This splendid Bugatti T57 #57397 was originally delivered to Paul Worth of the famed French perfume family on March 4, 1936. While the car was originally delivered as a faux cabriolet constructed by Fernandez & Darrin, in 1947 a stunning new body was conceived by Paul Née of Levallois, Paris, for its new owner, Monsieur Lescure. Née was most renowned for building high-quality and similarly ingenious cabriolet bodies for Lancia. The coupe body featured some unique characteristics such as a large sunroof, eye-catching chrome fender flashing, a distinctive ridge on the boot, a clever hidden spare, Marchal lights, rear-hinged doors and unusual vents on the bonnet.
In 1954, the Bugatti was sold to Monsieur Jean Contat in France who owned the car for the next seven years. On June 14, 1962, it was shipped from Le Harve aboard the SS Bernard Howaldt and arrived at the Los Angeles harbor on July 10, 1962. The car was received by well-known American Bugatti collector Dr. Milton Roth who, at the time, owned some of the marque?s most important cars.
Sadly, Dr. Roth passed away soon after taking delivery of his Type 57 Coupe and on March 15, 1965, Dr. A. J. Nelson of Long Beach, California, purchased the car from Dr. Roth's estate. Three years later, Dr. Nelson commissioned a frame-off restoration to be completed by O. A. 'Bunny' Phillips of Pasadena, California, as the car was by then showing some age. The Bugatti was one of Phillips' many ongoing projects and as a result the car remained disassembled for the next three decades. During the 1990s, Jim Stranberg adopted the restoration work and the fabulous Paul Née Bugatti was completed just before its debut at the 1999 Pebble Beach Concours d?Elegance, where its immaculate restoration earned it a class award in the Closed European Classic, 1925/1939 category.
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