2009 is turning into a good year if you're the market for ultra-rare, ultra-historic, ultra-expensive metal. We've already seen the 1967 Ferrari 330 P4, Hitler's Fiat 2800, 1939 Auto Union D-Type, 1964 Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe and the record-breaking 1957 Ferrari 250 Testarossa.
But this might be the rarest, historicalest, expensivest of the bunch. This is Ettore Bugatti's own car, the 1936 Bugatti Type 57C Coupe... and it's up for auction in August.
It's a bit special, this one: the car was presented by Bugatti factory workers to Ettore - who founded Bugatti in 1909 - on his 55th birthday. During the Second World War, the car was hidden from trouble in Bugatti's French factory before being sold on in 1950.
The Type 57 has barely been used, and never restored - which means it's all original. Original and beautiful.
Original, beautiful and, undoubtedly, seriously expensive. Gooding - the auction house putting the Type 57 under the hammer on August 15 at the swanky Pebble Beach concourse - won't speculate on what the Bugatti might fetch, but hasn't set a reserve. Which means you might just snap up a bargain.
Unlikely, though - we're told that the Type 57 is expected to get close to the Testarossa's £8m sale price.
Leaving aside the money for a second, here's a Bugatti teaser for you: given the choice, would you take one of these... or a Veyron?
Now watch Clarkson race back from Italy in a Veyron – against James and Richard flying themselves in a little plane: