1938 Bugatti Type 57

Vehicle Profiles

1938 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information

Ventoux Coupe

Ettore Bugatti can 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 fac....[continue reading]

1938 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information

Drophead
Designer: Letourneur et Marchand

Chassis Num: 57649
Engine Num: 466

This 1938 Bugatti Type 57 Three Position Drophead Coupe has coachwork by Letourneur & Marchand. It carries chassis number 57649 and engine number 466. It is finished in blue owner white with a tan leather interior. Under the bonnet is a straight-e....[continue reading]

1938 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information

Cabriolet
Coachwork: D'Ieteren

The coachbuilding firm of D'Ieteren was founded in 1805 by Jean Joseph D'Ieteren, who started his career as a wheel-wright. Thus D'Ieteren, which is located in Brussels and still exists today, is one of the oldest automoitve firms in the world. From ....[continue reading]

1938 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information

Chassis Num: 57478
Engine Num: 354

This Alfa Romeo, chassis number 57478, wears replica coachwork similar to the body of the Type 59/50B found in the Schlumpf Museum. It was produced in November of 1936 and built to the requests of its original owner, Fernand Huck. It originally wore ....[continue reading]

1938 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information

Atalante Coupe
Coachwork: Gangloff

This supercharged Bugatti Type 57C Atalante has been referred to as 'the greatest barn-find ever,' and its story is certainly remarkable. John W. Straus, the grandson of the founder of Macy's department stores, parked this Bugatti in a Pound Ridge, N....[continue reading]

1938 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information

Atalante Coupe
Coachwork: Gangloff

Chassis Num: 57633-463
Engine Num: 463

This Bugatti was originally ordered by wealthy French Industrialist Fernand Crouzet and has a custom body by Gangloff that features unique bumpers and wheel discs.....[continue reading]

1938 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information

Drophead
Designer: Letourneur et Marchand

Chassis Num: 57567
Engine Num: 57567

This pre-war Bugatti was acquired by its current owner in 2003 who promptly returned its original engine to its chassis, No. 57567. Its Letourneur & Marchand coachwork was a precursor to the famed 'Aravis' Bugattis they built along with Gangloff.....[continue reading]

1938 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information

Stelvio Cabriolet
Coachwork: Gangloff

Chassis Num: 57569

Ettore Bugatti had founded the company bearing his name in 1909 in Molsheim, Alsace. While the company would be founded and grow because of the prowess of Ettore, his son Jean, would also go on to show off his talents by fashioning one of the more ic....[continue reading]

1938 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information

Ventoux Coupe

The Bugatti Type 57, introduced in 1934, was both beautiful and powerful, and it provided a much-needed boost for the Bugatti Company during the difficult economic climate of the time. Five body styles were offered - most named after Alpine mountain ....[continue reading]

1938 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information

Drophead
Designer: Letourneur et Marchand

Chassis Num: 57587
Engine Num: 458

This Bugatti Type 57, built in September 1937, was delivered to Letourneur et Marchand to be fitted with this rare two-door, four-seat, three-position cabriolet body. Letourneur et Marchand, located in the Paris suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine, construct....[continue reading]

Ventoux Coupe
 
Drophead
Chassis #: 57649 
Cabriolet by D'Ieteren
 
Chassis #: 57478 
Atalante Coupe by Gangloff
 
Atalante Coupe by Gangloff
Chassis #: 57633-463 
Drophead
Chassis #: 57567 
Stelvio Cabriolet by Gangloff
Chassis #: 57569 
Ventoux Coupe
 
Drophead
Chassis #: 57587 

History

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

Concepts by Bugatti



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