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Rusty car for high price

Autoweek
Saturday, December 08, 2012

THIS has got to be one of the most expensive barn finds ever. Christie's sold this 1938 Bugatti for a staggering $852,500 at the Greenwich Concours d'Elegance earlier this summer, more than twice the highest pre-sale estimate and close to the price of a new Bugatti.

The car was admitted to the Pebble Beach preservation class, and when its new owner gets it up to spec, it'll undoubtedly be the beauty it once was. The 1938 Type 57C you see here is actually a bit of an amalgamation of two Bugattis that were both owned by the same pre-war collector. The chassis itself belonged to a Type 57 Stelvio cabriolet with bodywork by Gangloff, a coachbuilder based in Colmar near the Bugatti factory in Molsheim in the French region of Alsace. In time for display at the French pavilion at the 1939 World's Fair in New York, the body was switched for that of the Type 57C Atalante (not to be confused with the more rare and iconic Atlantic).

Now of course there's value in classics, but as far as vintage motorcarriages go, this one's in pretty bad shape. Having sat in storage since 1962, the paint is chipped and faded, the chrome is rusty, the tires are history, the engine's grimy and the leather is worn out. A handyman's dream, let's call it. An $850k handyman's dream.