Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764

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Lot 215
Property of the late Tony Clark
1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer
Registration no. MT 4870 Chassis no. 40764

Sold for £ 310,500 (US$ 415,776) inc. premium
Property of the late Anthony Clark
1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer
Registration no. MT 4870
Chassis no. 40764
*Delivered new to the UK
*Outstandingly original and authentic
*Present family ownership since 1957
*An older restoration
*Full history from 1957 onwards

Footnotes

  • "Bugattis encapsulate concepts of engineering which, once seen, change your ideas radically and definitively. Drive them, and you realise 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 - 'Le Patron' - 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. Bugatti's origins, though, were a far cry from the glamorous world of Grands Prix.

    Italian-born engineer Ettore Bugatti had learned his trade with De Dietrich, Mathis and Deutz before setting up his own factory in 1910 at Molsheim in Alsace, which was then part of Germany. While with Deutz he designed the Type 10, its number reflecting his nine previous designs, and this would serve as the prototype for the first Molsheim-built Bugatti: the Type 13. Introduced in 1910 and the first Bugatti production car, the Type 13 was powered by a four-cylinder, single-overhead-camshaft, 8-valve engine of 1,327cc, which drove via a four-speed gearbox and was mounted in a short-wheelbase chassis carrying a simple open two-seater body. Making its debut at the 1910 Paris Salon, the Type 13 was described by The Autocar as a "most delightful looking runabout".

    Developed from the first Bugatti to be built at Molsheim - the aforementioned 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 1926, the Type 40 Bugatti succeeded the Brescia types, being built on a longer wheelbase and equipped with a more powerful engine. Virtually identical to that used in the Type 37 Grand Prix car, the latter was a four-cylinder unit displacing 1,496cc and incorporating an all-plain-bearing bottom end with five mains. A single overhead camshaft operated three valves per cylinder (two inlets, one exhaust) and the Type 40's maximum power output of 45bhp or thereabouts was transmitted to the rear wheels via a separate four-speed gearbox. A total of 790 Type 40s had been made when production ceased in May 1931, with a further 40 Type 40As completed with the 1,627cc engine by the end of that year. It is estimated that fewer then 200 survive today.

    Bugatti Type 40 number '40764' was purchased by the late Tony Clark in August 1957 having been seen advertised in The Autocar. The car belonged to the son of the owner of an engineering company, C J Driver, in nearby Great Barr, Birmingham. In Tony's own words: "I drove it for a few miles and realised it needed a lot doing to it. It spent the next 12 months under a sheet on the front drive until I had another garage built. I then decided to take it apart. The body was taken off and stored at work for 10 years. I did a lot of restoration work myself although the engine was rebuilt by experts. The car was mostly original apart from the electrics and I didn't expect to find Lucas lamps and starter on a French car. Over the years I managed to locate everything I needed which was the part I enjoyed. I eventually got the body back home and brush painted it myself which turned out well. It took another 10 years to complete and take out for the first time. It has a crash gearbox, i.e. no synchromesh, which takes a little getting used to. It handles very well and the brakes, although cable operated, are very good.

    "It has a hood and side screens which do their best to keep the rain out. I have driven it all over England and taken it on rallies to Italy and Alsace. Apart from the ignition switch breaking it has never let me down. It cruises at 60mph with a maximum speed of 80mph."

    Tony Clark's pride and joy for over 63 years, 'MT 4870' comes with a complete history file to include all documentation and comprehensive invoices from 1957 onwards, including the original sales receipt and The Autocar advertisement. Also included are photographs by Tony Clark and previous owners; information on involvement in rallies and other events in the UK and overseas; letters of enquiry regarding original parts and spares; and letters from well-known Bugatti luminaries Jack Lemon Burton, Bugatti Molsheim, Fritz Schlumpf, Hugh Conway, Henry Posner, Ivan Dutton, and Godfrey Eaton. The car also comes with MoTs and a V5C Registration Certificate.

    'MT 4870' started life in Southport, Lancashire and some photographs have recently been found of its early days. From emails received recently, and a stereoscopic colour transparency, the first owner's initials have been established as A. J. F. Unfortunately, their name is not known. The earliest photographic record of the car dates from 1936 and depicts it in the Southport area with A. J. F. at the wheel, seemingly about to embark on a lengthy journey. The old-style continuation logbook lists the following subsequent owners:

    J A Macdonald, Haydock (1947)
    Kenneth Atkinson Lord, Southport (1950-1952)
    Maurice John Richards, Churchstoke (1953)
    Arthur John Churchley, Edgbaston (1953)
    Peter M Driver, Gloucester (1954)

    The car remains remarkably original, with all removed parts retained and any original parts required located from the UK and overseas. Described as in good condition, running well, the engine was started regularly up to the end of Tony's life, and fired up at first time of asking in July 2020 when the car was moved for storage. The chassis is said to be sound, with no rust, and the bodywork to be in excellent condition. The hand-painted finish has the charming patina of an older restoration, with only one or two minor marks reflecting its age. The black leather interior likewise has an excellent patina. There are no known problems associated with the transmission, and the electrics are said to be in good working order. A tonneau, hood and side screens in black canvas are included in the sale.

    Exceptionally original and benefiting from the long-term loving care of a dedicated Bugatti enthusiast, this delightful Type 40 is worthy of the closest inspection.

    Tony Clark (1927-2019)

    Tony Clark was born on 2nd April 1927 and passed away on 16th December 2019 aged 92. Tony was always interested in things mechanical and his first car was a 1939 Morris Eight two-seater. After serving in the Royal Navy during WW2 he went to run the family firm of W Clark & Co in Birmingham's jewellery quarter. On 2nd August 1957 Tony spotted an advertisement in The Autocar for a 1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport 1.5-litre four-seat tourer and managed to purchase it. Driving the car a few days later he realised that it needed quite a bit of work and so a new garage was constructed to house it. The body was removed and would spend the next ten years in storage while Tony undertook the Bugatti's restoration, although he sent the engine away to be rebuilt by experts.

    Tony was a member of the Morris Minor Club, the Bugatti Owners' Club, the Riley Register, the American Bugatti Club, and the VSCC, which he joined in 1957. The family recalls outings to Silverstone, Curborough, Madresfield and Prescott, always enjoying wonderful picnics whatever the weather. Tony loved all forms of transportation, especially anything steam driven - regular and narrow gauge railways, traction engines, etc - and also took his family to the Isle of Man TT races and on boating trips. After renovating the Bugatti, he and his wife Joan took part in rallies in Italy, France, Germany and Holland. Beautiful and reliable, 'MT 4870' gave many hours and days of delight, and over the years many close friendships were formed all over the world. The car was also entered in many local events including the Birmingham 'Round the Houses' run.

    When Joan sadly passed away on Tony's 90th birthday, his family and friends supported him in the continuance of his active life. He continued to enjoy driving his beloved Bugatti until the end of his days.

Saleroom notices

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Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
Property of the late Anthony Clark,1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport Tourer  Chassis no. 40764
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