This is why the 1920s were the Golden Age of car design

caption
A 1932 Rolls Royce roadster.
source
RM Sotheby’s

Unless your name is Jay Leno, car collectors tend to focus on a particular theme when selecting examples.

Many zero in on a manufacturer, category, country of origin, or, in the case of one lovely collection to be auctioned in Monaco next month, an era.

The sale will take place at an RM Sotheby’s auction on May 14 which runs concurrent to the historical Grand Prix of Monaco.

Interestingly, all lots are offered without reserve.

The “Quattroruote” collection is the child Gianni Mazzocchi, co-founder of the widely-read Italian motoring magazine of the same name, Autoevolution reported.

Along with a good variety of other vehicles, like a World War II-era Jeep, an 1879 Singer racing bicycle, and (rather oddly) a 1978 Mercedes station wagon, the collection boasts an impressive selection of vehicles from the 1920s, perhaps the most influential era of automotive development and design.

The auction highlight is undoubtedly a head-turning Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet with coachwork by Gangloff of Colmar. It was once the famous French automaker’s showpiece, and is sure to capture a sale figure with many, many zeroes.

Take a look at some of the other vehicles for sale.


A 1914 Benz 8/20 Tourer. It is of the “brass era.”

source
RM Sotheby’s

The brake and throttle controls are handles outside the vehicle. Automakers did not settle on a standardized layout for car controls until the introduction of the …

source
RM Sotheby’s

… Austin 7, a highly-successful and influential British design which was the first mass-produced vehicle to feature the same control layout (pedals on the floor ordered clutch, brake, and gas) still used in cars today.

source
RM Sotheby’s

Fiat built 90,000 509s like this 1927 model. That number seems laughable when compared to, say, the 363,000 Corollas Toyota sold just last year, but in its time it was a sure sign that cars would one day be accessible to almost everyone.

source
RM Sotheby’s

In France, Peugeot was also making cars that were increasingly accessible, like this 1925 Type 172 BC “5 CV.”

source
RM Sotheby’s

“This is a Fiat, but it looks like a Rolls-Royce—even more beautiful and elegant,” said the collection’s curators of this 1930 Fiat 525 N Spider by Carrozzerie Speciali.

source
RM Sotheby’s

1922 Lancia Lambda 1st Series Torpedo is that rarest of automotive sights: the 4-door convertible …

source
RM Sotheby’s

… as is this 1914 SCAT Tipo 14-1 Torpedo by Solaro.

source
RM Sotheby’s

Rear legroom: ample. Seat belts: not so much.

source
RM Sotheby’s

A 1932 Rolls Royce 20:25 HP Roadster is a very pretty thing.

source
RM Sotheby’s

The engine bay seems a world away from the crammed, plastic-coated ones of today.

source
RM Sotheby’s

This Rolls-Royce …

source
RM Sotheby’s

… is a 1929 Phantom II Sedanca de Ville by Hooper, and it all but demands a chauffeur.

source
RM Sotheby’s

… yes, the back seat is definitely the place to be.

source
RM Sotheby’s

In the same vein, a 1930 Hispano-Suiza H6B Coupé Chauffeur by Binder.

source
RM Sotheby’s

The auction’s highlight is undoubtedly this 1939 Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet, with coachwork by Gangloff.

source
RM Sotheby’s

The car was displayed at the 1939 Geneva Motor show. It was also used by acclaimed racing driver Jean-Pierre Wimille as a factory demonstrator for prospective Bugatti clients.

source
RM Sotheby’s

Bugatti Type 57s are some of the most valuable automobiles on earth.

source
RM Sotheby’s

This Fiat 508 is incredibly original, and features the same paint, upholstery, and the engine it left the factory with in 1932.

source
RM Sotheby’s