Bugatti found in Newcastle garage sells for £3m
Feb 8 2009 By Matt McKenzie
A car abandoned in a garage for 50 years sold at auction for 3,479,000 euros (£3,043,293) today.
The 1937 Bugatti Type 57S, which was left in a garage in Gosforth, Newcastle, was bought by a telephone bidder when it went under the hammer at Bonhams’ Retromobile car show and sale in Paris.
It was sold on behalf of the family of its last owner, Dr Harold Carr.
The car was originally owned by racing enthusiast Earl Howe, who was the first president of the British Racing Driver’s Club.
He took delivery of the sporty two-seat Atalante after it was completed in 1937 and kept it for eight years.
After Earl Howe sold it, it changed hands a couple of time before Dr Carr bought the car in 1955 from Lord Ridley, a member of the Northumberland gentry.
He drove the car for the first few years but in the early 1960s it was parked in his garage where it remained for nearly 50 years until his death.
When the surgeon passed away in 2007 his nephew was left to clear out his garage and he found the car inside.
It was offered for sale with an extensive file of correspondence documenting its history.
It still has its original chassis, engine, drivetrain and body. The car even has what appears to be a remarkably low mileage with an odometer reading of just 26,284.
It is highly coveted by collectors as only 17 were ever made and at least four of those are thought to belong to the Musee Nationale de L’Automobile in Mulhouse, France.
Others remain in the hands of private collectors.
Speaking at the time the car was found, Dr Carr’s nephew, an engineer from Gosforth in Newcastle, told the Evening Chronicle the money raised by its sale would be shared out among the family.
The full fee includes VAT and auction fees.