Thumbnail image1937 Cabriolet
Coachbuilder: Vanvooren
Chassis Num: 57513
Engine Num: 21S
Thumbnail image1937 Atalante
Coachbuilder: Gangloff
Chassis Num: 57532
Engine Num: 27S

Cabriolet
Coachwork: Vanvooren
Chassis Num: 57513
Engine Num: 21S
Sold for $7,700,000 at 2017 RM Sothebys.
Bugatti's second-series iteration of the Type 57 was introduced in October of 1936 at the Paris Auto Salon. The sporty touring car had been designed by Ettore Bugatti's son, Jean, and was powered by a 3.3-liter dual overhead-cam eight-cylinder engine and installed in a chassis inspired by competition.

Along with the introduction of the second-series Type 57, Bugatti also unveiled the Type 57C and the Type 57S. The 'C' was a supercharged model, with the 'C' representing compressor. The Type 57S had a re-engineered chassis that was both lower and shorter, with the 'S' representing surbaisse, French for 'lowered.'

The Type 57S was given a specially tuned engine featuring a higher compression ratio of 8.5:1. It was given a dry sump to accommodate the lowered center of gravity. It had a magneto-driven ignition, and a low-mounted radiator with a V-shaped grille. The rear axle passed through the frame rather than the tradition method of under it, thus allowed a lower stance. The front axle was articulated in halves.

During its first 12 months of racing, the Type 57S claimed three competition victories during the 1936 season, including at the French Grand Prix, La Marne Grand Prix, and the Commings Grand Prix. Its racing prowess would continue to grow during the 1937 season, with victories at the Pau Grand Prix, Bone Grand Prix, La Marne Grand Prix, plus the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

During its racing career, the Type 57S set records on 14 differnt types of event, including a speed average of 85.07 mph at LeMans.

The factory offered three forms of coachwork: a roadster, the Atalante coupe, or the Atlantic coupe. Around half of the total production were factory bodies, with 22 examples being sold as rolling chassis and dispatched to the buyer's coachbuilder of choice, including Gangloff, Corsica, Letourneur et Marchand, and Vanvooren of Paris.

Cabriolet by Vanvooren
This unique cabriolet is fitted with its original factory-equipped matching-numbers gearbox and engine, mated to its original chassis and body. It was initially sold in early 1937 to Francois Labesse as part of trade for chassis 57269. (Chassis number 57269 was a four-seat drophead coupe by Vanvooren that Mr. Labesse purchased in May of 1935).

This chassis, number 57513, was completed on March 22nd and shipped by train to Courbevoie where it was given Cabriolet coachwork by Vanvooren. It is one of just four such cabriolets created by Vanvooren on the Type 57S chassis. Currently, three are known to survive, with one example residing in the Schlumpf Collection in Alsace and the other in a collection in the United Kingdom.

This cabriolet was delivered to Labesse's Parisian headquarters through Bugatti's Avenue Montaigne showroom on July 7th of 1937. It is believed that the car had been originally finished in black paint with a thin red line.

Mr. Labesse was chauffeured in 57513 for less than two years before he passed away in early 1939 at the age of 58. In the spring of 1939, his brother-in-law offered the car for sale. At the time, the odometer showed 8,000 kilometers.

Over the next few months, the Type 57S was garaged and maintained by Gaston Docime, a Bugatti expert in Neuilly sur Seine who tended all of Mr. Labesse's cars. It is believed that the car was sold into British ownership during the summer of 1939, as it was registered in Great Britain in June of 1939 with tag FYE 416.

The car's first recorded British owner was Dr. Tomas Harris. In the early 1950s, it was acquired by Jack Lemon Burton. In 1954, it was sold to Ronnie Symondson. Mr. Symondson entered the Bugatti at the BOC Members Testing Weekend at Prescott on March 27th of 1954, achieving a best time of 58.6 seconds. On May 9th, the car took second place in the Bugatti handicap class at the National Hillclimb at Prescott, setting a time of 55.84 seconds.

It may have raced at Silverstone on June 19th, and a day later it was part of the three-car Bugatti team who raced at Shelsley Walsh. Later in 1957, Symondson used it as a touring car for vacationing through continental Europe. During the trip, the car was sidelined with engine problems. Mr. Symondson had the car sent to the Molsheim factory, where a new cylinder block and pistons were fitted.

After returning to Britain, it is believed that the car was used in further BOC events. Modifications and updates were made to some of the mechanical components, including the addition of Koni shock absorbers, and a hydraulic brake system.

T.A. 'Bob' Roberts purchased the car in 1962. In May of 1962, Mr. Roberts took the car to Prescott, and that winter he performed some cosmetic work on the car, eschewing by then two-tone black over grey-blue paint for a new black over yellow. The bonnet apertures were given plated-steel mesh cooling grilles in place of the original louvered sides. The headlamps may have also been changed at this time, from the original bumper-level faired-in units to the higher bullet-style components currently fitted to the coachwork.

Also during Mr. Roberts's ownership, the original engine (number 21S) was removed and retained as a spare. It was replaced with an unnumbered 57G competition engine that had been an extra for the Bugatti factory team at LeMans in 1937.

After Mr. Roberts' passing in 1990, the Type 57S was offered for sale by his estate. It was displayed at Rétromobile in Paris in February 1991, and sold on June 10th to Claude Decoster. Mr. Decoster drove the Type 57S in several events, including the 1992 International Bugatti Rally in France, and the 1994 Bugatti Rally in Italy, where it was displayed on the Piazza San Marco in Venice.

Eventually, Mr. Decoster commissioned Henri Novo to re-install the original factory-equipped motor, which currently resides in the engine bay.

The current caretaker acquired the car in 1995. Recently, the clutch was rebuilt and the original factory gearbox was refitted.
By Daniel Vaughan | May 2017

Chassis# 57513

2017 RM Auctions : Amelia Island
Estimated Value:$8,500,000-$10,000,000 
Sale Price$7,700,000

Recent Sales

1937 Bugatti Type 57S Cabriolet by Vanvooren
Chassis#:57513
Sold for $7,700,000
  2017 RM Auctions : Amelia Island
    
1937 Bugatti Type 57 Stelvio Drophead Coupe
Chassis#:Chassis#:57440
Sold for $365,000
  2005 The Monterey Sports and Classic Car Auction
 

No Sale

1937 Bugatti Type 57S's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1937 Bugatti Type 57S Coupé with supercharger575322009 Bonhams Quail Lodge Resort and Golf Club   

Comparables

Similar sales to the $7,700,000 range.
1950 Ferrari 275S/340 America Barchetta by Scaglietti
Chassis#:0030MT
Sold for $7,975,000
2015 RM Sotheby's : Monterey
Vehicle Thumbnail Image  Vehicle Thumbnail Image  
1952 Ferrari 212 Export Barchetta by Touring
Chassis#:0158 ED
Sold for $7,311,360
2015 RM Sotheby's : Villa Erba
Vehicle Thumbnail Image  Vehicle Thumbnail Image  
1962 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Cabriolet by Pininfarina
Chassis#:3309 SA
Sold for $7,645,000
2015 RM Sotheyb's : The Andrews Collection
Vehicle Thumbnail Image  Vehicle Thumbnail Image  
1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider
Chassis#:1425 GT
Sold for $7,700,000
2015 Gooding & Company - Arizona
Vehicle Thumbnail Image  Vehicle Thumbnail Image  
1956 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione 'Tour de France' by Scaglietti
Chassis#:0563 GT
Sold for $8,087,520
2014 RM Auctions - London
Vehicle Thumbnail Image  Vehicle Thumbnail Image  
1953 FERRARI 250 MILLE MIGLIA BERLINETTA
Chassis#:0312 MM
Sold for $7,260,000
2014 Bonhams Quail Lodge Auction
Vehicle Thumbnail Image  Vehicle Thumbnail Image  
1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C by Scaglietti
Chassis#:09067
Sold for $7,859,998
2014 RM Auctions : Monaco
Vehicle Thumbnail Image  Vehicle Thumbnail Image  
1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special Roadster by Sindelfingen
Chassis#:408383
Sold for $7,480,000
2013 RM Auctions - Monterey
Vehicle Thumbnail Image  Vehicle Thumbnail Image  
1928 Mercedes-Benz 680S Torpedo Roadster by Carrosserie J. Saoutchik
Chassis#:35949
Sold for $8,250,000
2013 RM Auctions - Monterey
Vehicle Thumbnail Image  Vehicle Thumbnail Image  
1955 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Competizione
Chassis#:0415GT
Sold for $7,150,000
2013 Gooding and Company - Pebble Beach
Vehicle Thumbnail Image  Vehicle Thumbnail Image  
1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider
Chassis#:1073 GT
Sold for $8,250,000
2013 Gooding and Company - The Scottsdale Auction
Vehicle Thumbnail Image  Vehicle Thumbnail Image  
1960 Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta 'Competizione' by Carrozzeria Scaglietti
Chassis#:1905GT
Sold for $8,140,000
2013 RM Auctions - Arizona
Vehicle Thumbnail Image  Vehicle Thumbnail Image  
1955 Ferrari 410 S Berlinetta
Chassis#:0594 CM
Sold for $8,250,000
2012 RM Auctions - Monterey
Vehicle Thumbnail Image  Vehicle Thumbnail Image  
1912 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Double Pullman Limousine
Chassis#:1907
Sold for $7,379,786
2012 Bonhams - Collectors' Motor cars and Automobilia at Goodwood
Vehicle Thumbnail Image  Vehicle Thumbnail Image  
1929-31 4½-Litre Supercharged 'Blower' Bentley Single-Seater
Chassis#:HB 3402
Sold for $7,906,745
2012 Bonhams - Collectors' Motor cars and Automobilia at Goodwood
Vehicle Thumbnail Image  Vehicle Thumbnail Image  
1959 Ferrari 250 GT
Sold for $7,260,000
2010 Gooding and Company - Pebble Beach Auctions
Vehicle Thumbnail Image  Vehicle Thumbnail Image  
1965 Shelby Daytona Cobra Coupe
Chassis#:CSX 2601
Sold for $7,250,000
2009 Mecum - Monterey Auction
Vehicle Thumbnail Image  Vehicle Thumbnail Image  
1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante
Chassis#:57511
Sold for $7,920,000
2008 Gooding & Company
Vehicle Thumbnail Image  Vehicle Thumbnail Image  



Vehicle information, history, and
specifications from concept to production.

Follow ConceptCarz on Facebook  Follow ConceptCarz on Twitter RSS News Feed

Conceptcarz.com
© 1998-2017 Conceptcarz.com Reproduction or reuse prohibited without written consent.