Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Car auction world record smashed

A 1936 Bugatti has sold for at least $30,000,000 (£20m) at auction, making it the world's most expensive. It dwarfs the previous auction record, set at £15.7m for a Ferrari 250 GTO in September 2008.

The Bugatti Type 57C Atlantic was bought by the Mullin Automotive Museum in California, which means it will now be seen by thousands of enthusiasts. It had belonged to Dr Peter D Williamson, a neurologist and car collector who died in 2008.

It was sold by auctioneers Gooding and Company on behalf of Dr Williamson's family - though the actual price could be anything up to $40m.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Gooding and Company President David Gooding said the car is "one of the world's most significant and valuable automobiles."

Mr Gooding would not reveal the final sale price of the car, though a source 'close to the sale' confirmed it was between $30- and $40m, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The car was first unveiled at the 1935 Paris Motor Show, with a 200bhp engine and a 123mph top speed - quite incredible statistics at the time. Dr Williamson purchased the car in 1971, reportedly for $59,000. Fashion designer Ralph Lauren owns another of the few remaining Type 57C Bugattis.

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