Amazing Bugatti Barn Find!

Bugatti Barn Find

One would assume that every single Bugatti barn find has already been unearthed. Well, here’s more proof that there might still be a few out there waiting to be found. A small group of people have dedicated their whole lives to the search of these special masterpieces. They spend their days scouring factory records and club registries in hopes of locating a forgotten specimen of one of the world’s most desirable automobiles. It doesn’t happen very often, but every once in while these treasure hunters strike gold. One such discovery happened not long ago and this is tale about how a very special 1925 Bugatti Brescia was found after being lost for nearly 50 years!

Terrillon collection

This beautiful blue 1925 Bugatti was purchased and sold a couple of times early in its life and was lucky enough to be hidden away and protected during the war. It eventually found its way into the hands of a Bugatti enthusiast who went by the name of Jean Terrillon. The car joined his Bugatti fleet in 1953 and was enjoyed for about a decade. Sometime in 1966 the car was trailered to the factory for a service, but apparently it didn’t see much use after its return to the farm. Following Jean’s death, the family sold off all the Bugattis, save for one. This once spirited thoroughbred was then consigned to the captivity of a garage for the next five decades.

1925 Bugatti Type 13

The auction company who handled the recent sale of the car did not divulge many about how they found it. In the press release they just mentioned that the collector car department was proud to present their most recent discovery. I assume that means that someone from the Terrillon family called them up and asked if someone could come take a look. Boy, would I have loved to have been on the receiving end of that phone call! Pre-auction estimates valued the car at about $170,000 to $280,000, but it shocked everyone when the hammer came down at almost one million! I suppose that shouldn’t have come as too much of a surprise though. There were very few twin magneto Type 13s built and this one could be one of the most well-preserved ones around.

Besides, how many Bugatti barn finds can there be left?

Source: Artcurial


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  1. Mark E

    I saw the pre-auction estimate of $170-280k and thought, boy they shouldn’t have washed it! When I read that it sold for almost one million I blew up the photo and, sure enough, barn dirt!

    Lesson learned: DON’T WASH OFF THAT CAR, boys and girls!! ^_^

    (Makes me wonder if they could have gotten over a million for it if they hadn’t put air in the tires…)

    • Tim

      If you follow the advice of many of the posters on here, the car would have been repainted and upholstered and be “upgraded” to 12 volts and electronic ignition. That’s if the surface rust on the exhaust isn’t noticed, because even that is apparently enough to scare everyone away…
      Original, preserved and embracing the scratches and dents as patina is the way to go in my opinion.
      It’s like polishing an old coin.. Once the history is removed, it’s worthless.

      Like 1
      • The Walrus

        Exactly. They’re only original once.

      • Mike_B_SVT

        But at what point is “old patina” no longer considered desireable? What if that Bugatti had been repainted back in 1966? Is non-original-but-still-quite-old Paint worth preserving as is? Or does it depend on the condition of the metal underneath / extent of rust?

        I ask because my own old car gets many comments of “Oh wow, an original paint survivor!”… but it’s not. The paint is just 40 years old, so it has “that look”, but it really needs quite a bit of work once you take a closer look.

  2. Cory

    I was fortunate enough to see the bugatti collection at the Peterson museum a few years back. I have to say, they are absolutely incredible cars. The build quality is unreal, and just standing next to one is an experience. Glad to see they are still out there. Maybe I will find a cheap one someday (yeah right)

  3. David Frank David Member

    First, I think this is the very best kind of barn find story. Thank you Jesse et all!

    I wonder when someone will try to sell a replica Pur Sang Bugatti from Argentina as original. The craftsmanship is superb. Even Bugatti experts have a hard time telling the difference and rely on the data plate. If I was rich, I’d love to own a Pur Sang. ($250,000 for one I could enjoy driving instead of over a million for a museum piece.)

    There are several Pur Sang Bugattis for sale here;

  4. KO

    That car is stunningly beautiful!

  5. Olaf E

    This ’25 Bugatti Brescia is in better shape than the one they pulled from Lake Maggiore after 75 years. That one, a Type 22, was auctioned off at $ 360,000.00 at Bonhams in 2010 and is displayed as it has emerged.

    Yes, preserve.

  6. Ken

    If my Dad had only kept either the Type 37 or 44 he had and sold in the 50’s when they were another interesting car of some value…He was delighted to make a small profit on each I’m told…We have no idea where either car ultimately ended up.

  7. dave miltner

    Not a barn find but a nice home made 1937 Bugatti 57S reproduction for your enjoyment :

  8. Bill Wilkman

    I have to say, this is not one of the most elegant Bugatti designs I’ve ever seen. The fenders look like they came from a Ford Model A.

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