1933 Bugatti Type 46S

Coachwork by by James Young Coupe
Bonhams: The Bond Street Sale
Saturday, 4 December 2021
£460,000 ($608,764)
Sale Price
£350,000 - £500,000
Est. Range
4 December 2021
Sold Date
Lot Number
Older restoration
Auction House
Chassis no. 46587; Engine no. AGO37. Dark and light blue exterior over dark blue leather interior. RHD. 5359-cc supercharged overhead cam straight-eight, 4-speed, landau bars, two rear-mounted spares, suicide doors, single driving light, sliding sunroof, wood dash and window trim.

Evaluation: Represented as the first Bugatti Type 46S (“S” for supercharged) imported into the UK and one of just 18 supercharged models made. Known and extensively documented ownership from new and comes with a spare engine. £72,000 was spent with marque specialist Ivan Dutton over the period 2005-2008, then Don Law Racing carried out work in 2013 and 2014 at a cost of £68,000. The car has resided in Houston, Texas with Charles Burnett III and more recently in New Zealand in 2017. There, some body damage was sustained when a door flew open but this was repaired, as was much of the wood body frame due to dry rot. Superbly finished paint. The wonderful straight-eight tall alloy engine is well maintained but weeping oil slightly. The chassis and suspension are in exemplary condition. The interior is a delight with the finest wood and metal finishes. The leather has light but forgivable wear. A mostly excellent large coachbuilt Bugatti.

Bottom Line: The Type 46 was a volume seller by Bugatti standards, with more than 400 built, but only 18 of those were supercharged. Even so, most Type 46s are “just” mid-six-figure cars, and this one fell right into that range despite its blower and its remarkably complete history file. The James Young coachwork may have held it back a bit, but at this price it’s a decent value for someone who wants to casually show and bring it to Bugatti events.

by Andrew Newton
9 December 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.