Rare Bugatti Type 57S Cabriolet by Vanvooren Offered for Public Sale for First Time at RM Sotheby's Amelia Island

BLENHEIM, ONTARIO, CANADA – November 22, 2016 – (Motor Sports Newswire) –

  • RM Sotheby’s returns to Amelia Island, Florida, March 11, 2017, for its 19th annual collector car sale
  • The official auction of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, event to present some 80 blue-chip automobiles
  • One-of-three 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Cabriolet by Vanvooren headlines early entries, expected to be among the most valuable automobiles ever offered during the Amelia weekend
  • Additional highlights include a 1930 Stutz Model M Supercharged Coupe and 1933 Cadillac V-16 All-Weather Phaeton
  • Further information and a frequently updated list of entries available at www.rmsothebys.com


Beauty and Power: this 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Cabriolet by Vanvooren will be offered for public sale for the first time in its 80-year history at RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island sale, March 2017
credit: Darin Schnabel © 2016 courtesy RM Sotheby’s

RM Sotheby’s, the official auction house of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, will bring stylish French pre-war automotive design to the forefront when it returns to Amelia Island, Florida, March 11. Building on the company’s strong track record in Northeast Florida—the 2017 event represents RM’s 19th annual Amelia Island event—the March sale will be headlined by a stunning 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Cabriolet with rare coachwork by Vanvooren of Paris. Offered for public sale for the first time in its 80-year history, the Type 57S is expected to be among the most valuable automobiles ever offered during the Amelia weekend.

Highlighted by its striking and sporty body style, the 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Cabriolet, chassis no. 57513, is one of only three built. It is believed to be the only example of its kind in private hands retaining its original chassis, body, engine and gearbox, plus numerous other seldom seen original components. Perhaps even more fascinating is that it has never been completely disassembled for restoration and remains in exquisitely original condition. Well-documented with known history, it has enjoyed a short string of long-term owners, mostly UK-based enthusiasts; its second and third custodians were notable fixtures in the tight-knit Bugatti community, racing 57513 at Bugatti Owners Club meets, excelling in hill climb events, while also using the car for Continental touring.

In 1962, the featured T57S was acquired by T.A. (Bob) Roberts, OBE, who went on to become its longest-term owner, carefully maintaining the car for the next three decades. Early in Roberts’ custodianship, the Bugatti was changed to its current livery of black over primrose yellow, with various upgrades made to enhance cooling and lighting. During the 1970s, Roberts fitted 57513 with an unused 1937 Type 57G competition engine, while the original unit (numbered 21S) was kept along with the car. Thereafter, it was principally used as a road car, and eventually retired to Roberts’ Midlands Motoring Museum in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, with its original engine reinstalled before passing onto its current and first American owner in the 1990s. In single-ownership for the last two decades, 57513 comes to Amelia Island with its original engine still equipped with the larger competition carburetor from the Type 57G motor, offering an impressive increase in power, and following a recent mechanical recommissioning by RM Auto Restoration. It is expected to command in excess of $8.5 million when it takes center stage at RM’s Amelia Island sale at the Ritz-Carlton in March.


“The cars of Ettore and Jean Bugatti exemplify the virtues so appealing to the Classic Era sporting enthusiast who had the means to acquire the very best. The T57, in particular, was legendary for its high power, light handling and overall refinement,” says Don Rose, Car Specialist, RM Sotheby’s.

“Then comes the exceptionally rare and sporting T57S, one of very few open cars built on the same advanced competition chassis as the iconic Bugatti Atlantic Coupé, and just as rare. In total, just 48 57S chassis were built, the majority of which featured factory design coachwork. The fact that this car is one of only three cabriolets bodied by Vanvooren makes it all the more special. We’re truly honored to be presenting chassis 57513 at Amelia Island on behalf of its long-term owner. One could choose to maintain its exceptional originality and charm, or it could be considered as a restoration candidate, expected to be highly competitive at the top level of the international concours scene, potentially worthy of Best of Show celebration.”

The largely unmolested, blue-chip Bugatti will be surrounded by a curated selection of some 80 handpicked automobiles at RM Sotheby’s upcoming Amelia Island sale. Among other entries representing beautiful pre-war design: a 1930 Stutz Model M Supercharged Coupe and a 1933 Cadillac V-16 All-Weather Phaeton.


One of only three supercharged Stutzes in existence, this 1930 Stutz Model M Supercharged Coupe is among early highlights for the official 2017 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance auction, proudly presented by RM Sotheby’s
credit: Theo Civitello © 2016 courtesy RM Sotheby’s

One of only three supercharged Stutzes in existence, the 1930 Stutz Model M Supercharged Coupe, chassis no. M-C-31312, is clothed as a rakish and low-slung aluminum coupe by Lancefield Coachworks. Universally lauded for its handsome and sinister appearance, it comes to Amelia Island beautifully restored and with an impeccable history, including a well-known roster of owners dating back to famed Stutz collector A.K. Miller, who purchased it in the late 1940s. Owing to its provenance, design and supercharged specification, it is undoubtedly one of the most desirable examples of the Stutz marque (Est. $1,000,000 – $1,400,000).

The 1933 Cadillac V-16 All-Weather Phaeton, motor no. 5000102, is a fantastic example of the top-of-the-line Cadillac V-16 of its era. For the first time in 1933, Cadillac gave the V-16s a separate identity with unique styling cues found in the body lines, fender edges and various finish details throughout. It was also the first Cadillac to feature the “de Sakhnoffsky” hood— a striking feature in which the hood overlaid the cowl and reached to the base of the windshield. With the Depression taking its toll on the upper classes, only 126 V-16s were delivered by Cadillac in 1933. Only a small number of these All-Weather Phaetons from this rare year are known to survive. Elegant and sporty, the featured example is very well-known and respected in collector circles. It boasts prominent ownership history, including Gifford Oborne, Bill Chorkey, Carmine Zeccardi and, more recently, Steve Plunkett in whose collection it resided for over a decade (Est. $400,000 – $500,000).

For further information on RM Sotheby’s Amelia Island sale or to view a frequently updated list of entries, please visit www.rmsothebys.com, or call +1 519 352 4575 to discuss consignment opportunities.

Visit: www.rmsothebys.com
Follow: www.twitter.com/rmsothebys
Join: www.facebook.com/rmsothebys
Watch: www.youtube.com/rmauctionsinc

About RM Sotheby’s

RM Sotheby’s (formerly RM Auctions) is the world’s largest auction house for investment-quality automobiles. With 35 years’ experience in the collector car industry, RM’s vertically integrated range of services, from private treaty sales and auctions to estate planning, and financial services, coupled with an expert team of car specialists and an international footprint, provide an unsurpassed level of service to the global collector car market. In February 2015, RM formed a strategic partnership with Sotheby’s, uniting the two companies for the full calendar of future automobile auctions. For further information, visit www.rmsothebys.com.

About the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance

Winner of Octane Magazine’s 2016 International Historic Motoring Event of the year, the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is among the top automotive events in the world. Always held the second full weekend in March, “The Amelia” draws over 300 rare vehicles from collections around the world to The Golf Club of Amelia Island and The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, for a celebration of the automobile like no other. Since 1996, the show’s foundation has donated over $3 million to Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, Inc., Spina Bifida of Jacksonville and other deserving charities on Florida’s First Coast. The 22nd annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is scheduled for March 10–12, 2017. For more information, visit www.ameliaconcours.org or call + 1 904 636 0027

Source: RM Sotheby’s