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Bugatti Type 54 Bachelier Roadster

The beautiful, elegant lines of this Bugatti suggest that it is a normal roadster, but they actually conceal a Type 54 Grand Prix racer with a five-litre, 300 hp, supercharged engine.

The English aristocrat and racing driver Earl Howe bought this Type 54 in 1932 and raced it in the French Grand Prix, but he had to drop out when the gearbox failed. He was never satisfied with the car, so he sold it to Bugatti enthusiast L.G. ‘Batch’ Bachelier, who built a roadster bodywork on the Type 54 chassis, basing it on his own roadster, a Type 55. Sadly, Bachelier was critically ill and died just before the car was completed.

After that, the Bugatti passed through many hands. At the end of the 1940s the car crashed during a race and was not rebuilt in its original form. In 1986 the new owner restored this unique Bugatti correctly, finding and refitting Bachelier’soriginal bodywork. In 2001 this car was awarded the Briggs Cunningham Trophy for the most elegant pre-war sports car at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elégance.

Type 54 Bugattis were extremely demanding cars to master. Just five Type 54s were built, and two of them were damaged beyond repair in accidents.

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