Bugatti Type 57C Aravis @ Goodings no reserve Mullin Automotive Museum auction

Bugatti Type 57C Aravis @ Goodings no reserve Mullin Automotive Museum auction

Image: The world-famous Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California.
Photo copyright and courtesy of Gooding & Company.


Bugatti Type 57C Aravis, 1935 Hispano-Suiza J12 Cabriolet, and other Highlights Announced for Gooding & Company’s No-Reserve Auction at the Mullin Automotive Museum Next Month


The Selections from the Mullin Collection Auction will feature prominent French and European cars and automobilia from the revered collection at the world-famous Mullin Automotive Museum in April.


Santa Monica, Calif. (March 18, 2024) — Global market leader and classic car auction house Gooding & Company has been entrusted with the sale of select lots from the revered Mullin Collection, comprising the most rare, coveted, and unique French, Art Deco, and European vehicles and automobilia, offered entirely without reserve. The Selections from the Mullin Collection Auction will take place on Friday, April 26, offering attendees an opportunity to visit the world-famous Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California. Featured lots from the auction include a Bugatti Type 57C Aravis 'Special Cabriolet', a Hispano-Suiza J12 Cabriolet, and an elegant Bugatti Type 46 Semi-Profilée, alongside various selections from the famed Schlumpf Reserve Collection and rare offerings from seldom seen French marques. As with all of Gooding & Company’s live auctions, remote bidding for the Selections from the Mullin Collection sale is available via telephone, mobile app, or online bidding. The full catalogue for the sale, as well as pre-auction estimates, will be released on Monday, April 1. Viewing is open to the public with an admission fee on Thursday, April 25; the live auction event on Friday, April 26 is limited to registered bidders and approved media members only. 


“Peter Mullin’s passing shook the automotive community, and he no doubt will go down in history as one of this world’s greatest visionaries, especially in the realm of French Classic and Art Deco cars,” said Gooding & Company President and Co-Founder David Gooding. “We are so honored to have the privilege of presenting this auction at the Mullin Automotive Museum, where we will all convene together one last time to honor the tremendous legacy of Peter and ensure that the automotive treasures he hand-picked with his wife Merle find their way to new and deserving homes.”

1939 Bugatti Type 57C Aravis 'Special Cabriolet' (Estimate: $2,500,000 – $3,500,000, Without Reserve)
Debuted in 1934, the Type 57 easily became Bugatti’s most successful road-going model, and the Type 57C bolstered performance with a factory-fitted supercharged engine. French coachbuilder Gangloff offered an elegant 2/3-seat Cabriolet body for the Type 57 called the Aravis, named after a mountain pass in the French alps. Only three examples of the Gangloff-bodied Aravis survive today, one of which is this example, which was ordered new by Avignon agent Granat & Fils for famed Bugatti team racing driver Maurice Trintignant. Featuring ivory bodywork with dark blue fenders and trim, chassis 57768 was successfully raced in-period by Trintignant at the Grand Prix du Comminges in 1939. In more recent years, as part of the Mullin Collection, the Aravis was restored by Sargent Metal Works before being exhibited at various concours events, including the 2005 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, where it was awarded First in Class. Thereafter, it was displayed at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, where it resided in the Peter and Merle Mullin Artistry Gallery.


1935 Hispano-Suiza J12 Cabriolet (Estimate: $2,500,000 – $3,500,000, Without Reserve)
Founded in 1904, Hispano-Suiza became one of the leading pre-WWII automotive manufacturers in Europe, due to finely engineered models such as the Alfonso XIII, the H6, and of course, the venerable J12. Introduced in 1931, the Hispano-Suiza J12 offered unparalleled performance, power, and ease of operation, encompassed in an elegant, simplistic, yet opulent presentation. As one of the most expensive cars of its day, the J12 boasted a 9.4-liter V-12 engine producing 220 hp, proving it had both the capability and the looks of a proper supercar of its time. The 1935 Hispano-Suiza J12 Cabriolet offered here is a pedigreed example, with provenance including noted collectors Dr. Sam Scher, Richard Paine, and John Mozart. Featuring unusually attractive coachwork by Vanvooren, the elegant J12 Cabriolet joined the Mullin Collection in 1992, where it has remained a prominent fixture. The J12 has also been shown multiple times at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, where it has been the recipient of numerous Class Awards.


1937 Delage D8-120 Three-Position Cabriolet (Estimate: $800,000 – $1,000,000, Without Reserve) 
The auction will also feature a desirable second-series 1937 Delage D8-120 Three-Position Cabriolet, wearing stunning open-bodied coachwork by Chapron. This exclusive Delage was featured prominently in the 1951 film An American in Paris starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron, and was granted an award in the Chapron Coachwork class at the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®. 


1930 Bugatti Type 46 Semi-Profilée Coupe (Estimate: $650,000 – $850,000, Without Reserve)
Also offered is a 1930 Bugatti Type 46 Semi-Profilée Coupe, chassis 46136. Adorned in beautifully executed, replicated semi-profilée-style coachwork, this rare Type 46 was ordered new by Bugatti agent Vladimir Gut in Prague, where it spent a portion of its early life gracing the stables of prominent Czech owners.


From the Schlumpf Reserve Collection
In the 1950s, Swiss brothers and textile industrialists Hanz and Fritz Schlumpf formed one of the foremost automobile collections in the world. Today, this collection forms the Musée National Cité de l’Automobile in Alsace, France, a crown jewel of the French government holdings unlikely to ever return to private hands. The Schlumpf Reserve collection consists of a cache of cars that belonged to the Schlumpf brothers that was hidden for decades in Malmerspach, France. The Mullin Automotive Museum acquired these very special reserve collection cars, which now present the only opportunity in the foreseeable future to acquire a car formerly owned by the Schlumpf brothers. Highlights from this collection include the 1937 Auto Union-Wanderer W25K Roadster (Estimate: $120,000 – $150,000, Without Reserve) – chassis no. 180223, the 1927 Bugatti Type 40 ‘Break de Chasse’ (Estimate: $100,000 – $150,000, Without Reserve) – chassis no. 40485, and a pair of Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux with John Shakespeare provenance: a 1934 example (Estimate: $200,000 – $250,000, Without Reserve) – chassis no. 57297 – sold new through Lamberjack in Paris, and a 1936 example (Estimate: $125,000 – $175,000, Without Reserve) – chassis no. 57377


The auction at the Mullin Automotive Museum will also feature countless offerings from well-known French marques, including Citroën, Peugeot, Renault, and Delage, as well as selections from more obscure, rarely seen automakers. These include an early 1902 Darracq Roadster (Estimate: $50,000 – $70,000, Without Reserve), a 1911 De Dion Bouton Type DY (Estimate: $30,000 – $50,000, Without Reserve), and a 1911 Panhard & Levassor X17 Sedanca de Ville (Estimate: $60,000 – $80,000, Without Reserve). German automotive excellence is represented in a few lots, including a 1956 Porsche 356 A Super Speedster (Estimate: $250,000 – $350,000, Without Reserve) and a 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster (Estimate: $1,000,000 – $1,300,000, Without Reserve). 


The no-reserve sale will also present a number of the Mullin Collection’s most prized and desirable automobilia, including highly sought-after Bugatti artifacts: a c. 1946 Bugatti Type 75 You-You Boat (Estimate: $25,000 – $35,000, Without Reserve), a c. 1930s Bugatti Cart (Estimate: $20,000 – $30,000, Without Reserve), and a Bugatti Railcar Engine (Estimate: $90,000 – $120,000, Without Reserve).

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