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Legendary Alfa Romeos for sale in £6m Osenat Auction on April 21

Words: Elliott Hughes | Photography: Osenat

French auction house Osenat is offering a selection of significant Alfa Romeos from the collection of Swiss millionaire Gérald Bugnon, on April 21, 2024. The collection, which has an estimated value of around £6m, comprises eight Alfa Romeo cars built between the 1950s and 1970s, as well as an Alfa-engined racing boat. 

Bugnon was inspired to begin assembling the collection while travelling to the French ski resort of Val d’Isère with his family. During the journey, Bugnon was overtaken by an Alfa Romeo Giulietta Ti, which kickstarted his passion for the brand. 

“From then on, I never stopped pestering my father to buy an Alfa Romeo,” Gérald’s son David explained. “And that’s what he did, buying a Giulietta for himself and a GTV for my mother.” From here, Bugnon senior fed his passion by participating in classic car rallies and Historic motor sport.

Headlining the collection is a 1969 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/2 Daytona race car. The Tipo 33 represents the marque’s return to international motor sport, following the marque’s withdrawal in 1951. Powered by a 2.0-litre V8 engine, the Tipo 33 follows the Tipo 512 of 1939, as the second mid-engined Alfa ever produced. 

Chassis 75033009 secured victory in its competition debut at the 1968 Daytona 24 Hours. It was then sold to French Alfa Romeo importer SOFAR, which registered the car in 1969 with the intention of using it to compete in road rallies. Gérald Bugnon acquired the Tipo 33 in 1997, and had it fully restored. It has appeared in various Historic racing events since then, and has been fully recommissioned for sale. It is expected to fetch between €2m and €2.5m.

The model with the second-highest estimate in the collection is a stunning 1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ, valued at €800,000 to €1m. Built as a replacement for the outgoing Giulietta, this Zagato-bodied machine was created with performance in mind, with a lightweight tubular spaceframe chassis, disc brakes, fully independent suspension and a 170bhp four-cylinder engine with double overhead camshafts.

TZ chassis 750071 was built in the winter of 1964, and exhibited at the sixth Racing Car Show in London, in 1965. It remained in the UK until the 1980s, and was raced in around 20 British motor sport events. The car was acquired by Bugnon in 1993, shortly after being restored by its previous owner. It underwent its latest restoration in 2011.

Ironically, it was a crash suffered by racing driver Francesco de Leonibus that was responsible for the creation of the SZ Coda Tronca. In the aftermath of the accident, de Leonibus commissioned Michelotti with the task of creating a new body for his SZ, in order to enhance its aerodynamic stability. The beautiful, elongated body of this Coda Tronca model was the result. 

This example was built by Zagato in 1962, before being delivered to Dutch importer Louwman & Parqui in January 1963. A true one-off, the car was fitted with front disc brakes from the factory, and has participated in various high-profile events including Alfa Romeo’s 80th anniversary celebrations in 1990. The car was acquired by Gérald Bugnon towards the end of the 1990s, and was driven for several years before being subjected to a major restoration. It is estimated at €600,000-€800,000.

Another Zagato-bodied Alfa in the collection is a 1962 Giulietta SZ (estimated at €300,000-€500,000). The car was delivered new to French amateur racing driver Jean Gonguet, who raced it to a class victory in the 1962 Coupes du Salon race. It then passed through the hands of several French owners, before winning the 1980 edition of Tour Auto. It was sold to Gérald Bugnon in 1993, who drove it in the Cévenoles Retro rally and Tour Auto. It was returned to its original specification in 2011.

Few cars embody the concept of la dolce vita more perfectly than this 1953 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider. As a Pinin Farina prototype, this example is particularly special, and it combined the sporting prowess of the Giulietta Sprint chassis with glamorous open-top motoring. The car was born thanks to a collaboration between Alfa Romeo and US marque importer Max Hoffman, who pitched the idea of a roadster based on the Giulietta Sprint. 

After completion, prototype chassis AR 1495 00003 was sold to Hoffman Motor Cars, and was used by Max Hoffman to promote the production-spec Giulietta Spider at various US motor shows. It was later acquired by Bruce Beckwith, who drove the car sparingly before subjecting it to a partial restoration. Beckwith sold the car in 1989, and it was displayed in the Alfa Heaven Museum in Wisconsin, before finding its way into Bugnon’s collection (estimated at €350,000-€450,000).

The Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Speciale was inspired by the marque’s legendary BAT and Disco Volante concept car projects. This 1959 example was the 48th example to roll off the Arese production line, and it was delivered new to Portuguese racing driver Manuel Nogueira Pinto. It was immediately used in competition, and it took second place in the 1959 Vila do Conde race. 

Ownership then passed to Fritz d’Oray, traded a Ferrari 250 GT and an assistance truck for the car. The Maserati F1 driver used the Alfa to train for the 1960 Le Mans 24 Hours, but unfortunately crashed out in qualifying driving a 250 GT SWB. The Giulietta Sprint Speciale was subsequently left in a parking lot and impounded until the mid-1960s. 

The car was acquired by Gérald Bugnon in 2004, after passing through the hands of two other European owners in the 1980s and 1990s. A full restoration was completed in 2006.

Developed by Alfa Romeo’s racing division Auto Delta, the GTA weighs 200kg less than the equivalent Sprint GT model. It also boasts several mechanical revisions, such as dual ignition and reduced valve angles, which allows its revvy 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine to produce up to 150bhp in race specification.

One of 500 examples, chassis AR613276 was delivered new to Italy in 1965. It then passed through the hands of several owners, including German politician Hans-Ulrich Kohler. Gérald Bugnon’s stewardship of the car began in 2006, and it was then painted yellow and used in various Historic rallying events. 

The car was reconfigured for circuit racing in 2009, and campaigned in the Spa Six Hours in 2010. A complete FIA-spec restoration was performed in 2015, and the Alfa is homologated for competition use until 2030. It is estimated at €180,000-€200,000.

This 1958 Alfa Romeo Giulietta Ti is a truly characterful machine, and is emblematic of the marque’s post-war resurgence. Compact, lightweight and elegant, the Giulietta Tourisme Internazionale is blessed with a zingy 1.3-litre four-cylinder aluminium engine with double-overhead camshafts, which produces 65bhp and allows it to reach 100mph. It’s a recipe that translated well into motor sport in period, with Giulietta Tis seen competing at events such as the Mille Miglia, Monte Carlo Rallly and Tour de France Auto.

The example from Bugnon’s collection was delivered new to a Parisian dealership on April 25, 1958, in its current configuration of Blu Elvezia over houndstooth upholstery. The car was acquired by the consignor in 2001, and it’s expected to sell for between €25,000 and €45,000.

Finally, this Alfa Romeo-engined race boat combined Angelo Molinari’s competition hull with Alfa’s four-cylinder twin-cam engine. It was originally delivered to racing driver Michel Barone in 1971, who used it to take the 1973 Powerboat Racing World Championship title in the Class 2 division. The boat has been out of the water for the past ten years, but is promised to be in good condition. It is estimated to sell for between €20,000 and €30,000.

For more information on the auction, please click here.

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