1931 Bugatti Type 46

Coupe Superprofilée
RM Sotheby's Milan 2021
Tuesday, 15 June 2021
€545,000 ($660,540)
Sale Price
€500,000 - €700,000
Est. Range
15 June 2021
Sold Date
Lot Number
Older restoration
RM Sotheby's
Auction House
Chassis no. 46491; Engine no. 345. Dark blue with blue sweep panel over beige leather. RHD, 5359/140hp single overhead cam eight, 3-speed, alloy wheels, Dunlop tires, 4-spoke woodrim steering wheel, Scintilla headlights.

Evaluation: Bodied in the Nineties on a complete Type 46 chassis from Molsheim bought from Ettore Bugatti’s son, Roland in the 1950’s along with a factory-crated Type 46 engine. Preserved by collectors for years and finally completed on the unrestored chassis with this body. Good older paint and fresh upholstery. Good chrome. The chassis is aged, used and has some surface corrosion. A beautiful Bugatti for tours and events recreating one of Jean Bugatti’s and Gangloff’s most extravagant coachwork designs.

Bottom Line: Offered by Bonhams at Scottsdale in 2019 where it was reported bid to $620,000 (€545,700 at the time, this hammer bid is €480,000) but didn’t sell. The odometer has added 40km since then and the car has received some needed cosmetic attention. While it is tempting to call it a “rebody” that is inaccurate since it never had an earlier body and the caliber of the coachwork, trim and upholstery is above reproach. A car that will always attract favorable attention, for all the right reasons, and a reasonably priced one in this transaction.

by Rick Carey
30 June 2021
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Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.