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1929 Bugatti Type 40 Roadster

1 of 42 Type 40 "Jean Bugatti Roadsters" Built, and 1 of 13 Surviving Cars, Superb Integrity and Matching Numbers Throughout

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Price $585,000
VIN 40845
Exterior Color Two Tone Red and Black
Interior Color Black Leather
Engine 1500 c.c. 4-Cylinder no. 769
Transmission 4-Speed Manual
Status Hidden
Stock FJ1490


This car is currently not at Fantasy Junction but can be viewed by appointment.


1929 Bugatti Type 40 Jean Bugatti Roadster
s/n 40845, engine no. 769
Two Tone Red and Black with Black Leather Interior

Built in the heyday of Bugatti’s illustrious Grand Prix successes, the Type 40 was among the company’s smallest offerings, but incorporated many of the same innovations that distinguished the company’s cars both on and off the track. The engine was virtually identically to that of the Type 37 Grand Prix car, a single overhead camshaft inline four with three valves per cylinder. A 4-speed gearbox transmitted power to the rear wheels. A total of 775 examples were built, of which just 42 wore the most sporting and beautiful “Jean Bugatti Roadster” bodywork, itself adapted from the stunning open bodywork he had designed for the eight-cylinder Type 43A.

Of the 42 Type 40s built with this bodywork, just 13 survive today, and this is an exceptionally original example that retains its original body, frame, engine, and gearbox. Jean Bugatti personally kept the first Type 40 with this bodywork, finished in the same color that this car wears: two tone black and red. Originally ordered by Bugatti’s Paris agent, Larrousé, this chassis was completed in January of 1930 and the body completed in August of 1930. It is one of four such cars ordered by Larrousé. The car was sold new in France and remained with French owners its entire life until 2013. By the 1950s, the car is believed to have found its way to the Loire valley, registered 243 BW 41. It was acquired in that region in 1961 by a Jean Montot, who owned the car, then registered 188 FA 37, until his death in 1984. Its next keeper had the car painted and owned the car for 29 years, from 1984 until 2013, at which point it was sold to an American and imported to the United States.

The car retains all of its original mechanical components, numbered consistently to the chassis, as well as its original chassis plate and wood panels stamped “22”, identifying this car as the 22nd Jean Bugatti Roadster built. The dashboard instruments are also entirely correct. Few Bugattis can claim such an exceptional level of originality.

The car’s presentation is quite authentic and generally original in appearance, although the paint was renewed about thirty years ago. It is now showing patina with some stress cracks and areas where it is lifting or peeling. The wood subframe of the body is in excellent shape throughout and the car appears quite correct in terms of accessories and equipment, including wheels, Scintilla headlamps, and other lighting. The glass is in good shape, as are the lights. The chrome is in good shape although not freshly restored. The top is excellent and appears recently restored, including the wood frame.

The interior is in very good condition with excellent leather seats and door panels. The wood steering wheel is in excellent restored shape, as are the instruments. The dashboard wood is in very nice condition while the pedals and shifter show patina and retain the intricate mechanical appearance that distinguishes Bugattis of this period. The tachometer is inoperative at this time.

The engine compartment continues the beautiful mechanical aesthetic that is visible in the interior of the car. The engine and firewall are beautifully etched alloy, and carefully wrought piping conveys fluids to and from the engine. The appearance is generally authentic and period correct, with original equipment such as charging system, choke, and ignition advance/retard mechanism.

The car runs and drives well. It starts easily, and operates as it should. The brakes work well, the transmission shifts properly, and the chassis and steering are coherent and communicative. The previous owner reports that it is very reliable.

This is an exceptional opportunity to acquire an extraordinarily rare car. Wearing the most sporting and desirable body available on the Type 40, this “Jean Bugatti Roadster” is one of just a handful in existence and is exceptionally honest and undisturbed, retaining its original engine, gearbox, and body. The car has been inspected and documented by Bugatti historian Pierre Yves Laugier and enjoys excellent history with few known owners. It is widely eligible for the world’s most prestigious events including the Mille Miglia and will be an exceptional addition to any collection.


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Fantasy Junction +1 510 653 7555 Emeryville, California 94608 USA

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