Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting WN NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Fake Bugatti Type 51 fetches £300K+
AN “extremely well executed replica” of a Bugatti racing car has been sold for more than £300,000 at auction.
The copy of a Type 51 had been lying unused in the garage of Alan Riley in Hartlebury, near Worcester, for nine years after Mr Riley bought it in 1987 convinced it was the car used to win the 1931 Casablanca grand prix.
Brightwells auctioneers, based in Leominster, battled through rusted cars, overgrown trees, boxes and bin bags to retrieve the mystery motor after Mr Riley died last year.
After attracting bids from Italy, France, Belgium and Germany, it was eventually bought for £302,400 by an anonymous English bidder who intends to race the vehicle.
Auctioneer James Dennison said the sale had exceeded all expectations.
“We knew it was going to sell but we had no idea it was going to make so much,” he said.
“There was so much interest and there were bidders from all over the world.”
He said two of the country’s leading Bugatti experts examined the car.
The model, built by the late London-based engineer Keith Butti in the mid-1980s, is manufactured to Type 51 specification but only came with two original parts – the fuel tank and the rear cross member.
Mr Dennison said: “It’s an extremely well executed replica and it has been done so well it would fool anybody. The fact it was so convincing and had some original Bugatti parts is why it fetched so much money.
“If the owners accumulate original parts and add them to the car it would further increase its value.”
It was expected to fetch between £100,000 and £150,000, which is well below the £2 million an authentic Type 51 would sell for on the open market.
Like an original Type 51, it has a 2.3-litre supercharged, eight-cylinder engine which developed around 180bhp when it was built.