<b>1928 Bugatti Type 44 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 44857

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Lot 125
Motorcars from the Estate of Dean S. Edmonds Jr.
Ex Dr. Milton Roth, Bill Harrah
1928 Bugatti Type 44 Cabriolet
Coachwork by F. Gerber

Sold for US$ 335,000 inc. premium
Motorcars from the Estate of Dean S. Edmonds Jr.Ex Dr. Milton Roth, Bill Harrah
1928 Bugatti Type 44 Cabriolet
Coachwork by F. Gerber

Chassis no. 44857

2,991cc SOHC Inline 8-Cylinder Engine
1 Schebler Carburetor
Approximately 100bhp at 4,500rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission
4-Wheel Leaf Spring Suspension
4-Wheel Drum Brakes

*Bugatti's reliable and powerful 3-liter model
*History recorded in the 2018 American Bugatti Club Register
*A great entry level Bugatti
*Eligible for prominent rallies and tours worldwide


THE BUGATTI TYPE 44

"The three-liter Type 44, smooth and fast, was one of the best of all Bugattis", Bill Boddy – The Bugatti Story

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 enjoyed countless successes aboard the Molsheim factory's products and often chose them for their everyday transport. Considered the finest touring Bugatti of the 1920s, the Type 44 was introduced in 1927 and was produced until 1931. Debuted at the Paris Auto Salon in October 1927, the Type 44 replaced the 2-liter Type 38. It shared much of the Type 38's chassis, although strengthened to withstand the increased power output.

1,095 were built, of which around 10 percent are believed to survive today. The Type 44 was powered by the revised single-overhead-cam straight eight engine, one of the most famous automobile power units of all time. Because of its lengthy run of success, Ettore Bugatti remained committed to his single-cam design, only adopting the double-overhead-camshaft method of valve actuation on the Type 50 of 1930 after considerable prompting by his eldest son, Jean. The Type 44's twin-block, three-valves-per-cylinder, single-plug engine displaced 2,991cc and produced approximately 80bhp, an output good enough for a top speed of over 75mph.

Most importantly, the engine received an entirely new crankshaft, one having nine plain bearings for the eight cylinders, thus becoming one of the most solid and reliable crankshaft Bugatti ever made. Driving via a four-speed gate-change gearbox, the Type 44 used a finely tuned leaf spring suspension, and had large, effective drum brakes on all four corners. "The 3-liter Type 44: Smooth, fast and reliable"'- that's how renowned Bugatti historian H.G. Conway headlines his chapter on the Type 44 in the Bugatti book of his The Great Marques series. That really sums up the great Type 44.

THE MOTORCAR OFFERED

Dean Edmonds' second Bugatti was this elegant two seater cabriolet which he acquired in 2006 some 21 years after the Type 55. Knowledge of the car's history has been carefully pieced together in the last few years leading to a predominantly complete chain of ownership being published in the most recent American Bugatti Club Registry in 2018.

It is recorded as such: Bugatti Type 44, number 857 was produced by the works in December 1928, it was subsequently ordered on February 11th, 1928 by Swiss agents Blanc and Paiche of Geneva and delivered to them promptly 5 days after the order. As new, its first owner, who is noted as a Mr. Weckmann or Wegmann (the annotation is not clear), received the Bugatti with coachwork by a well known local builder Graber, of Wichtrach. That coachwork is listed to have been a two seater cabriolet, however there is no visual evidence that survives of the car in this form.

Since the mid-1930s and remaining in the same guise to this day, it is understood that the original coachwork was either updated or replaced by another less-known Swiss carrossier, F. Gerber. The car had passed to new ownership in the hands of Ernest Maring a Basel based librarian who showed it at the Concours d'Elegance in Villars in 1935. Some 20 years later Maring remained its custodian when he offered the cabriolet for sale in the Bugatti Owner's Club Bugantics publication in 1955. A published photo shows the coachwork to have fender skirts, wheel discs and an interesting horizontally separated two tone color scheme. It should be noted, that these aesthetic details were very much the mid-1930s styling cues and would have made the car appear contemporary to the newer Type 57 model.

Shortly after this, the Bugatti migrated to the U.S. where it has resided ever since. The first of the American keepers was noted collector Dr. Milton Roth of California, and it would seem that he was responsible for repainting the car to a solid dark olive green hue and likely returning the fenders to their 1920s guise.

As for 100s of other cars, the '44 was later captured by Bill Harrah for his burgeoning collection in Reno, Nevada, where it would rest alongside many Molsheim products ranging from the original 'bathtub' or 'lobster' Type 10, to 57S and behemoth Royales. This particular car remained with Harrah until after his death and was included in the first dispersal sale in 1984, its buyer was Maurice Schwartz of Boca Raton, here in Florida. Sold by auction in 2006 here in Amelia Island, the car passed briefly to Robert Swarms before changing hands again through Donald Koleman's Competition Motors Ltd. to Dean Edmonds.

Owing to his stature, Mr. Edmonds found the seating and placement of the panel behind the seat to make it uncomfortable to drive, so he commissioned Koleman to modify this aspect with a shorter panel. In 2009, it was discovered that the radiator was leaking and the decision was made to have it re-cored in England. Other maintenance continued to be carried out by Cosmopolitan and latterly in Naples with Manfred's Automobile Specialties. Some question has been made of the unusual HCC badge which it wears, this has been verified to relate to the Harrow Car Club in the UK, albeit the connection to its history is uncharted.

44857 was regularly enjoyed by Mr. Edmonds and was even displayed at the ever popular American Bugatti Club New York luncheon at Sardi's in 2010, as well as at the International Bugatti in California that same year. The car was also displayed at the Greenwich Concours d'Elegance in 2012. It has since rested in his collection in Naples, Florida.
Contacts
<b>1928 Bugatti Type 44 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 44857
<b>1928 Bugatti Type 44 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 44857
<b>1928 Bugatti Type 44 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 44857
<b>1928 Bugatti Type 44 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 44857
<b>1928 Bugatti Type 44 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 44857
<b>1928 Bugatti Type 44 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 44857
<b>1928 Bugatti Type 44 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 44857
<b>1928 Bugatti Type 44 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 44857
<b>1928 Bugatti Type 44 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 44857
<b>1928 Bugatti Type 44 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 44857
<b>1928 Bugatti Type 44 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 44857
<b>1928 Bugatti Type 44 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 44857
<b>1928 Bugatti Type 44 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 44857
<b>1928 Bugatti Type 44 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 44857
<b>1928 Bugatti Type 44 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 44857
<b>1928 Bugatti Type 44 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 44857
<b>1928 Bugatti Type 44 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 44857
<b>1928 Bugatti Type 44 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 44857
<b>1928 Bugatti Type 44 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 44857
<b>1928 Bugatti Type 44 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 44857
<b>1928 Bugatti Type 44 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 44857
<b>1928 Bugatti Type 44 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 44857
<b>1928 Bugatti Type 44 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 44857
<b>1928 Bugatti Type 44 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 44857
<b>1928 Bugatti Type 44 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 44857
<b>1928 Bugatti Type 44 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 44857
<b>1928 Bugatti Type 44 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 44857
<b>1928 Bugatti Type 44 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 44857
<b>1928 Bugatti Type 44 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 44857
<b>1928 Bugatti Type 44 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 44857
<b>1928 Bugatti Type 44 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 44857
<b>1928 Bugatti Type 44 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 44857
<b>1928 Bugatti Type 44 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 44857
<b>1928 Bugatti Type 44 Cabriolet</b><br />Chassis no. 44857
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