Ettore Bugatti was born in Italy, and his automobile company was founded in Molsheim, France. The company was known for the advanced engineering in its premium road cars and its success in early Grand Prix motor racing, winning the first ever Monaco Grand Prix, numerous Grand Prix's throughout Europe, and the 24 Hours of LeMans twice. Bugatti's cars were as much works of art as they were mechanical creations, with hand-turned finishes on the engine blocks and safety wire treaded through almost every fastener in intricately laced patterns. He regarded the cars of his arch competitor, Bentley, as 'the world's fastest trucks' for focusing on durability. To Bugatti, weight was the enemy.
The Type 57 Bugatti is a touring model manufactured from 1934 to 1940, and just 630 examples were produced. It has a 3.3-liter twin overhead camshaft engine from the Type 59 Grand Prix cars, producing 135 horsepower. Top speed is 95 mph. The Type 57 weighs about 2100 pounds. It features a smaller version of the square-bottom horseshoe grille, also found on the fabulous Bugatti Royale. The sides of the engine compartment are covered with thermostatically-controlled shutters.
The owner has owned this Bugatti since 1970, and it has been in the weddings of four of their children and one granddaughter.
As was true for most Bugattis, the Type 57 chassis was relatively simple in design but exhibited incredible craftsmanship. Unlike previous models, its engine and transmission were cast as separate units, and there were several variants. The chassis for the Type 57S was shorter and more low-slung, with the rear axle running through the frame. A Roots supercharger was introduced with the Type 57C. The Type 57SC, combined both of these variants, and with this setup, the engine offered nearly 220 bhp at 5500 RPM.
This unique Bugatti Type 57, or 'Terese' as she became known, was originally owned by Colonel G. M. Giles, the distinguished founder of the British Bugatti Owners' Club. Colonel Giles owned no fewer than 12 different Bugatti models before World War II. This 3.3-liter TT has unusual four-seat touring caochwork much like that of the Colonel's next Bugatti, the Type 57S Corsica that won Best of Show at Pebble Beach in 1998. Both cars were designed by the Colonel's brother Eric, but this TT was built by Bertelli of Feltham. The car has a high compression engine delivering 148 bhp and, to go with the speed, a very low raked bonnet line. Earl Howe raced this model successfully in the Ulster TT.
Sold for $990,000 at 2011 RM Sothebys. Ettore Bugatti had already showed promise as an engineer and constructor even before he was even old enough to legally sign a contract. Ettore had first caught attention when he built his first automobile in 1900 at the age of nineteen. It would go on to win the Grand Prix of Milan and would earn Bugatti the French Automobile Club's 'incentive prize'.
The victory would also set Ettore's life in the automotive industry on its way. After partnering with a number of manufacturers and individuals, Bugatti would develop a lightweight car which he would later produce under his own name. He would develop the car in his basement while working at the Deutz gas engine plant.
Always considering himself to be an artist in the field of automotive design, Ettore would oversee the birth of the highly popular and successful Type 35. Not only did it present a simple and elegant design, it would also feature a mean streak to itself and would go on to become the company's most successful racing model.
Proving such a gift of artistry ran in the family, Jean Bugatti (Ettore's son) would develop and introduce the Type 57. Produced from 1934 through 1940, the Type 57 would feature a number of body styles including the 57C, 57S, SC, Atlantic and Atalante.
Of course, of all the models of the Type 57, the two-door coupe body-styling of the Atlantic would be considered the most popular. Many would consider it to be the most elegant and beautiful pre-war car to ever be made. But the Atlantic wouldn't be the only elegant coachbuilt Type 57 out there.
One of those rare Type 57s would be offered at this year's RM Auction held in Monterey, California in August. Discovered in France in 2000, the 1935 Bugatti Type 57 'Grand Raid' Roadster was one of just two Bugatti Type 57 roadsters to be built by Carrossie Worblaufen in Switzerland.
The first prototype would make its debut at the Paris Motor Show in 1934. Designed and built by the Ramseier brothers of Worblaufen, the prototype featured a height lower than the standard model. It had a higher rear axle ratio and a two-part dashboard with a speedometer and tachometer at each end.
The body design was also quite captivating. Besides featuring a lower height than the standard model the 'Grand Raid' would also have a cut-down windscreen. The bodywork would beautifully sweep downward from behind the passengers' heads. The rear bulbous fenders were enclosed giving the design an elegant but fierce look. The front highly-contoured front fenders seemed totally detached from the rest of the car but would frame and hug the famous Bugatti grille.
The first prototype of the 'Grand Raid' was absolutely stunning from all points, including the 137 hp, 3.2-liter straight eight under its hood. But this would not be the car offered at the RM Auction. But it also wouldn't be just any other of the ten Grand Raids. No, the car offered would be the only other 'Grand Raid' ever to be produced by the Ramseier brothers, and therefore, a truly historic and rare edition to the auction.
The chassis would be produced in November of 1934. Jules Aellen would then commission the brothers in March of the following year to build the coachwork for the car. Complete with a leather picnic basket, Aellen would take delivery of his beige and black finished roadster just in time for the Montreux Concours. At that event, the new car would earn best of show honors.
The Aellens would keep the car until the late 1940s when it would be sold to Chassures Henri, a shoe company. The car would be spotted again with a new owner during the mid-1950s. But in 1960, the car would be shipped to France. In 1970 the car would be purchased by Jean Serre and would remain in his private collection from some thirty years. In 2000, the car would be acquired by an American collector.
The American collector was presented the challenge of having this rare piece of Bugatti history restored as it had been involved in an accident. It would be shipped to Rod Jolley Coachbuilding in England. An extensive restoration would follow including interviews with Paul Ramseier and finding and photographing the sister-car for aids in the restoration process.
After great financial investment and time, the car would be fully restored, including the original paint color, and is presented for sale in this original restored state. This car, which is estimated to earn $1,000,000 to $1,300,000 at auction, would be welcomed at Pebble Beach in 2005 and would end up 2nd in class. A truly rare and exotic car, this 1935 Bugatti Type 57 'Grand Raid' Roadster by Carroosserie Wordblaufen would certainly be a 'best in show' in any collection.
Sources: 'Featured Lots: Lot No. 220: 1935 Bugatti Type 57 'Grand Raid' Roadster by Carrosserie Worblaufen', (http://www.rmauctions.com/featurecars.cfm?SaleCode=MO11&CarID=r115&fc=0). RM Auctions. http://www.rmauctions.com/featurecars.cfm?SaleCode=MO11&CarID=r115&fc=0. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
'Tradition: History', (http://www.bugatti.com/en/tradition/history.html). Bugatti.com. http://www.bugatti.com/en/tradition/history.html. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
Wikipedia contributors, 'Bugatti Type 57', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 15 May 2011, 20:01 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Bugatti_Type_57&oldid=429282827 accessed 18 August 2011By Jeremy McMullen
Bugatti produced a Competition chassis and as many as four examples were built. They were only showcars and were never sold, thus they were never given legitimate chassis numbers. The official blueprints from August of 1935 are still in existence, and they show the competition chassis having a lower and lighter design than the previous Type 57 design. The grill was not a tall as other Bugatti cars and had a different shape from the production cars.
This particular example has a Torpedo Competition bodywork which was recreated by its current owner, Jim Hull. By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2015
The Bugatti Type 57, the best-selling of all Bugatti models, was introduced to the world at the 1934 Paris Salon de l'Automobile. One of the body styles was the Ventoux coupe which was a Bugatti factory design. This particular example, chassis number 57286, wears the Ventoux design. It was first sold to an individual in Normandy. Over the next fifteen years it would be in the cars of owners in Northern France and Belgium, before entering the car of Michel Dovaz who lived near Paris.
The car was offered for auction in 1993 and was purchased by Bugatti expert and restorer Andre Lecoq. It was treated to a restoration by Lecoq and later entered the care of some French collections before arriving at the Automoible Museum Stainz in 2000. By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2015
This 1935 Bugatti Type 57 was purchased from a classified ad in 1968 for $1,800 and then transported from Costa Mesa, California to Dayton, Ohio. It was in rough condition but driven once in a while. It was taken to a restorer in Cincinnati in 1977 where it remained until the mid-1980s when the restorer had health problems and the car was transported back to Dayton. It was then taken to Salem Massachusetts to have the restoration completed. Subsequent research and pre-war photographs indicated it had been fitted with a French body by Henri Binder and it was restored as such. Restoration was completed in late 2015.
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