Ultra-rare Bugatti barn find going up for auction
Possibly considered the last great “barn find”, a 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante is going up for auction. The ultra-rare Bugatti was released from its fifty-year old cocoon last year, and now will sell for multiple millions of dollars at Bonhams’ "Retromobile" auction the February in Paris. This Type 57S Atalante is one of seventeen made, and a less rare Type 57C Atalante sold for $7.92 million back in August.
British noble and racer Earl Howe originally purchased this Type 57S Atalante. He kept the car for about eight years, and then it spent the next decade floating through multiple owners. In 1955 Harold Carr, an English surgeon, purchased the car.
Carr did not own the Bugatti long before parking it in his garage and never driving it again. Although Bugattis were rare in 1955, they would not reach superstar status for many more decades. Even in 1965 $85,000 bought a collection of thirty Bugattis, but that was considered an exceptional deal.
Sometimes this car was referred to as lost during its over fifty-year absence from daylight, but the reality is that any car of this caliber always has enthusiasts tracking it. "I have known of this Bugatti for a number of years and, like a select group of others, hadn’t dared divulge its whereabouts to anyone,” said James Knight, international head of Bonhams’ motoring department.
Carr passed away in 2007, leaving the Bugatti to his family. Until this point, his family had no idea of the value of the now dusty but only mildly decayed car. "We just can’t believe it. It’s worth so much because he hasn’t used it for fifty years,” said Carr’s nephew.