Just when you thought that inconspicuous country garages hiding super rare exotics, were a thing of the past – we hear about a 1929 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport and a 1956 Lancia Aurelia B24 Spider America, found in a shed in Berkshire, in the UK.
Berkshire borders Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Surry, Wiltshire and Hampshire and is one of the oldest counties in England.
So I guess it’s fitting that these two four wheeled gems, have been owned by the same family for a combined total of eighty-nine years.
The small Bugatti Type 40 replaced the Brescia in 1926 and was essentially built using parts from other cars but on a new chassis.
For example, the straight-four 1.5-litre engine was from a Type 37 racecar although, modified. The brakes, gearbox and drivetrain were donated from the Type 38. It was a good handling car due to its diminutive size and could do 125km/h flat stick.
The Type 40 was also the last of the small Bugatti road cars ever made by this bespoke automotive manufacturer.
Finished in French Blue (is there any other colour for a Bugatti?) with black leather, this boat-tailed four-seater has been partially restored and awaits a lucky buyer with plenty of passion and lots of cash.
It’s hard to tell from the above picture but this semi-restored Lancia Aurelia B24 Spider America is pure Italian eye candy, from the mid-fifties.
While Lancia chief designer, Vittorio Jano, was handed a clean sheet or paper for a replacement to the Aprilia, the B24 Spider was really the result of a team effort with a gifted engineer named Francesco de Virgilio.
Powered by a 2.5-litre engine with a top speed of 184km/h, the short wheel base version (B20) was a superb handling car which was a tough competitor in the 1952 Mille Miglia scoring a second place finish in between the more powerful Mercedes-Benz 300SL ‘gullwing’ coupes.
The Lancia Aurelia was said to be virtually unbeatable on winding roads and later that same year went on to score a 1-2-3 in the Targa Florio, which was an incredible feat for a production sedan.
H7H Classic Auctions in the UK reckon that the Bugatti might fetch close to $300,000 and the Lancia, some $260,000. While that might seem a lot, it’s a fraction of what you would pay for fully restored examples.