1938 Bugatti Type 57C
|Model History||Auction sales research||Specifications||Body styles and Chassis Data|
Engine/Mechanical Component Photos
The coachwork on this Type 57C was designed by Jean Bugatti, and is believed to be the last design penned by Jean Bugatti to have been constructed. When new, the car had a two-piece glass roof. This car may have even been presented to Ettore Bugatti by the workers at the factory as a birthday gift.
It is believed that 57335 was used by Ettore Bugatti during 1938 and 1939. It was also a works owned factory demonstrator that was used by many of the prominent figures including Mr. Peigues and Bugatti racing team driver Jean-Pierre Wimille.
With the onset of World War II and the German invasion of France, the car was driven from the factory to a safe location by factory driver Robert Benoist. When peace time resumed, the car returned to Molsheim where it was often used by Pierre Marco, the Director General for Bugatti. Even after the passing of Ettore Bugatti in 1947, the car remained in the care of the factory until 1959.
The car was fitted with special components prior to leaving the factory care. It has a three-spoke steering wheel, sourced from a Type 1010 with the EB insignia. The problematic glass roof was replaced with a special fabric roof. There are Lockheed hydraulic brakes, a feature not found on any other Type 57. It has a radio set, aftermarket heater and greasing points. There are rubber engine mounts, and Rudge-Whitworth wire wheels.
On January 31st of 1959, the car was sold to Belgian Bugatti distributor Jean de Dobbeleer. Before being sent to Belgium, it was fitted with engine number 340, the same that can be found under its bonnet in modern time. The engine has a unique downdraft carburetor, top inlet manifold and a different supercharger from the type fitted to a standard Type 57.
The next owner of the car was Lyman Greenlee, who purchased the car in 1959, although it was until 1960 that he took delivery of the car. The car was placed into storage and seldom used. Just prior to his death in 1973, Mr. Greenlee sold the car to William Howell of Oklahoma City. The current owner of the car purchased it in 1983.
The car remains in its original, unrestored condition. It is one of the most authentic Bugattis still in existence. It was shown in 1985 at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegnace, the same year all six Royales were reunited. 57335 was not judged at Pebble Beach, in respect to the prior owners requests. In 2009, the car was shown at the Meadow Brook Concours, but again it was not entered to be judged.
The car has an inline 8-cylinder engine with a single Weber downdraft carburetor generating 160 horsepower at 5000 RPM. The transmission is a four-speed Cotal electromagnetic gearbox.
In 2009, this unique car was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company auction held in Pebble Beach, CA. The car was purchased for the sum of $1.375 million USD inclusive of buyer's premium.
By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2010
|Auction Sales Information|
|Auction||Pebble Beach Auction : Gooding & Company|
|Auction||Bonhams - Collectors' Motor cars and Automobilia at Goodwood|
|Lot was not sold|
|Auction||Bonhams - Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais|
|Sale Price||$923,287 (€690,000.00)|
|Pebble Beach Auction : Gooding & Company||1935-1948|
|Meadow Brook Concours d'Elegance||European Luxury and Sport|