Classic Van Auction Talk

Monday 9 September 2019

1924 Bugatti Type 23 'Brescia' Open Tourer - .BONHAMS AUCTIONS Goodwood Revival Sale Saturday 14th September 2019 Goodwood Circuit, Chichester


Goodwood Revival Sale
Saturday 14th September 2019
Goodwood Circuit, Chichester

In current ownership for 35 years

1924 Bugatti Type 23 'Brescia' Open Tourer

Registration no. not UK registered
Chassis no. 2064

* Delivered new to Australia
* Complete known ownership history from new
* Restored in the 1970s
* Present ownership since 1985
* Enthusiastically used and well maintained


  • Arnold H Wootton was a prominent figure in the motorsports community in Australia's southeastern state of Victoria when he took delivery of this car, one of the first batch to come to Australia via Bugatti's London agent, Colonel W L Sorel, having been delivered from the factory on 5th May 1924. Shortly after its arrival, the Bugatti took part in a hill climb at Malpas Hill, Mount Ridley on Saturday 4th October 1924. The Brescia was second fastest to Cooper's ex-Goux French Grand Prix Ballot 2LS in the owner/driver event and was just beaten by Whitehead's similar Brescia in the open event.

    In 1926, second owner Marjory Honeybone was given the car as an eighteenth birthday present by her husband, Ken. The Bugatti then had three further owners – John L Mundy, Keith R McConachy, and Henry B Thomas, in that order – before being taken to and registered in Victoria in 1943 by Bryan Butler. A prominent New South Wales Bugatti owner and partner in Nolan & Butler, motor trim suppliers with a branch in Melbourne, Bryan Butler used the car regularly in VSCC competition in New South Wales immediately after WW2 alongside '2566', the two cars being shared with his brother, John.

    '2064' was returned to Victoria in the early 1950s and next owned by Bon Batchelor followed by Graeme Steinfort. Complete but in poor condition, it was beautifully restored in Victoria in the 1970s by John Porter. Since 1985 the Bugatti has been owned and regularly used by the current owner, noted marque authority Peter McGann, author of Brescia Bugatti and co-author with Bob King of Bugattis in Australia and New Zealand 1920-2012.

    A much-loved car equally at home on the highway or on its way to the local coffee shop, '2064' has benefited from considerable restoration works since its acquisition some 34 years ago. Not the least of these was the removal of the 'bridge' behind the front seats, which restricted legroom for both driver and passenger. This was done circa 2000 when further changes were made to the body frame to increase the internal width of the passenger compartment. At the same time new bucket seats were installed; the body re-skinned with fresh fabric; the interior re-trimmed; and the car re-sprayed.

    In 2015 the engine (number '481') was completely dismantled, with any worn or defective parts replaced prior to re-assembly. Prior to 2015 a new camshaft of slightly higher performance than standard had been fitted; the valve gear overhauled; new 'banana' tappets fitted; a new oil pump installed, and both magnetos rewound (original components with the car). The running gear too has benefited from regular maintenance over the years. Components renewed to include the crown wheel and pinion; rear brake backplates; wheel bearings; brake drums and linings; clutch plate set and thrust bearing; wheel bearings; and tyres (a fully detailed list of all works is available).

    Included with the car are two packages. One contains many of the original parts that have been replaced over the years, while the other contains the following books: a copy of the original chassis handbook as issued by the factory; a copy of the Brescia spare parts book; a copy of Brescia Bugatti, a copy of Bugattis in Australia and New Zealand 1920 to 2012; and a copy of Bugatti Passion (the history of the Bugatti Club in Australia).

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