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 $1.12m Bugatti
 Posted: Feb 17 2018, 08:22 AM

Dentus Chookus

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Bugatti sells for $1.12m after sitting in Perth carport

Alex Forrest | The West Australian
Saturday, 17 February 2018 2:00AM

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After 60 years with one WA owner, this 1935 Bugatti Type 57TT has gone to a European buyer for $1.1 million.Picture: Bonhams

A 1935 Bugatti Type 57 Tourist Trophy which sat in an open carport in Perth’s eastern suburbs for decades has been auctioned in Paris for $1.12 million.

The car had been with the same owner for 60 years, with much of its restoration completed in that very carport.

The Bugatti was purchased by its first West Australian owner, Duncan Ord, when he was visiting London in May 1938. The car was shipped to WA and its first Australian race was at Pingelly in January 1939.

Later in 1939, Ord raced the car in round-the-houses events in Albany and Dowerin and in a speed trial in Cannington.

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In 1940 he raced it on the streets of Applecross in the Patriotic Grand Prix, an event run to raise both spirits and funds for the war effort.

But he car’s time in Europe between 1935 and 1938, and the provenance it acquired during this time, has also contributed significantly to its value.

In September 1935, the Bugatti was driven by the English driver and aristocrat Francis, Earl Howe in the Ulster Tourist Trophy in Ireland, where he finished in third place. Earl Howe was already a well-credentialed driver, having won the 1931 Le Mans 24 Hour race in an Alfa Romeo 8C 2300.

In 1937, the Bugatti’s racing career continued when it was purchased by the aspiring driver Pierre Levegh.

Levegh’s life would come to a devastating end in 1955, when he was racing a Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR in that year’s Le Mans 24 Hour race.

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Duncan Ord races the Bugatti in the 1940 Patriotic Grand Prix in Applecross.Picture: Peter Partridge Collection

Levegh’s Mercedes clipped the rear end of an errant Austin Healey and the burning Mercedes was flung into the crowd, killing 83 spectators in what remains the worst crash in motor racing history.

The Bugatti’s owner for the 60 years up until its sale on February 8 was Perth enthusiast Jim Krajancich.

He bought it in 1958 for £400.

“The only thing I was disappointed about was I didn’t get to take it for a top gear run before it was sold,” Mr Krajancich told WestWHEELS this week.

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Picture: Bonhams

He said he believed the Bugatti’s 3.3-litre straight-eight engine sends approximately 260 horsepower (193kW) to the rear wheels.

Mr Krajancich said he planned to purchase a Riley Sprite replica and a Buick to fill the void left by the Bugatti.

I might get $1120 for the vehicle in my carport!

“If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor.” - Eleanor Roosevelt

“All of life is peaks and valleys. Don’t let the peaks get too high and the valleys too low.” - John Wooden
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