Evaluation: Described as the original lower crankcase and believed correct frame, gearbox, and differential. First owned by Rene Bacon who raced it at least once at Pau. Sold to Count Stanislaw Czaykowski but with a limited competition history in period. Sold to Ernst Friderich with other later owners eventually ending up with Tony Award-winning Broadway set designer Peter Larkin in the U.S. who paid $2100 in 1960.
Mechanically freshened in the late 1990s by Don Lefferts. Examined and verified by various experts. Fresh from service by Scott Sargent in 2020. Some updates including electric starting and a modern clutch. Sale from the Larkin family includes Bugatti-related automobilia. Scratched and chipped old paint, worn interior and dull brightwork, but far too good and well-preserved to restore. A landmark of Bugatti history and preservation.
Bottom Line: It was provenance, preservation, and history that brought this result, and it deserved every bit of the respect that the auction company and the bidders showed. Bidding extended twice to reach this result, for a car that should be lovingly preserved and enthusiastically driven and one which will attract plenty of favorable attention even surrounded by trailer queen Bugattis.