Skip to content

Jack Braam Ruben Bugatti collection to star at Gooding & Co’s London auction

Words: Nathan Chadwick | Photography: Gooding & Co

A 1935 Bugatti Type 57 Atalante leads a four-strong collection of Bugattis from the Jack Braam Ruben Collection to be sold at Gooding & Co’s Concours of Elegance sale in London.

To be held on August 30, 2024 in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace, the collection has been sourced from the main collection in Maastricht, The Netherlands and includes an award-winning unrestored Type 57 Stelvio, a Type 43A Roadster and a Type 57 Ventoux.

“Jack Braam Ruben is widely recognised in our industry as one of the foremost traders and collectors of classic and pre-war cars in the world, and he has an especially keen sense for the most significant examples from the Bugatti and Alfa Romeo marques,” said Gooding & Company president and co-founder, David Gooding. “We are privileged and delighted to present these very original Bugattis from his premier collection at our London auction, and look forward to offering these exceptional motor cars on the historic grounds of Hampton Court Palace.”

1935 Bugatti Type 57 Atalante

Originally built as a first-series Grand Raid chassis in November 1934, chassis 57252 featured a lower-than-standard steering column angle. Although the original plan was for a Grand Raid roadster, the factory gave the car Atalante coachwork in early 1935 – it was the third time the chassis had been bodied this way. Ten more Atalantes would be produced through the year, but this very early example differs with a tapered tail section for a more sporting design, further enhanced with convex wheel covers featuring hand-formed teardrop shapes, and swept up rear wings. Just three Type 57 Atalantes are believed to still exist.

This particular car was first owned by a Mr Perrot, who ordered the car via Lyonnais Bugatti agent Monestier with optional 18in wire wheels and Lockheed hydraulic brakes. The car graced several French owners’ collections, before entering the stewardship of Belgian Bugatti restorer and dealer Jean de Dobbeleer in 1956. A year later, Lyman Greenlee took the car to the US.

It would eventually return to Europe via Guido Artom in Italy, and then to a Mr Rae in the UK. Rae returned the car to original specification while restoring it, taking care to maintain the Scintilla headlamps and Lalique-style running lights on the wings. When the Bugatti entered the Braam Ruben collection, it was treated to.a complete restoration courtesy of Classic Skills of Lomm, in The Netherlands. The paint was refinished in smoke and sage green, the interior reupholstered and the dashboard and bumpers returned to original specification. It is estimated at between £3m and £4m.

1933 Bugatti Type 43A Roadster

One of 18 examples of the Type 43A built, chassis 43309 was the second-to-last built and one of just ten still believed to exist. First delivered to Edouard Michel in Paris during May 1934, it would call Europe home for the next 40 years. After a spell at the Montlhéry Motor Museum and the Le Mans Museum, it was acquired by Bugatti collector and historian Uew Hucke in 1978.

In 1987 the car passed to Dr Joachim Jantzen of Essen, who enjoyed it in Historic motorsport. By 2004 the Bugatti had entered the stewardship of Manfred Dolleschel, who used chassis 43309 in the 2004 International Rally in the UK and the 2009 International Rally in Tuscany. It was also displayed at the Concours of Elegance at St James’s Palace in 2013, as well as the 2022 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

According to a report by Bugatti expert Mark Morris, the car retains many original components, including its semi-roller-bearing crankshaft, leather interior and engine. A two-piece aluminium dashboard has replaced the original wooden item. It’s estimated at between £3m and £4m.

1935 Bugatti Type 57 Stelvio cabriolet

Originally sold to France, chassis 57181 wears a Gangloff body and is powered by engine no. 30. Acquired after World War Two by a Swiss owner, it was later sold to David Mize in the US in the late 1960s. It would later pass to fellow American John Risch, who won Best in Show at the New Hope Automobile Show in 1968; he’d keep the car until his passing in 1991, and it would remain with his estate. Following its second-in-class showing at the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, it was shown at the 2018 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, and joined the Braam Ruben collection soon after. Presented in unrestored condition, it’s estimated at between £900k and £1.1m.

1938 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux

Chassis 57724 was built on a Series III rolling chassis in October 1938, and first sold to a LW Young via Bugatti’s British agent, Colonel Sorel. After a decade with Young, it would pass to H Archer-Smith. The car would then go to John Frears, who displayed it at the Stratford Motor Museum. Ten years later, 57724 was passed to Geoffrey Perfect of Penn, Buckinghamshire, who displayed the car at the Earls Court London Motor Show in 1989 and Techno Classica Essen in 2019. Since joining the Braam Ruben collection in 2021, it’s been displayed at the Concours d’Elegance Paleis Soestdijk in 2022. It’s estimated at between £550k and £650k.

For more information on the Concours of Elegance, click here, and for more details on Gooding & Co’s sale, click here.

Get Magneto Magazine straight from publication to your door with a subscription.

2 Year Subscription £94 1 Year Subscription £54