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Type 55 Roadster
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  Bugatti Type 55 Roadster
 

  Article Image gallery (70) Chassis (4) 55201 Specifications  
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Country of origin:France
Produced from:1931 - 1935
Numbers built:Around 15
Introduced at:1931 Paris Motor Show
Designed by:Jean Bugatti
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:October 24, 2014
Download: All images
Chassis: 55201
This is the very first Type 55 constructed and as the prototype the only Roadster fitted with louvres on the top of the engine covers. Following its show duties at the Paris Auto Salon in September of 1931, chassis 55201 was sold to its first owner, the Duc de la Tremoille. For reasons unknown, the car was soon after modified with Figoni-style fenders and a removable tonneau that revealed rear seats. In the early 1950s, the car was sold to the United States. Left in disrepair and without an engine, it was eventually acquired by noted Bugatti collector Peter Williamson in 1963.

He commissioned Ray Jones to meticulously recreate the body. To ensure his work was accurate, Jones was able to use John Shakespeare's Type 55 for measurements, just days before the entire collection was shipped to France to join the Schlumpf stable. Finished in cream white and black, the restored Type 55 was Williamson's favourite Bugatti for road use. Following his untimely death, it was offered by Gooding in their 2008 Pebble Beach auction, where it changed hands for close to $1.8 million. The new owner had it carefully restored again, including the addition of the unique vents to the engine cover. The work was completed in time for the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance where it is seen here.


Chassis details
Manufactured in 1931
Engine number 1
First owner Duc de la Tremoille
License plate 5882-NV1
Appearances
Most recent auction(s)

2012 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance
2012 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

  Article Image gallery (70) Chassis (4) 55201 Specifications