The Type 57 Bugatti is the touring equivalent of their Type 59 race car. They share a twin overhead cam, 3.3 liter, straight eight-cylinder engine with an integral four-speed gearbox. 800 were produced between 1934 and 1938.
This car was originally delivered in Paris, on March 4, 1936, with Faux Cabriolet Coach Work by Fernand. In 1947, a custom body was designed and built by Paul Nee of Levallois, Paris. The car arrived stateside in 1962.
A frame-off restoration began in 1968 by 'Bunny' Phillips, the noted Bugatti restorer, in Pasadena, CA. After spending 32 years disassembled, it was completed by Jim Stranberg of Colorado, perhaps today's most respected Bugatti restorer. It was acquired by the present owner in 2005.
The first owner of this vehicle, Mr. Paul Worth of the famed French perfume family, took possession on March 4th of 1936. It was originally configured as a faux cabriolet with coachwork by Fernandez & Darrin. After the Second World War, a new body by Paul Nee was installed for its owner Monsieur Lescure. The Pillarless Coupe bodystyle features a distinctive ridge on the trunk, Marchal lights, rear-hinged doors, a sunroof, chrome fender flashing, and a well-hidden spare.
The car was sold in 1954 to Monsieur Jean Contat in France who retained the car for the next seven years. It was sent to the United States on June 14th of 1962 and arrived on July 10th of that year. It was the new property of a well-known Bugatti collector Dr. Milton Roth. Soon after taking delivery of the car, Mr. Roth passed away. Dr. A.J. Nelson of Lon Beach, CA purchased the car from the estate. While in Mr. Nelson's care, the car was treated to a frame-off restoration. The restoration process took over three decades to complete, as it lay disassembled for many years with work progressing very slowly. It was side-lined while other projects took priority. In the 1990s, another restorer adopted the project. The work was completed just before its debut at the 1999 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. It won a class award in the Closed European Classic, 1925-1939 category.
In November of 2005, the car was purchased by its present owner. The newest owner has actively campaigned the car at several shows and events throughout the country. It won a succession of prestigious awards in 2006, including the Breitling Award for The Car of Timeless Elegance at Amelia Island, Best in Class at the Keels and Wheels Concours d'Elegance in Houston and class awards at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and the Los Angeles Concours d'Elegance. It also won the Most Elegant Car at the Palos Verdes Concours.
In 2009, this car was brought to Gooding & Company's Scottsdale Auction where it had an estimated value of $500,000 - $600,000. The lot was sold for $396,000 including buyer's premium.Also photographed at :
By the young age of 30, Jean Bugatti had already established himself as one of the great minds in the automobile industry and the only man capable of carrying on the legacy of his father, Ettore Bugatti. Jean's untimely death in 1939 at the wheel of one of his experimental race cars robbed automotive history of one of its brightest young stars. Despite his short life, Jean Bugatti left the world the Type 57 – the pinnacle of his mechanical and aesthetic talents.
The long-stroke inline eight-cylinder engine delivered smooth, seamless performance and was an aesthetic marvel – the epitome of beautiful engineering. Like the sporting Bugattis that preceded it, the 57 handled with finesse, and possessed a delicate feel entirely distinctive to these magnificent automobiles. Elegant and exclusive, they were instantly recognized as limited-production vehicles of the finest quality and highest performance.
This splendid Bugatti Type 57 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 handsome coupe bodyfeatured 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.
Jim Stranberg of High Mountain Classics in Colorado is one of the foremost Bugatti restorers and scholars. His restorations have been awarded numerous prizes at Pebble Beach and many other premier international concours. After the Pebble Beach Concours win, some minor detailing was done by Stranberg and the car was acquired by the present owner in November 2005. Since then, the car has been actively campaigned on the show circuit and has been in the care of another renowned restorer, Alan Taylor of Escondido, California, who has assured that the car remains in concours condition.
In 2006, the car won a succession of prestigious awards, including the Breitling Award for The Car of Timeless Elegance at Amelia Island, Best in Class at the Keels and Wheels Concours d'Elegance in Houston and class awards at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and the Los Angeles Concours d'Elegance. In 2007, the car continued its winning ways, earning Most Elegant Car at the Palos Verdes Concours.
Since its primary restoration, this car has covered less than 400 miles and remains a beautiful and understated example of the Bugatti Type 57. A distinctive pillarless coupe that embodies the sophistication and grace represented by the Bugatti name, it has been owned and restored by some of the most impressive names in Bugatti collecting including Roth, Phillips and Stranberg.
Featuring one-off, intricately detailed coachwork with an elegant coupe form that successfully blends the classic Bugatti look with a clean, modern design, this remarkable and award-winning automobile deserves significant attention as a distinguished example of the celebrated Type 57.