1935 Bugatti Type 57

Ettore Bugatti built a reputation for building cars that were renowned for performance both on and off the track. Due to the racing successes, Ettore remained committed to his single-cam engine, only adopting the more advanced double-overhead-camshaft method of valve actuation, after much persuasion by his eldest son Jean, on the Type 50 of 1930. From that point forward, Jean Bugatti took greater responsibility for design, and among his creations was the Type 55 roadster. This was followed by the Type 57 powered by a 3.3-liter (3257cc), double-overhead-camshaft straight eight engine (72x100mm). Located at the engine's rear, the camshafts operated by a train of helical-tooth gears with a further crankshaft bearing behind them. The crankshaft had five main bearings and finger cam followers minimized side thrust on the valve stems. The transmission was fixed to the engine crankcase, a first for Bugatti, and employed a single plate clutch. The top three gears in the four-speed gearbox were constant mesh. An independent front suspension system using transverse leaf springs was used on the first two Type 57 examples before Ettore insisted it be replaced by a proper Bugatti hollow tubular live axle. From that point forward, the suspension was traditional Bugatti semi-elliptical front and reversed quarter-elliptical rear leaf springs with cable-operated mechanical drum brakes.

Development of the Type 57 would continue, despite financial travail, with a rubber-mounted engine, stiffened frame, and the supercharged 160 horsepower Type 57C in 1936. In 1938, Lockheed hydraulically actuated brakes were added, and lightweight but expensive aluminum-spoked wheels and brake drums were replaced with Rudge-Whitworth center-lock wire wheels and separate brake drums.

More than just a Grand Touring machine, the Type 57 won at Le Mans on two occasions.

Many Type 57s received bespoke bodies, however the most popular coachwork was built to Jean Bugatti's design (perfected by in-house stylist Joseph Walter) by the marque's preferred carrossier, Gangloff of Colmar. Factory offerings on the Type 57 chassis included the Stelvio cabriolet, Galibier four-door saloon, two-seater Atalante faux cabriolet (coupé), and the four-seater Ventoux coupé. The athletic huntress Atalanta, in Greek mythology, would only marry a man that could out-run her - thus a suitable appellation for the fast and stylish Bugatti Atalante. 34 examples of the Atalante were produced from 1936 to 1938 and is much rarer than the Galibier, Ventoux, or Stelvio.

A shorter and lower 'S' variant (for 'sousbaisse') was available to clients seeking additional performance. Its reduced height was accomplished by mounting the rear axles through two holes in the frame, thus making these the first Bugatti with an underlsung chassis design. By mounting the axles above the chassis center line, it reduced the overall height of the car, which helped improve the vehicles handling. Its wheelbase was also shortened by 32cm, enhancing the performance even further. Produced for three years, they were equipped with the more powerful version of the Naturally Aspirated and Supercharged engine. The engine received a dry-sump lubrication system which allowed the engine to be mounted lower in the chassis. Additional upgrades included a higher compression ratio which helped increase horsepower from 135 to 170 bhp. The optional Roots-Type supercharger boosted that figure an additional 40 bhp. Production of the standard Type 57 and 57C lasted until the outbreak of World War II.


by Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2019
1935 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information

Ventoux Coupe

Ettore Bugatti was born in Italy, and his automobile company was founded in Molsheim, France. The company was known for the advanced engineering in its premium road cars and its success in early Grand Prix motor racing, winning the first ever Monaco....[continue reading]

1935 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information

Chassis

Chassis Num: 57243

As was true for most Bugattis, the Type 57 chassis was relatively simple in design but exhibited incredible craftsmanship. Unlike previous models, its engine and transmission were cast as separate units, and there were several variants. The chassis f....[continue reading]

1935 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information

Cabriolet
Coachwork: Bertelli

This unique Bugatti Type 57, or 'Terese' as she became known, was originally owned by Colonel G. M. Giles, the distinguished founder of the British Bugatti Owners' Club. Colonel Giles owned no fewer than 12 different Bugatti models before World War I....[continue reading]

1935 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information

Grand Raid Roadster
Coachwork: Worblaufen

Chassis Num: 57260

Ettore Bugatti had already showed promise as an engineer and constructor even before he was even old enough to legally sign a contract. Ettore had first caught attention when he built his first automobile in 1900 at the age of nineteen. It would go o....[continue reading]

1935 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information

Competition Torpedo

Chassis Num: 57222a

Bugatti produced a Competition chassis and as many as four examples were built. They were only showcars and were never sold, thus they were never given legitimate chassis numbers. The official blueprints from August of 1935 are still in existence, an....[continue reading]

1935 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information

Ventoux Coupe

Chassis Num: 57286

The Bugatti Type 57, the best-selling of all Bugatti models, was introduced to the world at the 1934 Paris Salon de l'Automobile. One of the body styles was the Ventoux coupe which was a Bugatti factory design. This particular example, chassis number....[continue reading]

1935 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information

Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: Binder

This 1935 Bugatti Type 57 was purchased from a classified ad in 1968 for $1,800 and then transported from Costa Mesa, California to Dayton, Ohio. It was in rough condition but driven once in a while. It was taken to a restorer in Cincinnati in 1977 w....[continue reading]

1935 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information

Stelvio

Chassis Num: 57322

Named after a pass in the Eastern Alps, the Stelvio was one of Jean Bugatti's body design for the Type 57 chassis. Many Stelvio bodies were built by Gangloff of Colmar, but this example was built by the Bugatti factory and was originally delivered to....[continue reading]

1935 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information

Drophead Coupe
Coachwork: James Young

Chassis Num: 57236

This Bugatti Type 57 was ordered by Wilson McConnell, a Canadian newspaper publisher and significant philanthropist from Quebec. The rolling chassis was delivered to Bugatti's London agent, Colonel Sorel, on December 12th of 1934. In 1936 McConnell h....[continue reading]

1935 Bugatti Type 57 vehicle information

Galibier Sedan

Chassis Num: 57245

This Bugatti Type 57 wears Galibier Saloon coachwork. It is based on an early Series 1 chassis and running gear, however the body originates from a later Series II car. This was not uncommon, as many cars were separated from their original coachwork ....[continue reading]

Ventoux Coupe
 
Chassis
Chassis #: 57243 
Cabriolet by Bertelli
 
Grand Raid Roadster by Worblaufen
Chassis #: 57260 
Competition Torpedo
Chassis #: 57222a 
Ventoux Coupe
Chassis #: 57286 
Drophead Coupe by Binder
 
Stelvio
Chassis #: 57322 
Drophead Coupe by James Young
Chassis #: 57236 
Galibier Sedan
Chassis #: 57245 

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,....
Continue Reading >>

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....
Continue Reading >>

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