For sale in our forthcoming auction in Paris, on 17 June 2019:
Engine n° 445
- Exceptional history
- Good working condition
- Beautifully styled
The chassis type 49 with engine 445 was assembled at the Bugatti factory in January 1933 with 5 other chassis of the same model.
The Faux Cabriolet Gangloff 749G, Factory demonstration car in 1933.
Chassis 49558 was transported to Gangloff, the coachbuilders in Colmar, around June 1933 to be fitted with a body described as " Faux cabriolet model 749 G, luxury roof and dark grey metallic paint. "
Model 749.G relates to a reference dating from 1931 describing a
" Faux Cabriolet two door, 4-seater with trunk on a type 49 long chassis " with a 3.22m wheelbase. The body was invoiced to Bugatti for the sum of 18,0000 ff plus extras of 1600ff. It was delivered to Molsheim on 25 July 1933.
A letter from the factory, dated 28 July, to Mr André Bouchard, the " Inspector of Bugatti automobiles " for the west of France, states:
" I am going to send the Faux-Cabriolet 749.G Spécial to Paris for La Baule, and it will be waiting for you in Montaigne. "
A letter dated 3 August : " When you have got to Caen with the car for the Bordeaux show, you will return to Paris where the Faux-Cabriolet Spécial for La Baule will be ready for you to drive to Nantes. Please take every precaution to ensure the car does not come to any harm during the journey. "
On 4 August 1933, the vehicle was transported by train to the Bugatti showroom on Avenue Montaigne. The factory sent confirmation to Bouchard :
" I can confirm that the faux-cabriolet 749.G Spécial (49558) for the Concours at La Baule, left today, by train, on the same carriage as chassis 3L300 destined for Vanvooren. It will therefore be at your disposal in Montaigne from next Tuesday. There are chrome metallic covers for the spare wheels, supplied by Levallois, that you will take with you. "
The factory wrote on the same day to the dealer in Nantes, Henri Matile :
" Monsieur, Our representative, Mr Bouchard is collecting the car in Paris and will deliver it to you within a week at latest. For the presentation of the car, I have entrusted it to the daughter of one of my very good customers and suppliers, who will be on vacation in La Baule, during the concours and was happy to accept. I will pass on contact details in plenty of time as soon as I know the name of the hotel where she will be staying with her family. "
In the middle of August 1933, the car was presented at the Concours d'Elégance de La Baule-les-Pins, returning to Paris on 17 August 1933.
A photo from the Bouchard family archives shows R.A. Bouchard's wife standing next to the vehicle in front of the Pergola in Saint-Jean-de-Luz. The coupé 49 was fitted with the factory plates NV1. The photo dates either from the start of August 1933, before it was delivered to La Baule, or during the autumn of 1933 before it was finally delivered to Nantes in October.
Roger-André Bouchard (1899-1954) set up a garage in Périgueux in 1926, and was the regional inspector for Bugatti from 1928 to 1939.
He met his death on the Tour Auto in 1954 at the wheel of an Austin Healey. At the start of October 1933, the Bugatti agent in Nantes who saw the vehicle when it was on show in La Baule, decided to buy it for one of his clients who had fallen under its spell.
There was confirmation on 18 August 1933 of the order placed by Henri Matile, 4, rue Racine, Nantes, and Matile was invoiced for the sum of 52.000.ff., on 26 October 1933.
Les Faux Cabriolets type 49 Gangloff of 1933 :
This car was a one-off creation, built by the coachbuilder Gangloff, and corresponds to an order that came from the Bugatti factory.
During the summer of 1933, it appears that Gangloff built three 4-seater type 49 faux-cabriolets, numbered 484, 485 and 486.
The chassis numbers are not shown in the register, and neither are the exact dates of their construction. The three cars were delivered to the factory and not to a private client. Bugatti had asked Gangloff to build other type 49 faux cabriolets in 1931, but it appears that the three bodies built during the summer of 1933 were the last. The vehicle 49558 is the only one whose chassis and engine has survived.
History in Pays de Loire 1933-1939.
The car was registered new on 20 October 1933, with the number 50 JH 3 in the name of the first owner's company " Les transports Paland " in Basse-Indre, Loire Atlantique.
Henri Paland (1906-1999) was 27 years old when he acquired his only Bugatti. He got married the same year and had a daughter in 1934 and a son in 1938. He was the founder of " Transports Paland ", and also had concerns in Cameroon. He was, also at that time, the President of Transporteurs de la Loire Atlantique and the Aéroclub. At the end of the 1950s he founded Europcar. Having owned this Bugatti, he later owned a Talbot and in 1945 a Hotchkiss.
His Bugatti was sold on 26 July 1935 in the nearby department of Indre and Loire. It was registered with the number 553 HD 3, in the name the enthusiast Pierre Parâtre, rue de l'Alma in Tours. This type 49 was the first Bugatti he had acquired, and he took his cars to be maintained by the Bugatti dealer in Tours, Gaillard, at 7 rue George Sand.
Roger Gaillard took over the Bugatti dealership in 1933, the year he got married. He remained an agent for the marque until 1950. The spacious 900m2 garage was situated in the heart of Tours, near the Hôtel de Ville.
Parâtre was the owner of a business called " Représentation Industrielle de l'Ouest " (R.I.O) whose offices were at 4 de la rue George Sand, opposite the Gaillard garage !
He lived on the rue de l'Alma and his wife was a milliner on rue Nationale. The company R.I.O. specialised in car brakes, bearings and clutch parts, and represented the marque Ferrodo.
In 1935. Parâtre owned a private plane, which he used to join his wife on holiday in Saint-Jean-de-Monts. She travelled in the Bugatti.
Henri Paland was Président of the Aero Club of Touraine, and Pierre Parâtre was a member of a rival club " les Ailes de Touraine " who also held the first pilot's licence for tourism in Indre and Loire at the start of 1932.
The Parâtre couple didn't have children and the business sold to young buyers whose director died in 1965.
At the end of November 1937, Parâtre bought a second-hand type 57 coach Ventoux, the 1936 model. He kept the faux-cabriolet type 49 until the end of 1938.
On 3 November 1938, the Bugatti 49558 was acquired by another enthusiast from Tours by the name of Jean de la Chesnaye, who lived at rue Roger Salengro.
Jean Hartford Martel de la Chesnaye (1905-1992) was born to an American mother and inherited a fortune from her. He enjoyed a comfortable pension.
On leaving the Foreign Legion in Morocco in 1937, J de la Chesnaye rented outbuildings in the Château de Chanteloup before going to live in Tours, where he threw himself unsuccessfully into breeding rabbits. In the Second World War, he was involved with the American ambulances, and during the Occupation, he separated from his first wife who he had married in 1926. He left France for the US soon after, and lived the rest of his life in Mexico.
The Countess of Chesnaye appears in the photo of the Bugatti taken in 1938 in Sare, on the road to Ascain, not far from St-Jean-de-Luz in Basque country.
J de la Chesnaye was a talented driver but he terrified his wife when he drove the Bugatti. The car was sold at the start of the war in le Midi.
On vacation on the Riviera 1939-1959.
We discover the car registered in the Alpes Maritimes on 18 December 1939, with the number 8620 BA 6 in the name of Fernand Van Velsen who lived at 12 rue du Maréchal Pétain in Nice.
We haven't been able to trace details of this owner, who was originally from Holland.
On 28 April 1948, George LUTZ, who lived at 3 boulevard de la Madeleine in Nice, and a former Alsatian mechanic trained at Molsheim, became the new owner of the faux-cabriolet 49558.
In his garage, where he would later restore the Bugatti type 35C of André Binda, Lutz had several camionnette-bodied Bugatti including chassis 49277.
On 13 January 1950, the Bugatti sold to Canadian billionaire Duncan Orr Lewis at his property " Villa Zéro ", 416 chemin de la mosquée au Cap d'Antibes.
This great Bugatti enthusiast had, in his garage on the Riviera, a type 57C Aravis Gangloff bought new in 1938 that he kept by his type 49 chassis as well as a Gangloff cabriolet chassis 49238 acquired in July 1949 from the Garage Friderich.
The type 49 chassis 49558 was registered into the new system on 26 November 1954, at the same time as the Aravis, and given the number 850 CM 06.
Sir Duncan Orr Lewis left the Riviera at the end of the 1950s to buy a pretty manor house, le Grand Courtoiseau, in Triguères, Loiret.
The Aravis followed him there but the two type 49s remained on the Côte d'Azur.
In 1959, chassis 49558 was bought by a dealer in Limoges, Jean-Louis du MONTANT, as shown on a document dated 13 May 1959.
He owned an antiques business called " El Porron " situated in La Brague, on the RN7 in Antibes.
It seems that du Montant also bought chassis 49558, the cabriolet 49555 and the engine ex-49238, at the same time in Nice. These last two pieces are currently in the museum in Mulhouse.
J-L du Montant was the last known French owner before this car was bought by the Bugatti specialist and dealer Bart LOYENS in Luxemberg. It was exported to Holland on 3 March 1978, acquired by Dr F.J.P SPULS.
In 1977, during his first visit to A.F.Loyens, the young enthusiast and dealer Bruno Vendiesse, accompanied by his friend Pierre Dellières, had come to buy spare parts and noticed the chassis type 49 in the garage. He was not in a position to buy it at the time and the car left for Holland.
On 20 May 2001 B.Vendiesse finally succeeded in acquiring the Bugatti from Dr Spuls, and offered it to the current owner, who launched into a full restoration of the car.
The vehicle was still in driving chassis form, equipped with a bulkhead with fold-down windscreen, a bonnet and front wings that appear to date from the Orr-Lewis period.
Restoration of the vehicle 2002-2003.
Once the decision was made to create a 4-seater cabriolet on the chassis, the Etablissements Marcadier in Charente were given the job of building the wooden frame and the metal work was given to Cornubert in Peujard, Gironde, who built a sheet metal body with aluminium doors.
The job of making the beige alpaca hood and white leather seats was entrusted to Philippe Oncins in Bègles.
Archive photos of the Marcadier coachwork show clearly that the vehicle was delivered with its original front wings, and its bonnet, as well as the complete dashboard.
The central part of the frame, the doors and trunk were made of ash.
The current owner repaired the bulkhead and made a start on the mechanical work.
Didier Pacic from Bray en Val in the Loiret, was responsible for rebuilding the engine, supplying the rods, pistons, valves and guides
A Cotal gearbox was installed, replacing the original Bugatti box, number 445, that will be supplied with the vehicle.
The restoration work took place over a period of two years from 2002 to 2003. A two-tone red livery was chosen for this four-seater cabriolet.
The Gangloff coachbuilder's plaque, at the bottom of the bulkhead, is likely to be from the cabriolet 49238, and remains on the car.
The vehicle presented :
Analysis of the current mechanical components on the vehicle confirm the originality of the engine stamped with the numbers 49558/445.
The gearbox also has the number 445 on the body and the cover.
The axle is numbered 359 with the correct ratio of 12X50.
It could come from a car with a serial number close to 49478.
The chassis frame is original, numbered in the 500s but is difficult to read.
The bonnet is old and has the number 132. It is the original bonnet from the second Gangloff type 49 belonging to Sir Duncan Orr-Lewis, chassis 49238.
When the vehicle was found in Holland, the front wings had a section cut out for the two spare wheels. The cut-away sections were removed as part of the restoration.
The original Gangloff plaque must come from 49238.
Looking at old photos of faux cabriolet 49558, we can see that the front wings had a different cut-out to the wings it had when discovered in 2001.
Our opinion is that the bonnet, bulkhead and front wings come from 49238, which was a Gangloff cabriolet model 349 G sold in Marseille in April 1931, whose design is very similar to the current body of 49558.
It is highly likely that the fold-down windscreen also came from this car and that Duncan Orr-Lewis was the source of the spare parts from 49558 that are fitted to the car today.
The car presented in the sale is originally a rare Faux-Cabriolet Gangloff. It is equipped today with numerous parts from the coachwork of the Gangloff cabriolet 49238, and it is likely that it was restored in a configuration close to the original car.
For ARTCURIAL May 2019
This cabriolet, complete with history, has the elegance of the very best creations of the first half of the 1930s. We enjoyed a highly satisfying test-drive and the handling of the Cotal gearbox improves the drive greatly. The engine has been very well set up and started first time. This automobile is ready to take to the road, and offers a wonderful invitation to grand touring as it was intended in the last century.
Auction estimate: €300 000 / 400 000
To see all the pictures available: https://www.artcurial.com/fr/vente-3946-automobiles-en-scene
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