Bugatti’s racing heritage is alive and well, and one of the most important pieces of that history has been beautifully preserved.
Only six Bugatti Type 59 Sports race cars were ever made, a two-seater that featured piano wire wheels and a 3.3-liter inline 8-cylinder engine with a supercharger. The model was used to bring René Dreyfus to third place at the Monaco Grand Prix in April 1934, and to other high placements at Grand Prix races throughout the world. After being retired, one of the Type 59s was converted into a sports car at the factory and remains the only Grand Prix car to have undergone the process.
With the supercharger removed and bodywork redone for road drivability, the Bugatti Type 59 Sports became a car for the road and track. It continued building a racing legacy until it was sold to a regular Bugatti client at the time: King Leopold III of Belgium. For the King, the car was repainted from blue to black with a yellow stripe, and the turmoil of World War II put the car into storage and King Leopold III and his family into exile. In 1959, the ex-monarch and his family moved, along with the Type 59 Sports, until being sold to a Belgian collector in 1967, where it would be kept for 20 years until being sold to an American Bugatti enthusiast. After over 80 years, the car remains to this day unrestored and unpolished in its original race-worn condition with scuffed leather and patinated paintwork, but with strong technology, paying a beautiful homage to Bugatti’s racing history.