A 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Super Sport Roadster with a factory body designed by Jean Bugatti fetched USD 7.1 million at Bonhams’ Amelia Island auction in March 2020. Bugatti produced a total of just 38 Type 55 Super Sport chassis up until 1935. Eleven of the 14 roadster-bodied vehicles built by Jean Bugatti are still in existence today. Victor Rothschild, later the third Baron Rothschild, purchased the Type 55 as a new car and kept it in his collection for many decades. In 1985, Boston professor Dean S. Edmonds Jr. acquired this Bugatti with the chassis number 55220 for GBP 440,000. This made it the most expensive car ever sold in Britain at the time. In Edmonds’ ownership, the Bugatti was restored and won first place in its class at Pebble Beach in 1993.
Historic Bugatti cars continue to rise in value. Five automotive masterpieces from Molsheim were the five most valuable vehicles sold at auction internationally in 2020. Despite the pandemic, historic Bugattis broke records at the auction houses Bonhams and Gooding & Company: never before have the five most expensive cars sold at auction been produced by a single manufacturer.
Bugatti vehicles have always been exclusive. But as their age increases, so does their value – as shown by an analysis carried out by Classic Analytics, a company specialising in international market analysis and valuation of classic cars worldwide. “Bugattis from the Ettore and Jean Bugatti era, especially in their original condition and with a history of racing, have always been among the most expensive classic cars on the market. This trend has held steady and in fact even increased despite the general decline in interest in pre-war vehicles,” says Frank Wilke, Managing Director of Classic Analytics. Classic Analytics belongs to the Hagerty Group, the largest classic car service provider in the USA. The top ten ranking is based on an internal auction database in which all international classic car auctions over the course of a year are observed and evaluated.