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Maintainer: Jaap Horst

1933 Pau Grand Prix, held on 19 February.

The picture shows Guy Moll in a Bugatti T51, he came in 2nd, after Marcel Lehoux.

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Contents

  1. the Bugatti revue The worlds first on-line Bugatti focussed magazine!

  2. All back issues of the Bugatti revue

  3. All Bugatti types with technical caracteristics

  4. Bugattis by chassis numbers

  5. Picture Sheets of the Bugattis, per Catagory

    Information on the Bugatti types is also included!
  6. Jacob Munkhammar Bugatti site
    This site was missed since 2001, I put it back on line, thanks to Pascal van Mele, the version is of January 2001!
    Especially the the Hunting for Bugatti Information, "Everything Bugatti" (articles) and the Bugatti cars database are of the most interest, but you will find much more!!!
    However, of course Jacob does not respond to mails anymore, some older links may not work, the Pim Faber books, models and stamps databases do not work, and the Hunting Bugatti Questions are not followed up. As a service, I will post all answers to his existing questions on my pages, new questions will be published on my site also!

  7. Bugatti up to date information / News.

  8. Bugatti Commercial / Merchandise.

  9. Bugatti special garages special pages

  10. Bugatti Clubs over the world
  11. Bugatti Aircraft Association

  12. Bugatti car simulator 2 (Android) (iOS)

  13. Bugatti miniature models

  14. Archive of older articles and information

  15. Other Bugatti links

  16. Bugatti and classic car auto glass replacement and sourcing information.
    Most local windshield repair companies do not offer OEM equivalent glass for automobiles that are older than 1981 and especially for exotic models like the Bugatti.
    The good news is glass sourcing specialists like SunTecautoglass.com can help vintage automobile owners locate the proper fitting OEM product which will ensure a great fit just like the original.

  17. Bugatti repairs and restoration.
    Those restoring or repairing Bugatti motor cars as a business must ensure that they have a valid motor trade insurance policy in place.


Bugatti news

January 2, 2021

Another 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Corsica Roadster to be auctioned

Following the announcement of the T57S Corsica Roadster auction by Bonhams, taking place on February 19, 2021, (chassis 57503) a second quite similar vehicle will be Auctioned by RM / Sotheby's on January 22.

This one is chassis 57512, and there are some differences of course: This car is fitted with a supercharger, thus it is a T57SC; experts differ in opinion about if the car was fitted with one at the factory in 1939, or at some later date.
Obviously there's a difference in the body, notably the different wings.
And there's a difference in condition, where 57503 is largely unrestored, has not been driven for half a century and was also recently re-discovered, and now for the first time since ages on the open market. 57512 seems to be perfectly restored, and has been on offer for a while now, for example on PreWarCar.com, but also in a RM Sotheby's Auction at Amelia Island on March 8-9, 2019 (Estimate: $6,000,000 - $7,500,000) and at the Mecum Auctions Monterey, on August 17, 2019, but failed to sell so far.

Thus: Take your pick of a low-slung Bugatti Corsica Roadster! Or, this is you chance to acquire both, and put them in the same stable!

More about this car and the auction in the Events section


December 22, 2020

Recently Discovered 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Corsica Roadster to be auctioned

This T57S, chassis 57503, was in the possession of Bill Turnbull for many decades, until he died a few years ago. Experts knew about this car, but it was presented as a dicovery anyway, and deserved a long article in the December issue of the English magazine Classic & Sportscar, written by Mick Walsh.

That Bugatti is nicknamed “Dulcie,” because of its registration number, which reads “DUL 351.” “Dulcie” has been with the same owner for 51 years, the late esteemed Bugattiste Bill Turnbull, but his estate has agreed to part with it.

It will be the highlight of the upcoming Legends of the Road auction at Bonhams, taking place on February 19, 2021, and is expected to fetch between £5 million and £7 million. It will sell without reserve.

This 57S, chassis no. 57503, is in highly original and excellent condition. Turbull was not its first owner but he was the one to try and repair and restore it, as the video at the bottom of the page can confirm. Until just recently, he kept it hidden in his North Staffordshire workshop.

The 57 Surbaisse has a 3.3-liter twin-cam Bugatti engine and original body by Corsica Coachworks. The chassis is of the type made for the three Bugatti Type 57G “Tank” streamlined sports-racing cars, with the auction house saying that one of the two lost chassis was possibly re-used for this vehicle. Only 42 57Ss were ever made, but this one is all the more special for this reason.

It has "nearly perfect" black paintwork (In the article referred to above, it was not painted black yet), cream leather interior, and the original coachwork. It sells with certification and a well documented history file, including Turnbull’s correspondence with the previous owners, conducted as part of his efforts to restore it.

“This really is an extraordinary example of one of the most valuable and desirable pre-war motor cars,” Sholto Gilbertson, Director, Bonhams Motor Cars UK, says in a statement. “Other 57S Bugattis are in museums or known collections, and to offer the car to the open market for the first time since 1969 is going to be tremendous. This could well be the last “hidden” pre-war Bugatti of note and we are delighted to present this rediscovered true legend of the road next year at New Bond Street.”


December 20, 2020

Nik Levecque wins top prizes with Bugatti miniatures!

My friend Nik Levecque from Belgium is an expert model builder, I wrote about his models in these pages (and the Bugatti Revue) various times already. He also was one of the winners of this year's BugattiPage contest.

His work has now been recognised internationally, as two of his scale Bugattis were recently decorated in the online 'Euro Scale Modellers 2020' contest:

  • Type 30 'Carosseria Corona':
    Fellow award and silver medal in its category (civil vehicles >1/24)

  • Type 51 Grand Prix:
    Gold medal in its category (civil vehicles >1/24)

The Gold, Silver and Bronze medals were elected by a Dutch jury of 20 modellers, out of 613 models in different categories.

The Fellow awards were elected by 160 contest participants, from Holland, Belgium, Germany, France, Spain, Gibraltar, Portugal, Italy, Turkey, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungaria, Hong Kong, New Zeland, Brasil, USA, Canada, Ireland and England.

More info and pictures on this contest euroscalemodelling.nl/results-online-competition-2020/

More about Nik's models in articles previously published in the Bugatti Revue:


December 16, 2020
VW Board reveals plans, but future of Bugatti remains unclear

The Volkswagen Board of Directors has decided that Lamborghini and Ducati will remain part of the group. Bentley will be under the responsibility of Audi to facilitate the luxury brand's transition to electric driving. Bugatti's future is still uncertain.

The future of Volkswagen seems to be in calmer waters now that the Board of Directors of the Volkswagen Group has expressed its support for CEO Herbert Diess. Under the leadership of Diess, the group is engaged in a considerable transformation, especially when it comes to electric models, new software and autonomous technology.
One would think that purely performance-oriented brands such as Lamborghini and Ducati no longer have a place within Volkswagen, but nothing could be further from the truth. The Board of Directors has decided that those two brands will remain under the umbrella of the group. Earlier plans to make Lamborghini more independent, therefore seem to have been canceled.

However, the Board of Directors is silent about Bugatti, the showpiece of the late Ferdinand Piëch. Previously, Porsche, Bentley and Bugatti were part of the "Sport & Luxury" industry within the Volkswagen Group. Now that Bentley comes under the responsibility of Audi, only Porsche and Bugatti would remain in this group.

With that, a possible sale of Bugatti seems to be increasingly likely. CEO Diess said earlier that Volkswagen is "constantly reviewing" its portfolio in the midst of a rapidly changing industry. Time will tell what Volkswagen has in store for Bugatti.

Thus: My earlier comment that Mr. Stephan Winkelmann became president of Lanborghini alongside Bugatti, to keep him inside the Volkswagen group when Bugatti will be sold, became much more plausible. Lamborghini remains with VW, and Bugatti will probably be out. Of course, VW will not publish about this before the deal with a buyer (Rimac?) is final. However, their silence about the future position of Bugatti within the VW group in itself is clear enough!


December 12, 2020

"Old News" Bugatti Type 35 D prototype from 2015

Bugatti has been rather busy developing complete new models which they either did present but did not produce, like the 2009 Galibier, or did develop, but did not even present, like the Bugatti W16 GT, a coupé version of the Galbier with the W16-engine in the front, the 2015 Bugatti Atlantic (on the right, presented on these pages on March 15, 2020 ), a smaller car than the Veyron and Chiron, and with a smaller V8 engine also.

Another one which was not presented, but was also developed in 2015, is the Type 35D shown here.

The Type 35 D was developed by Uedelhoven Studios, a German company for design and fabrication of prototypes which works mainly for Audi and thus for the Volkswagen group. They also made the 2009 Bugatti Galibier Concept.
This studio now reveals images of a project realised in 2015 with Bugatti, in fact a modernised version of the mythical Bugatti Type 35 which dominated racing in the 1920's.

The prototype is called the Type 35 D, as if it would be a follow-up to the Type 35 C (wrong of course, as the Type 51 was what followed the T35C).
It sort of follows the design of the famous GP Bugattis of the nineteen-twenties, having a body sitting in between the wheels, leaving these open as on the original. The whole looks more like a remake of one of those VW-Beetle based Bugatti replica's, which in a way it is of course..

Like on a proper open-wheel race car, the suspension components and wheels are fully exposed. What is unlike the original, however, are the fat tyres, massive rear diffuser, and super-slim tail lights, with the third brake light neatly integrated into the central strip that runs from front to back.

There is no information on what would power this prototype. Electrical maybe, or would it share the V8 engine with the 2015 Atlantic concept? There seems to be no space for the W16 engine. Maybe there is no engine at all?? Clearly visible is that it is rear-wheel drive.

There is not much information on the interior, but we do get to see lots of beautifully finished wood, aluminium, and carbon-fibre trim, along with acres of brown leather. Apart from the ‘EB’ logo on the steering wheel, the centre stack bears more than a passing resemblance to the one in the Chiron’s cabin, especially the digital gear indicator.

So do I like it? In fact, no, it seems to me like a stressful try to create a modern version of the GP Bugatti. As the original was perfect from every angle, all attempts at trying to recreate it in a modern fashion are doomed to fail. Do you like it? Well; that is up to you to decide!


December 6, 2020

3D printing (miniature) Bugattis

As you may know, the new VW-Bugatti puts a lot of 3D printed parts in their automobiles, in the "Bolide" even more than in the "standard" Chiron. More about this in the article on my visit to the factory, in 2019.

However, more and more people have either their own 3D printer, or have acces to one through a friend or relative or so. And, on-line quite a few toys (as above, quite a cute one, and it's almost Christmas) and miniatures are available. That is, the files, which you need to make the 3D printed model. And they are for free! My friend Bart Oosterling sent me both the above picture of the one which his brother-in-law printed for him, as well as links to the files themselves.

The links are given here:


November 25, 2020

New Bugatti "Legends" series and more news from VW-Bugatti

Apart from a new Chiron-based series of Legends of the Sky (Légendes du Ciel), there is news about Stephan Winkelmann, who will also become head of Lamborghini, and about the new Baby II.

BUGATTI IS HONOURING ITS RACING DRIVERS FROM THE “GOLDEN DECADE” WITH A NEW EDITION.
Hand-sketched racing scenes on and in the vehicle, diamond cut aluminum and a reminiscence that have come true of Bugatti's glorious Grand Prix days. Bugatti is honoring its “Daredevils”, famous racing drivers from the last century, with the Chiron Sport1 “Les Légendes du Ciel”. Many of them were former flying aces, daredevils, technically skilled pilots who flew without fear.

“Bugatti has had close associations with aviation since the company was established more than 110 years ago. Many successful Bugatti racing drivers, such as Albert Divo, Robert Benoist and Bartolomeo ‘Meo’ Costantini, flew for the French Air Force, the French aviator legend Roland Garros privately drove a Bugatti Type 18 to be as fast on the road as in the air,” says Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti. “It is therefore almost an obligation for us today to pay tribute to the legends of that time and dedicate a special edition to them.”

Company founder Ettore Bugatti admired the fearless character and technical expertise of his drivers who were fascinated by high speeds – and also mastered them. On the road, the racing drivers benefited from the experience gained in aircraft cockpits. They in turn admired Ettore Bugatti for his talent as an engineer and were fascinated by his agile, light and speedy vehicles, embodying on the road what their planes were in the sky. Roland Garros even called him the “incomparable artist who alone knows, how to give life to steel.”

Ettore Bugatti has always been inspired by aviation. In around 1915, Bugatti himself designed aircraft engines and from 1937 he also developed an entire aircraft intended to break speed records. The project was stopped because of the outbreak of the Second World War. Ettore Bugatti kept in close personal contact with the pilots throughout his life.

The "Les Légendes du Ciel“ edition Bugatti is honouring these legends of aviation with the "Les Légendes du Ciel“ edition, based on the Chiron Sport and limited to 20 vehicles. The new edition references many features of the historic aircrafts in which Bugatti pilots gained profitable experience. In addition to the unusual colour of the paintwork, the vehicle includes a special full leather interior with hand-drawn sketches and diamond cut aluminum.

A striking feature of the Chiron Sport “Les Légendes du Ciel” is its special, matt-grey “Gris Serpent” paintwork, a modern interpretation of the exterior colour of the aircrafts from the 1920s. This stretches across the entire vehicle and is traversed from the front to the rear via the extending rear spoiler with a high-contrast, white gloss center stripe. The front wings are adorned with the "Les Légendes du Ciel“ logo. The “Le Bleu-BlancRouge” tricolour in Blue, White and Red decorates the front area of the side sills made of exposed black carbon fiber.

The horseshoe shaped radiator grille also has a black gloss finish. The radiator grille mesh is made of laser-cut and deep-drawn aluminum, on which the dynamic pattern of the stitched seams is repeated on the leather seats, reminiscent of planes flying in formation in an air parade. The door entry lights project the edition logo onto the ground when the doors are opened. The door sills are made of brushed aluminium with the "Les Légendes du Ciel“ logo on the middle console inlays also characterises the new edition. The W16 engine cover is made of black exposed carbon fibre. These lightweight components are contrasted by white lettering. Black exposed carbon fibre and a black-coated exhaust trim cover made of 3D printed, high-temperature-resistant Inconel dominate the rear.

The interior also visually evokes aircraft from the past century. Bugatti uses fine “Gaucho” leather for the entire vehicle interior of the Chiron Sport “Les Légendes du Ciel”. The light brown leather is reminiscent of natural leather in these aircraft of days gone by. The natural material is contrasted only by aluminum trims, an aluminum inlay with the logo "Les Légendes du Ciel" that can also be found on the headrests as well as the special edition numbering “1 of 20”. Bugatti optionally offers comfort seats and the glass roof “Sky View” through which occupants can gaze into the sky like in open-top aircraft of the past century.

On the door panels there is a hand-sketched racing scene between the Nieuport 17 aircraft and a Bugatti Type 13, which symbolizes the two souls honored by the edition.

The Nieuport 17 is a very special aircraft: it is a French biplane aircraft that was built from 1916 and was very popular with its pilots due to its reliability, speed, agility and manoeuvrability. The single-seater aircraft was powered by a 9-cylinder engine that delivered up to 130 PS.

The Bugatti Type 13 is a very special vehicle in Bugatti’s history spanning 110 years. It was the first model to bear the name Bugatti. From 1910, the Type 13 impressed with its lightweight design, agility and the high output for the time of more than 15 PS. More than 110 years ago, the "Pur Sang" (thoroughbred) already reached speeds of almost 100 km/h and won many races over the following years. The vehicle laid the foundations for Bugatti’s racing success. The perlée-finish, polished aluminum of the armrest tray and the centre console insert, are also reminiscent of the historic racing cars.

“The Chiron Sport “Les Légendes du Ciel” with a W16 engine and a capacity of 8.0 litres delivers 1,500 PS and 1,600 newton metres of torque. Its maximum speed is electronically limited at 420 km/h. Bugatti will start production of the Chiron Sport “Les Légendes du Ciel” towards the end of 2020. The edition, limited to 20 units, costs 2.88 million euros net each.

Stephan Winkelmann additionally becomes the new President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A.

MOLSHEIM, 18-11-2020
With effect from 1 December 2020, Bugatti President Stephan Winkelmann will additionally take up the position as President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. on top to his current function. The Bugatti President will therefore have a dual role. “It is both a great honour and pleasure, but also a great challenge for me to manage these two companies, which are very special to me with their exceptional cars,” says Stephan Winkelmann.

Over the last three years, Stephan Winkelmann has successfully initiated and driven forward a number of exciting projects at Bugatti. Never before has Bugatti presented so many different and unique projects in such a short period of time, such as the Divo, La Voiture Noire, Centodieci, Chiron Pur Sport, Chiron Super Sport 300+ and Bolide. Last year Bugatti set a speed record that is still valid. And with the now delivered Divo, Bugatti has also transformed modern coach-building for the 21 century. Lamborghini is also well-known territory for Stephan Winkelmann: he was President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. in Sant` Agata Bolognese, Italy, for over eleven years up to 2016.

Then I wonder why this step at this moment? Is this to secure a role for Stephan in the VW concern, even after the sale of Bugatti???

Bugatti Baby II Arrives in North America

MOLSHEIM / LOS ANGELES, 23-11-2020
Just in time for the holidays, the limited-series Bugatti Baby II has arrived in Southern California. This marks the vehicle’s first appearance in North America since Bugatti announced plans to reimagine the original 1926 Baby at the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show. Since its launch, the car has gathered international attention due to its exquisite modern-day engineering coupled with authentic nods to the original Type 35 on which it is based.

As part of the tour, the Bugatti Baby II took to the historic race track at the renowned Willow Springs International Raceway, providing a lucky few the opportunity to drive a ‘Blanc’ Vitesse specification vehicle in its delimited ‘speed key’ mode. The Bugatti Baby II will also be on display in Bugatti Newport Beach and Bugatti Beverly Hills showrooms until December.

In partnership with The Little Car Company, Bugatti will produce just 500 of these 75% scale Type 35 vehicles. While a majority of the units have been accounted for, a small amount of the build slots have been reserved for Bugatti customers and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Bugatti Baby II can be enjoyed by multiple generations of collectors and enthusiasts. Each model, built on an electric, rear-wheel drive platform, offers short and long range battery options with a range of up to approximately 31 miles, depending on driving style. Owners will enjoy the combination of authentic Type 35 handling and modern technological elements, including regenerative braking, adjustable dampers and the famed Bugatti Speed Key, giving drivers the ability to reach the top speed of 42 mph.

The three versions of the Bugatti Baby II include the Base starting at $36,600, the Vitesse at $53,000 and the Pur Sang at $71,400, the latter offering handmade aluminium bodywork.

The Base model is available in French Racing Blue with black leather interior, while the Vitesse and Pur Sang offer a line of vintage colors that pay homage to Bugatti’s memorable racing liveries and drivers in history. Also available for these two models is a contemporary palette that features colors offered for the Chiron, allowing existing customers to match their new Bugatti Baby II to their current vehicle.

Once purchased, Bugatti Baby II owners receive automatic membership to the prestigious Bugatti Owner’s Club and The Little Car Club, both offering the chance to drive their Bugatti Baby II on some of the world’s most celebrated racing circuits.

Take a look at the photo on the right: A grown man does look rather ridiculous in the Baby II....


November 17, 2020

Good year for Bugatti, despite Covid-19

Message from Stephan Winkelmann, President at Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S.
In a year such as this, many a company goes through hardship, as the current global situation is highly volatile. At Bugatti we consider ourselves fortunate to have a very healthy business, fueled by long-term planning, quick reactiveness, a strong partner network and very passionate customers. We have kept our cool and steered our course, with the dedication, excellence and especially courage that make Bugatti such a unique reality within the automotive industry.

We are reaching the end of 2020, and without having the final figures yet I can already say that we are on our way to exceeding all expectations. We have kept our promise of delivering the first Divo to our customers, and also the Chiron stays hot, fueled by the great feedback we get for the Pur Sport.

Despite challenging months, we will outperform 2019 and, thus, register the best financial result in modern Bugatti history.

This third record year in a row makes me very proud of the Bugatti team – and of the entire Bugatti family.


October 31, 2020

Auctions results

RM / Sotheby's "The Elkhart Collection" Auction, October 23 - 24, 2020

Bonhams Auction: The Golden Age of Motoring Sale '1886-1939', London, England, October 30, 2020


October 28, 2020
Presenting the Bugatti Bolide

Below you can read the official info from Bugatti. This car is a purely track-focused automobile, and indeed has a kg/HP rating of 0.67: 1,850 HP and 1,240 kilograms (dry weight).
Whether the Bugatti Bolide will go into series production, has not been decided yet.
Scroll further down this article for a movie of the presentation, and the technical characteristics.
.

BUGATTI BOLIDE – WHAT IF …

… Bugatti developed an extreme, track-focused hyper sports car with an unprecedented weight-to-power ratio of only 0.67 kg per PS.

Reduced, raw, authentic. With the technological concept of the Bugatti Bolide, the French luxury car manufacturer is now providing the answer to the question what if Bugatti built a radically light vehicle around its iconic 8.0-litre W16 engine? The experimental study of the Bugatti Bolide is a track-oriented hyper sports car featuring a W16 engine derived from series production as powertrain combined with a minimal body for maximum downforce. It therefore promises to offer the ultimate Bugatti performance kick.

At the same time, the Bugatti Bolide is the most extreme, uncompromising, fastest and lightest vehicle concept in the company’s recent history – with an incredible weight-to-power ratio of 0.67 kg per PS. This is made possible by the combination of the W16 engine with 1,850 PS and a vehicle weight of just 1,240 kilograms 1,850 PS Using 110 octane racing fuel; Engine output with 98 octane fuel at 1,600 PS. The weight specification is based on the theoretically possible dry weight). The Bugatti Bolide achieves figures that are almost on par with Formula 1 while its top speed is well above 500 km/h – without compromising maximum handling and maximum agility. The Bolide takes 3:07.1 minutes to complete a lap of Le Mans and 5:23.1 minutes to get around the Nordschleife.

The idea – what if? An experiment.
“Bugatti stands for the continuous quest for technological innovations – in alignment with the company’s brand values of excellence, courage, dedication. And Bugatti never stands still. We are perpetually aiming for new and exciting goals, and the question that we always keep in mind is: what if?” says Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti. “We asked ourselves how we could realise the mighty W16 engine as a technical symbol of the brand in its purest form – with solely four wheels, engine, gearbox, steering wheel and, as the only luxury, two seats. Important aspects of our considerations were fine-tuning our iconic powertrain without any limitations as regards the weight-to-power ratio. These considerations resulted in the Bugatti Bolide. An uncompromising experiment, a thoroughbred, a Pur Sang that, in its brute exclusivity, impresses above all with high performance, low weight, and a driving experience in a whole new dimension. Driving the Bolide is like riding on a cannonball.”

The technology – powertrain designed specifically for the racetrack
“The Bolide is the ultimate answer to the question of what if Bugatti built a track-focused hyper sports car that met the FIA’s safety requirements. Designed around the W16 powertrain with the minimum body structure and unbelievable performance data. The result: the smallest possible shell for a breathtaking performance vehicle that allows the W16 to truly come into its own,” explains Stefan Ellrott, member of the Board of Management of Bugatti and Head of Technical Development. “All of Bugatti’s expertise has been condensed into the Bugatti Bolide. It is therefore an innovative information source for future technologies. The Bolide is thus more than just an intellectual exercise.

“In terms of technology and organisation, the Bolide was one of the most ambitious projects of my career,” says Frank Götzke. After playing a crucial role in the development of the Veyron 16.4 and the Chiron2, the engineer was also responsible for the technical concept of the Bolide. In only eight months, he created a completely new vehicle around the well-known Bugatti W16 all-wheel powertrain, which was highly modified for the project.

The 8.0-litre W16-cylinder engine with 1,850 PS and 1,850 newton-metres of torque is at its heart. Bugatti has designed the drive specifically for use on the racetrack and has optimised the engine and gearbox in particular for higher engine speeds. Among other things, this includes dethrottling the intake and exhaust system to achieve an even faster, more spontaneous, and extreme response characteristic. The four newly developed turbochargers are fitted with optimised blades in order to build up more boost pressure and power at higher engine speeds. In order to achieve optimum lubrication even under extremely high centrifugal forces, the oil circuit, oil pressure, check valves, baffles, oil tanks, oil reservoirs, and pump design of the dry sump lubrication have been optimised. The weight of the drive system is also significantly reduced at the same time.

Instead of water-to-air intercooling, the Bugatti Bolide has air-to-air intercooling with water pre-cooling for optimal performance on the racetrack. The inflow takes place from the front via one internal and one external air duct on each side of the vehicle. The two water coolers, which are arranged in front of the front axle, provide a more effective radiator system in terms of flow than is customary even in Formula 1. Three air-cooled oil coolers for engine, transmission, and differential with water pre-cooling reduce the temperature even on dynamically demanding race laps. Newly developed and hybrid carbon titanium turbofan radial compressors ventilate and cool the high-performance racing brake system.

1,850 PS and 1,240 kilograms – weight-to-power ratio of 0.67 kg/PS
In order to achieve a dry weight of 1,240 kilograms, all the stops have been pulled out with regard to the materials and production processes used, both in terms of what is currently feasible and what will be possible in the future.

All the screw and fastening elements of the Bolide are made completely out of titanium. In addition, hollow, thin-walled functional components made of an aerospace titanium alloy are used in many places. These originate from a 3D printer and are extremely thin with wall thicknesses of up to 0.5 millimetres. However, they are still very stable with a tensile strength of 1,250 newtons per square millimetre. Hybrid components, such as the 0.5- metre-long auxiliary drive shaft, combine wound high-strength and ultra-stiff carbon fibres with 3D-printed titanium end fittings and can withstand a continuous operating temperature of up to 260 degrees Celsius. In this example, this reduces the weight by around half to 1.5 kilograms and, due to the reduction of the rotating masses, increases the revving ability of the engine at the same time. The forces acting on the front and rear wings are transferred by ultralight but very solid titanium elements. They weigh a mere 600 grams at the front and an astounding 325 grams at the rear.

A worldwide innovation is the morphable outer skin of the intake scoop on the roof, which provides active airflow optimisation. If the vehicle is driven at a slow speed, the surface of the scoop remains smooth. In contrast, a field of bubbles bulges out when driven at fast speeds. This reduces the aerodynamic drag of the scoop by 10 percent and ensures a 17 percent reduction in lift forces. In addition, the flow onto the rear wing is optimised. At 320 km/h, the downforce is at 1,800 kilograms at the rear wing and 800 kilograms at the front wing.

As in Formula 1, the Bolide decelerates with racing brakes with ceramic discs and coatings. The brake callipers weigh only 2.4 kilograms each. The front forged magnesium rims with central lock weigh 7.4 kilograms, while the ones at the rear weigh 8.4 kilograms – with a very wide tyre size of 340 millimetres on the front axle and 400 millimetres on the rear axle (Chiron: 285 mm at the front and 355 mm at the rear). A compressed-air-driven jack system with four rams makes tyre changing easier, a quick refuelling system allows pressure refuelling.

Among other things, a push rod kinematics system with horizontal dampers ensures precise handling. The oil reservoirs are arranged inside the dampers, which improves aerodynamics. Weighing only 100 grams, the push-rods are designed as a thin-walled and flow-optimised titanium lightweight construction with a buckling load of 3.5 tonnes, which corresponds to a dry weight of nearly two Chirons. The welded control arms made of aerospace-grade stainless steel have a tensile strength of 1,200 newtons per square millimetre and are also designed as wing profiles.

Light monocoque made of carbon
The Bugatti team developed a light monocoque made of carbon around the drive. The integral front end flanged to it is also made of high-strength carbon fibres, as are the fully aerodynamically effective underbody and the monocoque itself. The single-fibre tensile strength of the fibres used is 6,750 newtons per square millimetre, the single-fibre stiffness is 350,000 newtons per square millimetre. These represent figures that are only reached in the aerospace industry. The rear frame, designed as a welded steel assembly, offers a maximum tensile strength of 1,200 newtons per square millimetre, despite a wall thickness of only 1 millimetre – this is made possible by the use of high-strength stainless steel, which is otherwise only used in aviation.

With an overall height of only 995 millimetres, the Bugatti Bolide is exactly the same height as the historic Bugatti Type 35, depending on the steering wheel and truncated windscreen, and about 300 millimetres flatter than the Chiron. The wheelbase is 2.75 metres and the width 1.99 metres. Like in an LMP1 racing car, the occupants fold up the doors that are hinged at the front at an angle, sit on a sill that is only 70 millimetres wide, as in a Type 35, and then position their feet in the interior. Thanks to a side wall that is about 150 millimetres lower than that of the Type 35, the procedure is quick and easy – for drivers up to a body height of 2 metres.

Safety is ensured with safety equipment designed in accordance with FIA regulations. These include HANS device compatibility, an automatic fire extinguishing system, a towing device, pressure refuelling with fuel bladder, central locks for the wheels, lightweight polycarbonate windows, and a six-point harness system. The monocoque side floors with integrated carbon coolant pipes are simultaneously designed as side impact structures and structural reinforcement of the monocoque. The driver can see all the relevant data on a motorsport display. For an optimum sitting position, both the pedals and the passenger footrest can be moved by 150 millimetres.

The design – the quintessence of form follows performance
The experimental study of the Bugatti Bolide is also a very special project for Achim Anscheidt, Director of Design at Bugatti. “In my 16 years at Bugatti, I have never worked on a more extreme concept.” The design of the Bolide is radically tailored to the idea of lightweight construction, and the design principle therefore follows on from the overriding goal of achieving a fascinating weight-to-power ratio of 0.67 kilograms per PS.

“It is the very first time that my team had the freedom of creating an absolutely minimalistic design around the W16 engine. The result is the most provocative proportion of a modern Bugatti ever and the distilled quintessence of our Bugatti design ethos that form follows performance,” says Anscheidt. “The Bugatti Bolide, however, is a project more technically driven than shaped by style.”

The stylistic challenge was to transform the unyielding demands of aerodynamics and lightweight construction into an aesthetic that reflects the unique Bugatti DNA, but at the same time illustrates the ambition of an impressive weight-to-power ratio. The overall appearance is dominated by air ducts that are more reminiscent of aerodynamically sophisticated Formula 1 racing cars than classic sports cars. The seemingly filigree and half-open front end is a striking example of the combination of air duct expertise, lightweight construction requirements, and aesthetic dynamics.

The dramatic effect of the overall proportions is made clear by the aerodynamically favourable overall height of only 995 millimetres. The driver’s ultra-sporty seating permits the low-slung shape of an automotive low-flying aircraft. It is therefore not surprising that the appearance of the Bugatti Bolide invokes the so-called X-planes of aviation history and shows a clear X signature from every perspective. It is indirectly reminiscent of the Bell X-1 jet aircraft which was flown by Captain Charles “Chuck” Yeager 1947, the first person to break the sound barrier at Mach 1.06. The Bugatti Bolide “X-periment” has the shape of an aerodynamically optimised, uncompromising racing car and offers ultra-sporty, superlative performance – with no hint of luxury.

As with other Bugatti vehicles, the Bugatti design team also makes use of a colour split in the Bolide. Compared with other models, the share of visible carbon parts is increased by up to 60 percent. Only around 40 percent of the surfaces are painted – in a re-interpretation of the historic French Racing Blue.

“Fifteen years ago, Bugatti succeeded in creating a new segment with the Veyron 16.4: that of the superior hyper sports car. With the Chiron launched in 2016, we systematically developed this segment further. The models bear witness to power and elegance, uniquely combining technology, design, luxury, and quality in a hitherto unknown combination,” explains Anscheidt. “In contrast, the Bugatti Bolide is an absolute rebel. It is clear to see that its only aim is to convey the pure power of the W16 engine in a visually and technically unadulterated form. Reduced, raw, and authentic – like freshly-caught sashimi”.

The DNA – Bugatti Type 35
With the Type 35, Bugatti produced one of the most successful racing cars of all time. The open-top sports car achieved over 2,000 victories between 1924 and 1930. Today, the Type 35 is a legend in racing history. It was inimitable in terms of technology, design, and performance in its time – and still is today. Ettore Bugatti used a double roller bearing and triple ball bearing crank mechanism for the first time. This allowed the engine to rotate at up to 6,000 rpm to move the eight pistons. Two carburettors increased the power to an initial 95 PS. With this engine, the first Type 35 cars were able to reach speeds of over 190 km/h. In the later Type 35 B evolutionary models with a 2.3-litre eight-cylinder engine and compressor, the power output increased to 140 PS, and the Bugatti achieved a top speed of more than 215 km/h.

As well as their incredible power, the engines were primarily renowned for their reliability and endurance. And their lightness. Ettore Bugatti did not compromise when it came to lightweight construction and best possible driveability. He developed special smooth-running wheels to reduce the unsprung masses and, as a result, improve the response of the suspension. The new hollow-bored and forged front axle weighed only 10 kilograms and was nevertheless still stable. A race-ready Bugatti Type 35 weighed only around 750 kilograms. A masterpiece in terms of the weight-to-power ratio.


The Bugatti Bolide is the unrivalled technological concept of a track-focused Bugatti hyper sports car. The combination of 1,850 PS and 1,240 kilograms dry weight ensures an unbelievable weight-to-power ratio. This puts the Bolide with its W16 engine at the absolute pinnacle in terms of combustion engines used in automotive engineering. “For the first time, we are showing what the W16 engine is really capable of. We have freed the vehicle of all baggage and have illustrated and combined the engine with the lightest possible chassis to create the ultimate Bugatti and to ensure the ultimate driving experience. With the Bolide, we are presenting our interpretation of a Bugatti track car of modern times to Bugatti enthusiasts all over the world and finally make their most fervent wishes come true,” explains Stephan Winkelmann.

Whether the Bugatti Bolide will go into series production, has not been decided yet.

Info on Bugatti.com


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Bugatti events

Until January ?, 2021 Bugatti is exhibiting La Voiture Noire Molsheim, France

Maybe not for everybody, but if you are in the neighbourhood: Bugatti is exhibiting to the public La Voiture Noire in the Centre of Molsheim!

I have seen this car from nearby, and I must say that the shape is unique, in fact much better than the Chiron.


January 1, 2021 21st Annual New Year's Day Antique Auction Ross auction house, USA

If you think an original T57S may be slightly over your budget, then this "Bugatti" Pacific kit car may be something for you! At least will be enough to annoy all real Bugatti experts when you show up in one, at an event or rally!

1937 Type 57S Bugatti Delahaye Kit Car

1987 Jaguar 6cy Six Sedan engine, rebuilt with 12.000K Miles.
Pacific Fastback Design by Terry Cook. Consignor Self-Built.
Includes Photos of Entire Build Process, Delahaye Booklet and Sales Pieces.
Interior Features Genuine Ostrich and Leather. Hood Ornament is a Lalique Fish that illuminates.
One Passenger Side Door hinge is Broken. Rest of Door is Fine Just needs one new hinge.

More info and on-line bidding - Bidding is currently (December 22) at $ 9750.


January 18 - 22, 2021 Gooding & Company Scottsdale Auction Geared Online Scottsdale Edition, "USA"

1926 BUGATTI TYPE 37 GRAND PRIX
Chassis 37227, Engine 137

Purchased in the Mid-1950s by Four-Time Tony Award®-Winning Broadway Set Designer Peter Larkin
Has Remained in the Larkin Family for Six Decades
Well Known and Highly Regarded Within the Bugatti Community
Believed to Be One of the Longest-Held Bugattis in Private Ownership

The Type 37 Grand Prix is the 1.5 litre four-cylinder model based on the famous Type 35 intended for voiturette racing. Like the Type 35, the Type 37 provided excellent overall performance, plus it offered an increased level of user-friendliness for road-based events and rallies.
As opposed to the high-strung, eight-cylinder unit found in the Type 35 Grand Prix, the Type 37 was fitted with a four-cylinder engine that is considered as more reliable and tractable. The Type 37’s engine was essentially half of Bugatti’s inline-eight-cylinder unit, featuring a compact cylinder block, single overhead cam, and three-valve cylinder heads. Unlike the other Bugatti Grand Prix cars, the Type 37 used plain, not roller, bearings and a one-piece crankshaft. The Type 37 relied on simplicity and lightweight design for its performance and is easily capable of 90 mph.

Type 37s quickly became known as race-winning machines and were entered in all the great road races of the era including Le Mans, the Mille Miglia and the Targa Florio. Given its mechanical robustness, the Type 37 was the rare car that one could drive hard all day long and then drive home, with space for a passenger as well.

This lovely Type 37, chassis 37227, was ordered on December 2, 1926 by a gentleman from Luxey, a small village in Southwest France. It stayed in France for its early life, and in 1950 it remained in a garage at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.
In the mid-1950s, the Bugatti was purchased by its fascinating long-term owner, Peter Larkin of New York City. Mr. Larkin was an influential four-time Tony Award-winning Broadway set designer and the car has remained in his family since his passing in 2019.
Mr. Larkin was enthusiastic in his ownership of the Bugatti, stating in 2016 that he still drove it every Sunday weather permitting. Now offered for sale for the first time in over 60 years, 37227 is well-respected within the Bugatti community and has a captivating and authentic well-worn look, with patinated older blue livery. This Type 37 represents one of the most successful and sought-after designs conceived under the watchful eye of Le Patron, Ettore Bugatti.

More info


January 22, 2021 RM | Sotheby's Auction Arizona, USA

1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Tourer by Corsica

Chassis No. 57512, Engine No., Gearbox No., Differential No.: All 19S

  • Retains its original chassis, engine, gearbox, differential, and body
  • One of eight Type 57S examples bodied by Corsica, and only two four-seat tourers
  • Only 16 Type 57S Bugattis delivered with open coachwork
  • Known and fascinating ownership history
  • Formerly of the Judge North and General Lyon collections
  • Documented in Pierre-Yves Laugier’s and Bernhard Simon and Julius Kruta’s seminal books on the model

THE IDEAL EXPRESSION OF ‘PUR SANG’
The cars of the great Ettore Bugatti came in many shapes and sizes, from petite, highly effective grand prix racers to large, elegant touring cars—to say nothing of the enormous Bugatti Type 41 Royales. All shared a reputation for precision engineering and craftsmanship often, and not unjustifiably, compared to that of the finest Swiss timepieces; their chassis served as canvasses for some of the most beautiful automotive designs ever created.

Arguably no Bugatti model expressed each of the marque’s celebrated qualities as effortlessly as the Type 57S. Introduced at the Paris Auto Salon in October 1936 alongside the supercharged Type 57C, the 57S was an evolution of Jean Bugatti’s successful Type 57 design. Built upon a completely re-engineered chassis that was both shorter and lower (the S standing for surbaisse, French for “lowered”), the Type 57S used a front axle that was articulated in halves, while the rear axle passed through the frame rather than under it for a lower overall stance. A magneto-driven ignition was mated to the specially tuned 3.3-liter dual-overhead cam inline-eight-cylinder engine, which featured a higher compression ratio of 8.5:1 and was positioned low in the frame; a dry sump oiling system helped achieved proper road clearance. This low-slung chassis was then fitted with an equally low-mounted radiator that wore a handsome V-shaped grille in the classic Bugatti motif for, as might be presumed, its aerodynamic effect at high speed.

This potent combination added up to a significant increase in both horsepower and overall performance over the typical Type 57 engine and chassis. The 57S now boasted 175 horsepower versus the standard Type 57 output of 135 horsepower, and when adding the available “C” specification Roots-type supercharger power output was raised to 200 horsepower. This enabled a top speed of some 120 mph, making Bugatti the fastest French production car of the period and further burnishing the marque’s reputation for thoroughbred performance.

The Type 57S soon proved itself in competition, claiming three victories during 1936 (the French Grand Prix, La Marne Grand Prix, and the Comminges Grand Prix). Bugatti’s greatest success on the track was soon to come when a groundbreaking aerodynamic version of the 57S called the 57G “Tank” won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1937. Overall victory at Le Mans was later repeated by a second incarnation of the Tank in 1939, among many other competition successes.

If there is one further quality shared by all Bugatti automobiles, it is the unusual passion they have inspired in those who have pursued them. This as is true of those who first commissioned their construction at Bugatti’s Molsheim works—a process that more closely resembled the classic artist/patron relationship than it did the typical automaker/client transaction—as it is of those later enthusiasts who have gone to great lengths to preserve the Pur Sang legacy. This special dynamic is evident in the story of the car presented here: Chassis number 57512, a 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Tourer by Corsica.

BUGATTI CHASSIS NUMBER 57512
Excellence in competition was, of course, only one facet of the Type 57S’ appeal; as a luxurious, high-performance road car, the Type 57S would benefit from some of the greatest coachbuilt designs of all time. While most bodies were supplied by French firms such as Gangloff (a favorite for carrying out some of Jean Bugatti’s best-recognized designs), Vanvooren, or Bugatti’s own Works, British coachbuilders such as Vanden Plas and Corsica also applied their trade to the 57S with perhaps as many as 15 chassis slated for delivery to England. Ultimately, only 16 Type 57S chassis would be built as open cars, with this Tourer by Corsica being one of them.

Corsica Coachworks was established at Kings Cross, London, in 1920 by Charles Stammers and his brothers-in-law, Joseph and Robert Lee. A relatively small operation, the firm claimed not to have employed designers, preferring instead to directly carry out its customers’ devices and desires. Because Corsica was small and could intimately cater to its customers’ whims, the workshop attracted many of the sporting crowd. While little is known of the early 1920s Corsica output, a good deal of it is believed to have involved Bentley.

The early 1930s brought some of the best-known Corsica coachwork, including a low-slung sports body for the Double-Six 50 Daimler and an open two-seater for Donald Healey’s 1935 Triumph Dolomite, by which time the Works had moved to Cricklewood. In addition to traditional British marques, Corsica also worked on Continental chassis, mainly Alfa Romeo and Mercedes-Benz. Later on, more than a dozen Type 57 Bugattis were bodied by Corsica, including a 57S roadster style body for Sir Malcolm Campbell, the Grand Prix driver and land-speed record holder, and the monumental 57S roadster created for Colonel Giles, who affectionately referred to this masterpiece as “La Petite Suzanne.” Like many of the bespoke builders, Corsica closed its doors during World War II, never to re-open.

Corsica built a total of only eight bodies on the Type 57S chassis, including four two-seat roadster bodies (including the Sir Malcolm Campbell and La Petite Suzanne cars), two closed car bodies (of which one example no longer survives), and two four-seat tourer bodies. Chassis 57512 was the second four-seat tourer commissioned, with each being uniquely constructed to show obvious variations from one chassis to the other. The first chassis, no. 57503, abruptly ends the curve of the fenders just behind the wheels, while proudly displaying the oil tank just behind the left front wing.

The example offered here extends the length of the fenders front and rear to gracefully hide the oil tank and visually lengthen the car for a dramatic finish to the rear profile. The configuration of the side-mounts was also treated differently for both examples, with the spare suspended mid-flank on 57503 rather than carefully crafting the side-mount into the extended driver side fender as is seen on this car.

A WELL-LOVED AND FORTUNATE TYPE 57S
The history of this 57S begins with the delivery of its chassis on 8 March 1937 to Colonel Sorel at the Bugatti agency in London for Mr. Hubert Papworth, known for running a Bugatti tuning service in Fulham, London. The chassis was then taken to the Corsica Coachworks to have the open four-seater tourer body fitted. Soon after completion, 57512 was delivered to its first owner Mr. Maurice Fox-Pitt Lubbock, who registered the Bugatti in London with license DXP 970 in March 1937. Maurice Lubbock’s name was listed in the March issue of Bugantics when he joined the B.O.C. Club, which also congratulated him on the purchase of his new Type 57S Bugatti.

Mr. Maurice Fox-Pitt Lubbock was a close friend of Jean Bugatti, who frequently drove him along the tight vineyard roads in Alsace at a very high rate of speed each time Mr. Lubbock visited the factory. Perhaps due in part to Jean’s driving inspiration, Maurice also enjoyed exercising his new Bugatti in a spirited manner, even when carrying the family at speeds of 100 mph or better. One can imagine the heartbreak Maurice Lubbock experienced when he was forced to sell his prized Bugatti after being elected president of Rolls-Royce, approximately 10 years after he first took delivery. It is around this period that a photograph was taken of the car surrounded by eight other Bugattis including three additional 57S models in front of the Continental Cars Ltd. garage in Surrey.

By the time 57512 was sold directly from Lubbock to its next owner, Leonard Potter, the car had been fitted with a factory Roots-type supercharger. Some historians, including Julius Kruta, have reported that the car was upgraded to 57SC specifications at the factory in 1939, while others, such as Pierre-Yves Laugier, suggest it may have been supercharged while in the service of Continental Cars. At any rate, 57512 was upgraded to the ultimate supercharged specification early in its life. Only two cars are known to have been fitted from the factory during production with superchargers, rendering them 57SC examples. The vast majority of Type 57SCs were upgraded to supercharged specification sometime after their initial delivery, with a number of examples being retrofitted decades later.

The car was sold once again by a London garage called “Speed Models,” as was reported by The Autocar magazine dated 24 February 1950. The car was shipped to a Mr. Thomson in New York, who administered the sale to an advertising executive named Walter Stocklin. While in the hands of Stocklin, 57512 was raced at Long Island, Bridgehampton, and Watkins Glen during the early 1950s. By 1955, Stocklin apparently decided he would like for his Bugatti to possess all of the characteristic of a Grand Prix race car and had the original Corsica coachwork removed and replaced with a simple two-seater racing-style body constructed by Hiram Hillegas. Stockton used the car sparingly after the modifications took place and the car was sold five years later in 1960 to the esteemed collector Judge John North of Easton, Maryland. Judge North discovered the car listed for $3,800 in a classified advertisement while reading the New York Times. Thankfully, the original Corsica four-seat Tourer coachwork was included in the purchase.

Judge North recalled that the body still carried its original Corsica plates on the coachwork and under the doors. However, he owned a number of Bugattis and other classics and decided to keep the Hillegas Grand Prix-style coachwork on chassis 57512. North sold the Corsica coachwork in the mid-1960s to Allen Henderson, who intended to install the body on a much later Bugatti chassis with longer dimensions than what the Corsica body was designed to accommodate. As such, Henderson resold the coachwork to Walter Weimer after buying two more Bugattis from North. Weimer in turn sold the body to Ray Jones of Michigan, long known for collecting Bugatti chassis, bodies, and spare parts. Jones passed the body to Lynn Steele from North Carolina, who ultimately sold the body back to Judge North along with a modified Bugatti chassis and a spare 57SC engine, no. 23S.

Judge North assembled a complete Bugatti 57SC using the original Corsica coachwork from 57512, the modified chassis and 57SC engine purchased from Lynn Steele, and a number of spare components sourced from Ray Jones. The “replica” was then sold to Count Hubertus von Donhoff of Germany in 1986. Judge North reacquired the assembled 57SC from Count Donhoff in 1998 and reunited chassis 57512 with its original Corsica coachwork after 43 years of being separated. North sold 57512 to General Lyon soon thereafter, who in turn passed the car on to the Blackhawk Collection.

In the hands of the Blackhawk Collection, a restoration was performed, and the car was displayed on the lawn at Pebble Beach in 2003 to much fanfare, after being exhibited publicly for the first time in nearly 50 years with its stunning original Corsica coachwork.

CHASSIS 57512’S NEXT CHAPTER
Chassis 57512, as it presents today, carries this restoration from its Pebble Beach debut. The restoration was carried out in a manner that preserved elements from both its original configuration and its later GP-style history, providing the new owner with the opportunity to enjoy it in its current state as an exceptional high-performance event car or further restore it to concours standards in its original elegant form as it left the Corsica Coachworks.

Notably, the frontend design was modified by removing the inner fender structure that surrounded the signature V-shaped grille and concealed a portion of the front chassis. It appeared as such under Hillegas’ ownership, which included the installation of the custom multi-louvered hood that it carries to this day. The original Corsica hood design featured an impressive single row of elongated louvers on the hood sides and a solid non-louvered hood top. The original firewall and inner front cowl section under the hood were both replaced, though the outer cowl that the windshield is mounted to and leads up to the edge of the hood is believed original. The oversized “Stephen Grebel” headlamps and single spotlight that the car featured during Mr. Lubbock’s ownership were substituted with more modern and efficient exterior lights by around the time it was shown at Continental Cars in the late 1940s. The original set of wheel discs were eliminated in favor of exposed wire wheels that were chromed during restoration, and the convertible top was removed at some point.

Thanks to the passion and diligence of past owners, chassis 57512 has survived to the present with its significant original mechanical components intact. It importantly features its original chassis, engine, gearbox, and differential, and its supercharger is believed to be the same one that was installed within the first few years of its life. The car’s fortunate reunion with its exceptionally rare, original, open-top Corsica coachwork further elevates its significance and appeal.

Equal parts elegant and athletic, this Type 57SC Tourer by Corsica embodies everything a Bugatti and sits at the very pinnacle of pre-war motoring; it benefits from well-documented history, along with the retention of its important original components. Worthy of a commanding position in any serious collection, chassis 57512 affords its next owner almost limitless opportunities for further restoration, touring and events, and exhibition at the highest levels.

More info


February 5, 2021 Artcurial “Parisienne 2021” Auction Paris, France

1932 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster par Vanvooren
Estimate 4,000,000 - 6,000,000 €

  • Chassis n° 55204, Engine n°5
  • French title
  • Exceptional history
  • Winner of the 1st Lyon-Charbonnières Rally
  • Chassis, engine, gearbox, axle : matching numbers
  • 70% of wooden frame and bodywork original
  • Totally restored to the highest standards

The first Parisian Bugatti Type 55
Towards the end of 1931, the Parisian Bugatti agent Dominique Lamberjack junior, the friend and contemporary of Jean Bugatti, asked the factory for the semi-exclusive rights to all 2.3-litre Type 55 chassis delivered to the capital. Every second chassis would be delivered to Lamberjack, with the others going directly from the factory to private clients. For a deposit of 500 000 francs, he reserved for himself what he thought would be an attractive market for the Alsatian marque's new flagship model : " The Super Sport twin cam ".

Lamberjack confided to the author that in March 1932, as he had not taken delivery of any chassis, despite the first five clients having received their cars, he called the factory and was told by the accountant that Ettore Bugatti, as soon as he'd got the money in his pocket, had gone to an auction sale and squandered nearly all of it on tapestries. The accounts were back in order by the end of March 1932... Lamberjack was a close friend of Robert de Prandières, the dynamic director of the coachbuilding firm Vanvooren in Courbevoie. They agreed between themselves that the majority of the Bugatti chassis delivered to the Lamberjack dealership of 68 rue Bayen would be dispatched to rue Pierre Lhomme in Courbevoie to be bodied. Of the six Bugatti Type 55 chassis delivered to Paris, five were bodied by Vanvooren and one by Figoni. No other Parisian workshop would lay their hands on one of these rare Super Sport Type 55s.

I. Life in Paris with Vladimir de Constantinovitch (1879 - 1942 ?)
Chassis 55204 was the first of five chassis of this new model ordered and paid for by Lamberjack between March and November 1932. The order appears to have been dated 8 February 1932. The chassis was loaded and transported by train from the factory on 3 March 1932 with a Type 49 faux-cabriolet destined for the showroom. 55204 was billed to " Lamberjack fils - Paris " for 72 000 francs. The four other chassis of the same model destined for Lamberjack were all the same price. We have photos of these four cars, all bodied by Vanvooren. As arranged with Prandières, 55204 was sent to the Vanvooren workshop in Courbevoie to be given a very pretty two-seater cabriolet body. We are not certain of the name of the first owner, but we know he lived in Paris because the original registration number for the car was 9762 RF 5, corresponding to the department of Seine in the Spring of 1932. However, cross-checking has allowed us to ascertain that the car belonged to an enthusiast known as " The Admiral ", as told by Lamberjack Jr to the owner from Burgundy in 1946. The same Lamberjack confided to us in 1990 that one of his clients was the son of General de Constantinovitch, known as " The Admiral ", who lived on Boulevard Haussmann.

Vladimir de Constantinovitch was born in Trieste in June or July 1879. His father, the General Alexandre de Constantinovitch, related to the Obrenovic dynasty, was in charge of the Serbian Royal Guard. His marriage to a wealthy Serbian by the name of Opuich made large areas of Serbia available to him, as well as a family home in Trieste. Vladimir fought in the Legion in France during the 1914 conflict. Assigned to the air force in September 1916, he became naturalized in France on 4 September as a second lieutenant in the aviation school in Pau. He fought in the 73 Spa squadron with his friend Albert Deullin. In the staff records for the Air Ministry in 1916, Vladimir's contacts in case of an accident were listed as a friend in Paris and Her Majesty, the Queen of Italy...who was the sister-in-law of his sister Nathalie!

Vladimir had graduated from the military school in Belgrade. He married a wealthy American, Anne Heyward Cutting, from New York, whose family had made their fortune in the railroad business. Through his love for her, he converted to Protestantism. Following the premature death of his wife in November 1921, he remarried a French woman from the North, and they moved between her apartment at 170 boulevard Haussmann and his château " La Dûne aux Loups " in la Somme, and le Touquet Paris - Plage.

Vladimir conscientiously frittered away the family fortune, aided by his mistresses, Bugatti (37A, 57C) and Hispano (32CV 10403 and a Type Sport 12056). Constantinovitch bought his cars new, as evidenced in the Hispano and Bugatti sales registers. It is logical to assume that he bought chassis 55204 new and had the car transported to Courbevoie by his friend Lamberjack. The subsequent owner recalls that our 55 was originally grey with burgundy stripes. At the time it was sold to him, Lamberjack spoke of " The Admiral " as the previous owner of the car.

II. A racing life with Pierre Daligand (1907 - 1987)
The cabriolet 55204 arrived in Mâcon at the start of summer 1946.
It was driven around on the garage plates 6009 W 5 for at least one or two months. The new owner was a personality from the motoring world in Lyon. Pierre Daligand was a dental surgeon and also the manager of the Renault dealership Garage Continental in Mâcon. He started racing motorcycles with the Moto Club Lyonnais (M.C.L.) in 1929, having some success that year on a Magnat-Debon 350 cm3. In 1932 he took part in various races including at the Ain circuit on a Motosacoche 500 cm3. It was not until 1936 that he turned his hand to racing motor cars, both on the circuit and in rallies. The year 1936 marked the start of his Bugatti period, driving in turn a Type 37, a 43 roadster, a faux-cabriolet Type 49 followed by a Ventoux.

- The IXe Rallye des Alpes Françaises (from 12 to 15 July 1946)
Our car took part in this rally, the first held in France after the war. Covering 3 000 to 4 000 km, the trial crossed the French Alps to Germany, travelling through Italy, Switzerland, Yugoslavia and Austria. The difficulty of the course and the time restrictions meant that few competitors were able to finish having kept to the rules. Pierre Daligand, at the wheel of his Type 55, recorded the best time of 34.2 seconds for a start-stop trial in Annecy. The car wore the race number 80, and the number plates of his garage. It performed brilliantly until fuel-supply problems forced its retirement at Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne.

- The first Lyon-Charbonnières Rally (From 21 to 23 March 1947)
This competition was set up by Dr. Daligand and sponsored by the eponymous Casino. With two colleagues from the M.C.L., he devised the route and the regulations, and advertised his project with the Association Sportive de l'A.C.R (Automobile Club du Rhône), adding " I am no longer involved and declare myself a competitor" !

For this new race, the dentist asked a certain Monsieur Molla, a metal worker employed at his Continental Garage, to modify the body of his Bugatti Type 55, and make aluminium panels to fit onto the wooden structure of the Vanvooren cabriolet. The central section of the metal body remained unchanged. The doors were cut down and sports wings replaced the original longer wings. The race took place in three stages in a loop :

  • The first 506 km stage was Lyon-Clermont-Ferrand and back at night on difficult roads.
  • The second stage was 307 km Lyon-Grenoble-Aix-les-Bains through the Porte, Cuchero and Granier passes, where snow was forecast.
  • The final 312 km stage on Sunday 23 March towards Oyonnax and on to Charbonnières, with a small hillclimb en route.
51 teams arrived at the finish despite the rain, snow and nocturnal trials. Pierre Daligand won the race at the wheel of his Bugatti Type 55, and the March 1947 edition of L'Actualité Automobile produced an extensive report on the event.

- The Xe International des Alpes Rally (from 11 to 15 July 1947)
The event took place over 1 050 km, with the traditional start at the Vieux Port in Marseille and finishing at Cannes. Of the 61 competitors who lined up to start at the Vieux Port, just 27 were classified. The race was won by Gaston Descollas, the Bugatti dealer from Marseille, who was accustomed to receiving laurels at this event. He drove a different Bugatti Type 55, with racing number 112 and chassis 55201. Pierre Daligand, race number 111, was leading at the start but burst a tyre approaching a bridge which put an end to the sporting career of our car. The car was sold at the start of 1948 " to some youngsters from Beaujolais " (sic) in the words of Pierre Daligard as recounted by his son Gilles, who never put the Bugatti in their name.

III. Bernard Roche, Château de Milly
The car was sold again on 12 June 1958 and registered with the number 6271 AX 69. Bernard Roche was an eccentric character who travelled from the Rhône valley to the Dordogne, from château to château, searching for treasures. He collected Bugatti and other cars from the 1920s. In his Château de Fénelon in Dordogne, he had an eight-valve Bugatti, a Type 44 and a Type 49 tucked away. He remembers the Type 55 " sold to some people from Paris, complete, with its aluminium wheels, for the sum of 150 000 old francs. " For some unknown reason, the Type 55 was only registered in his name in 1958 although the car had already been with its next owner, Monsieur Liandier, since April 1955. It must have been a rather belated case of regularisation... which the facts and photos confirm.

IV. Pierre Proust in Montrouge : exchange of registration documents between 55204/55202
From at least 1955, the cabriolet 55204 was driving around with the registration documents for the coupé 55202 and vice versa. An inspection of the ex-Michel Bouyer Type 55 faux-cabriolet Jean Bugatti in the Mulhouse museum, and the ex-Pierre Daligand cabriolet belonging to C. Robert in 1986 leaves no room for doubt about the identity of the two vehicles.

The Mulhouse car is chassis 55202, complete with its original engine and body, coupé Jean Bugatti. Just two numbers 55204 were re-engraved over the original 55202 on the engine, and the chassis plate for 55204 was screwed onto the firewall, an operation carried out to make the car conform to the registration document 55204 that Pierre Proust had put in his name on 3 July 1958 with the number 5838 HD 75. And so, both cars found themselves in Pierre Proust's garage on 41 rue Racine, a cavern dedicated to Bugatti, where Henri Novo, a defector from the Teillac garage, was in charge. We know of a photo of the coupé 55202 with the number plate 5392 CL 75. This corresponds to the registration document :" Bugatti Type 55 CI 2 places châssis 55202 ". A little later, this number and the corresponding paperwork was passed to 55204. The registration document was put in the name of Pierre Proust on 11 February 1954. Pierre Daligand remembered seeing his car " under a pile of scrap metal " in this garage during this period.

V. Maurice Liandier (1896 - 1990), Fontenay/s Bois : registration 9 April 1955
It is worth noting that the repair notes of Henri Novo told of a first intervention on the Type 55 during the period it was registered by Proust. We can deduce that Liandier had already bought the car : - 15 January 1954 : " Type 55 Liandier, dismantled, changed the pistons, the seals to replace. ". - Then on 25 October 1954 : " 55 Liandier, crankshaft serviced by the factory. Cylinders 60m/m5 piston height ".

Born to a father of independent means and a mother who taught art, the young Maurice had always lived in a privileged environment. He had a string of Bugattis, from the 1920s through to his return from the Second World War, from which he returned with the Médaille Militaire and the Légion d'Honneur. He enrolled to study Fine Art but took on a career managing the fur factories for the company " C et E Chapal Frères et Cie, Teinturerie de Pelleterie et Fourrures ". His father had sold land in Montreuil, in rue Kleber, where " Chapal " had built one of its many factories. Maurice lived in Sen, at 20 boulevard du 14 juillet, near one of the five French factories and was responsible for the company's machinery. Jean Bardinon, a former pilot, had married a Chapal daughter. He was the godfather of José, Maurice Liandier's son, and the father of the great collector Pierre Bardinon. Liandier was a long-standing Bugattiste, having owned a 1924 Type 35 Grand Prix de Lyon and a Type 30 Indianapolis, before the war. Liandier kept his Type 55 for nearly ten years. It was serviced by Novo at Teillac in 1954-1955, as noted in the latter's records. Liandier took his Bugatti to his property " L' Escapado " that he bought in Chateauneuf-de-Grasse in 1962. The car was parked there next to a Type 57 with a Simca 5 coupé body.

VI. In the famous Pierre Bardinon collection
The vehicle was sold on 9 June 1965 to Pierre Bardinon, the famous French collector who, in Mas du Clos in Limousin, was a tireless collector of the most important Ferrari in the history of motor racing as well as models of key sporting marques like Bugatti. Monsieur Liandier's son has photos of the car and the invoice addressed to Pierre Bardinon. It was indeed the old Vanvooren cabriolet 55204, in its 1947 Lyon-Charbonnières configuration.

La Bugatti 55204, tired but complete, made its way from Grasse back to Paris in the spring of 1965. Pierre Bardinon subsequently asked Henri Novo to take out the twin-cam engine to put in an original, unidentified, Grand Prix car, that the mechanic was assembling for him in 1965. Since this period, the ex-55204 engine has been in the ex-Bardinon, ex-Frédéric Chandon de Briailles " Type 51 ", that is part of a French collection today. Chassis 55204, without its engine and belonging to Pierre Bardinon, remained with Novo waiting to be resurrected. This would happen 40 years later.

VII. An elite collector, Charles Robert
Robert was a regular visitor at the Novo garage, from where he bought a Type 57 chassis that had been lying about in Montrouge, during the same period as chassis 55204. We were able to examine the Type 55 in the basement of his villa in Nogent, in around 1986. The car was as it had been abandoned by Bardinon at Novo's in 1965. All the mechanical elements remained on the car: the front and rear axle and gearbox were, and still are, the original ones. The frame is undoubtedly that of 55204. The central section, in sheet metal, a remnant of the Vanvooren body, and the wood trim behind the seat, are a reminder of the handsome two-seater cabriolet that was modified by Daligand in 1947. We showed Charles Robert photos of his cabriolet in its original configuration and, quite rightly, he decided to have a body constructed with doors in the style of the 1932 coachwork.

Cabriolet versions of the Bugatti Type 55 are now very rare: one bodied by Figoni, one by Gangloff, another by Billeter et Cartier and two Vanvooren cabriolets are the only other examples in collections. Charles Robert spent a lot of time driving his Bugatti and other Ferrari. With a view to taking part with his wife in various rallies, he asked Laurent Rondoni to build a powerful and reliable engine for 55204. The renowned mechanic, who ran the " Ventoux Moteurs " workshop in Carpentras, built a highly competitive engine that produced close to 200 bhp. This new engine was duly installed and run in by Laurent Rondoni who was also responsible for restoring the entire car, from the chassis up. There is no better guarantee ! Charles Robert saw the finished engine but sadly passed away before witnessing the car scale Mont Ventoux at full speed on its first trial run.

VIII. In search of the origine
When the car was offered in our Retromobile auction in 2015, there was one enthusiast who wanted it more than the others. He was the owner of the Bugatti type 51 that had been rebuilt during the 1960s for Pierre Bardinon by Henri Novo, fitted with engine 5 from 55204. In order to reunite the engine and chassis, our enthusiast bought the car at the auction and reinstalled the original engine. Also, having learnt that the 1947 Lyon Charbonnières shell was for sale, he also bought that. It will be supplied to the new owner.

He decided to restore this car to its exact original configuration, including the colours : the 1932 2-seater Vanvooren Roadster. He noted that the bonnet, the bulkhead, the wooden frame of the body and a large part of the bodywork (including the lower part of the doors to seat level) were original. This made it possible to re-create the rear body exactly as it had been when it left the Vanvooren workshop in period.

Extensive research and study of photos of the car in its 1932 configuration resulted in the faithful reconstruction of the body from the bulk of its original frame.

Pierre-Yves Laugier
This Bugatti Type 55 roadster by Vanvooren is one of the most original examples of the Type 55, of which 38 examples were built, all bodies together. Just 29 of these survive, with less than 20 possessing the majority of their original components.
Remarkably, this Roadster is one of just two surviving Vanvooren Roadsters. It retains its original engine and original chassis frame, with the numbers corresponding to the engine engraved on the front and rear axles, bonnet, cam boxes and gearbox.

It is exceptional to find a Type 55 with absolutely all of its original mechanical elements (100% matching numbers) and the majority of its original bodywork. Adding to this, the car has an impressive performance, capable of nearly 180 km/h.

Photos by Rémi Dargegen

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June 2 - 6, 2021 Retromobile Paris, France

Retromobile was originally scheduled in the first week of February, as always.

Due to the current Covid situation this has been postponed to June 2 - 6
That's why I cut the original date off the poster on the right.

Let's hope that the world will have returned more or less to normal by then,
and of course that there will be quite a few Bugattis, as usual!

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June 14 - 20, 2021 International Bugatti Meeting Germany 2021 Bavarian Alps, Germany

Before the IBM, there will be the Prologue „Crossing the Alpes“, from June 11 to 13

From the organisation:
"Dear Bugatti friends, more than half of an incredibly eventful year is already behind us and yet we still have the feeling of stepping on the spot and not really making any progress. The world, our life as we knew it, has gone off the rails. The virus, which does not stop at any borders, means for each of us a hitherto unfelt insecurity and fear – the fear of what may happen to us personally, to our family, to our friends and their family.

Certainly none of us has ever experienced such a crisis, and we in the Bugatti community will only be able to overcome it all together and then go back into a positive future with renewed strength.

However, it is also a reality that nothing can be properly assessed, that it is difficult to make binding plans. And yet we would like to invite you to the “International Bugatti Meeting Germany 2021”. We can assure that we will continue to work hard and with dedication to ensure that the international community of Bugatti enthusiasts will be able to welcome you in Bavaria next year as planned."

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Link to the website


September 10 - 12, 2021 Bugatti Festival Molsheim, France

More info to follow....


Bugatti events from the past

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