South East Wales

Lord's Bugatti and Cabriolet sell for £1.3m in Paris

Two 1930s vintage cars that belonged to the late Lord Raglan have sold for £1.3m at an auction on the Champs Elysee in Paris.

Fitzroy John Somerset was well known in Monmouthshire, and renowned for his love of vintage racing cars, including his own Bugatti Type 51.

It sold for £800,000 while his vintage Cabriolet fetched £500,000.

Lord Raglan, the fifth Baron Raglan, was patron of the Bugatti Owners Club.

The cars were sold by Bonhams auction house.

Before his death in January 2010 aged 82 the former Welsh Guard was well known for allowing charities to use his home and gardens near Usk for events.

Bonhams said he was "remembered with tremendous affection within the vintage motoring world."

He raced the Bugatti Type 51, which he spent two years painstakingly restoring after buying it in 1979, around the world.

The car was built in France in 1933, the first in a batch of five type 51 Bugattis.

Ian Patton, general manager of Bugatti Owner's Club, said Lord Raglan was passionate about the marque, and he was still competing in them until two years ago.

Before Saturday's auction, Mr Patton told Radio Wales that the two cars Lord Raglan owned were very different.

"The type 51 which is a beautiful two seater racing car from 1930 - 1933 to be exact - it's the epitome I suppose of the height of Bugatti's design for grand prix cars of that era. They're incredibly light, very, very powerful, the road holding on them is just superb and [they are] great fun.

'Go overseas'

"It's not the sort of car you drive down to the local supermarket in," he added.

"They were designed for one purpose and that was to win races."

He said the other car, the Cabriolet, going under the auctioneer's hammer on Saturday was "a sort of grand touring car".

"It's the sort of car that you'd take your daughter to her wedding in or something like that. It is absolutely beautiful," he said.

"And it is very sad to see them for sale because I suspect they may well go overseas and it'll be a little bit of English history lost."

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