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Mullin cars and automobilia in no-reserve Gooding sale on April 26

Words: David Lillywhite | Photography: Gooding & Company

Auction house Gooding & Company is to offer more cars and automobilia from the renowned Mullin Collection on Friday April 26, 2024, at the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California.

The cars to be offered include the 1939 Bugatti Type 57C Aravis, 1935 Hispano-Suiza J12 Cabriolet, 1930 Bugatti Type 46 Semi-Profilée and many more rare French Art Deco and other European cars and items of automobilia, all at no reserve. Cars from the famed Schlumpf Reserve Collection will also be offered.

The sale follows collection founder Peter Mullin‘s passing in September 2023, and the sale of several of the Mullin Collection cars by Gooding & Company at its Amelia Island sale on February 29-March 1, 2024. Following the sale, the museum will close permanently, but at least four of its star cars will move to the Petersen Automotive Museum.

“Peter Mullin’s passing shook the automotive community, and he no doubt will go down in history as one of this world’s greatest visionaries, especially in the realm of French Classic and Art Deco cars,” said Gooding & Company president and co-founder David Gooding. “We are so honoured to have the privilege of presenting this auction at the Mullin Automotive Museum, where we will all convene one last time to honour the tremendous legacy of Peter and ensure that the automotive treasures he hand-picked with his wife Merle find their way to new and deserving homes.”

Among the highlights of the sale are the following lots:

1939 Bugatti Type 57C Aravis ‘Special Cabriolet’

(Estimate: $2,500,000-$3,500,000, without reserve)
Debuted in 1934, the Type 57 became Bugatti’s most successful road-going model, and the Type 57C bolstered performance with a factory-fitted supercharged engine. French coachbuilder Gangloff offered an elegant 2/3-seat Cabriolet body for the Type 57 called the Aravis, named after a mountain pass in the French Alps. Only three examples of the Gangloff-bodied Aravis survive today, one of which is this example, which was ordered new by Avignon agent Granat & Fils for famed Bugatti team racing driver Maurice Trintignant.

Featuring ivory bodywork with dark blue fenders and trim, chassis 57768 was successfully raced in-period by Trintignant at the Grand Prix du Comminges in 1939. In more recent years, as part of the Mullin Collection, the Aravis was restored by Sargent Metal Works before being exhibited at various concours events, including the 2005 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, where it was awarded First in Class.

Thereafter, it was displayed at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, where it resided in the Peter and Merle Mullin Artistry Gallery.

1935 Hispano-Suiza J12 Cabriolet

(Estimate: $2,500,000-$3,500,000, without reserve)
Founded in 1904, Hispano-Suiza became one of the leading pre-World War Two automotive manufacturers in Europe, due to finely engineered models such as the Alfonso XIII, the H6 and the venerable J12. Introduced in 1931, the Hispano-Suiza J12 offered unparalleled performance, power and ease of operation, encompassed in an elegant, simplistic yet opulent presentation. As one of the most expensive cars of its day, the J12 boasted a 9.4-litre V12 engine producing 220bhp, proving it had both the capability and the looks of a proper supercar of its time.

The 1935 Hispano-Suiza J12 Cabriolet offered here has a provenance including noted collectors Dr Sam Scher, Richard Paine and John Mozart. Featuring coachwork by Vanvooren, the elegant J12 Cabriolet joined the Mullin Collection in 1992, where it has remained a prominent fixture. The J12 has also been shown multiple times at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, where it has been the recipient of numerous Class Awards.

1937 Delage D8-120 Three-Position Cabriolet

(Estimate: $800,000-$1,000,000, without reserve)
This second-series 1937 Delage D8-120 Three-Position Cabriolet wears open-bodied coachwork by Chapron. It was featured prominently in the 1951 film An American in Paris starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron, and was granted an award in the Chapron Coachwork class at the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

1930 Bugatti Type 46 Semi-Profilée Coupe

(Estimate: $650,000-$850,000, without reserve)
The 1930 Bugatti Type 46 Semi-Profilée Coupe, chassis 46136, is adorned in replicated semi-profilée-style coachwork. It was ordered new by Bugatti agent Vladimir Gut in Prague, where it spent a portion of its early life gracing the stables of prominent Czech owners.

From the Schlumpf Reserve Collection

In the 1950s, Swiss brothers and textile industrialists Hanz and Fritz Schlumpf formed one of the foremost automobile collections in the world. Today, this collection forms the Musée National Cité de l’Automobile in Alsace, France, a crown jewel of the French government holdings unlikely to ever return to private hands.

The Schlumpf Reserve collection consists of a cache of cars that belonged to the Schlumpf brothers that was hidden for decades in Malmerspach, France. The Mullin Automotive Museum acquired these very special reserve collection cars, which now present the only opportunity in the foreseeable future to acquire a car formerly owned by the Schlumpf brothers. Highlights from this collection include:

A 1937 Auto Union Wanderer W25K Roadster (Estimate: $120,000-$150,000, without reserve), chassis no. 180223

1927 Bugatti Type 40 ‘Break de Chasse’ (Estimate: $100,000-$150,000, without reserve), chassis no. 40485

1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux with John Shakespeare provenance (Estimate: $200,000 -$250,000, without reserve), chassis no. 57297, sold new through Lamberjack in Paris

1936 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux (Estimate: $125,000-$175,000, without reserve), chassis no. 57377

Other European marques

The auction at the Mullin Automotive Museum will also feature offerings from well known French marques, including Citroën, Peugeot, Renault, and Delage, as well as selections from more obscure, rarely seen automakers. These include:

An early 1902 Darracq Roadster (Estimate: $50,000-$70,000, without reserve)

1911 De Dion Bouton Type DY (Estimate: $30,000-$50,000, without reserve)

1911 Panhard et Levassor X17 Sedanca de Ville (Estimate: $60,000-$80,000, without reserve)

German automotive excellence is represented in a few lots, including:

1956 Porsche 356 A Super Speedster (Estimate: $250,000-$350,000, without reserve)

1958 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster (Estimate: $1,000,000-$1,300,000, without reserve)

The no-reserve sale will also present a number of the Mullin Collection’s most prized and desirable automobilia, including highly sought-after Bugatti artifacts:

c. 1946 Bugatti Type 75 You-You Boat (Estimate: $25,000-$35,000, without reserve)

c. 1930s Bugatti Cart (Estimate: $20,000-$30,000, without reserve)

Bugatti Railcar Engine (Estimate: $90,000-$120,000, without reserve)

The Mullin Collection Auction will take place on Friday, April 26, 2024 at 9:30 am PDT, for registered bidders and approved media only at Mullin Automotive Museum, 1421 Emerson Ave, Oxnard, CA. Pre-auction viewing is on Thursday, April 25, 9:00am to 5:00pm PDT. You can find the online catalogue here from April 1.

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