedo Sports</b><br />Chassis no. BC002<br />Engine no. 892 (ex-2526) <b>1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Three Seater Torpedo Sports</b><br />Chassis no. BC002<br />Engine no. 892 (ex-2526) <b>1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Three Seater Torpedo Sports</b><br />Chassis no. BC002<br />Engine no. 892 (ex-2526) <b>1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Three Seater Torpedo Sports</b><br />Chassis no. BC002<br />Engine no. 892 (ex-2526) <b>1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Three Seater Torpedo Sports</b><br />Chassis no. BC002<br />Engine no. 892 (ex-2526) <b>1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Three Seater Torpedo Sports</b><br />Chassis no. BC002<br />Engine no. 892 (ex-2526) <b>1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Three Seater Torpedo Sports</b><br />Chassis no. BC002<br />Engine no. 892 (ex-2526) <b>1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Three Seater Torpedo Sports</b><br />Chassis no. BC002<br />Engine no. 892 (ex-2526) <b>1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Three Seater Torpedo Sports</b><br />Chassis no. BC002<br />Engine no. 892 (ex-2526) <b>1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Three Seater Torpedo Sports</b><br />Chassis no. BC002<br />Engine no. 892 (ex-2526) <b>1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Three Seater Torpedo Sports</b><br />Chassis no. BC002<br />Engine no. 892 (ex-2526) <b>1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Three Seater Torpedo Sports</b><br />Chassis no. BC002<br />Engine no. 892 (ex-2526) <b>1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Three Seater Torpedo Sports</b><br />Chassis no. BC002<br />Engine no. 892 (ex-2526) <b>1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Three Seater Torpedo Sports</b><br />Chassis no. BC002<br />Engine no. 892 (ex-2526) <b>1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Three Seater Torpedo Sports</b><br />Chassis no. BC002<br />Engine no. 892 (ex-2526) <b>1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Three Seater Torpedo Sports</b><br />Chassis no. BC002<br />Engine no. 892 (ex-2526) <b>1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Three Seater Torpedo Sports</b><br />Chassis no. BC002<br />Engine no. 892 (ex-2526) <b>1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Three Seater Torpedo Sports</b><br />Chassis no. BC002<br />Engine no. 892 (ex-2526) <b>1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Three Seater Torpedo Sports</b><br />Chassis no. BC002<br />Engine no. 892 (ex-2526) <b>1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Three Seater Torpedo Sports</b><br />Chassis no. BC002<br />Engine no. 892 (ex-2526) <b>1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Three Seater Torpedo Sports</b><br />Chassis no. BC002<br />Engine no. 892 (ex-2526) <b>1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Three Seater Torpedo Sports</b><br />Chassis no. BC002<br />Engine no. 892 (ex-2526) <b>1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Three Seater Torpedo Sports</b><br />Chassis no. BC002<br />Engine no. 892 (ex-2526) <b>1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Three Seater Torpedo Sports</b><br />Chassis no. BC002<br />Engine no. 892 (ex-2526) <b>1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Three Seater Torpedo Sports</b><br />Chassis no. BC002<br />Engine no. 892 (ex-2526)
Ex-Bob King
1923 Bugatti Type 23 Brescia Three Seater Torpedo Sports
Chassis no. BC002
Engine no. 892 (ex-2526)

1,496cc (see text), 4-Cylinder OHV Inline Engine
30bhp at 4,000rpm
Single Carburetor
4-Speed Manual Transmission
Semi and Quarter Elliptic Leaf Spring Suspension
2-Wheel Drum and Transmission Brakes

*Usable and fast touring Bugatti
*Recently serviced
*Eligible for numerous events


THE TYPE 23

'Bugattis encapsulate concepts of engineering which, once seen, change your ideas radically and definitively. Drive them, and you realize that each car is form and engineering in equilibrium, and a work of art.' – William Stobbs, Les Grandes Routières.

By the early 1930s Ettore Bugatti had established an unrivalled reputation for building cars with outstanding performance on road or track; the world's greatest racing drivers enjoying countless successes aboard the Molsheim factory's products and often choosing them for their everyday transport. Developed from the first Bugatti to be built at Molsheim - the short-wheelbase Type 13 of 1910 - the Type 13 'Brescia' took that name following the factory's first four places at the 1921 Italian Grand Prix for Voiturettes, held at the eponymous racetrack in Lombardy. Longer wheelbase Type 22 and Type 23 models were made, both of which used the single-overhead-camshaft 16-valve Brescia engine and were built alongside 8-valve 'Petit Pur Sang' versions.

Introduced in February 1923, the updated Brescia was a true thoroughbred sports car, derived directly from the racing Brescias that had dominated the voiturette category at the 1921 Italian GP. At a time when many 1½-liter production cars struggled to achieve 50mph, the Brescia was guaranteed to exceed 70mph. Of advanced design, the engine incorporated a ball-bearing crankshaft and aluminum crankcase and was coupled to an excellent four-speed gearbox developed from that of the Brescia racers; indeed, many Brescias were raced with great success.

Bugatti produced approximately 200 Brescia chassis in 1923, virtually all of them Types 22 and 23, and in total, some 2,000-or-so Brescias were built between 1914 and 1926 with engine capacities of 1,368, 1,453 and 1,496cc.

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

This well-known survivor of the original pear shape-radiatored Bugatti is charted in Bob King's excellent works "Bugattis in Australasia". It is this respected author that is responsible for the car's presence today. Dr. King acquired this original long wheel base chassis, which had been saved by Australian Gavin Campbell in 1960 and married it to a series of other components that he had amassed over the years with the help of David Roberts, many of which came from a crashed Brescia, no. 2569.

Sadly, the frames of these early Bugattis are not numbered and so it was not possible to decipher which car it had originally belonged to, but since its rebuild and in line with Bugatti Owner's Club attributions to encourage people to restore these cars it has since been designated as BC002, being the first such car to have received their acceptance (BC001 being retained by Hugh Conway for a project himself). The engine used, number 892, had previously been fitted to chassis 2526, yet was renumbered at some point as 2566 for reasons unknown, with the opportunity to enhance its road going capabilities this was bored out to the 1,496cc specifications of the final cars. The Bugatti running gear was clothed by King with the present pretty boattail coachwork which was constructed by Harry Donders in Melbourne and is a copy of a period body that notably featured in the Autocar in October 1922.

The car was completed in 1978 in time for the Australian Bugatti Rally in Canberra, in doing so it had enabled him to return another Bugatti to the road and to enjoy participation among other enthusiasts and would then be used by King for countless tours. The current custodian was a long-term friend of Bob King and a passionate enthusiast of the marque having previously owned five including the Atalante T57C 57557 purportedly Jean Bugatti's personal car and was able to negotiate this car's purchase in 1995.

Over the course of the last 22 years, it has continued to be used on various events including the 2003 International Bugatti Meeting in Lenox, Massachusetts. Later it received a mechanical rebuild by John Schramm of Mechanical Restorations in Rockland, Maine. Most recently, at the custodian's invitation to Bob King, the Brescia was shown at the incredible gathering of 'La Marque' at Lime Rock and subsequent Bonhams-Sponsored International Bugatti Tour in Saratoga this past autumn covering several hundred miles. A minor damage to the gas tank while on tour, necessitated repair and a check over at a known Bugatti restorer.

In preparation for the auction the car was driven by a Bonhams specialist and found to have lively performance and display all of the appealing features of these lightweight and nimble sportscars, specifically including their refined transmission.

Accessing the esteemed Bugatti fraternity has a high entry point these days, and for a modest outlay in relative terms this offers the opportunity to experience all their lauded events as well, by definition, as hallowed events such as the Mille Miglia Storica.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note, the correct chassis number is BOC02 and title will be in transit.
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