1939 Bugatti Type 57 / 57841 Chassis Information

3 Position Drophead
Designer: Letourneur et Marchand
Chassis Num: 57841
Engine Num: 109C
Sold for $1,512,500 at 2017 Gooding & Company.
Jean Bugatti introduced his Type 57 in 1934 and it quickly became one of the very best sporting chassis available. It featured a gearbox that was fixed to the crankcase and serviced by a single-plate clutch, with the top three gears in constant mesh. This was the first time Bugatti used this type of configuration. The chassis featured a hollow-tube live front axle which housed a dual overhead camshaft eight-cylinder engine. The powerplant featured a slim squared-off block, angular machined cam covers, and meticulously fabricated ancillaries. The cams were driven by a set of helical-toothed gears, the long crankshaft was supported by five main bearings, and finger cam followers minimized side thrust on the valve stems.

A supercharged model, named the Type 57C, was added to the lineup in 1936. These models featured a stiffer frame, rubber-mounted engine, and a Roots-type compressor driven off the camshaft drive at the rear of the engine, running at 1.17 times engine speed. With a five-to-six psi boost, the engine offered 160 horsepower.

This particular example is a late production Type 57C. It was manufactured in Molsheim, France, in August 1939. It has a supercharged engine, number 109C, but the chassis was not initially stamped with a number, as sales of new Bugattis had stopped because of the fear of hostilities due to the onset of World War II. In 1940, like many other French businesses, the Bugatti factory was ordered to relocate.

Bugatti left for Bordeaux and was ordered to manufacture airplane parts. At the time, this was still an unnumbered chassis, and was included in the move. In 1941, it was listed as 'New Chassis, Engine 109C' at the Bugatti premises on the Boulevard Alfred Daney in Bordeaux. Later that year, it was returned to Alsace, as the Germans occupied France and expropriated the Bugatti factory there.

Near the close of 1941, Robert Diebolt acquired the chassis/engine 109C, which had then been given number 57841. This was the final Type 57 chassis number assigned.

Mr. Diebolt hid the car near his castle in Oberhausbergen for the remainder of the war.

After the war, in 1949, Robert Diebolt's son Michel removed the chassis from storage and got it running. The bodiless chassis was given wooden seats, and Robert Diebolt managed to register the car with so-called 'practice plates.'

On September 24, 1955, the car was officially registered with plate 2 DB 67.

Later in 1956, Mr. Diebolt came across came across one of the original eight cabriolet bodies built on the Type 57 chassis by the coachbuilder Letourneur et Marchand in 1938–1939. It is believed that body number 2951 had been mounted on Type 57 chassis 57645, from which it had just been separated when Mr. Diebolt found it. The body was then fitted to chassis 57841. At some point after the installation, 57841 was given the new upper-inlet supercharger with a downdraft carburetor.

Mr. Diebolt sold the completed car in 1957 to D. Glöckner, an American military officer stationed in the Frankfurt area in Germany. It is believed the Mr. Glöckner had the car brought to the United States. By 1962, it is believed to have been sold to Oliver C. Schmidt, in Northbrook, Illinois. In the early 1970s, Mr. Schmidt sold the 57C to Carlton Coolidge, who passed it on to Dr. Lawrence Arnstein in Atherton, California, later in the decade.

The current caretaker acquired the car in 1986.
By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2017

Chassis# 57841

2017 Gooding & Company : Pebble Beach
Estimated Value:$1,500,000-$2,000,000 
Sale Price$1,512,500

Analysis

Chassis number 57841 Auction Sales History
2017$1,512,500

2017 2
2016 1
2011 1
2009 1
2008 2
2004 1

YearAvg. SaleHigh Sale# of Sales
2017$1,265,000$1,512,5002
2016$746,704$746,7041
2011$913,000$913,0001
2009$503,611$503,6111
2008$638,000$880,0002
2004$1,930,000$1,930,0001

Recent Sales

(Data based on Model Year 1939 sales)
1939 Bugatti Type 57C Cabriolet
Chassis#: 57841
Sold for $1,512,500
  2017 Gooding & Company : Pebble Beach
    
1939 Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet by Letourneur et Marchand
Chassis#: 57587
Sold for $1,017,500
  2017 RM Sotheby's : Arizona Auction
 
1939 Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet by Gangloff
Chassis#: 57731
Sold for $746,704
  2016 RM Sotheby's : Monaco
 
1939 Bugatti Type 57C Three-Position Drophead Coupe
Chassis#: 57809
Sold for $913,000
  2011 Automobiles of Arizona by RM Auctions
    
1939 Bugatti Type 57C Faux Cabriolet 'Charmaine'
Chassis#: 57787
Sold for $503,611
  2009 RM Auctions - Automobiles of London
    
1939 Bugatti Type 57C
Chassis#: 57624
Sold for $880,000
  2008 Gooding & Company
    
1939 Bugatti Type 57C
Chassis#: 57806C
Sold for $396,000
  2008 Gooding & Company
    
1939 Bugatti Type 57C
Chassis#: 57749
Sold for $1,930,000
  2004 Bonhams - MOTOR CARS
 

No Sale

1939 Bugatti Type 57's that have appeared at auction but did not sell.
VehicleChassisEventHigh BidEst. LowEst. High
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

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