1938 Bugatti Type 57C news, pictures, specifications, and information
Atalante Coupe
Chassis Num: 57766
Engine Num: C57
Sold for $2,035,000 at 2013 Gooding & Company.
Bugatti's early history is filled with achievements on the grand prix circuits of Europe. And from out of that achievement on the track would come some truly remarkable touring automobiles blending together performance, handling and comfort. By the 1930s, when the intrigue of aerodynamics really came to the fore, Bugatti would really add the allure with its grand, stylish designs.

The canvas for this new enthusiasm of science-inspired art would be the Bugatti Type 57 chassis. By the time the Type 57 came into the public arena the luxury car market had greatly dwindled due to the Depression that had befallen much of the nations of the west at the time. But while many automobile manufacturers would see this as a time to cut costs and to reign in some creative efforts, Ettore, and his son Jean, would see this as an opportunity to create one of the most unmistakable cars of all time.

Only one source could inspire such imprudent behavior. Inspired by the grand legends of the Greek mythology, Jean would set about designing some truly astonishing bodies to set atop the Type 57 chassis. Influenced by the story of Atalanta, Jean would create his Atalante body style with its tall, proud Bugatti grille and beautifully-rounded fenders, cabin and rear end.

Only around 40 examples of the Atalante would ever be designed and built by Jean. One of them would be chassis 57766. And, fittingly, this chassis would be first delivered to a son of a Greek shipping tycoon.

Nicholas Stamati Embiricos used his family's wealth to fund his passion for automobiles and was himself a gentleman racer. Nicholas had a couple of cars which he used quite frequently in races. He would use a Corsica-bodied Bugatti Type 57S as well as an ex-works ERA. Nicholas' racing career would come to an end, however, when he would suffer an accident in the 1937 Florence Grand Prix that would nearly take his life.

Nicholas would decide to stay with a marque he had grown familiar when he decided to replace his 3.5-liter Bentley. Therefore, he would approach Colonel Sorel, the manager of the London Bugatti agency, to place an order for a Type 57C.

Chassis 57766 would be completed in Molsheim in November of 1938, and then, would be sent to Gangloff in Colmar, France where it received its Stelvio coachwork. Considering when it was built, the finished automobile would have some particular refinements over previous series of the Type 57C. It would be complete with Bugatti-Lockheed hydraulic drum brakes, tubular shock absorbers and rubber engine mounts.

Soon after completion, the car would be shipped to London where it would meet up with its new owner. Registered in the UK as 'FXF 55', 57766 would remain with Embiricos until he had it shipped to his vacation residence in Palm Beach, Florida in 1941. The Bugatti would soon find itself in a foreign land and all alone when, in July of 1941, Embiricos died in his Fairchild 24 Monoplane near Matunuck, Rhode Island.

Following Nicholas' death, the car would be sold to Ray Murray. Murray already had a Type 57 Atalante, just not supercharged. Liking the bodywork gracing his un-supercharged Bugatti, but liking the supercharged engine of the one he had just bought, would lead Murray to make the decision to have the two chassis trade bodywork.

Following the conclusion of World War II, Murray would decide to sell both of his Type 57s. Some point before the decision would be made Murray would decide to switch the coachbodies back to their original chassis. Now once again whole, 57766 would be sold to Al Garthwaite of Malvern, Pennsylvania.

Garthwaite was well known amongst the ARCA and SCCA ranks and would later own ALGAR, a major Ferrari importer. Known as a man that enjoyed refined automobiles, the Type 57C fit in well with his impressive collection.

57766 wouldn't just sit around as part of some collection, however. And, in June of 1949 it would be one of just 17 cars ready to take part in the 100-mile Bridgehampton Road Races. Relying on the power from the supercharged 3.3-liter engine, Garthwaite and the Atalante would be impressive but would ultimately fail to reach the end as a result of a broken connecting rod.

The car would be repaired and would end up being just one of a handful of pre-war cars to enter the Mt. Equinox Hillclimb in Vermont on the 29th of July in 1950. Despite being at an age disadvantage, the Atalante would perform well setting the 8th fastest time.

The car would continue to take part in competitive races and hillclimbs and would continue to see regular use while in Garthwaite's possession. However, the car would not remain with Garthwaite forever and Dr. Samuel Scher would be its next owner. Soon after, Scher would part with the car, deciding to sell it to John Wendell Straus, the grandson of the founder of R.H. Macy & Company.

The purchase of the Bugatti by Straus certainly seemed to make sense given his vast interest in French culture and anything French. 57766 would remain part of Straus' extensive collection of automobiles until 1962 when it was parked in a suburban garage and practically forgotten about for nearly 50 years.

Chassis 57766 would remain hidden until 2007 when the Straus estate needed to be settled. The garage would be opened and the Bugatti discovered all over again. Completely intact and well preserved, the Type 57C Bugatti seemed ready to run, just after several layers of dust had been blown from its Atalante body.

Following its discovery, an east coast collector would come and quickly snap the car up. Though unrestored, the car would be presented as part of the Pre-war Preservation class at the 2007 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and would later be honored in a special 'barn find' exhibit at the Saratoga Automobile Museum.

One year later, 57766 would be sold to its current owner and would be immediately entrusted to Sargent Metalworks of Fairlee, Vermont for a complete restoration. This would prove to be a 'really exciting opportunity' for Sargent Metalworks as this particular Bugatti would be surprisingly untouched and sound. Sargent would recall, 'It had been painted several times and, due to storage, was mechanically fragile, but everything was there.'

Not only was everything there, but it matched. The engine, rear end, transmission and front-axle all had matching number components still fitted! On top of that, the Atalante body would be found to be highly original inside and out. Sargent would exclaim, 'I have never seen Bugatti coachwork that was so correct and original throughout.' He would go on to state that this Bugatti 'is definitely one of the very best representatives of Jean Bugatti's classic Atalante. In my opinion, it is one of the all-time great automotive designs.'

Original interior fittings would need to be simply cleaned and re-veneered to look practically brand new. A good amount of the wood framework even had the preservative paint covering it, and therefore, enabled the restoration process to proceed quickly and without much trouble.

O'Donnell Classics would then be contracted to finish the car when it had been finally prepped for paint. O'Donnell Classics would then make the decision to finish the car in a black and blue livery giving 57766 a very period-correct appearance.

Every detail would be addressed throughout the restoration. The result would be a highly-original car brought back to the peak of its appearance, complete with a highly-preserved interior, re-tuned engine and rebuilt gearbox, rear end, suspension and braking system. Even the proper etching on the window glass to the correct hand-scraped finishes in the engine bay would be applied to the car.

When it was all said and done, 57766 would emerge at the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, the same event it had appeared un-restored four years earlier. The reaction would be nothing but praise and great acclaim. By the end of the event, 57766 would garner Second in Class and would have the honor of besting two other Bugatti Type 57s.

Just as soon as it emerged from hiding and restoration, the Type 57 Bugatti would be hidden away. Its only other appearance since Pebble Beach includes the 2012 Saratoga Invitational. This would be a special moment and would be rewarded with a Best in Show honor.

But now, at the 2013 Gooding & Company auction in Scottsdale, Arizona the 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Atalante, chassis 57766 will be appearing once again. However, this time, this timeless classic will provide an individual a great opportunity to own one of the most original Bugatti Type 57s in all the world.

Obviously a classic automobile in all points and an extraordinary example in every way, this Type 57C must be considered amongst the very best of all the pre-war Bugattis. And as such, 57766 is estimated to draw between $1,400,000 and $1,800,000 at auction.

'Lot No. 025: 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Atalante', (http://www.goodingco.com/car/1938-bugatti-type-57c-atalante). Gooding & Company. http://www.goodingco.com/car/1938-bugatti-type-57c-atalante. Retrieved 16 January 2013.

'1937 Bugatti Type 57S News, Pictures and Information', (http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z13374/Bugatti-Type-57S.aspx). Conceptcarz.com: From Concept to Production. http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z13374/Bugatti-Type-57S.aspx. Retrieved 16 January 2013.

'1938 Bugatti Type 57C News, Pictures and Information', (http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z11694/Bugatti-Type-57C.aspx). Conceptcarz.com: From Concept to Production. http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z11694/Bugatti-Type-57C.aspx. Retrieved 16 January 2013.

'Tradition: History', (http://www.bugatti.com/en/tradition/history.html). Conceptcarz.com: From Concept to Production. http://www.bugatti.com/en/tradition/history.html. Retrieved 16 January 2013.

By Jeremy McMullen
Aravis Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: Gangloff
Chassis Num: 57710
Engine Num: 510
Sold for $1,375,000 at 2006 Gooding & Company.
Sold for $2,337,500 at 2015 RM Auctions.
Ettore Bugatti could certainly be considered one of the more colorful characters throughout automotive history. Though born in Italy, Bugatti spent most of his life in France. Nearly 8,000 cars bearing the Bugatti name were produced at the Molsheim factory located in Alsace, France. Fifty-two different models were produced over the years, from the Type 2 of 1900 to the winningest race car of all, the Type 35 Grand Prix racer, to one of the most costly and luxurious automobiles ever built, the Type 41 Bugatti Royale.

The Bugatti Type 57 is considered to be Bugatti's most successful road going creation which debuted in 1934 and remained in production until the start of WWII, with a total of 739 examples being produced. The design was inspired by Jean Bugatti, who had his father's sense of engineering, created several standard body designs which were available through the factory. This included a four-door Gabilier coach, two-door Ventoux, 1939 57C four-door coach, Atalante on the 57C and 57S chassis, and the Atlantic Coupe which was also available on the 57C and S.

The Type 57 was a new design. Little was borrowed from its predecessor, except for the bore and stroke of the Type 49 engine. The Type 57S was offered beginning in 1935. The Series 2 Type 57 soon followed which brought with it rubber engine mounts, cam and engine timing improvements, heavier chassis and revised dashboard. In 1937, the Type 57C became available. This was a supercharged version which added improved horsepower output over its siblings. The 3.3-liter engine with the supercharger was capable of producing over 215 horsepower.

The final iteration of the Type 57 came in 1938 with the Series 3. The Series 3 had hydraulic brakes, which Ettore Bugatti disagreed with after having poor results with the setup during the 1924 Grand Prix season. Ettore reluctantly cooperated with the decision but did insist on having dual master cylinders in the design. The DeRam equipment was replaced in favor of the Allinquint hydraulic shock absorbers. The DeRam setup had been deemed too expensive to continue.

This 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Aravis Drophead Coupe is only one of four ever created and one of the few surviving of its kind. the coachwork was handled by Gangloff.

Since new, it has been treated to a complete and professional restoration. At the time of its restoration, it was fitted with a correct-style Bugatti supercharger which brought it up to the 'C' specification.

It was offered for sale at the 2006 Gooding & Company Auction held in Pebble Beach where it was estimated to sell for $1,500,000-$1,800,000. It is in concours ready condition with a history that is completely accounted for and known. It is one of only three that has survived in modern times and one of the greatest examples of the Type 57 ever created. At auction, the car did sell, finding a new owner for the price of $1,375,000.

By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2012
Coachwork: Gangloff
Italian born Ettore Bugatti, manufactured these automobiles in Molsheim, a town in the Alsace region, which was a part of the German Empire (Alsace was annexed by Germany in 1871 and restored to France in 1919). Known for its luxurious passenger cars and race cars, Bugatti is particularly noted for winning many races, including LeMans in 1937 and 1939. The custom coachwork on this particular automobile is by Gangloff, located in Colmar, Alsace region near the Molsheim plant.

The 1938 Bugatti features a supercharged in-line dual overhead cam, 8-cylinder engine with displacement of 3257cc (198.8 cubic-inches) producing 210 horsepower. This high performance Bugatti is capable of 110 miles per hour and zero-to-sixty mph in 10 seconds.
Special Coupe
Chassis Num: 57335
Sold for $1,375,000 at 2009 Gooding & Company.
Sold for $923,287 (€690,000) at 2013 Bonhams.
This 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Special Coupe was formerly the property of Ettore Bugatti. It is among the most unique, intriguing, and special Bugatti's ever created. It has frame number 278, blown Type 57 engine, a four-speed gearbox and rear end, all numbered 486. It originally had chassis number 57335, which was once assigned to an earlier Bugatti. Bugatti constructed a Type 57 Torpedo for the Paris-Nice rally in 1936 but the car was destroyed. Later, the factory reissued the chassis number, a common practice for the firm throughout the late 1930s. The company was under serious financial duress during this period and every measure was taken to economize the company. One of the benefits of reusing the chassis number was to avoid taxation on a new chassis number. Chassis number 57335 had originally been registered to Ettore Bugatti, so the decision to assign the number to a new car designed for his use was appropriate.

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
Coachwork: Corsica
Chassis Num: 57584
Engine Num: C15
Sold for $429,000 at 2010 Gooding & Company.
This Bugatti, according to the American Bugatti Club records, was originally clothed as a Stelvio Cabriolet and delivered on October 8th of 1938, to the agent Monestier for his client, Glaizal. Additional information suggests this car should be registered as 57577, not as 57584.

The car currently wears a Corsica-style roadster coachwork, in similar fashion to chassis number 57593, the car that won Best of Show honors at the 1998 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

This Type 57 was imported to the United States many years ago. The current owner acquired this 57C in 2007 and has since completely restored the interior. The inside is in dark tan leather.

The engine is a 3257cc dual overhead cam eight-cylinder unit fitted with a roots-type supercharger. There is a four-speed manual gearbox and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes.

In 2010, this Bugatti was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company Auction held in Scottsdale, Arizona. It was estimated to sell for $450,000 - $550,000. As bidding came to a close, the lot was sold for the sum of $429,000, inclusive of buyer's premium.

By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2010
Chassis Num: 57661
Engine Num: 25C
The Type 57C is recognized as being the most sporting of all non-racing Bugattis. The T57/57C was an entirely new design heavily influenced by Jean Bugatti, son of founder Ettore. Between 1934 and the outbreak of World War II, more than 680 examples were produced in various body styles. The vehicle delivered all around refinement, while focusing on the engineering values that had made Bugatti successful.

Chassis #57661 was delivered in May of 1938, with a Stelvio cabriolet body by Lacroix. The car was refitted with this unique Volla Ruhrbeck 'Waterfall' body, which has now been retrofitted to chassis 57819.

This car was restored in 2010, with engine 25C by Highmountain Classics and fitted with a reproduction roadster body built by Autoclassic Tourance (Tours France) to the design that Jean Bugatti and Gangloff completed in December of 1935.
Aravis Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: Gangloff
Chassis Num: 57710
Engine Num: 510
Sold for $1,375,000 at 2006 Gooding & Company.
Sold for $2,337,500 at 2015 RM Auctions.
In 1934, Bugatti introduced their Type 57 which would remain in production through 1940. They were initially built for touring, but many of them made their way onto the racing circuit.

The Type 57C project was headed-up by Jean Bugatti, son of company founder Ettore Bugatti. Unfortunately, Jean Bugatti was killed near Molsheim while test driving a 57C that was being prepared for a race. The date was August 11th, 1939 - less than a month before the start of World War II.

This Bugatti Type 57 is one of four with the Gangloff Aravis body. At the 1934 launch Bugatti offered four Type 57 body styles, and then in 1938 the Aravis was introduced. This Type 57 Aravis has the standard 3.3-liter straight-8 supercharged engine developing 160 horsepower, which is basically a detuned version of the Grand Prix Type 59 engine
Stelvio Cabriolet
Coachwork: Gangloff
Chassis Num: 57677
Engine Num: 31C
Sold for $1,292,500 at 2012 Gooding & Company.
The Bugatti Type 57 is perhaps Jean Bugatti's most celebrated non-racing Bugatti. Powered by a long-stroke, inline eight-cylinder engine, the powerplant offered smooth, seamless performance and was the epitome of elegant engineering.

On February 22nd of 1938, Molsheim received an order for a 57C Stelvio from Swiss concessionaire Jean Sechard of Geneva. The cost, which approached 90,000 francs, was for a supercharged Type 57 with open coachwork. It was among the most expensive French automobiles of its era. The individual responsible for the order was 24-year-old Prince Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, a direct descendent of Emperor Napoleon I.

Prince Napoleon acquired his first Bugatti in 1934 and reportedly owned a number of them during his lifetime.

Bugatti with chassis number 57677 was equipped with a supercharged 3.3-liter engine, number 31C. Completed in May of 1938, this late-build 57C featured a number of significant chassis improvements, including rubber engine mounts, a stiffened frame and revised engine timing. Other improvements included Bugatti-Lockheed hydraulic drum brakes and an optional Cotal gearbox.

On September 28th of 1938, the Bugatti was exported to Switzerland via Lausanne, and then delivered to the prince's resident at the Villa de Prangins on the shores of Lake Geneva.

Though not confirmed, it is believed that the Prince retained 57677 for the duration of the war. Following World War II, the 57C Stelvio was exported to the United States where it eventually found a home with Robert Fergus, an engineer living in New York. The next known owner, L.S. Juillerat of New York, is recorded in Hugh Conway's 1962 Bugatti Register.

Several years later, David Tunick of Greenwich, Connecticut, acquired the Stelvio. In 1979 Maine resident Lou Hilton became the next caretaker. Throughout his 36-year ownership, Mr. Hilton treated the Bugatti with the greatest care, and, for approximately two decades, entrusted Paul Russell and Company to perform regular service and maintenance work.

The car retains all of its major original components including the frame (288), engine (31C), front axle (31C), rear axle (31C) and supercharger (31). The crankcase is stamped on its front face with the proper assembly number (291), which is repeated directly below on the sump, confirming the two castings as an original matched pair. This number (291) can also be found stamped into each cam box. It retains its Cotal gearbox, Chausson radiator and original Bas Rhin-style chassis plate.

The car is finished in dark blue over ivory and is outfitted with wheel discs, rear spats and the full complement of Marchal and Scintilla accessories. The cockpit is upholstered in dark blue leather and the polished wooden dashboard is equipped with correct Jaeger instrumentation.

This is an original, matching-numbers 57C. Less than 20-percent of all Type 57s left the factory with a supercharger. Thus, this is a very special Type 57C.

In 2012, the car was offered for sale at the Pebble Beach auction presented by Gooding & Company. The car was estimated to sell for $1,300,000 - $1,600,000. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $1,292,500 inclusive of buyer's premium.

By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2012
Stelvio Cabriolet
Coachwork: Gangloff
Chassis Num: 57597
Engine Num: 82 C
Sold for $770,000 at 2014 RM Auctions.
Bugatti's Type 57 was developed directly from motorsports and fitted with the best elements of luxury and automotive athleticism. Introduced in 1934, the Type 57 was the replacement to the aging Type 49. It wore a design courtesy of Ettore Bugatti's son, Jean, and fitted with an eight-cylinder twin-cam engine from the Type 49. The primary difference being the presence of timing gears rather than timing chains.

The Type 57 was originally offered in four distinct body styles, three of which were named after famous mountain peaks in the Alps, Galibier, Stelvio, and Ventoux.

Customers could have their Type 57 fitted with a Roots-type supercharger; such examples were dubbed the Type 57C. The 57C was first seen installed in a Ventoux at the 1936 Paris Salon, and it became available for customers later that year. Racing iterations of the Type 57C won the French Grand Prix in 1936 and the 24 Hours of LeMans in 1937 and 1939.

Bugatti produced a total of 684 examples of the Type 57 before the Bugatti factory was forced to close due to World War II. 96 of those were the Type 57C.

This Type 57C wears Stelvio coachwork, which offered open-air motoring for four passengers. It was delivered new to a Bugatti dealership in Lyon, France. It was constructed by the factory in Molsheim with a supercharged engine and it received Gangloff coachwork. The d'Aubarede brothers, Jean and Paul, who resided in Lyon, purchased this car as a replacement for a naturally aspirated Type 57 drophead. It was later registered in the department of Rhone under plate number 4090 PF 9. The car remained with the brothers until at least the beginning of 1939. The car was reportedly requisitioned from the d'Aubarede family for use during the war. After the war, in 1957, the car was found, still registered in Lyon with plate 3644 Z 69, by Henri Malatre. It was later purchased by Jean-Louis du Montant, of Eymoutiers in western France. At the time, it was painted light blue. Around this time, it is believed that the car received the supercharged engine that it retains today from another Type 57, chassis 57809, and the engine was numbered 82C.

Dr. Richard Roger of Southern California purchased the car in May of 1963. It remained in Dr. Roger's care for the next 15 years, before it was purchased in 1978 by Gary W. Tiscornia, of Milford, Michigan. A full restoration soon began; upon completion it was finished in teal-on-teal color combination with a light tan convertible top. The restoration was completed in 1988. It was invited to the 1989 edition of the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance where it won its class. It scored 100 points at CCCA events three times, in Michigan at the 1989 CCCA Grand Classic, at the 1990 annual meeting, where it was awarded Senior Premier status, and in Minnesota in 1990.

Mr. Tiscornia sold the car in 1999. The following year, it was acquired by Bob Pond in September 2000 from the Blackhawk Collection. Mr. Pond showed the car on several occasions, including at the 2009 Desert Classic Concours d'Elegance in Palm Springs, California.

By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2014
Stelvio Cabriolet
Coachwork: Gangloff
The Type 57 can certainly be considered the most celebrated non-racing Bugatti ever built. Introduced in 1934 and with production continuing to the outbreak of war in 1939, in all its forms 710 were sold. It was a design and engineering masterpiece with its chassis fitted most often with one of four standard bodies created entirely by Jean Bugatti, son of Ettore. The Type 57 was the first Bugatti that didn't share its chassis design with race cars, as had earlier models. It rivaled competitors Delahaye and Delage by offering a car capable of high performance without sacrificing comfort, luxury, or convenience.

This is largely original car that was repainted 50 years ago while retaining the components with which it was first built. While having known ownership history from new, it was first delivered to France's Curzon 'Lord Howe' in October of 1938. Ettore Bugatti manufactured his automobiles in Molsheim, a town in the Alsace region of France.
Many manufacturers during this time produced multi-purpose vehicles that could be driven to a race track, raced, and then driven home. The Bugatti Type 57, however, was solely a road-going vehicle and is considered the most celebrated of all non-racing Bugattis. Even though the Type 57 was strictly a road-going vehicle, a racing version was created for the 1937 24-Hours of Le Mans race. This vehicle, based on the Type 57S chassis and named the 57G, won the race. A supercharged version was created for the 1939 Le Mans race and also was victorious. This is the legacy of the Bugatti heritage and the quality and innovative designs that were truly masterpieces in all respects.

In 1934, the Type 57C entered the scene, a project headed by Jean Bugatti, the son of Ettore Bugatti. The vehicle centered around refinement while focusing on the values that had made Bugatti successful.

Three 'factory' bodies were available and consisted of the Ventoux, a two-window and four window version, the Stelvio, and the Atalante. All of the Atalante bodies were produced and all were done in-house. The Atalante was named after peaks in the Alps and is one of the most exclusive bodystyles ever produced by Bugatti.

The Type 57 could also be ordered with Galibier four-door bodies. Ealier versions of the Galibier bodies had suicide-opening front doors with no pillar. Later versions had suicide-opening front doors and rear doors hung in the traditional fashion. The front and rear doors would share a common pillar.

Jean designed an indepenent front suspension to aide in the handling of the vehicle. This was not popular with Ettore Bugatti and had the traditional Bugatti front axle installed.

A 3.3 liter, twin-cam, straight-eight engine was used to power this vehicle. Even with the heavy saloon bodies, the engine could propel the vehicle to a speed of around 95 mph. A Roots-type supercharger was later added and the vehicle was given the designation 57C. The supercharger was quiet and provided between three to four pounds of boost pressure. The addition of the supercharger increased the horsepower rating to 175.

The Type 57S version was a 'sportier' version of the Type 57. The chassis was shorter, with the rear axle running through the frame. A slightly tuned engine with higher compression and a dry sump lubrication helped increase the performance of the car. The front and rear axles received de Ram shock aborbers, replacing the Hartford Friction dampers.

The Type 57SC was a combination of the 57C and 57S. The engine produced between 200 and 220 horsepower.

On August 11, 1939 while testing a Type 57C tank-bodied racer near Molsheim, Jean Bugatti was killed. This was the same day as the start of the 2nd World War, which inevitably meant that the race Jean was preparing the vehicle for would never be run.

By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2006
Ettore Arco Isidoro Bugatti was born in Milan, Italy in 1881. His father, Carlo, was a furniture designer of some fame. The father's brother, Rembrandt, was a gifted sculptor of animals. When he was old enough, Ettore attended the Brera Academy of Art where he studied sculpture. Soon, he turned his attention to mechanical endeavors.

The first Bugatti motor car was built in 1899 though the first vehicle to bear his name was the Type 13 of 1910. Power came from a four-cylinder, eight-valve engine. The 1913 the radiators became more rounded and in the shape of a horse shoe.

The company's first eight-cylinder engine production car was introduced in 1922 and dubbed the Type 30. The engine had a single overhead camshaft and displaced two liters. The car had a drum brakes, solid axles and leaf springs on all four corners.

The Type 35 in all sequences, the A, B, C, and T, were some of Bugatti's early examples that made the marque famous. The Type 57 introduced in 1934 and continued in production until 1940. They were powered by a 3257cc straight-eight engine with double overhead camshafts that produced between 130 and 140 horsepower. There were four road-going versions of the 57 and these were the Type 57, Type 57C, Type 57S, and Type 57SC. The Type 57C was a supercharged version while the Type 57S was a sporty version based on a short and lower wheelbase. The Type 57SC was a combination of the 57S and 57C. A variety of body-styles were offered throughout the years.

The engine rested in a ladder-type frame and matted to a four-speed manual gearbox. The front had a tubular axle with the suspension comprised of longitudinally mounted semi-elliptic leaf springs. The rear axle was suspended in place by a pair of quarter-elliptic leaf springs. The early versions of the vehicle had cable-operated drums on all four wheels. Later versions were upgraded with Lockheed hydraulic brakes with twin master cylinder, which first appeared in 1938.

The Type 57 and its variants were intended for road going use. However, many made their way onto the racing circuit. Lord Howe drove a Type 57 to a third place finish in the 1935 Tourist Trophy. A Type 57G won the Monthlhery and Reims race in 1936. In 1937, Jean-Pierre Wimille and Robert Benoist drove a Bugatti to victory at LeMans.

Many of the cars were clothed by prominent coachbuilders such as Figoni, Van Vooren, Corsica, and James Young. Most of the chassis were bodied by the factory with coachwork in the style of Jean Buggatti. The catalog bodies included two versions of the Ventoux Coupe, the Galibier four-door sedan, the Stelvio cabriolet, Atalante, and Atlantic. The Atlantic and Atalante were constructed in two-door coupe configuration. Gangloff, a Swiss coachbuilder, was tasked with clothing most of the factory bodies.

By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2007
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Type 101
Type 13
Type 23
Type 35
Type 37
Type 38
Type 39 and Type 39A
Type 40
Type 46
Type 50
Type 51
Type 55
Type 57
Type 59

Image Left 1937 Type 57
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