If you thought the $12.2 million paid this time last year for a 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa was a lot, you ain't seen nothin' yet. Reports are coming in that an extremely rare 1936 Bugatti has traded hands for between $30- and $40 million, easily taking the record for the highest sum ever paid for a single automobile, and by itself approaching the record held by RM Auctions for the highest amount traded in a single day in an automobile auction.
The automobile in question is known as the Williamson Bugatti, a 1936 Type 57SC Atlantic of which only two or three remain in existence. One is owned by Ralph Lauren, and the other belonged to the late Dr. Peter Williamson, a noted collector of classic Bugattis. Auctioneers Gooding & Company helped Williamson amass his collection, and have helped his estate liquidate it to other collectors since his passing. But the Atlantic remained until last. The private sale – details of which remain unconfirmed but reported by no less prestigious a publication as The Wall Street Journal and its Pulitzer Prize-winning automotive columnist Dan Neil – reportedly went to the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California, so chances are the public will have ample opportunity to view this unparalleled piece of automotive art first hand.