Historic & Prestigious Classics @ Gooding's Pebble Beach Auctions

Historic & Prestigious Classics @ Gooding's Pebble Beach Auctions

Image: 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante (Estimate: $10,000,000 – $12,000,000).
Photo copyright and courtesy of Gooding & Company. Image by Brian Henniker.

Full Catalogue Launches Online Today

The undisputed star of the show is the 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante, alongside a 1930 Bentley 4 1/2 Litre Supercharged 'Blower' Sports Tourer and a 1931 Bentley Eight Litre Sports Tourer.

The official auction house of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, Gooding & Company, today unveiled its entire catalogue for its upcoming auction event this August, revealing its largest selection of diverse and varied offerings ever presented at the venue. Led by an incredible 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante, the catalogue is filled with a plethora of historic cars from the prewar period, as well as prized collectibles from the most prestigious names in motoring. These offerings, alongside the rest of the firm’s robust group of collector cars, will cross the auction block on Friday, August 19 and Saturday, August 20 in Pebble Beach.

“I truly could not be more proud of the lineup for this year’s Pebble Beach Auctions, and am eager to see these important cars take the stage at our most anticipated event of the year,” said Gooding & Company President and Founder, David Gooding. “The sheer quality and significance of these offerings, from the masterpiece that is the Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante to a pair of historic vintage Bentleys, are sure to inspire awe in every individual who witnesses their timeless elegance in our auction tent at Pebble Beach. This year, we look forward to presenting our largest catalogue to date, and are excited to host our attendees at our marquee next month.”

1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante (Estimate: $10,000,000 – $12,000,000)
The pinnacle of Bugatti production, the Type 57S emerged in 1936 as a sportier version of the Type 57. This uncompromising, high-performance machine was lighter, faster, and more technically advanced than the already superb Type 57. The supercharged Type 57SC variant offered even more exceptional performance, and by producing about 200 hp, was among the fastest production cars built before WWII. In total, Bugatti built just 42 examples of the Type 57S between 1936 and 1938, and the most famous examples were outfitted with bodies designed by Jean Bugatti himself. Among these designs were the Atalante and Atlantic, widely regarded as two of the most attractive, influential, and recognizable automotive masterpieces of all time. Just 17 Type 57S chassis were originally supplied with Atalante coachwork, including the example offered here, which was constructed at Molsheim in April 1937.

Chassis 57523 possesses several unique characteristics, including its large Scintilla headlamps, fully skirted rear fenders, and beautifully sculpted tail. Once completed and finished in a splendid monochromatic black color scheme, 57523 was delivered to the official Bugatti agent in Paris and sold to its first owner, Alphonse Gandon. Early on, the car was returned to Molsheim, where it would receive a Roots-type supercharger to become one of the very first 57SCs. Throughout the years, this ultra-desirable Atalante was housed in the world’s finest European and American collections, including those of George W. Huguely, Jr. and Ray Scherr. The current owner, a discerning American collector, acquired 57523 in 2019 with the assistance of Gooding & Company, and had it sent to noted Bugatti specialist Ivan Dutton Limited in Aylesbury, England for a mechanical restoration. Today, this Type 57SC Atalante stands as one of the most important Bugattis ever built, and is only one of two examples fitted with a supercharger by the Bugatti factory. A true objet d’art, this exclusive sporting Bugatti of unrivaled beauty, rarity, and sophistication is among the uppermost echelon of collectible automobiles. 

1930 Bentley 4 1/2 Litre Supercharged 'Blower' Sports Tourer (Estimate: $7,000,000 – $9,000,000)
Production of the supercharged Bentley “Blower” began in June of 1929 in a push to elevate the marque’s success at important European racing events and compete with contemporaries such as Alfa Romeo, Bugatti, and Mercedes-Benz on the track. Over a two-year period, the English automaker built a total of 50 production “Blowers,” including this Bentley, chassis number SM3913. This genuine example of the 4 1/2 Litre Supercharged model was built in July 1930, and came equipped with an original “smooth case” Amherst Villiers Mk IV supercharger. Once the chassis was completed, SM3913 was sent to Vanden Plas in Kingsbury, UK, where it was fitted with their definitive four-seater fabric-covered Sports body style, and then finished in blue livery. 

Delivered new to Gerard Bristowe Sanderson, a Scottish whisky scion based in Edinburgh, the “Blower” would make its way through the hands of several British collectors before making its way to the US in 1955. In more recent years, between 2014 and 2019, the “Blower” was completely disassembled and rebuilt from the frame up in an extensive, five-year restoration process carried out by R.C. Moss. During this time, SM3913 was also inspected by Dr. Clare Hay, who documented the car’s history and reported that the Bentley retains its original chassis, fabric-covered Vanden Plas body, and matching-numbers driveline. Following its restoration, SM3913 debuted at the 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance®, where it was selected as First in Class from a field of significant 4 1/2 Litres. Despite its 90-year-old design, this “Blower” Bentley possesses an enduring and timeless appeal, and is undoubtedly one of the finest and most desirable of all vintage Bentleys. 

1931 Bentley Eight Litre Sports Tourer (Estimate: $7,000,000 – $9,000,000)
Woolf Barnato, alongside company founder W.O. Bentley, was instrumental to the fortunes and fate of the celebrated Bentley legacy and marque. Serving as the company’s Chairman and largest individual shareholder during its meteoric rise, Barnato led the automaker to develop many of its most influential models, including the 6 1/2 Litre, 4 1/2 Litre, and arguably the finest vintage automobile ever produced, the coveted Eight Litre. Unveiled at the Olympia Motor Show in October 1930, the majestic Eight Litre was designed to carry the most luxurious custom coachwork and perform with greater comfort, smoothness, and silence than any previous Bentley had. The Bentley Eight Litre was the largest and most expensive chassis manufactured in Britain in 1930, and in all, just 100 were built. Gooding & Company is proud to present one of the most historically significant Eight Litres in existence, built to order for Chairman Woolf Barnato’s personal use. Built on a short-wheelbase chassis, numbered YR5095, this example is one of just 35 Eight Litres specified with a shorter 12' chassis. Once completed, chassis YR5095 was sent to Vanden Plas, which constructed the handsome two-door, four-seat Sports Tourer representing the latest fashion from the renowned coachbuilder. The body was tastefully finished in Birch and Battleship Grey outside, with the interior trimmed in matching grey Connolly hides with hood, tonneau, and side curtains in grey mohair. YR5095 also sported the Barnato family coat of arms on each door. 

In 1933, Flight Lieutenant Reginald Clarence Presland acquired the Eight Litre from Barnato, and immediately put it to good use, driving it in rallies and displaying it at the occasional concours. Remarkably, the Presland family retained this example for 71 years, until it traded hands again in 2004. In 2005, the Eight Litre’s then-owner commissioned a complete, no-expense-spared restoration by leading marque specialist R.C. Moss, returning the car to its factory-correct appearance and specification, just as it was delivered to Barnato in 1931. YR5095 was subsequently unveiled at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® in August 2009, where it was awarded First in Class. Among the grandest of all classic Bentleys, this gleaming, concours-quality example is one of as few as 15 Eight Litres that have survived with their coachwork intact, and of those, none can compete with the elegant Vanden Plas Sports Tourer, custom-built for Woolf Barnato himself.

1931 Bugatti Type 51 Grand Prix (Estimate: $2,750,000 – $3,250,000)
As the first new Bugatti Grand Prix car since the Type 35, the Type 51 remains one of the most unmistakable and visually beautiful race cars ever conceived. Between 1931 and 1935, just 40 examples were built in all, and today, approximately only 20 remain. Rare and fabulous, the 1931 Bugatti Type 51 Grand Prix presented here, chassis 51154, is presented with a thoroughly documented history and provenance, compiled by renowned Bugatti historians David Swell and Mark Morris. A competition machine with an illustrious story from the very start, 51154 was entered in various hill climbs and events by its early owners, and was even driven by famous French Grand Prix racer Robert Benoist at Montlhéry in 1934. Since then, this Type 51 has been owned by a succession of elite collectors, including the likes of His Royal Highness Prince Bertil of Sweden, Spanish racer Genaro Leoz, American architect Donald B. Parkinson, Los Angeles playboy Tommy Lee, and fashion magnate Ralph Lauren. In 1989, Mr. Lauren commissioned UK Bugatti experts Crosthwaite & Gardiner to meticulously restore 51154, and since then, this extremely rare, well maintained, and exceptionally documented Type 51 has retained its glory, actively campaigning in prestigious events such as the Goodwood Revival Meeting and Monaco Historic Races.

1930 Cadillac Series 452 V-16 Roadster (Estimate: $1,500,000 – $2,000,000)
Cadillac’s legendary V-16 model, launched at the 1930 New York International Auto Show, is among the most important, admired, and desirable of all American classics. Lauded for their performance and modern Harley Earl designs, the V-16s cost more than 10 typical American family cars combined, and were an absolute sensation. Over 1,000 V-16s were built in the first several months of production, and each V-16 was built to its customer’s precise specifications, down to the smallest detail. The V-16 Roadster presented here, chassis 7-926, still sports its stylish, purposeful configuration that it wore when ordered new by Floyd E. Becker of New Jersey. This extremely rare, rear-mounted spare example is one of approximately 10 original V-16s known to exist, and throughout the past 90 years, has been owned by famed collectors, including S. Prestley Blake, Briggs S. Cunningham, and Mark J. Smith. In 1999, this V-16 Roadster underwent an exquisite, concours-winning restoration in accordance with its factory build record. Today, 7-926 is unquestionably one of the most important American automobiles remaining from the Classic Era, and will grace the collection of its next custodian with its lasting character and elegance. 

1914 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Tourer (Estimate: $1,200,000 – $1,500,000)
Of all the British-built Silver Ghosts, the Edwardian models were the ones that best exemplified the robust, road-going prowess of “The Best Car in the World.” A prime example of an Edwardian Silver Ghost is chassis 6TB presented here, an F-series Colonial model specified with a London-to-Edinburgh engine and wearing dashing torpedo coachwork in the style of Barker. Delivered new to its first owner in Australia, 6TB has a detailed ownership history from the start, as well as an unmatchable touring history as the three-time veteran of the grueling Alpine Trials Re-Enactment, among many other prestigious events. This beautifully maintained Silver Ghost wears deep red paintwork, offset by a gray top, lustrous black leather upholstery, tufted seat backs, and an Auster-type wind deflector screen. The striking example is best appreciated at speed, when it demonstrates not only its impeccable design and bodywork, but also its enduring mechanical capabilities – a real treat for its next fortunate owner. 

1937 Bugatti Type 57C Ventoux (Estimate: $1,000,000 – $1,500,000, Without Reserve)
Unveiled in 1934, the graceful, exquisitely made, and incredibly attractive Type 57 was widely regarded as a masterpiece by the hand of Jean Bugatti. The car presented here, number 57517, is a desirable Second Series chassis, and was completed with one of the first supercharged Type 57 engines ever produced. This 57C was also dressed in special Ventoux coachwork, featuring a striking, avant-garde design. Its unique Atalante-style front fenders and elaborate 57C dashboard distinguish it from other Ventoux Coupes. This one-off example was specially built for Prince Wilhelm of Sweden, and was presented in black livery with Havana Brown leather upholstery. In 1938, the Prince had the car refreshed, updating the chassis with desirable Third Series features, including Lockheed hydraulic brakes, telescopic shock absorbers, and a Vertex magneto. After changing hands several times, the Bugatti eventually made its way to well-known automobilist Mark J. Smith, who kept the treasured car in his personal collection of unrestored classics. Although rarely shown during this time, the car did make an appearance at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance® in 2009, where it was awarded First in Class in the Prewar Preservation class. Today, this Bugatti remains in fine unrestored condition, and displays an irreplaceable patina throughout. This extraordinary example, coming to auction with an unrivaled provenance and offered on behalf of the Mark J. Smith estate collection, is surely one of the finest surviving Type 57 Bugattis in existence.

1942 Crocker Big-Tank Twin (Estimate: $900,000 – $1,000,000)
Dubbed “The Duesenberg of American Motorcycles,” the bespoke performance machines hand built in extremely limited quantities by engineer and racer Albert Crocker have an indelible legacy among the greatest motorcycles of all time. It is believed that approximately 70 Crockers were built between 1936-1942, and according to the Crocker Registry, the motorcycle offered here, engine no. 42.61.310, was the last Crocker ever built. Possibly the most valuable Crocker, if not the outright most valuable motorcycle, to ever come to auction, this “Big Tank” bike has had just a handful of owners from new, including Crocker historian and enthusiast Ernie Skelton. This “Big Tank” shows just 24 miles since undergoing a restoration by marque expert Steve Huntzinger, during which components, including handgrips and footboard runners, were implemented from the last sets in the original Crocker inventory, in addition to new old stock (NOS) 1942 Firestone chevron pattern tires. Perhaps the finest Crocker extant, this quintessential Hollywood hot rod is a competition-bred speed machine and important progenitor of the iconic prewar era in Californian motorcycle culture.

1935 Miller-Ford Indy Car (Estimate: $750,000 – $1,000,000)
In 1935, engineering wiz Harry Miller, alongside Preston Tucker, entered a joint venture with Henry Ford to produce an Indianapolis racer powered by the Ford flathead V-8 engine. On May 12, 1935, the first car was delivered to Indianapolis Motor Speedway, proving to be a work of art among the finest of the two-man “junk formula” cars that ran at the venue from 1930 to 1937. The advanced front-drive chassis design utilizing double-wishbone suspension was a pure Miller innovation, and the Emil Diedt-crafted bodies were perfectly svelte and shapely. Unfortunately, the Miller-Fords lacked testing opportunities, and dropped out of the Indy 500. Henry Ford ordered all 10 cars be sent to Dearborn, Michigan, where they were locked away, then slowly sold off to close contacts over the ensuing years. This example, chassis number 5, was upgraded with a 270 cid Offenhauser four-cylinder engine, and purchased in 1948 by legendary race team owner Andy Granatelli after switching hands a few times prior. The car would eventually make its way to the Tony Hulman collection, where it remained in company with some of the world’s most significant racing cars for over 40 years. In 1998, it was sold to the owner of the famous Zakira’s Garage, Dean Butler, who sympathetically restored it while retaining its magical patina. Since its restoration, the Miller-Ford has been seen at numerous shows, driven at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway at 140 mph, and prominently displayed in the Speedway Hall of Fame Museum in an exhibit honoring Andy Granatelli. Among the most desirable examples of the unprecedented Miller-Ford collaboration, this example comes to public sale for the very first time this August. 

Along with these iconic prewar sensations, Gooding & Company will also offer a beautifully presented, unrestored 1955 Bentley R-Type Continental Fastback (Estimate: $1,800,000 – $2,400,000), as well as a striking 1931 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Riviera Town Car (Estimate: $600,000 – $950,000). Two special prewar Rolls-Royce selections from The William Maxwell Davis Estate will also be presented: the one-off 1933 Rolls-Royce Phantom II Continental Tourer (Estimate: $375,000 – $450,000) used by King George V in 1936, and the 1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III Sedanca Coupe (Estimate: $275,000 – $350,000). In addition, the firm will auction an exceedingly rare 1936 Auburn 852 SC Boattail Speedster (Estimate: $800,000 – $1,000,000) beside an unrestored 1937 BMW 328 (Estimate: $750,000 – $1,000,000). 

All of these offerings, along with the rest of Gooding & Company’s comprehensive catalogue, can be viewed online on the company’s website ahead of the two-day auction event in August.

Pebble Beach Auctions
Date: Friday, August 19, at 5 p.m. PDT, and Saturday, August 20, at 11 a.m. PDT
Location: Pebble Beach Parc du Concours
Public Preview: Wednesday, August 17 through Saturday, August 20
Auction Catalogues: $100, includes admission for two to the viewing and the auction
General Admission: $40, includes admission for one to the viewing and the auction
Bidder Registration: www.goodingco.com/register
Live Auction Broadcast: www.goodingco.com 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/GoodingandCompany 
Twitter: @goodingandco #GoodingPebble
Instagram: @goodingandcompany #GoodingPebble
YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/GoodingandCompany 




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