An old Bugatti of King Leopold III sold for more than 10.5 million euros – Paris Match

A 1934 Bugatti, which had belonged to the fourth king of the Belgians Leopold III, was sold at auction in London for just over 10.5 million euros. A record.

Everyone knows the passion of the Belgian King Leopold III (the grandfather of the current King Philippe) for cars. Passion which cost the life of his first wife, Princess Astrid of Sweden, in August 1935. Three years after the accidental death of the latter, passenger before the Packard that he was driving on the shores of Lake Lucerne in Switzerland , the sovereign acquired a Bugatti Type 59 sports from 1934. The same one which, after having passed through several hands since 1967, was offered for auction this Saturday, September 5, 2020 in London by the British auction house Gooding & Company.

To read: 85 years ago, the queen of the Belgians Astrid was accidentally killed

“The ultimate evolution of the Bugatti Grand Prix car, the legendary Type 59 is both a technical marvel and a masterpiece of industrial art – a model considered by many to be the most elegant racing car of before. -war ”, we can read in the presentation of the lot on the website of Gooding & Company. It is added: “This Type 59, equipped with engine no. 5, was initially part of the Bugatti Works Grand Prix team during the 1934-1935 seasons. Mainly driven by René Dreyfus, he obtained impressive results including 3rd place at the Monaco Grand Prix and an undisputed victory at the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa ”. Having retired from Grand Prix racing, Bugatti then developed it for sports car events, with some modifications. “In the hands of Jean-Pierre Wimille, the Type 59 Sports became the fastest sports car in France, dominating its rivals in the 1937 season. The following year it was repainted in black and sold to King Leopold III of Belgium, one of Bugatti's most important patrons ”, continues the description.

The buyer paid more than 10.5 million euros, including costs

A mythical model in the history of the Molsheim brand, crowned with sporting victories and a royal owner, this Bugatti was estimated at more than 10 million pounds. An amount that it practically reached since it was sold, costs included, for the tidy sum of 9,535,000 pounds. Or just over 10.5 million euros. A record, says Gooding & Company.

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