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Bugatti History

1939 Bugatti Type 57

Chassis number : 57841

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Sold for $1,512,500 at 2017 Gooding & Company : Pebble Beach.
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

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2017 Gooding & Company : Pebble Beach

Pre-Auction Estimates :
USD $1,500,000-USD $2,000,000 
Sale Price :
USD $1,512,500

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
1938 Mercedes-Benz 540 K Drophead Coupe by Lancefield
Chassis#:169317
Sold for $1,050,000
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1939 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle thumbnail image  
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Chassis#:198.042.10.002899
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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 vehicle thumbnail image  1939 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle thumbnail image  
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Sold for $1,056,000
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1939 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle thumbnail image  1939 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle thumbnail image  
1960 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster
Chassis#:198.042.10.002520
Sold for $1,045,000
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Sold for $1,050,000
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Chassis#:2FAGP9CW0HH200047
Sold for $1,050,000
2019 Bonhams : Quail Lodge Auction
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Chassis#:CSX2588
Sold for $1,045,000
2019 Mecum : Monterey

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