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 Bugatti Type 57C photo

1938 Bugatti Type 57C

Ettore Bugatti could 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 factory located in Alsace, France. Fifty-two different models were produced over the years, from the Type 2 of 1900 to the winningest race car of all, the Type 35 Grand Prix racer, to one of the most costly and luxurious automobiles ever built, the Type 41 Bugatti Royale.

The Bugatti Type 57 is considered to be Bugatti's most successful road going creation which debuted in 1934 and remained in production until the start of WWII, with a total of 739 examples being produced. The design was inspired by Jean Bugatti, who had his father's sense of engineering, created several standard body designs which were available through the factory. This included a four-door Gabilier coach, two-door Ventoux, 1939 57C four-door coach, Atalante on the 57C and 57S chassis, and the Atlantic Coupe which was also available on the 57C and S.

The Type 57 was a new design. Little was borrowed from its predecessor, except for the bore and stroke of the Type 49 engine. The Type 57S was offered beginning in 1935. The Series 2 Type 57 soon followed which brought with it rubber engine mounts, cam and engine timing improvements, heavier chassis and revised dashboard. In 1937, the Type 57C became available. This was a supercharged version which added improved horsepower output over its siblings. The 3.3-liter engine with the supercharger was capable of producing over 215 horsepower.

The final iteration of the Type 57 came in 1938 with the Series 3. The Series 3 had hydraulic brakes, which Ettore Bugatti disagreed with after having poor results with the setup during the 1924 Grand Prix season. Ettore reluctantly cooperated with the decision but did insist on having dual master cylinders in the design. The DeRam equipment was replaced in favor of the Allinquint hydraulic shock absorbers. The DeRam setup had been deemed too expensive to continue.


by Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2019

Related Reading : Bugatti Type 57 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,....
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Related Reading : Bugatti Type 57 History

Ettore Arco Isidoro Bugatti was born in Milan, Italy in 1881. His father, Carlo, was a furniture designer of some fame. The fathers 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....
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1938 Vehicle Profiles

1938 Bugatti Type 57C vehicle information

Atalante Coupe

Chassis Num: 57766
Engine Num: C57

Bugatti's early history is filled with achievements on the grand prix circuits of Europe. And from out of that achievement on the track would come some truly remarkable touring automobiles blending together performance, handling and comfort. By the 1....[continue reading]

1938 Bugatti Type 57C vehicle information

Aravis Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: Gangloff

Chassis Num: 57710
Engine Num: 510

This 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Aravis Drophead Coupe is only one of four ever created and one of the few surviving of its kind. the coachwork was handled by Gangloff. ....[continue reading]

1938 Bugatti Type 57C vehicle information

Cabriolet
Coachwork: Gangloff

Italian born Ettore Bugatti, manufactured these automobiles in Molsheim, a town in the Alsace region, which was a part of the German Empire (Alsace was annexed by Germany in 1871 and restored to France in 1919). Known for its luxurious passenger car....[continue reading]

1938 Bugatti Type 57C vehicle information

Special Coupe

Chassis Num: 57335

This 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Special Coupe was formerly the property of Ettore Bugatti. It is among the most unique, intriguing, and special Bugatti's ever created. It has frame number 278, blown Type 57 engine, a four-speed gearbox and rear end, all n....[continue reading]

1938 Bugatti Type 57C vehicle information

Roadster
Coachwork: Corsica

Chassis Num: 57584
Engine Num: C15

This Bugatti, according to the American Bugatti Club records, was originally clothed as a Stelvio Cabriolet and delivered on October 8th of 1938, to the agent Monestier for his client, Glaizal. Additional information suggests this car should be regis....[continue reading]

1938 Bugatti Type 57C vehicle information

Roadster

Chassis Num: 57661
Engine Num: 25C

The Type 57C is recognized as being the most sporting of all non-racing Bugattis. The T57/57C was an entirely new design heavily influenced by Jean Bugatti, son of founder Ettore. Between 1934 and the outbreak of World War II, more than 680 examples ....[continue reading]

1938 Bugatti Type 57C vehicle information

Stelvio Cabriolet
Coachwork: Gangloff

Chassis Num: 57677
Engine Num: 31C

The Bugatti Type 57 is perhaps Jean Bugatti's most celebrated non-racing Bugatti. Powered by a long-stroke, inline eight-cylinder engine, the powerplant offered smooth, seamless performance and was the epitome of elegant engineering. ....[continue reading]

1938 Bugatti Type 57C vehicle information

Stelvio Cabriolet
Coachwork: Gangloff

Chassis Num: 57597
Engine Num: 82 C

Bugatti's Type 57 was developed directly from motorsports and fitted with the best elements of luxury and automotive athleticism. Introduced in 1934, the Type 57 was the replacement to the aging Type 49. It wore a design courtesy of Ettore Bugatti's ....[continue reading]

1938 Bugatti Type 57C vehicle information

Stelvio Cabriolet
Coachwork: Gangloff

The Type 57 can certainly be considered the most celebrated non-racing Bugatti ever built. Introduced in 1934 and with production continuing to the outbreak of war in 1939, in all its forms 710 were sold. It was a design and engineering masterpiece w....[continue reading]

1938 Bugatti Type 57C vehicle information

3 Position Cabriolet
Coachwork: Letourner et Marchand

Chassis Num: 57644
Engine Num: 470

This Bugatti Type 57 is one of six similar Bugattis designed and built by the exclusive Parisian carrosserie Letourneur & Marchand, which was founded by Jean-Marie Letourneur and Jean-Arthur Marchand. It was specified that the body be painted light a....[continue reading]

Atalante Coupe
Chassis #: 57766 
Aravis Drophead Coupe by Gangloff
Chassis #: 57710 
Cabriolet by Gangloff
 
Special Coupe
Chassis #: 57335 
Roadster by Corsica
Chassis #: 57584 
Roadster
Chassis #: 57661 
Stelvio Cabriolet by Gangloff
Chassis #: 57677 
Stelvio Cabriolet by Gangloff
Chassis #: 57597 
Stelvio Cabriolet by Gangloff
 
3 Position Cabriolet by Letourner et Marchand
Chassis #: 57644 

Recent Vehicle Additions

Performance and Specification Comparison

Type 57 C

Year
Production
Wheelbase
Engine
Prices
117.50 in., 129.90 in., 129.92 in.
8 cyl., 201.38 CID., 135.00hp
8 cyl., 198.75 CID., 170.00hp
8 cyl., 201.38 CID., 210.00hp
130.00 in.
8 cyl., 198.75 CID., 160.00hp

Industry Production

#1#2#3Bugatti
1942Chevrolet (254,885)Ford (160,432)Plymouth (152,427)
1941Chevrolet (1,008,976)Ford (691,455)Plymouth (522,080)
1940Chevrolet (764,616)Ford (541,896)Plymouth (430,208)
1939Chevrolet (577,278)Ford (487,031)Plymouth (423,850)
1938Chevrolet (465,158)Ford (410,263)Plymouth (285,704)
1937Ford (942,005)Chevrolet (815,375)Plymouth (566,128)
1936Ford (930,778)Chevrolet (918,278)Plymouth (520,025)
1935Ford (820,253)Chevrolet (548,215)Plymouth (350,884)
1934Ford (563,921)Chevrolet (551,191)Plymouth (321,171)
1933Chevrolet (486,261)Ford (334,969)Plymouth (298,557)

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