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Bugatti History

1939 Bugatti Type 57

Chassis number : 57819

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Ettore Bugatti had a vision of creating a grand touring automobile by marrying the excitement of Bugatti's racing heritage to the refinement of a road car. The result was the Type 57 designed by Jean Bugatti, son of founder Ettore. Type 57s were built from 1934 through 1940, with a total of 71 examples produced.

The Type 57 Bugatti was the ultimate road car. They were fitted with some of the day's finest coachwork available, having incredibly complex and powerful power plants, and a chassis that matched well with the typical custom coachwork of the day. Considered to be the finest automobile of the day, Bugatti chassis were delivered to various coach builders.

This one-off 1939 Bugatti Type 57C Roadster is powered by a 220 horsepower, 3527cc, twin overhead cam, inline, supercharged, eight-cylinder engine coupled to a Bugatti four-speed gearbox. The wheelbase is 3.3m. Suspension is semi-elliptic leaf springs; brakes are four-wheel hydraulic drums. The 'C' stands for compressor, noting the supercharger on the engine.

The coachwork by Voll & Ruhrbeck, is chassis number 57819, while the Engine number is 90c. It was one of the very last chassis sold before the start of World War II and the last Bugatti delivered to Germany prior to the war. Being one of the last cars produced, it benefited from all the last updates available including the effective hydraulic braking system and, of course, the twin lobe Rootes-type compressor.

Close inspection of archive photos of the car from the late 30s also show a Berlin ice skating badge mounted to the front of the car and research confirms that in 1939 the 30-year-old Norwegian Olympic ice skating champion, Sonja Heine, was in possession of this 57C Roadster in Berlin. She only had the car for two years before World War II broke out across Europe, at which point, it was hidden away for safekeeping. It was not seen again until 1946 once the war had passed.

The car changed hands over the next several decades and various coachwork was placed on the chassis. It was finally purchased by the current owner who, in 2002, had RM Auto Restorations reunite the original chassis with the original engine, resulting in the original vehicle as seen here.

The car displayed here is a Type 57C, with a body by German coachbuilder Voll & Ruhrbeck. This one-off example is the only convertible Bugatti with coachwork by the Berlin firm.

This car is known as the 'Car with the waterfall grill.' Its first driver in 1939 was the famous Olympic ice skater Sonja Henie. It was not registered to her but was made available to her.

The body and chassis were separated in the 1960s. The body was owned for more than 30 years by a German collector and the chassis and drivetrain were owned for the same period by a Swiss collector. The Patterson Collection acquired all of the parts and restored the car to its current condition.

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No auction information available for this vehicle at this time.

1939 Bugatti Type 57 Auction Sales

Recent Sales of the Bugatti Type 57

(Data based on Model Year 1939 sales)
1939 Bugatti Type 57C Stelvio by Gangloff
Chassis#: 57769
Sold for USD$577,000
  2022 RM Sothebys : Monterey
1939 Bugatti Type 57 image  1939 Bugatti Type 57 image  
1939 Bugatti Type 57C Aravis Special Cabriolet by Gangloff
Chassis#: 57798
Sold for USD$1,545,000
  2022 RM Sothebys : Monterey
1939 Bugatti Type 57 image  1939 Bugatti Type 57 image  
1939 Bugatti Type 57C Cabriolet in the style of Corsica
Chassis#: 57838
Sold for USD$527,500
  2022 RM Sothebys : Monterey
1939 Bugatti Type 57 image  1939 Bugatti Type 57 image  
1939 BUGATTI TYPE 57 GALIBIER
Chassis#: 57752
Sold for USD$434,000
  2022 Gooding & Company : Amelia Island Auction
1939 Bugatti Type 57 image  1939 Bugatti Type 57 image  
1939 Bugatti 57 Cabriolet 4 places par Vanvooren
Chassis#: 57780
Sold for USD$575,368
  2020 Artcurial Motorcars : Monaco
 
1939 Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet by Gangloff
Chassis#: 57731
Sold for USD$875,938
  2020 RM : The European Sale featuring the Petitjean Collection
 
1939 Bugatti Type 57C Stelvio by Gangloff
Chassis#: 57834
Sold for USD$797,000
  2020 RM Sothebys : Amelia Island Auction
1939 Bugatti Type 57 image  1939 Bugatti Type 57 image  
1939 Bugatti Type 57C coupé Atalante
Chassis#: 57624
Sold for USD$3,556,420
  2018 Artcurial : Retromobile
1939 Bugatti Type 57 image  1939 Bugatti Type 57 image  
1939 Bugatti Type 57C Cabriolet
Chassis#: 57841
Sold for USD$1,512,500
  2017 Gooding & Company : Pebble Beach
1939 Bugatti Type 57 image  1939 Bugatti Type 57 image  
1939 Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet by Letourneur et Marchand
Chassis#: 57587
Sold for USD$1,017,500
  2017 RM Sotheby's : Arizona Auction
1939 Bugatti Type 57 image  1939 Bugatti Type 57 image  
1939 Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet by Gangloff
Chassis#: 57731
Sold for USD$746,704
  2016 RM Sotheby's : Monaco
 
1939 Bugatti Type 57C Three-Position Drophead Coupe
Chassis#: 57809
Sold for USD$913,000
  2011 Automobiles of Arizona by RM Auctions
1939 Bugatti Type 57 image  1939 Bugatti Type 57 image  
1939 Bugatti Type 57C Faux Cabriolet 'Charmaine'
Chassis#: 57787
Sold for USD$503,611
  2009 RM Auctions - Automobiles of London
1939 Bugatti Type 57 image  1939 Bugatti Type 57 image  
1939 Bugatti Type 57C
Chassis#: 57624
Sold for USD$880,000
  2008 Gooding & Company
1939 Bugatti Type 57 image  1939 Bugatti Type 57 image  
1939 Bugatti Type 57C
Chassis#: 57806C
Sold for USD$396,000
  2008 Gooding & Company
1939 Bugatti Type 57 image  1939 Bugatti Type 57 image  
1939 Bugatti Type 57C
Chassis#: 57749
Sold for USD$1,930,000
  2004 Bonhams - MOTOR CARS
 

Bugatti Type 57s That Failed To Sell At Auction

1939 Bugatti Type 57's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
1939 Bugatti Type 57C Stelvio Cabriolet578362020 Bonhams : Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais $1,350,000$1,650,000
1939 Bugatti Type 57C Galibier577522009 Pebble Beach Auction : Gooding & Company $275,000$350,000
1939 Bugatti Type 57C 2009 Automobiles of Amelia Island$380,000$550,000$750,000
1939 Bugatti Type 57C Faux Cabriolet Charmaine577872008 Sports & Classics of Monterey by RM Auctions$375,000$600,000$750,000

Vehicles With Comparable Market Values

Similar sales to the $1,049,221 range.
1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster
Chassis#:198.042.7500570
Sold for $1,039,000
2022 Bonhams : The Quail Auction
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1939 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle thumbnail image  1939 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle thumbnail image  
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1939 Bugatti Type 57 Profiles

1939 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information
1939 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information
Aravis Coupe
Coachwork: Gangloff
Chassis #: 57710
Engine #: 46C
1939 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information
Stelvio Convertible
Coachwork: Gangloff
1939 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information
Voll & Ruhrbeck Roadster
Coachwork: Voll & Ruhrbeck
Chassis #: 57819
Engine #: 90C
1939 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information
Galibier Saloon
Chassis #: 57752
Engine #: 57476 19C
1939 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information
Stelvio Convertible
Coachwork: Gangloff
Chassis #: 57834
Engine #: 103C
1939 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information
3 Position Drophead
Designer: Letourneur et Marchand
Chassis #: 57809
1939 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information
Faux Cabriolet
Coachwork: James Young
Chassis #: 57787
Engine #: C66
1939 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information
Atalante Coupe
Chassis #: 57624
Engine #: 448
1939 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information
Galibier Saloon
Chassis #: 57806C
Engine #: 87C
1939 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information
Aravis Coupe
Coachwork: Gangloff
Chassis #: 57768
1939 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information
Stelvio Convertible
Coachwork: Gangloff
Chassis #: 57786
Engine #: 19C.V.
1939 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information
Coupe
Coachwork: Vanvooren
1939 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information
Cabriolet
Coachwork: Saoutchik
1939 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information
Stelvio Convertible
Coachwork: Gangloff
1939 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information
Cabriolet
Coachwork: Vanvooren
Chassis #: 57808
1939 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information
3 Position Drophead
Designer: Letourneur et Marchand
Chassis #: 57841
Engine #: 109C
1939 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information
3 Position Drophead
Designer: Letourneur et Marchand
Chassis #: 57587
Engine #: 458
1939 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information
Atalante Coupe
Coachwork: Gangloff
Chassis #: 57818
1939 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information
Stelvio Convertible
Coachwork: Gangloff
Chassis #: 57769
1939 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information
Aravis Coupe
Coachwork: Gangloff
Chassis #: 57798
Engine #: 431
1939 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information
Cabriolet
Chassis #: 57838
Engine #: 105C