1914 Peugeot Bebe BébéSOLD

1914 Peugeot Bébé

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To be offered at auction without reserve at RM Sotheby's Hershey event, October 8-9, 2015. To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/.

Chassis No.
11290

Estimate:
$ 55,000 - $ 75,000 US

OFFERED WITHOUT RESERVE

Type BP1. 10 bhp, 855 cc inline four-cylinder engine with two valves per cylinder, three-speed manual transmission, semi-elliptical leaf-spring front suspension, live rear axle with reversed quarter-elliptical leaf-spring suspension, and rear-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 72 in.


Designed by Ettore Bugatti
Formerly of the Dr. Peter and Susan Williamson Collection
Beautifully and authentically restored
Displayed at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance

This charming little vehicle is one of the few survivors worldwide of a very early Ettore Bugatti design, which had been created in 1911 as the Bugatti Type 19 and licensed to Peugeot two years later. The model, powered by a tiny water-cooled four-cylinder engine, sold a remarkable 3,000 copies between 1912 and 1914, and it thus became the largest-selling Bugatti-designed automobile ever, as well as the inspiration for other European manufacturers to begin building tiny cars. The result was the famous cyclecar trend that continued throughout the 1910s.

The Bebe offered here was formerly owned by the late, much-loved enthusiast, Richard Jerry Riegel of Montchanin, Delaware. In 1975, it was sold by Mr. Riegel to Dr. Peter and Susan Williamson. For decades, Dr. Williamson was one of the foremost American Bugatti enthusiasts and collectors, amassing a finely chosen stable of the very best from Molsheim, including the ex-Lord Rothschild Atlantic, which in his ownership was awarded Best of Show at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Given that the Williamson Collection spanned the complete breadth and depth of Ettore Bugatti's designs, it was natural that a Bebe would be acquired. During their tenure, it was restored by Don Leffert's well-respected Vintage Auto Restorations, of Ridgefield, Connecticut.

The car was owned by the Williamsons until 2008, when it was sold with the rest of their collection and acquired by its present owners. They, in turn, subjected the Bebe to a full restoration, which was performed by their in-house shop, with additional paint and plating work being performed by Brian Joseph's Classic & Exotic Service, of Troy, Michigan. The concours-quality work included refinishing the car in silver-blue, with darker fenders and a proper black leather interior and matching canvas top. Appropriate accessories found on the car include the nickel-plated cowl lights and taillight, Twentieth Century kerosene headlights, and a wood-rimmed steering wheel.

Since completion, the Bebe has appeared at several concours d'elegance, including Pebble Beach in 2009 and the Glenmoor Gathering in 2012, winning the Spirit of the Road Award at the latter, and it was even driven in a tour at the Key Largo Ocean Reef Club Vintage Weekend!

This car, easily the finest Bebe in this country, and perhaps one of the best in the world, is accompanied by a large history file of restoration and historical documentation. It would be a wonderfully charming addition to any fine collection, particularly as a bookend to a Bugatti, just as it was for Dr. Peter and Susan Williamson for 23 years.

Reference Number 365614

as of 10/11/2015

Overview
Car 1914 Peugeot Bebe Bébé
VIN 11290 
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