- The model that begat the straight-eight-cylinder Bugatti
- Highly attractive and sporting original coachwork
- Known history since new; formerly owned by Bernard Viallon
- Accompanied by a report by Bugatti expert Pierre-Yves Laugier
Bugatti Type 30 chassis number 4725, offered here, is accompanied by a report compiled by Bugatti expert Pierre-Yves Laugier. Laugier notes that the car was ordered by Bugatti agent Dubuisson of Saint Quentin for his customer, Jean Charavel, and that the chassis was likely produced in January of 1926. Dubuisson purchased the rolling chassis only, commissioning an unidentified coachbuilder to produce the elegant four-passenger open tourer body, with two doors: one on the left, for the front passenger, and one on the right rear! Importantly, early photographs depict the car with the sexy rakish vee’d windshield that it still wears today. The car was driven on garage plates 1651 WW5 by Bugatti racing driver, Louis Charavel, who competed under the pseudonym of “Sabipa”—and brother of this car’s original owner.
Delivered to Jean Charavel, the car is believed to have remained with his family until 1960. It was subsequently sold to J.P. Léger of Dreux, then passed to François Lecorché. The next owner was Henri Chambon of Clermont Ferrand, who purchased the car in 1972 and registered it as 7892 QG 63, using it at the International Bugatti Meeting in Denmark five years later. A photograph, published in Yan Verdier’s Y Une Vie pour Bugatti, shows the car in this period at Henri Novo’s famous Bugatti garage, with the engine removed; it was at this point that the current engine, 418, another correct Type 30 unit, was installed. Also in this period, the car was refinished in its present color scheme.
It next passed in 1985 to Bernard Viallon, a well-known collector whose stable included a number of Bugattis. The car appeared from Viallon’s stable on pages 111 and 112 of Bugatti Magnum, written by the renowned Bugatti historian Hugh Conway and published in 1989.
The car has now been a resident of its present owner’s collection since the early 1990s and during that time has seldom been shown in public. It retains its original frame number 4, and original rear axle number 588. The finishes throughout are in good condition, including the attractive paintwork of the body, older but overall well-preserved brown leather upholstery, rich inner wood capping along the sides of the body and dashboard, and a black cloth top that is in good shape. Marchal headlamps accentuate the overall sporting appearance, while the underside and engine bay are presentable and correct.
“Cute as a button,” this Type 30 is a petite little eight-cylinder jewel that would be great fun for a new owner. It is appealing both to the serious Bugatti enthusiast and simply to anyone who enjoys beautiful lines on a superbly engineered chassis.