1933 Monaco Grand Prix
by Michael Wright (1935- )
August 12, 2023 |
A few days before, the above photograph was launched, with the addition: "A timeless and incomparable homage to the era-defining moments in the history of BUGATTI. 10.08.23. 10 AM CEST."
Then, a few days later, on August 10 of course, the car itself was presented:
The Bugatti Chiron Super Sport ‘Golden Era’ is perhaps the most challenging bespoke project that Bugatti has ever undertaken. It is the result of two years of innovative and bespoke craftsmanship, featuring entirely new techniques that elevate it from the world of automotive and into pure artistry. It is the very embodiment of the Bugatti Sur Mesure offering, in which customers’ ambitious visions for their vehicles – which stretch beyond the already near-infinite levels of Bugatti customization – are brought to life in a collaborative process with the design team.
In this case, that vision came from a Bugatti collector with a deep appreciation for Bugatti history and for the intricate engineering of the W16 engine. Not only did he choose a Chiron Super Sport to celebrate the combustion engine design, but he wanted to appropriately pay homage to the history that had led to the creation of this engine. With this vision presented to Bugatti, the design team developed a proposal that captured the essence of what makes Bugatti special, told through its most memorable and extraordinary creations. And the result is: ‘Golden Era’.
Achim Anscheidt, former Bugatti Design Director in charge of this creation, explains the ideation’s starting point: “Our customers can be incredibly creative and we take great pride in helping them realize what they dream of, but extensive special commissions such as this are exceedingly rare – we usually see no more than one or two creations on this scale each year. Given the vision and exacting nature for this project – and the fantastical ideation we wanted to realize – ‘Golden Era’ is probably the most demanding piece of tailored personalization work that my team and I have ever worked on.
"A very important customer came to us and during our conversations, he expressed that he believed the Chiron Super Sport and its W16 engine represented a landmark moment in the world of the automobile. He wanted to do something truly unique in celebration. We looked back through Bugatti history to find a number of these landmark moments, including the times of Ettore Bugatti, Jean Bugatti and Roland Bugatti, which really marked the first golden era for the brand. And then, of course, the modern-day incarnation of Bugatti from 1987, picking out the icons from these times that came to define the Bugatti brand. Our team proposed a concept featuring 45 sketches of the brand’s icons that would be hand-drawn directly onto the car itself, and the owner immediately fell in love with the idea. The implementation may sound quite straightforward, but achieving a perfect finish, and one that would last the test of time, took more patience and craftsmanship than you could ever imagine.”
The customer himself has a great appreciation of Bugatti, and the designers’ collaborative process with the owner – in which he made countless visits to the team to see the vision come to life – was sparked by his unbridled passion. Initiating the relationship between the customer and the Bugatti team in Molsheim – and overseeing the project through to its final stage – was Bugatti's trusted dealer partner located in Greenwich, Connecticut.
Bugatti Managing Director, Hendrik Malinowski, says: “Sur Mesure literally translates as tailored and it is this complete ultra-luxury customer-centric approach to car design that really sets it apart. Our teams will work hand-in-hand with our customers to craft exactly what they want, and then work closely with them over the course of months or even years to transform it into a reality. Each step, every decision and – in the case of the Golden Era – every stroke of the pencil, was completed with the close oversight and input of the owner to exceed his expectations in a way that no other brand is able to do.”
The overall project for the car would capture the incomparable legacy of Bugatti, a story told through a composition of beautifully intricate sketches depicting milestones from the legendary brand. On the passenger side, 26 hand-drawn sketches reveal icons like the Type 41 Royale – lauded as the most luxurious car when revealed in 1926 – and the Type 57 SC Atlantic, widely regarded as the most beautiful car ever designed. It is a showcase of the moments when Bugatti changed the course of automotive history with its new innovations. On the driver’s side, 19 sketches portray the rebirth and enduring success of Bugatti since 1987, tracing from the EB110, through the Veyron and Chiron2. A beautifully simple representation of the 3,712 individual components that come together to create the legendary W16 engine – the most advanced automotive engine ever built – rightfully takes its place as a part of the masterpiece.
The team honed and refined their artwork for the project until they achieved precisely the right scale, proportion and form for each of the individual sketches, bringing them together to form one beautiful artwork. But this art would need an appropriate canvas. A bespoke color, a timeless and celebratory shade of gold named ‘Doré’, was created and applied to the car with a gradiented color split into a special metallic variant of ‘Nocturne Black’, creating the perfect base for the designers to begin the daunting process of sketching directly onto the car.
Achim Anscheidt continues: “It was very clear to us from the beginning that we can only achieve an authentic finish for these sketches – and at Bugatti authenticity is paramount – if we actually used the pencils that we use for sketching on paper – anything else would result in something looking fake or low in quality. So that’s why we had to find a process that would allow us to use pencils and do all of the sketches by hand, directly onto the paintwork.”
Of course, even for the most experienced and skilled designer, the task of sketching, purely by hand, onto a specially commissioned hyper sports car, was extremely intimidating. From the very first stroke of the pencil, this painstaking, manual process saw Bugatti’s uniquely talented team of designers elevating their craft further still in pursuit of perfection. Inevitably, this took a great deal of time, and involved some setbacks along the way. But with extremes of passion, a degree of trial and learnings, the last one of the sketches was eventually completed, having developed a brand new technique to achieve the desired finish for the exterior artwork. In all, this stage of the process took more than 400 hours – testament to the complexity of the artwork.
To create a fully immersive celebration, the design team ensured their proposal would be reflected in the interior. On each of the door panels, three Bugatti icons were hand-applied with a bespoke paint and fine paint brush that would allow one of the design team to draw directly onto the leather. The EB110, Veyron and Chiron, legends of the present day, are facing the icons of the past that had inspired them: the Type 35 – the world’s greatest racing car – Type 57 SC Atlantic – the most beautiful car in the world – and Type 41 Royale – renowned as the most luxurious car ever created – applied to the opposite side of the interior. When Bugatti’s innovative past meets with its revolutionary future in a car that symbolizes the epitome of Bugatti’s savoir-faire. New methods and processes were crafted to ensure that these details would stand the test of time. They sit proudly within the interior as a focal point of beautiful bespoke touches, including subtle ‘Golden Era’ stitching and hand-written ‘One-of-One’ motifs.
A timeless and incomparable homage to the era-defining moments in Bugatti history, the Chiron Super Sport ‘Golden Era’ is beyond comparison in the scale of its bespoke ambition; a project that could only have sprung from the minds of true Bugatti enthusiasts, and one that could only have been finished to such a perfect level of detail by the craftsmen in Molsheim. The car now awaits an official handover to its owner at Monterey Car Week.
So, what do you think of this "artwork" car? What do I think of it? Personally, I think that the sketches, however well they may look on paper, are just not good enough for such a high-end (in fact, the highest-end of all high-end cars) automobile. And that apart from some minor errors in perspective and details.
Compare it with a beautiful woman; does she get more beautiful with tattoos? In my opinion, no. If you want to make sketches, use paper for it, not a human body or an automobile.
August 2, 2023 |
As you can imagine, Bugatti will not sacrifice the DNA of the thermal-engined Chiron with its new hybrid vehicle. The next Bugatti hypercar will retain the classic design elements that have become the brand's symbol, such as the iconic horseshoe grille and the distinctive C-shaped design on the body sides.
However, the car will be built around a new chassis and is expected to be lighter due to the adoption of a V8 powertrain. Frank Heyl, Bugatti's design director, explained that the integration of the hybrid component's batteries required a reassessment of the overall architecture of the car, but did not elaborate on this.
For his part, Aldo Maria Sica, the brand's interior designer, revealed that the powertrain was a significant departure from the Bugattis of yesteryear, but that the interior would remain faithful to the elegance and luxury of the Chiron. Nevertheless, the new model should accommodate a central screen for infotainment purposes, which was not the case on the old models.
Finally, regarding its price, the next Bugatti hypercar should exceed the 5 million dollars of the limited edition Mistral, the last Bugatti model equipped with the W16 engine, of which only 99 were produced. See you in 2024 to find out all about the hybrid Chiron.
As a reminder, we already know that the 100% electric Chiron is not expected before 2030
July 30, 2023 |
Donington auctions - THE BUGATTI AUCTION, Australia, July 23, 2023
July 16, 2023 |
Bonhams' Goodwood Festival of Speed auction, UK, July 14, 2023
July 6, 2023 |
Artcurial auction: Le Mans Classic 2023, June 30, 2023
June 28, 2023 |
What was indicated to be a kind of a museum annex showroom initially, now seems to be an expansion of the facilities in Molsheim
Bugatti’s headquarters in Molsheim, France, is set for substantial expansion and development.
Part of an ongoing investment program that will support the development of new automobiles beyond the Chiron era, a new facility – located next to the Atelier – is to be added to the Molsheim site in the second half of 2024. The new addition to the Molsheim operations will support ongoing programs, including the production of the Bolide, the most extreme Bugatti ever created, and the W16 Mistral, the ultimate Bugatti roadster, as well as future-focused development projects like the first car that will be produced under the governance of the Bugatti Rimac.
The new facility – which will span two floors totaling a 2,120 m2 space – will be a unique place for Bugatti employees to gather, fostering new levels in project management. It will also house new team members that will join the brand. Bugatti is accelerating its global recruitment campaign to attract new talents to Molsheim and target growth in departments such as quality control, planning, logistics and production. The brand has also launched its all-new apprenticeship program which has already been a great success with all trainee positions having been rapidly fulfilled. At Molsheim, where the headquarters lies, the brand plans to increase its workforce by more than 50% by the end of 2027.
“The addition of this new facility at our home in Molsheim will be timed perfectly with the expansion of the brand and product range, showcasing the strength of Bugatti as we head into an exciting future,” said Christophe Piochon, President of Bugatti Automobiles.
Having produced and delivered the greatest number of Bugatti automobiles in a 12-month period to customers across the world, 2022 became a record-breaking year for the French luxury marque. As Bugatti embarks upon a new automotive era, under the formation of Bugatti Rimac, the brand’s position as the leading manufacturer of hyper sports cars has been further highlighted in the first half of 2023 and will continue to flourish into the future as a new range of performance-defining automobiles are created and high-tech facilities in Molsheim are established and become operational.
June 22, 2023 |
Bonhams' The Bonmont Sale, June 18, 2023
June 13, 2023 |
Finarte Online Auction, Italy, June 5, 2023
June 8, 2023 |
However, as the races in 1939 and 1994 were serious business, this is just a demonstration run, to be held on the Saturday afternoon (June 10).
Would be interesting to see the Bolide actually competing!
The new Bugatti company writes the following, I corrected where applicable
THE HISTORY OF BUGATTI AT 24 HOURS OF LE MANS
In that inaugural year, Bugatti fielded two Brescia 16S cars, with one driven by Max de Pourtalès and Sosthène de La Rochefoucauld. The Brescia was a car renowned for its light weight and steadfast reliability, introduced at a time when many racing cars were large and unwieldy. Despite a race afflicted by rain for almost the whole 24 hours, the Brescia driven by de Pourtalès and de La Rochefoucauld secured a top-10 finish – a promising start that hinted at the formidable potential Bugatti could bring to the world of endurance racing. The other Brescia, driven by R Marie and L Pichard, also finished, 22nd, though 2nd in class
Bugatti returned to the Circuit de la Sarthe, where the 24 Hours of Le Mans is run to this day, in 1930 with a Type 40, which was entered by private owner Odette Siko. Remarkably, Siko and her co-pilot Marguerite Mareuse competed as an all-female duo at a time when many believed women simply weren’t capable of completing such a grueling race. But with determination and skill, the pioneering pair were carried by their Bugatti Type 40 to a commendable seventh-place finish. Their exploits at Le Mans were just one example of daring women competing at the very highest levels in motorsport in Bugatti vehicles, with icons like Hellé Nice and Eliška Junkova joining them.
Over the ensuing years, Bugatti experienced mixed fortunes at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Despite a series of solid performances – finishing sixth in 1932, ninth in 1934, and 14th in 1935 – all the ingredients for a Le Mans podium never quite came together. But that would all change in the most astonishing way in 1937.
As a response to the new regulations put forth by the organizers of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1936, Bugatti promptly commenced work on a new race car – the Type 57 Grand Prix. Later shorted to Type 57G, this car was designed for top-level motorsport, equipped with a 3,266cc in-line eight-cylinder engine, capable of delivering 170 PS. The car’s core structure featured a chassis punctured with holes in a meticulous process to save crucial weight. It was equipped with a full-width, streamlined magnesium-alloy body that encased even the wheels. This distinctive form led to the car being affectionately dubbed the “Tank”. On the iconic back straight of the Circuit de La Sarthe, it boasted a top speed of nearly 220 km/h (135 mph).
It was Jean-Pierre Wimille, the exceptional French driver, who wielded the full might of the Type 57G Tank to maximum effect. In 1937, partnered with Robert Benoist, one of the top French drivers of the interwar period, Wimille piloted the car to a stunning victory. They finished the race having travelled around 100km further than the second-place car, perfectly showcasing the technical genius and pioneering approach of Bugatti. The victory was not only Bugatti’s first win at Le Mans, but Wimille and Benoist also set a new distance record, covering an impressive 3,287 kilometers in a single race.
Wimille’s mastery of the Type 57 was far from exhausted. Although Bugatti had to pull out of the 1938 race with technical difficulties. (Not correct: In 1938 no Bugatti's competed: After the 1937 victory, Ettore Bugatti stated that he wouldn't return, until his record of that year would be improved. In 1938 a Delage took the victory, however, at a lower average. Jean had to convince his father to compete in 1939, but Bugatti would participate only under the following condition, only one car was to be entered: "As there is never more than one winner, one car only must be enough." ed.) In 1939, Bugatti and Wimille returned to the Le Mans circuit, this time with Pierre Veyron as co-driver, driving a development of the Type 57G.
Under the streamlined body of his Type 57C there was an upgraded 8-cylinder engine producing around 200 PS. This allowed for speeds of over 255 km/h on the straight and, through additional upgrades, Bugatti managed to reduce the weight of the round, pontoon shaped bonnet. The rear axle, crank shaft and other parts were also optimized. Most important though, were the very clever aerodynamics, Ed
From the start of the race, the Bugatti faced enormous competition from Raymond Sommer in a new Alfa Romeo. He led the race from the start, but the Bugatti pro drove exceptionally, taking clean lines in the curves while preserving his tires and brakes. Until late at night, the cars were driving with more and more speed. Sommer and Wimille’s fierce fight for first place was soon joined by Louis Gérad and Georges Monnert, drivers for Delage. But their race car could not withstand the strain: on Sunday morning, an engine problem forced them to stop in the pit lane. Meanwhile, Pierre Veyron drove on, pushing the Type 57 C 'Tank' lap after lap.
With a track distance of almost 13.5 kilometers per lap, Wimille and Veyron covered 3,354 kilometers – 248 laps – in 24 hours, which earned them an impressive victory. The Bugatti achieved an average speed of 139 km/h, the runner-up car of the race was three laps behind and the third car nine laps. Of the 42 cars that started, only 20 crossed the finish line. Ettore Bugatti (Jean Bugatti, actually, Ed.) would later claim that during the race, the mechanics never once had to open the bonnet, since the 8-cylinder engine was so reliable.
The start of World War 2 marked the beginning of a ten-year hiatus for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. A Bugatti wasn’t seen at the world-famous race until 1994, exactly 55 years after the last victory for the brand from Molsheim. The car in question was an EB110 Super Sport which, unfortunately, suffered an accident caused by a technical problem and couldn’t complete the race.
This year, as the 24 Hours of Le Mans celebrates its centenary, Bugatti appears at the Circuit de la Sarthe once more, with the dynamic public debut of the Bolide, driving a track lap on Saturday afternoon. More info
June 7, 2023 |
The eight classic cars in the running to be honoured with The Peninsula Classics 2022 Best of the Best Award have been announced.
The 2022 winner will be crowned on 13 August 2023 at the Quail Lodge & Golf Club in California, and will following in the footsteps of the one-of-nine 1956 Ferrari 250GT Berlinetta Competizione that claimed the prize last year.
One of the candidates for the 2023 title is the Vanvooren-bodied 1937 Bugatti T57S Cabriolet which won Best of Show at the 2022 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.
“The vehicles this year exemplify the very best in automotive excellence and design,” said William ‘Chip’ Connor, co-founder of The Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award.
Judges for this year’s competition include Ralph Lauren, Jay Leno, Chris Bangle and Luc Donckerwolke. The Best of the Best was established in 2015 by The Hon Sir Michael Kadoorie, the aforementioned William E Connor, Bruce Meyer and Christian Philippsen.
June 6, 2023 |
RM / Sotheby's Villa Erba auction, May 20, 2023
May 28, 2023 |
The coachbuilder Gangloff in Colmar presented Jean Bugatti with three roadster designs in 1936. These were designed for the then current chassis of the Type 57S, i.e. the shorter and lower T57 design.
The AUTOVISION Museum Foundation decided to create a ready-to-drive T57S Roadster of Gangloff Version 3. However, to ensure functionality of the vehicle in continuous operation, we made a few small changes compared to the original Gangloff version. The newly created, ready-to-drive T57 S has a fully retractable convertible top, which can be stowed under a metal cover when the vehicle is open.
What is remarkable about this version is the overall very low silhouette compared to other T57S convertibles ever built.
If this T57 Gangloff-Style Cabriolet is not on a Sunday jaunt, it can now be admired during the regular opening hours in the AUTOVISION Bugatti Museum in Altlussheim, accompanied by 12 other Bugatti's (take a look at the cars in the background of the photographs!), amongst which several T57S, and the T64 chassis + engine currently on display (see Events).
Some additional details on the T57 S Roadster:
And a nice story about the Gangloff Roadster:
May 21, 2023 |
Only 16 days ago I published here the announcement (taken from Facebook, though also received through the Dutch Bugatti club) of a Baby that had been stolen.
Just two weeks later, a Dutch Bugattiste and friend of mine was browsing the French 2nd-hand sell-buy Website Leboncoin, when he saw the above advert. An alarm went off in his head, and after double checking, the one advertised looked exactly the same as the one stolen. The owner was informed, as well as the police. With 10 armed officers they went to the site, and apprehended the vilain.
The innocent baby is back with her rightful owners, thanks to a very active Bugatti community...
May 11/15, 2023 |
In December 2022 it was decided that a museum annex showroom will be built in Molsheim / Dorlisheim, alongside the current Atelier.
In order to have a setting worthy of the brand, the design of the new 2,200 m² building was entrusted to a famous Italian architectural firm, specializing in industrial real estate for luxury automobiles. This will be the firm Archilinea, who now already designs the different Bugatti showrooms all over the world.
The museum will have a separate parking area. The construction schedule remains confidential for the time being, though it is clear that construction has already started.
Bugatti is counting on attendance of around 100 visitors per day with a simultaneous presence of at most 50 people. That is between 18,000 and 36,000 visitors per year according to a study dating from 2018.
Visitor parking should be provided for approximately 100 spaces. Tickets should be available at the end of 2023.
May 5, 2023 |
The Bugatti Club invites you to be very vigilant if you are told about an authentic Bugatti Baby that could look like these photos. Take a look at the tires; one can see clearly they have never been used! And that's only one detail.
This Baby was recently stolen. If you have any information: please contact the Castres gendarmerie directly on: 05 67 87 72 11 or the club by email firstname.lastname@example.org who will send your information.
Maybe as a Bugattiste community we can get this innocent baby back to her lawful owner!
April 24, 2023 |
Osenat Auction Fontainebleau, France, March 27, 2023
Bonhams Goodwood Members' Meeting Auction, Goodwood, UK, April 16, 2023
Osenat Auction Fontainebleau, France, April 16, 2023
April 6, 2023 |
Apart from a more "standard" Carlo Bugatti Chair, there will be the very impressive chair seen above and right, something which at least I had never seen before, from his later period.
According to the catalog it was made in Italy, c. 1900, and is made of lacquered parchment over wood, vellum, copper
As we know, Carlo used to decorate his furniture and silverware with intricate images, almost abstract, of insects, animals and flowers. Above a collection of papers with these designs. The designs would then be copied by the craftsmen in the number required for the specific piece.
This Lot is comprised of twenty-three drawings for decorative projects, graphite and ink on tracing paper and card, sizes range from 14 x 10 cm to 43 x 50 cm.
There is a stamped signature to each example 'Bugatti' and 'Loudmer-Poulain Vente Bugatti'.
September 8 - November 5, 2023 "Bugatti Unseen" in Autoworld
About fifteen special cars will be on display in the temporary exhibition area of the museum. They are rare and have almost never been shown to the general public. Most are unique pieces, or produced in a very limited edition...
One of the cars made available to us by “the factory” is the concept car of the one and only "La Voiture Noire"! It is inspired by Jean Bugatti's personal car, the black Type 57 SC Atlantic, which disappeared without a trace shortly before World War II.
Speaking of contemporary hypercars: the famous Veyron and Chiron, but also the EB110 that heralded the Bugatti revival in the 1990s, are all present. One of the Centodieci concept cars, of which only ten were produced, and the Divo, of which 40 were built, were also lent to us by Bugatti.
Whoever says Bugatti says sporting history!
Last but not least, this extraordinary line-up features a number of cars associated with some of the world's biggest names. For example, a Type 40 Coupé, the personal car of Jean Bugatti, or the Type 57 SC Spécial Coupé, the personal car of Ettore Bugatti (himself) in the years before World War II.
Did you know...?
He also wanted to pass on his passion for Bugatti to his sons at a young age, by putting them behind the wheel of the "Baby Bugatti". Between 1927 and 1936, about 500 of these Children's Bugatti's were produced. A version 2 of the "Baby Bugatti" was made in 2019 for the brand's 110th anniversary.
In short, this exhibition is synonymous with beauty, but also with a rich past that started with a family history and a love for cars that are not only elegant, but also high-performance.
October 20 - 22, 2024 Salon auto moto classic Strassbourg, France
The Bugatti Royale Coach Weymann (reconstruction) will be on show!|
October 8, 2023 Bonhams' The Zoute Sale Knokke-Heist, Le Zoute, Belgium
"Bugattis encapsulate concepts of engineering which, once seen, change your ideas radically and definitively. Drive them, and you realise that each car is form and engineering in equilibrium, and a work of art." – William Stobbs, Les Grandes Routières. By the early 1930s, Ettore Bugatti - 'Le Patron' - had established an unrivalled reputation for building cars with outstanding performance on road or track, the world's greatest racing drivers enjoying countless successes aboard the Molsheim factory's products and often choosing them for their everyday transport. Bugatti's origins, though, were a far cry from the glamorous world of Grands Prix.
Italian-born engineer Ettore Bugatti had learned his trade with De Dietrich, Mathis and Deutz before setting up his own factory in 1910 at Molsheim in Alsace, which was then part of Germany. While with Deutz he designed the Type 10, its number reflecting his nine previous designs, and this would serve as the prototype for the first Molsheim-built Bugatti: the Type 13. Introduced in 1910 and the first Bugatti production car, the Type 13 was powered by a four-cylinder, single-overhead-camshaft, 8-valve engine of 1,327cc, which drove via a four-speed gearbox and was mounted in a short-wheelbase chassis carrying a simple open two-seater body. Making its debut at the 1910 Paris Salon, the Type 13 was described by The Autocar as a "most delightful looking runabout".
Developed from the first Bugatti to be built at Molsheim - the aforementioned Type 13 of 1910 - the Type 13 Brescia took that name following the factory's first four places at the 1921 Italian Grand Prix for Voiturettes, held at the eponymous racetrack in Lombardy. Longer wheelbase Type 22 and Type 23 models were made, both of which used the single-overhead-camshaft 16-valve Brescia engine and were built alongside 8-valve Petit Pur Sang versions.
Introduced in 1926, the Type 40 Bugatti succeeded the Brescia types, being built on a longer wheelbase and equipped with a more powerful engine. Virtually identical to that used in the Type 37 Grand Prix car, the latter was a four-cylinder unit displacing 1,496cc and incorporating an all-plain-bearing bottom end with five mains. A single overhead camshaft operated three valves per cylinder (two inlets, one exhaust) and the Type 40's maximum power output of 45bhp or thereabouts was transmitted to the rear wheels via a separate four-speed gearbox. A total of 830 Type 40s had been made when production ceased in May 1931, with a further 40 Type 40As completed with the 1,627cc engine by the end of that year. It is estimated that fewer then 200 survive today.
This Bugatti Type 40, chassis '40347', was delivered new to the Bugatti showroom in Paris. Its first owner later sold the Type 40 to the Bugatti agent in Toulouse, who sold it on in 1945. The Bugatti would remain with the family of a former Peugeot dealer in Beauvais in the Oise region of northern France from then until 2005 when it was purchased by our vendor.
The Bugatti was in very poor condition when acquired; its Vanvooren cabriolet bodywork was no longer salvageable, so it was replaced with a 'Grand Sport' body built by the Touraine restoration workshops. Strictly original, the chassis and all mechanical components were dismantled and carefully restored. Engine rebuilding was entrusted to the specialized Novo workshops, and involved fitting a new crankshaft and cylinder block. A more modern intake pipe and carburettor were fitted also, contributing to a superior performance. The removed components - cylinder block, crankshaft, intake pipe and carburettor - will be included in the sale.
Following the restoration's completion, a FIVA Identity Card was issued on 17th December 2006 and since then the Type 40 has taken part in numerous international rallies. The car is offered with French registration papers and the aforementioned FIVA ID Card.
"(In) the 1,500cc Grand Prix Bugatti... the manufacturers have introduced a new era for the sporting motorist by placing a real production racing car in the hands of the public... One of these machines... as delivered... will be fit to win races and competitions without any need of 'hotting up'." – Richard Twelvetrees, Motor Sport, September 1926.
At the end of the 1925 season the CSI introduced a new formula intended to slow down the then current generation of 2-litre Grand Prix cars (there's nothing new under the sun), imposing a 1½-litre capacity limit for 1926. On this occasion Bugatti was able to field a competitive challenger straight away – the Type 37 – which made its race-winning debut in the first Grand Prix of '26 held at Miramas, France.
The Type 37's chassis and body were very similar to those of the 2-litre Type 35, the two models looking almost identical apart from the wheels (wire in the former's case, alloy in the latter's) though beneath the bonnet the Type 37 carried a four-cylinder engine rather than its larger sibling's straight-eight. Bore and stroke of the Type 37 engine were 69x100mm for a capacity of 1,496cc, and in most respects this unit was typically Bugatti, the iron block and head being one casting topped by a single bevel-driven camshaft operating three valves per cylinder: two inlet and one exhaust. However, for the Type 37's crankshaft Ettore Bugatti opted for plain big-end and main bearings rather than the Type 35's ball/roller combination. A maximum power output of 60bhp was claimed, which was good enough for a top speed of around 150km/h.
As it turned out, the Type 37's time as a frontline Grand Prix car would be limited. The mid-1920s was a period of instability in Grand Prix racing and in 1928 the 1½-litre cars were rendered obsolete by the adoption of 'Formula Libre', which permitted race organisers to run their own events with few if any limitations. Although outclassed by larger-engined rivals in Grands Prix, the Type 37 continued to win races in the hands of amateur drivers at national level throughout the world. In total, 290 were made, including 67 of the supercharged Type 37A.
One of the last of its kind built, this Bugatti Type 37, chassis number '37383', was completed in June 1929 with engine '286' as an un-supercharged Grand Prix model equipped with the larger Type 44 brakes, road gear, and cycle wings. '37383' is one of eight chassis assembled at this time, while engine '286' is one of the last five produced for the Type 37. The Type 37 had been ordered by Charles Faroux, friend of Ettore Bugatti and editor-in-chief of the motoring magazine La Vie Automobile. An automobile engineer as well as a journalist, Faroux is best known for establishing the Le Mans 24 Hours Race, first run in 1923, together with his colleagues Georges Durand and Emile Coquille.
Faroux's favourable reports on Bugatti cars and his close relationship with the factory enabled him to purchase cars at a discount before selling them on. He bought '37383' on 1st August 1929 and immediately sold it to René Durey (1890-1959), the established Post-Impressionist artist, who only three years previously had exhibited six paintings at the Retrospective Salon des Indépendents in Paris. The Bugatti was registered in the Seine Département of Paris as '7280-RD1'. Durey would keep the car for his entire life but he never raced it. In 1955 he had to re-register the car to comply with the French authorities' latest requirements and it duly received a new registration plate, '6588 DU 75', on 2nd April 1955.
After René's death in 1959, the family kept the Bugatti until it was sold sometime in the late 1960s to Count Jean de Rochechouart de Mortemart (1934-2012), the House of Rochechouart being the oldest noble family in France. A seven-time Le Mans 24 Hours competitor in the 1960s and '70s, de Mortemart had the Bugatti engine rebuilt by Garage Guignard in Vatan and registered the car in the Département Indre as '908 HE 36' towards the end of 1970. André Guignard took part in some local races with the Bugatti.
In 1972 the Type 37 was offered for sale during an Ader Picard Tajan's auction in the Bois de Boulogne, Paris where it was purchased by Louis Blériot, grandson of the eponymous French aviator. The Bugatti was registered to Blériot at 7 rue Laurent Pichot, Paris as '3082 YL 75' in July 1972. Blériot took part in various rallies with the Type 37, including the first Monte Carlo Rally for historic cars. In 1974 the Type 37 was pictured on the front page of the magazine L'Amateur d'Automobile Anciennes with Blériot, who was competing at the International Grand Prix Bugatti 1924-1974 meeting at Limonest. International Bugatti rallies were attended in Denmark (1977) the UK (1979) and at Molsheim in 1981 for the Centenaire Ettore Bugatti.
In 1985 Blériot offered '37383' for sale at the Poulain auction at the Palais des Congrès where it was purchased by Mr Yves Anselin. The Type 37 was registered as '601 QK 69' on 3rd December 1985. An active member of the Bugatti Club, the late Mr Anselin entered his Type 37 in numerous rallies well into the 2000s, including the International Bugatti Rally in Corsica in 2007. In 2001 the Bugatti was displayed, without its body, at Rétromobile.
This phenomenal Type 37 was sold in 2015 to the late owner, Mr. Yves Vande Velde, who registered it in Belgium. Still retaining its original engine '286' and remaining incredibly original, the Type 37 was called 'La Principessa' by its new family. Its enthusiastic late owner felt passionately about his beloved Bugatti, even going so far as to build a small workshop specially for it. He took part in numerous events with the Bugatti, which was always meticulously maintained and his only classic car. Carefully stored on stands for the last few years, the Type 37 was started up (by a mechanic) before being driven by a Bonhams representative.
A copy of Bugatti authority Pierre-Yves Laugier's detailed report dating from 2015 is on file together with a copy of this Type 37's entry in Kees Jansen's The Bugatti Register.
Mr Laugier describes the car as "undoubtedly one of the finest that still exists throughout the world, as it had only one owner from 1929 to 1959, who apparently never used it for racing. The car shows no traces of earlier accidents. All mechanical parts are numbered with Workshop stamping, in a perfectly coherent sequence for this serial number. It is exceptional to be able to observe a 1929 sports or racing Bugatti in a condition so close to original without any damage to be seen in its mechanical parts or coachwork."
September 9, 2023 Bonhams' Goodwoord Revival Motor cars & Automobilia Auction Chichester, Goodwood, UK
present - September 17 Exposition 90 ans d'AutoRail Bugatti Molsheim, France
On the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the first Bugatti railcar, an exhibition of old photos and objects from the time is currently visible at the Chartreuse Museum. It traces the circumstances of the manufacture of this train manufactured in the Bugatti factories as well as that of its operation.|
This exhibition will reach its peak during the 40th Bugatti Festival with the visit of the brand's only surviving AutoRail (from the Cité du Train, in Mulhouse) which will be presented, in Molsheim, from September 14 to 17!
September 1-3, 2023 Concours of Elegance, Hampton Court Palace East Molesey, UK
Alfa Romeo and Bugatti Grand Prix racers join Concours of Elegance stars|
From Classic & Sportscar
Two Bugattis and a Grand Prix-winning Alfa Romeo 8C-2300 Monza will be among the vehicles from a prolific private collection displayed at this year’s Concours of Elegance, on 1-3 September.
The Switzerland-based Pearl Collection is owned by enthusiast Fritz Burkard.
These are the latest additions to the line-up for September’s event at Hampton Court Palace.
They will join a double Le Mans-winning Ferrari, a Frua-bodied Maserati and a unique Hoffman X-8 in a display of around 60 concours cars.
The one-of-six 1934 Bugatti Type 59 Grand Prix racer is one of the Pearl Collection’s star cars – and it featured in the November 2008 issue of Classic & Sports Car.
It was later rebuilt with sports-car racing in mind and passed through several owners, including King Leopold III of Belgium.
It will line up with a 1936 Bugatti T57S Atalante, while both will be joined at Concours of Elegance by an 1897 Prinetti & Stucchi tricycle, which represents another key moment in Bugatti’s history.
A young Ettore Bugatti developed the racing version of the modest three-wheeler early in his career.
“From Ettore Bugatti’s first-ever racing machine to its 2022 Centodieci spiritual successor, the selection of vehicles Fritz has chosen to exhibit at the Concours of Elegance embodies British and European automotive history both on-road and on-track,” added James Brooks-Ward, Concours of Elegance CEO.
The collection will join almost 1000 other vehicles on display across the weekend when the event returns to Hampton Court Palace on 1-3 September 2023.
September 2, 2023 Bonhams' The Beaulieu Motor cars & Automobilia Auction Beaulieu, National Motor Museum, UK
present - Until ? Type 64 chassis at Autovision museum Altlussheim, Germany
NEW FRAMEWORK FOR THE BUGATTI EXHIBITION
Last French Bugatti development exhibited for the first time in Europe
Altlussheim (D) / Mulhouse (F)
Thanks to the synergy of two museums, which are already known for their rare Bugatti exhibition vehicles, Jean Bugatti's last French development has now been made accessible to the public. The "Open Chassis" with an all-aluminum frame of the Bugatti Type 64 was previously stored in the depot of the Musée National de l'Automobile in Mulhouse, Alsace. This is why there has not yet been an opportunity in Europe to examine this model in an exhibition.
Light frame for hard times
Unfortunately, however, series production never took place, as the economic situation continued to deteriorate shortly before the Second World War, so that the Bugatti factories also lacked the necessary funds - and probably also the necessary customers - to bring a new vehicle series onto the market. In addition, Jean Bugatti had a fatal accident in 1939 while testing a Bugatti T57C. The then thirty-year-old son of the company founder Ettore was the most important Bugatti family member at the time and left a gap in these already very difficult times that could not be closed again.
Prototype survived to this day
Open technology in the AUTOVISION museum
May 30, 2023 - Spring 1924 Bugatti Trust exhibition Prescott, UK
Over 30 Years of furthering Education Through the Study of Ettore Bugatti Exhibition|
The current working title for our 2023 exhibition tells it as it is! We are looking back over the last 30+ years of Bugatti Trust work and celebrating educational activities, archive stories and special cars we have welcomed over the years. The photo collage above will take you back to 1989 and 1990. In preparation, we said goodbye to the beautiful Type 57 Coach Ventoux which had taken centre stage for the third and final iteration of the Jean Bugatti exhibition and welcomed a Grand Prix Bugatti last Friday with a further special car arriving this week. The exhibition opens at the end of the month and will run until Spring 2024 when our focus shifts to the important Bugatti centenary of the Type 35 and Lyon.
The month of May means exhibition change-over at the Trust and cars departing and arriving. As you know, this year we will be looking back at over 30 years of The Bugatti Trust furthering Education through the study of Ettore Bugatti and as part of the display, we are welcoming back important cars in our history. Grand Prix Racer? Check! Luxurious Grand Tourer? Check! We can't wait for you to discover the new exhibition and stories for 2023.
July 23, 2023 Opening of the Nationales Automuseum Dietzhölztal, Germany
The Loh collection|
Mr. Loh has a tremendous automobile collection, amongst which quite a few Bugatti's:
If all of these are in the museum??
August 17-18, 2023 Broad Arrow auction "Radius" Monterey Jet Center, California, USA
The Type 57 represented the ultimate peak of the roadgoing eight-cylinder Bugatti's engineering and carried the company's most beautiful coachwork designs.
Most were directly influenced and in many cases designed by Ettore Bugatti's son, Jean, a brilliant young man with the artistic mindset and sympathy for fineness of line that ran in the family blood. One of his most spectacular creations for the Type 57 was a particularly beautiful coupe, which featured a distinctive curved beltline molding, a favorite design touch of Jean, and a magnificent roofline that swept up from a sharply raked windshield to form a dramatic reverse-curve as it curled around to the rear deck. It was a beautiful machine from any angle and in any trim – useful, as none of the examples produced were exact twins to one another, having been individually built to the exacting specifications of their owners.
According to a history report compiled on this particular car by Pierre-Yves Laugier, the design was first presented in French newspapers in the spring of 1935. After the first ten examples had been built under the rather plain moniker of a Faux Cabriolet, the name Atalante was chosen to describe the car exhibited at the Paris Show in October 1935. Only about 33 examples of the Atalante by any name were produced between April 1935 and December 1938. Many of the survivors reside in some of the world's finest collections, where they are treasured for both the performance of their superlative, precise engineering and for the beauty of their French curves.
Chassis Number 57557
The car was sent to Paris for delivery to its original owner, Baron Louis Sers, who traded in his prior Bugatti, a former Paris Show demonstrator Galibier that he had bought scarcely a year earlier. Fine Bugattis were part of the Baron's very large lifestyle, funded by the fortune of his estranged wife, Fernand Boutroux, which enabled him to enjoy great automobiles and to maintain homes in Neuilly and at St. Leger en Yvelines.
Baron Sers registered the car in the summer of 1937 with Parisian plate “8244 RL 2,” seen on the car in a photograph taken at the Bois de Boulogne. He maintained it, in typical fashion, for as long as it amused him, until May 1939, when he traded it on a used Vanvooren-bodied coupe. The following month, 57577 was sold to Roger Morand of Paris, described in his military files and on his wedding certificate as having the profession of “racing driver.” So he was: He had competed in a Type 35B in the early 1930s. The car was fitted with the present supercharger, numbered 57, likely in this period.
Sometime around Mr. Morand's passing in 1945, the car was sold but remained in storage in Paris until resurfacing, still with its original registration, in 1955. It was then acquired by the longtime Bugatti mechanic and dealer, Gaston Docime, then shortly passed through the auspices of the prolific international Bugatti traders Jean de Dobbeleer and Gene Cesari, who were responsible for the vast majority of the Bugatti transactions to American buyers in this era. In this instance, the buyer in question was Marland F. Langley of Concord, New Hampshire, in 1957. The car was listed with Mr. Langley, proprietor with his father of a Concord garage, in Hugh Conway's seminal 1962 Bugatti Register.
Mr. Langley later sold the Bugatti to longtime enthusiast Jim Stickley, then of Brookline, Massachusetts, more famous as a connoisseur of and authority in Rolls-Royces and vintage Bentleys, who described it to historian Laugier as being “out of over 50 Classics I personally owned... by far the most incredible and one of the finest original cars I ever had.” He resold the Bugatti through Ed Jurist's Vintage Car Store in Nyack, New York, a legendary early purveyor of fine old automobiles, to longtime enthusiast Christopher Owen.
Mr. Owen completed some restoration work on 57557 before selling it in 1979 to Thomas Perkins of Belvedere, California. In this era, Mr. Perkins, a pioneering venture capitalist, was one of the West Coast's best-known and most passionate collectors, with a focus on supercharged sports cars, of which he actually wrote a respected history. He collected only the very finest machines, including such significant automobiles as the ex-Pope Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic, the famed Gurney-Nutting Duesenberg Model SJ, an outstanding Mercedes-Benz 500 K Spezialroadster, and the prototype Squire roadster. In Mr. Perkins' ownership, 57557 was completely restored by the noted Phil Reilly and Company, then was judged First in Class at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in 1981.
When Mr. Perkins's interests began to evolve, the Bugatti moved to Japan, where it remained in a collection for fifteen years. In 2004 it returned across the Pacific to the United States and was purchased by J. Peter Ministrelli of Detroit, who was at the time building a small, select collection of important Full Classics. After owning the car for two years, he sold it to prolific collector John O'Quinn, from whom it was bought by the Academy of Art University in August 2009. During their ownership it has continued to be occasionally shown, including at the San Francisco International Auto Show in 2009 and several times at Western concours d'elegance.
Inspection of the car shows that it continues to wear much of its high-quality original Phil Reilly restoration, with a cosmetic freshening completed in the early 2000s by the former Alan Taylor & Co. At the time of cataloging the car had recorded 19,911 miles. It retains its original chassis plate, the original front axle stamped 809, and the original engine with its original chassis and engine number stampings; only the cam boxes may have been replaced during the early 1950s. An original Stromberg UUR2 carburetor is fitted, and the Scintilla generator box retains its original tag. The gearbox casing is also marked 409, as is the rear axle. The body is stamped with its original number 20 on many of its panels, including the hood. Within, the car features a dashboard of the style often seen on factory Type 57Cs as well as frequently on 1937-38 Atalantes. Accompanying is the aforementioned Laugier report, as well as a full spare wheel and tire in the carpeted trunk.
1911 Peugeot Type BP1 Bebe, Engine No. 11356
Powered by an 855 cc side-valve inline four-cylinder engine equipped with a single Zenith-Peugeot carburetor, this rare and desirable brass-era car certainly inspired many European competitors to begin designing smaller cars of their own. Paired with a two-speed manual transmission, the Type BP1 also offers rear mechanical drum brakes and four-wheel leaf spring suspension.
One of the most recent acquisitions by the Steinman Collection, this rare Type BP1 caught the attention of David G. Steinman, a lifelong automotive enthusiast, as an enticing project to take on and complete. Offering an excellent opportunity to pick up where Steinman left off and continue his legacy of returning classic automobiles to their former glory, this Type BP1 is eligible for a number of desirable concours and touring events and remains an intriguing option for collectors and restorers in search of a motor car that is certainly out of the ordinary.
August 17-19, 2023 RM / Sotheby's Monterey auction Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California, USA
According to the report on file by Bugatti historian Pierre-Yves Laugier, chassis 37317 is one of two Bugatti factory-supported Type 37As which competed in the Targa Florio on 6 May 1928, the other being chassis 37318. The original Bugatti Type 37 factory engine book, a scanned excerpt of which is on file, includes the notation “Course Targa” beside the entry for engines number 265 and 266; these were completed in February 1928 and originally fitted to 37317 and 37318, respectively. This factory documentation clearly identifies these chassis as being the Targa Florio-bound works racing cars.
Further, careful examination of period photographs by historian Tom Clifford indicates that this was the #24 car piloted by Count Caberto Conelli, the son of a wealthy family from Belgirate, Italy, who made his racing debut following World War I and eventually became a works team driver for his friend Ettore Bugatti in the late 1920s. Coming off a 2nd-place finish in the 1927 Targa Florio with Bugatti, Conelli was once again behind the wheel for Bugatti at the 1928 race, this time with chassis 37317. Conelli would have another fine showing, finishing 3rd behind Giuseppe Campari in an Alfa Romeo 6C and the winner, Albert Divo, in a Bugatti Type 35B, making it back-to-back podium finishes for Conelli in a Bugatti.
Retaining the equipment fitted for competition including the long-handle brake, reversed hood louvers, and larger radiator, the car was sold to its first private owner after the race. The factory invoice states that Phillipe de Rothschild, member of the Rothschild banking dynasty and gentleman racer (who was known to compete under the name “George Phillipe”), was delivered the car on the 12 June 1928. However, it is most likely he was acting as an agent helping to cover the cost for the racing driver Jean Gaupillat, the only son of a wealthy family in the munitions industry. Gaupillat would campaign the car at a several events over the years including the San Sebastian Grand Prix for Sports Cars in 1929, where he achieved 4th overall and 1st in class.
Sadly, Jean Gaupillat was killed behind the wheel of a new Bugatti Type 51 after a tragic accident during a race in Dieppe. Following his passing, chassis 37317 was sold in 1932 to Norbert Mahé, known for winning the 1934 10 Hours of Spa, and then to Eugène Dubois in 1934. Dubois would enter the car in two motor races in 1935 and would retain ownership through World War II. In 1949, chassis 37317 had its engine swapped with that originally from chassis 37367, number 268, while at Lamberjack’s garage in Paris during a rebuild.
Just a year later, the car was sold to an American, Dr. L. Cabot Briggs, a longtime Bugatti owner, anthropologist, and Harvard graduate. In 1965 Ray Jones of Michigan purchased chassis 37317 from Briggs and subsequently traded it to Gene Cesari. Prior to this deal, Jones fitted a single downdraft Stromberg carburetor, larger wire wheels, removed the blower and rear axle, and had the clutch converted to a dry plate.
David N. Allison became the owner of this Bugatti in the late 1960s. Still fitted with engine 268 from Chassis 37367, Allison agreed to swap sumps in 1991 with Tom Clifford, who owned Chassis 37367. At the end of the decade Mr. Allison commissioned a long-term restoration by Bugatti specialist Jim Stranberg of High Mountain Classics in Colorado. Apparently prior to Allison’s acquisition, the car had been fitted with the standard, smaller radiator, such as is seen on the car today. Unfortunately, Mr. Allison would not see the completion of the car and his widow, Christina Allison, would go on to arrange for the car to race at the Monterey Historics in 2003 and be shown at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in 2004. In 2014, the car entered Terence E. Adderley’s stable, where it has remained in careful climate-controlled display.
While chassis 37317 has received some modifications over the years, this Bugatti benefits from truly magnificent provenance thanks to its podium finish at the 1928 Targa Florio and a host of pre-war racing events around Europe. A genuine factory racecar with great potential, the opportunity to return this chassis to its Targa Florio configuration presents as a thoroughly enticing proposition.
According to the report on file by Pierre-Yves Laugier, Bugatti chassis number 57190 was ordered on 5 March 1934 by the Bugatti agent J.B. Arnaud for his client, a dentist named Raymond Peretti of Poitiers, France. Unfortunately, the mass of orders for the new Type 57 pushed the expected delivery date back several months, and the fully completed car—featuring Jean Bugatti’s elegant Stelvio coachwork—was not received by Mr. Peretti at the Molshaim factory until July. The report further illustrates the exterior was originally finished in Black and Ivory with a Havana leather interior and light beige hood.
The dentist was most certainly a fan of the marque, as this Type 57 replaced a Type 44 roadster by Gangloff sold the day before the order form was signed. In a letter between him and the factory from the summer of 1937, it is reported that the car suffered from a cracked cylinder block and seized pistons. By this point, the Bugatti had traveled roughly 40,000 kilometers (~24,850 miles), indicating Mr. Peretti’s status as a true driving enthusiast. Importantly, however, the engine’s crank case still bears the stampings displaying the car’s chassis number and correct engine number, 62.
During the war, the Bugatti was presumed to have been taken by the Germans. Once peace came, the Type 57 came into the care of André Pigé, a doctor whose exploits during the war are truly impressive: After being an active member of the resistance for some time, Dr. Pigé was arrested in August 1944 by the Germans while attempting to deliver a paratrooper to the free zone in the trunk of his car. He was spared from execution by a remarkable coincidence in which his uncle was educated in the same village as the German Commandant in charge of handling the situation. This uncle convinced the authorities to instead send the doctor to a concentration camp to provide medical care for the prisoners. André Pigé then escaped the camp and returned to freedom. Sadly, Dr. Pigé met an untimely demise as a result of an accident while swimming with friends in 1947, and his family subsequently sold the car.
California in the early 1960s. Under his ownership, the Bugatti received a restoration courtesy of Bunny Phillips, the well-known Bugatti agent of Los Angeles since the 1930s. Over the course of the next 20 years, the car came into the esteemed hands of the Blackhawk Collection and famed collector Bill Jacobs, who had the car restored for a second time in 1985. Just a year later, it was sold to Terence Adderley. Laugier further confirms the Bugatti has retained a large amount of its original components including the gearbox, frame, UUR2 Stromberg carburetor, and bodywork.
1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Tourer by Corsica
The cars of Ettore and Jean Bugatti have always enjoyed a reputation for precision engineering and craftsmanship often, and not unjustifiably, compared to that of the finest Swiss timepieces. But no Bugatti model expressed all of the marque’s celebrated qualities so effortlessly as the elegant, luxurious, and competition-proven Type 57S.
Introduced at the Paris Auto Salon in October 1936, the 57S introduced a completely re-engineered and exceptionally sporting chassis design. 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. When complemented by the available “C”-specification Roots-type supercharger, the 200-horsepower 57SC variant (as offered here) could be propelled to a top speed of some 120 mph, making it the fastest French production car of the period.
BUGATTI CHASSIS NUMBER 57512
The first, chassis number 57503, abruptly ends the curve of the fenders just behind the wheels, while proudly displaying the oil tank just behind the left front wing. Chassis 57512, 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, with carefully crafted side-mounts integrated into the extended driver’s side fender.
The chassis of 57512 was initially delivered on 8 March 1937 to Colonel Sorel at the Bugatti agency in London. After returning from Corsica’s purview, it was subsequently delivered to its first owner, Maurice Fox-Pitt Lubbock, and promptly registered as “DXP 970.” Lubbock was a close friend of Jean Bugatti, and it was perhaps due in part to Jean’s driving inspiration that he enjoyed exercising his new Bugatti at speeds in excess of 100 mph.
In 1947, Lubbock was forced to sell his prized Bugatti after being elected Vice-Chairman of Rolls-Royce. By this time, 57512 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 around 1946. At any rate, this remarkable 57S was certainly upgraded to the ultimate, supercharged specification very early in its life.
Within subsequent American ownership of Walter Stocklin, 57512 was raced at Long Island, Bridgehampton, and Watkins Glen, and by 1955 Stocklin had replaced its original Corsica tourer body with a simple two-seater racing-style body. He continued to use the car sparingly, and in 1960, he sold it (along with its original body) to the esteemed collector, Judge John North of Easton, Maryland.
Judge North decided to keep the Grand Prix-style coachwork on chassis 57512, and thusly sold the Corsica body during the mid-1960s. North later reacquired the Corsica body along with a modified Bugatti chassis and a spare 57SC engine that he assembled into a “replica” 57SC which passed to Count Hubertus von Donhoff in 1986. Twelve years later, Judge North purchased back the assembled 57SC, and famously reunited 57512 with its original body.
Briefly passing through General William Lyon’s preeminent stable, a restoration was then performed upon 57512 while it resided within The Blackhawk Collection, and they subsequently displayed it at the 2003 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
A RETURN TO GRANDEUR
A 40-page volume of highly-detailed work orders—comprising contributions from each of the shop’s specialized departments and totaling nearly $700,000—substantiate the extravagant quality, research, and execution which has been lavished upon this highly significant Bugatti.
Fortunately, upon arrival at RM Auto Restoration’s world-class facilities it was quickly determined that the passion and diligence of 57512’s past owners had saved its major mechanical components from the most troubling ravages of replacement. It has survived intact with its numbers-matching chassis, engine, gearbox, and differential; the supercharger is believed to be the same one that was installed within the first few years of its life. Of course, all these major components have been entirely rebuilt, overhauled, and bench-tested during the car’s restoration.
Chassis 57512’s original Corsica coachwork was, upon its disassembly, proven to have lived a much more difficult life than its counterpart chassis. Nonetheless, much of the original form remained in a modified or altered state—and to this end each panel, ash wood support, fastener, joint, and crease has been masterfully returned or reprofiled to their original form. Where required, exacting replacements of several components were constructed from scratch. Though the chrome wire wheels (added by Stocklin) and Roots-type supercharger have been tastefully retained, 57512 is otherwise presented today very much the same as it was delivered to Lubbock in March 1937.
The car’s distinctive suite of styling hallmarks is highlighted by a single row of elongated louvers upon the bonnet sides, a pair of oversized “Stephen Grebel” headlamps, driver’s side integrated side-mount, and elongated fenders which bring forth a hint of Bugatti’s legendary Type 41 “Royale.” Chassis 57512’s tightly nested convertible top rests closely above the green leather-trimmed cabin, which itself is suitably contrasted by a resplendent smattering of chrome-plated trim and hardware throughout.
Equal parts elegant and athletic, this Type 57SC Tourer by Corsica embodies everything a Bugatti should be, and it sits unrivaled at the very pinnacle of pre-war motoring. The remarkable restoration—from which it has just recently emerged—adds much to its already-significant appeal as a unique, distinctive, numbers-matching, and exceptionally well-documented example of Bugatti’s fastest and most desirable production model. Duly returned to grandeur, chassis 57512 would be a tremendous, much-welcomed, and long anticipated entrant to many of the world’s most esteemed exhibitions, concours, and Bugatti owners’ club events.
The Type 57 is perhaps the most celebrated of all roadgoing Bugatti chassis, with a rare combination of style and performance that made it an instant success and marked the final and most enduring automotive legacy of Jean Bugatti, one of the sons of Le Patron, Ettore Bugatti. To be successful, Bugatti’s new model of course had to be both powerful and beautiful, and it was expected to appeal to the company’s discerning and elite clientele, skillfully exhibiting the Molsheim firm’s renowned design and engineering prowess. The development of the Type 57 in many ways reflected both the maturation of the Bugatti marque and that of Jean Bugatti himself, who was allowed to develop the model with minimal influence from his father.
After its introduction in 1934, the Type 57 quickly proved itself everything it was expected to be. Not only was the chassis clearly Bugatti, but the new engine provided more power with less noise and reduced vibration, as well as improved reliability and durability. It retained Bugatti’s signature double-overhead-camshaft valvetrain, but the cam was now gear-driven at the rear of the engine block. Rated at 135 horsepower in normally aspirated form, the new 3.3-liter engine was fitted with a conventional clutch and gearbox. Today, the Type 57 is recognized as being the most sporting of all non-racing Bugattis, and between its debut for 1934 and the outbreak of WWII, more than 680 examples are estimated to have been produced.
Chassis 57661 was ordered in April 1938 and delivered five months later in September through the Bugatti agent Crequy to a client. Originally, Gangloff Stelvio Cabriolet coachwork was fitted to the car, but an unfortunate accident left the body in a damaged state, rendering the Bugatti inoperable for a number of years. Later, in the 1980s, the Type 57 was purchased by an individual in Wurzburg, Germany with the intent of bringing the vehicle back to roadworthy condition. By this point, the original engine had seized and was thought to be beyond repair at the time, further complicating the project.
The project remained uncompleted, and the components were traded several more times before finding a new owner in Australia, Richard Longes. Importantly, an extra engine, 25C (formerly of chassis 57646), by that time accompanied the chassis, bringing the restoration process one step closer to completion. Additionally, Mr. Longes ordered a new body to be constructed by Auto Classique Touraine in the style of Gangloff design 3449, coachwork which had never been produced as a result of the outbreak of the second World War. Respected marque specialist, Jim Stanberg, and his shop, High Mountain Classics, completed the driveline and chassis restoration.
Once the project concluded in 2010, the Bugatti entered the concours circuit, debuting at the The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering that same year. The Type 57 was awarded Best Pre-war Sportscar at the event and continued its winning ways at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, where it received the Best New Coachwork accolade. Subsequently, 57661 participated in a number of Bugatti rallies in the United States and abroad.
Built to the highest standards and powered by a supercharged straight-eight engine, this 1938 Bugatti Type 57 roadster beautifully represents the elegance of pre-war motoring. With unique coachwork and a comprehensive restoration by marque experts, chassis 57661 is sure to be welcome at any number of concours exhibitions and road rally events for years to come.
August 18-19, 2023 Gooding & Company Pebble Beach auctions Portola Road, Pebble Beach, California, USA
"Le Mans" artwork by "RZ".
Depicting the Type 57G. Not at speed though, as there is no driver.
July 23, 2023 Donington auctions - THE BUGATTI AUCTION Timed Online Auction, Australia
Featuring the important collection of Marque specialist Peter McGann. |
Some of the Items on auction:
March 24, 2023 |
The Sydney Harbour Concours d'Elegance took place on 2nd – 4th March.
The event was blessed with glorious weather and the 50 vehicles on display shone in the beautiful sun which burst forth after the tropical storm on Friday lunchtime which necessitated the opening of the Ampol brollies. The amazing parade of classic cars and motorbikes at the UNESCO World Heritage site, Hyde Park Barracks, built in 1819, was much appreciated by the invited guests who dutifully supped Pommery Brut Apanage Champagne, and Chateau La Gordonne rosé from Provence.
Amongst other delights the exquisitely dressed guests were able to view a 1927 Bugatti Type 51 once owned by the Fauvist artist André Derain; a most rare jewel, showcased exclusively for the fifth edition of the Concours.
Some more searching leads us to 4847; which was in fact owned by Derain, was a 1927 T35B, and was converted to T51 specification. As far as I know, it is still owned by Andrew M. Cannon from Australia.
Winner Class 1 – Racing from War to War presented by Paradise Garage: 1927 Bugatti Type 51
Best in Show Prix d’Honneur – 1962 Ferrari SP 196
Top photo: 4847 at the Monaco Historic GP in 2014, from ultimatecarpage.com
March 24, 2023 |
H&H Auction Duxford, UK, March 15, 2023
RM Sotheby's, Amelia Island Auction, 4 March, 2023
March 5, 2023 |
Bonhams' the Amelia Island Auction, March 2, 2023
Broad Arrow Auction - the Amelia Island Auction, March 4, 2023
February 25, 2023 |
Henderson Motor Series Auction, Birmingham, USA, October 29, 2022
February 11, 2023 |
RM - Sotheby's Paris Auction, February 1, 2023
Artcurial Retromobile Auction Paris, France, February 3, 2023
Artcurial Racing, Flying & Yachting Retromobile Auction Paris, France, February 5, 2023
Again it seems that prices of classic Bugatti's are not rising any longer. All classic Bugatti's struggle to reach their lower estimates, or even don't.
January 28, 2023 |
RM - Sotheby's Arizona Auction, January 26, 2023
January 22, 2023 |
Mecum Kissimmee Auction, USA, January 4 - 15, 2023
January 5, 2023 |
RM Sotheby's Miami auction, December 10, 2022
Bonhams' The Bond Street Sale, London, December 16, 2022
June 30, 2023 Artcurial auction: Le Mans Classic 2023 Circuit des 24 Heures, Le Mans, France
July 14, 2023 Bonhams' Goodwood Festival of Speed auction UK
1914 Bugatti Type 22-Style 'Eight-Valve' 'Prince Henry 3-Seat Open Tourer, Chassis "678"
Sophistication often resides within small packages. This delightfully eye-catching little Riviera-villa runabout embodies many of the compact-size, lightweight, performance-enhancing engineering principles upon which Ettore Bugatti developed his entire range of ultimately world-beating, Grand Prix and Le Mans-winning, sporting cars.
The great, much missed Bugatti enthusiast and world authority Uwe Hucke based this essentially Type 22 'Prince Henry' with its open three-seat bodywork upon a long-accumulated collection of original Bugatti components, most significantly the original 8-valve 4-cylinder engine serial '329' which powers this car today.
The engine had been fitted as-new in what was later assumed to be Bugatti Type 22 chassis '678' which had been delivered to its first owner in August 1914. A surviving document offered with the car records its engine's delivery, within that initial chassis, as having been made on June 17, 1914, to a Mme Louise Alexander, at the Hotel Meurice, Paris, France, the chassis then carrying what was described as a 'Yankee' type body made by the Dorr company.
The same document also records what we understand to have been Uwe Hucke's discovery of the car's major components as embodied today, in the Garage Franco-Belge in Nice on the French Cote d'Azur, c.1968/69.
Mr Hucke eventually decided to re-assemble this selection of original Bugatti 8-Valve mechanical components within a modified post-World War 1 Type 22 chassis frame from the later 16-Valve model series. Bugatti authority David Sewell has concluded that this frame - as featured today - originated between mid-1924 and March 1926 when model production ended. The front and rear road springs featured are contemporary with the frame, which has been shortened slightly to 2.3-metres wheelbase, less than the 2.4 metres of the standard Type 22 and much shorter than the 2.55 metre Type 23.
The car's gearbox, complete with its transmission brake, is also original, from a 16-Valve model of around 1924. The rear axle is from an 8-Valve model, and the front axle from either a late-8-Valve or early 16-Valve. The distinctive and original radiator is from an 8-Valve of 1912-14.
The car as offered here also features period Nirona brass headlamps and Duolamp tail lights. It rides on period 710 x 90mm wheels and has a period cast-alloy but wood-rimmed steering wheel. It is fully equipped with an onboard starter and belt-driven dynamo, and has 'a correct' fuel tank at the rear. The car's rounded 'red-faced' radiator features the 'round-dot' Bugatti badge, and has a replacement filler cap. The brass water pump on the original engine is stamped '614', while the engine number itself ('329') has survived as initially stamped over 100 years ago upon the unit's cambox, crankcase and sump.
In Uwe Hucke's ownership this chassis and engine was initially clothed in an original 1911 closed Fiacre body and at the time was indeed thought to be chassis serial '678'. However, the frame's post-WW1 origination then indicated that the pre-war engine number had actually been copy-stamped into this particular still-original, but post-WW1, chassis, adjacent to its nearside front dumb-iron. Over a ten-year period Mr Hucke then swapped the Fiacre body from this frame onto a genuine complete 1912 8-Valve rolling chassis, before having this car's chassis bodied in its most attractive present 'Prince Henry' 3-seater style with ash frame, and panel-work by Hugh Murray. The original engine was rebuilt by specialist Rondoni in 1990.
The grey-liveried 'torpedo' bodywork certainly lends a rakish aspect to this most attractive little Bugatti, and its black wings - those at the front featuring leather valances and with wooden running boards - add contrast. Overall this unique little 8-Valve presents all the charm of a 1920s' private yacht tender in land-borne form - in so many ways an ideal runabout to be attached to the Riviera villa, or indeed to the English country house or a Scottish shooting estate...or simply to evoke such an aura.
This most appealing and attractive Bugatti was bequeathed by the late Uwe Hucke to the present vendor, then a young child, in 2002 and it has been well preserved - with minimal running - since. then.
Bonhams will have on offer an historic and important 18K gold Mido for Bugatti wristwatch, circa 1925. The Bugatti watch dates from the Art Deco golden era, with its distinctive dial reflecting the marque's charismatic horseshoe-shaped radiator and was formerly the property of Colonel Sorel, who was appointed General Manager of Bugatti cars in the UK. The rare timepiece will be heading to auction at Bonhams Collectors Motorcar and Automobile sale at the annual motorsport event Goodwood Festival of Speed on 14 July with an estimate of £50,000-80,000.
Jonathan Darracott, Bonhams Global Head of Watches, said: "There is extensive interest in such an important and sought after Mido for Bugatti timepiece from the first series commissioned by Ettore Bugatti which is rarely seen at auction. The wristwatch is unique in both design and horology history with very few examples now remaining. Goodwood Festival of Speed is an opportunity to purchase an unforgettable timepiece with unquestionable provenance of automobilia heritage."
Bugatti is arguably the ultimate luxury and performance car marque. Founded by Ettore Bugatti (1881-1947), the company's golden age of the 1920s-30s brought an unrivalled dominance in motor racing as well as producing some of the finest – and beautiful – road cars favoured by nobility and the upper echelons of society. Today, Bugatti are still producing hypercars and supercars such as the Chiron which are desired by contemporary A-listers and collectors alike.
The watch heading to Goodwood Festival of Speed is an extremely rare 18K gold Mido for Bugatti manual wind wristwatch, serial number 200753, produced in 1925. The timepiece has a silvered radiator grille design dial and Arabic numeral hour markers and blue steel Breguet style hands. The polished Bugatti radiator form case has a hinged back, wire lugs and red enamel Bugatti logo at 12. Mido records confirm that the first of the four series of Bugatti watch they produced consisted of 54 pieces with serial numbers 200736-200789 produced in 1925-26. Fewer than 20 examples are believed to have survived to the present day, making the timepiece a true rarity to come to market.
The visionary watch design was created by Swiss watchmaking company Mido, founded in 1918 by Georges G. Schaeren. Mido went on to find a niche in the flourishing automotive market, producing watches in the shape of radiator grilles, such as the exceptional example heading to Bonhams. The first series were commissioned by Ettore Bugatti from Mido and given as gifts to racing drivers and principal members of his factory staff. It is known that eight of these watches belonged to esteemed names within the motorsport world from Ettore Bugatti himself to racing drivers René Dreyfus, Rudolf Caracciola and Louis Chiron.
Tim Schofield, Head of Department, Bonhams Cars UK, commented: "It is a privilege to present such an historic watch, that once belonged to Colonel Sorel, General Manager of Bugatti and was acquired from Sorel's estate in 1956 by C.W.P. Hampton who accumulated one of the finest motor car collections of its day, becoming prolific in the Bugatti Owners Club as well as the Vintage Sports Car Club. Following Hampton's death, the watch formed part of the Hampton Estate sale of motor cars and memorabilia and was acquired by the present owner from that auction. It has impeccable provenance."
The Mido for Bugatti watch will preview at Bonhams New Bond Street Fine Watches sale on June 18 before being offered for sale at Goodwood Festival of Speed on July 14.
This year our local vintage club, founded in 1914, is celebrating 100 years since the very first appearance of Junek's and their Bugatti Type 32 Tank at our famous Schöberbergrennen. It was the first win for Bugatti at the race.|
The photo below is from that race.
I'm sure you have heard of our local citizen, Alfred Hielle, who was based in a small town Schönelinde and had a very prosperous textile business (Hielle & Dittrich) and who invested in Ettore Bugatti's business at his very early days. In today's terms you could say that Alfred was a start-up investor!
Nordböhmischer Kraftfahrerbund / Severočeský Klub Motoristů, founded 1914
Pavel Bulejko, chairman
Here is a full web page dedicated just the Bugatti T32 #6 which the Juneks brought from Molsheim incl technical certs from Prague vehicle office: sebr.cz/bugatti-t32-tank-c-4059/
May 20, 2023 RM / Sotheby's Villa Erba auction Italy
Days of Elegance made its debut in 2022 and we’re already looking forward to 2023’s instalment.|
Held in the impressive grounds of Château St Gerlach, 2022’s concours classes included Elegant Tourers, Racing Legends, and Future Classics & Supercars – and they featured some real treats such as a coachbuilt Delage D6 and a stunning Lancia Astura Roadster.
Visitors can expect a gala evening, classic rally, daytime picnics and plenty of charming classics.
June 5, 2023 Finarte Online Auction Italy
This example, chassis no. 57448 and engine no. 339, was delivered by the manufacturer as a bare chassis, model 57 (basis) on October 13, 1936 to the Swiss Bugatti agency, Bucar SA of Zurich, together with chassis 57446 and 57447, for the sum of 43,800 francs and was set up as drophead coupe from coachbuilder Graber. The specimen has a traced history; the first owner, who had ordered it from Bucar SA on October 8, 1936, was dr. Louis Dapples; banker, became chairman of Nestlé's board of directors in 1929 and represented Switzerland at the 1933 London International Economic Conference. The car, still in Switzerland, moved to the Geneva area and underwent several changes of ownership. In 1978 it was bought by Jean Victor Augfburger and, in the same year by Hans Matti, complete but in neglected condition. It remained in Switzerland until 1985, when it was imported into Italy, registered in Ravenna and purchased by the last owner who provided for a complete and detailed restoration, entrusted to the best specialists of the time: the KCA of G. Cappa for the bodywork and Gianni Torelli for the mechanical part. This last owner kept the car for thirty-seven years. Always maintained in perfect working order, it also starred in a commercial for the “Bugatti Collection” in 1994; it participates in meetings and events for historic cars and is presented today in exceptional condition. It is included in the 2009 Italian Bugatti Register book, created by the Bugatti Club Italia. ASI and FIVA certified.
The Bugatti Type 57 was unveiled at the 1934 Paris Motor Show. It was the only Bugatti model to be produced in S, C, and SC versions at the factory in Molsheim before the war. The Type 57S (Surbaissé version) was first introduced in 1935 and was a more sporting version of the car first released in 1934. Type 57C had a Roots type supercharger and type 57SC the most exclusive that combined the elements of the 57C and 57S. The Bugatti Type 57 was the first new model built under Jean Bugatti direction and it incorporated many features new to Bugatti. Its dual overhead camshaft eight-cylinder engine had dimensions of 72x100mm, offering 3,257cc displacement. It quickly grew a reputation for low noise and vibration from the engine.
The crankshaft ran in five main bearings. The camshafts were driven by a train of helical-tooth gears at the engine's rear with a further crankshaft bearing behind them. Finger cam followers minimized side thrust on the valve stems. The Type 57 also marked Bugatti's first use of a transmission fixed to the engine crankcase and a single plate clutch. The top three gears in the four-speed gearbox were constant mesh. There were four-bodystyles offered and their names were in honor of the Alps Mountain peaks: Atalante two-seat coupé, Ventoux four-seat coupé, Stelvio cabriolet and the Galibier sedan vied with the best of France's and Europe's formidable coachbuilders' creations and comprised the bulk of Type 57 production. The most exclusive body fitted to the Type 57 was the Atlantic which was penned by Jean Bugatti on the Type 57SC chassis.
The Type 57 can certainly be considered to be the most celebrated non-racing Bugatti ever built. Various coachbuilders built individual creations. The Type 57 proved to be Bugatti's most successful model, at 630 cars produced of the standard version and 40 of the Surbaissé version.
Coachbuilder Graber built nine Bugatti T57 4-seater cabriolets between 1934 and 1937. Chassis 57161 was the first; the others built in 1936 were chassis numbers 57394 - 57444 - 57448 (for sale in this lot) - 57483 and in 1937, chassis 57446 - 57447 - 57500 and 57539. For these cabriolets, the reference numbers of the Graber bodies ranged between 300 for chassis 57161 to 372 for the final chassis 57539. It seems that all these Graber Type 57s have survived. Their bodies all differ in detail. Chassis 57444 - 57448 - 57483 - 57446, in the order they were built, had a bonnet with three rows of three vertical louvers. The coachwork of chassis 57447 had five rows of five louvers placed at an angle, and 57500 was the only one to have five rows of vertical louvers. The bodies of 57171 - 57394 and 57539 were unique in their design.
June 18, 2023 Bonhams' The Bonmont Sale Cheserex, Switzerland
This 3-litre Bugatti Type 44 with engine number '121' (equipped with a pressurised crankshaft) was assembled on 2nd February 1928. On the 15th of the same month, chassis '44380/121' was ordered by the Omnia agent in Munich and invoiced for 42,639 ff. It seems that this purchase was either not completed or put on hold until the spring of 1929.
In February 1928, Robert Vetterli of Katowice, Silesia was invoiced for the Type 37A chassis '37281' for 60,540 ff. The car was delivered to him before the 1928 racing season, in which he competed in four events. Robert Vetterli was born on 22nd February 1884 in the Swiss village of Wagenhausen in the canton of Turgau. He may have had a family link with the creator of Vetterli rifles, who came from the same village in 1822. Robert Vettterli worked for the Société des Nations (League of Nations) from 1920 and was appointed deputy undersecretary of the 'Mixed Commission' in Katowice in 1926. The United Nations archives in Geneva hold a letter concerning his posting to Silesia on 15th February 1926, and also document the delivery of his racing Bugatti chassis '37281' on 25th February 1928. The Type 37A was sold in 1929 to Count F Micielski, probably at the same time as the purchase of this 3-litre.
On 31st May 1929, the dealer Krakowska Spolka delivered Vetterli's Bugatti '44380', described on the invoice as 'Carrosserie Gangloff Torpédo' for the sum of 62,500 ff dated 7th May, then reduced to 55,280 ff on 4th June 1929. In 1932, Vetterli was appointed secretary of the 'Joint Committee' and lived at 10 Reymonta in Katowice. In the spring of 1935, he placed an order with the Bugatti factory for a Stelvio cabriolet, chassis '57257', which was delivered on 6th April for 61,619 ff. Vetterli returned to Switzerland when the Commission closed in 1937, and kept the Stelvio until the mid-1950s when he worked as a lawyer in Zurich.
In 1935 the Type 44 Gangloff Torpedo was sold to the famous motorcycle racer Czeslaw Gebala. Born on 15th June 1907, Gebala trained as a mechanic and worked as a civil servant in the Krakow Fire Department. In the mid-1920s, he became Krakow's leading motorcycle racer. Winner of the Lwów Grand Prix in June 1932 in the 500 cc class on an Ariel, he was runner-up in the Polish TT in Wilsathat same year and also raced a Norton. Gebala died in Krakow in December 1984.
Gebala's Bugatti Type 44 Torpedo served as the race director's vehicle during the Polish TT motorcycle race in Wisla in August 1935. The car was registered in Krakow as 'KR 98013'. In 1937, the registration system changed and Gebala had to obtain a new plate ('A 30 245'). According to a report in a Polish sports magazine, Gebala won an all-day rally and gymkana around Krakow on 13th October 1935, at the wheel of the Bugatti, scoring 270 points.
From 1936 to 1939, Gebala's Gangloff Torpedo took part in numerous races. Among the pre-war photographic archives of Bugattis raced in Poland are several images of a car in a snow-covered event at Zapokane. Polish historians believe that car to be '44380', albeit with a different windscreen and no underbody fairing, and with the apron and hood missing the additional air vents. Either this is another vehicle, probably a Type 38, or the car was updated before 1935 in Poland.
Gebala used his Bugatti at the annual hill climb at Ojkow, a small village some 20 kilometres north of Krakow, competing in June 1937, June 1938, and June 1939. The following September, Hitler invaded Poland. By an extraordinary stroke of luck, the Type 44 Gangloff Torpedo was preserved, probably hidden by Gebala, only resurfacing 20 years later in a classified advertisement.
In the spring of 1966, the BOC's Bugantics published the following advertisement: 'Type 44 for sale in Poland. Photo shows car number 44380 in tired original condition. It is for sale but only in exchange for a modern car, as this is the only way to get a car out of Poland. It belongs to Mr P Miroslav. Details from Godfrey Eaton.' Godfrey Eaton has the contact in Poland for P Miroslav, acting as an intermediary.
Dutch collector Guy Huet was interested and contacted Godfrey Eaton. Huet lived in Brussels and worked for the American City Bank. The car's actual owner was one Kazimierz Urban, who had a leather goods store in Warsaw and owned several Mercedes 170Vs. He was an acquaintance of the collector Tadeusz Tabencki, who negotiated the car's sale of. Thanks to a German friend, Karl Mohr de Duren, Huet bought an Opel Rekord for DM 3,400, which he shipped by train to Poland.
After some nine months without news of the Bugatti, Belgian customs notified Guy Huet that a train from Poland had brought the Type 44 to Brussels. Together with his American Bugatti friend Steve Hamlin, who was living in Belgium, they took delivery of the car from the train. Surprised by the condition of the vehicle, the customs service did not ask for any import fees.
After a week's work, the car was running! It was soon repainted in the original colours. At the time of purchase, the yellow paint was very pale, so a deeper shade of yellow was chosen.
The Bugatti was then driven to Crosthwaithe & Gardiner's workshop in the UK, where the engine was removed and overhauled. This work took almost two years. During this period, Guy Huet fitted the car with the 3-liter engine of another Bugatti 44 he owned, which he assembled with a Solex four-carburettor manifold by A F Loyens. Relocating to the UK in May 1968, he stayed for seven years, living in Sevenoaks near C&G's workshop where the engine was being refurbished, and supervising its reassembly. The rebuilt original engine was reinstalled after the spare four-carburettor engine had been removed and resold.
The car, as rediscovered in Poland, had a completely original red leather interior, and all the seat leather, door interiors, carpets, wood and bodywork remain original, which is exceptional. It is possible to compare current photographs of the interior with the one showing Gebala in his Torpedo in 1937: all the stitching details of the seat leather, body interior and doors are identical.
Guy Huet made no changes to the Bugatti, apart from fitting a large windscreen, adding a temperature gauge to the dashboard, refurbishing the radiator plumbing, and repainting the car in its original colours, which were close to those when it was first discovered. Huet, not knowing the coachbuilder's name for lack of information, affixed a 'Bugatti coachwork' plate to the car, and Piet Blok, the Dutch restorer, changed the firewall.
The Type 44 has taken part in numerous rallies since 1969, and came out of restoration for the 40th anniversary of the BOC at Prescott in June '69. It took part in the commemorations of the Grand Prix de Lyon in 1974, 1994 and 2014; the Mont Blanc Rally in 1978; the Bugatti Centenary in Molsheim in 1981; and several international Bugatti rallies in Montreux until 2016.
The mechanical components have benefited from careful maintenance: in 1989, the engine and gearbox were overhauled by the renowned Jabbo and Simon Klopper workshop prior to a rally, and the car then returned to the workshop for a complete overhaul. The current rear axle is numbered '1044' and obviously comes from the now-defunct chassis '441307/1043', delivered to Alfred Bergman in Warsaw in June 1930. As for the gearbox, its lid is numbered '116'. It may be original to the 121-engined car, but the 394-engraved gearbox casing comes from another example. Intensive use in pre-war rallies may have occasioned these changes. The chassis frame has an assembly number which is exactly in the expected series, and is undoubtedly the original. In 1995, a new Type 40 rev counter was fitted.
The car presented for sale is a unique model: it is the only survivor of Gangloff's first Sport models built on Bugatti 3-litre chassis in 1928-1929, and is fitted with a Torpedo Sport body from May 1929. All the bodywork, wood and leather are original, which is extremely rare, while the body colours are identical to those chosen by the first owner in 1929. Bugatti enthusiasts know that the 3-litre Type 44 is the most reliable of the eight-cylinder models, with its nine-bearing, pressure-fed crankshaft. Since 1966 '44380' has belonged to the great Dutch Bugatti collector Guy Huet, who owned more than 25 Bugattis but always kept this one, which is undoubtedly the most desirable and original of the surviving 3-litre Sport models.
Sold with Swiss carte grise and an important history file including some very nice and interesting archives photos.
June 19 - 24, 2023 International Bugatti Meeting Engelberg, Switzerland
The IBM 2023 will take place in Engelberg from
19.06. - 24.06.2023. |
Participants will arrive Sunday, June 18th.
We look forward to welcome around 80 Bugatti teams in central Switzerland. The registration forms will be available in the beginning of November.
From Bugatti enthousiast Lars Carlsson I received the photo above (a genuine photograph by mail, not a scan).
In 1982, the International Bugatti Rally was organized in Sweden, and past through Lars' home town Vänersborg, a bit less than 100 km north of Göteborg.
The local Newspaper took this photo when the Bugatti's drove through the main street.
April 7, 2023 Gooding & Company, Estate of Mark Smith Auction Lynchburg, Virginia, USA
Your chance to buy a Bugatti designed automobile at minimum cost!
In 1904, Peugeot displayed the Bébé at the Paris Motor Show. It weighed a mere 770 lbs., measured just 110" long and was powered by a single-cylinder, 652 cc engine. They proved immensely popular. In 1911, Ettore Bugatti also endeavored to create a lightweight yet robust car of similar size. But as his own factory production was still quite slow, he outsourced the production of the cars to Peugeot, and this model became known as the Type BP1 Bébé and featured a more powerful engine.
According to correspondence on file, this example was originally owned by the American Rubber company and used for promotional purposes when they sponsored the Indianapolis 500. Remaining in unrestored condition and fitted with a racing-type body, this Bébé is an outstanding find for enthusiasts of early French motoring.
As can be seen, the engine has been upgraded to double ignition! Not seen that before on a Bébé!
Please note that this Lot, like all vehicles in this Auction, has been in long-term static storage and may not be currently operational. It will require mechanical attention prior to any road use.
April 16, 2023 Osenat Auction Fontainebleau, France
From chassis 57477
April 16, 2023 Bonhams Goodwood Members' Meeting Auction Goodwood, UK
Bugatti Royale, by Paul Bracq, 1970's.
Part of a vintage 8 poster set "Prestigious Automobiles" or "Prestigieuses Voitures du passe".
March 15, 2023 H&H Auction Duxford, Cambridgeshire, UK
"Light cars as a class are surprising to those accustomed only to heavier boats; but the Bugatti holds revelations for those even well-accustomed to light cars in general. The suspension is uncannily perfect. The steering is a delight. The response to the spur makes one forget the lightness of the whole outfit; but the craft embodied in the complete make-up is such that a very tyro could come down off the banking on the forward side of the Members' Bridge at Brooklands well up in the 70s, and yet hit the Railway Straight without anything in the way of alarm" (E. Duffield, Automotor Journal, April 1921).
The interrelated Types 13, 22 and 23 were the cars which established Bugatti's reputation as one of the world's pre-eminent sportscar manufacturers. Known as Brescia Bugattis following the virtuoso 1-2-3-4 finish achieved by a highly tuned quartet of their siblings at a Voiturette race held in the Italian town of the same name during September 1921, the diminutive Molsheim machines became synonymous with class-leading performance and matchless agility. Available from 1923 onwards, the Type 23 `Brescia Modifie' was based around a lightweight chassis frame equipped with all-round leaf-sprung suspension (semi-elliptic front / reversed quarter-elliptic rear) and two-wheel brakes. Differentiated from its similarly `modified' Type 13 and 22 siblings by a longer 2.55 metre (100.4in) wheelbase, it was powered by the same 1496cc (69mm bore x 100mm stroke) 16-valve SOHC four-cylinder engine allied to four-speed manual transmission. With some 40bhp @ 4,000rpm on tap thanks to such race-proven niceties as a three-bearing crankshaft (two ball / one plain) and four valves per cylinder, the Type 23 `Brescia Modifie' was reputedly capable of up to 80mph. And while achieving such high speeds was coachwork dependent, it is sobering to think that front wheel brakes were only introduced on the model in 1925.
According to an accompanying report from noted Bugatti authority, David Sewell, who over the years has written some 600 – 700 similar dossiers, this Type 23 is chassis 968. Mr Sewell commenting: ‘Whilst there remains a remote possibility that the car could have a chassis number other than 968, the circumstances required for this to be so are judged to be insignificant’. He goes on to say that: ‘This is a remarkably original car in the sense that there are no replica parts whatsoever to be found anywhere upon it. Whilst it is conceded that it lacks its original front axle and gearbox, its replacements have evidently been in place for very many years, probably since prewar times, so have become a significant part of its history. Furthermore its coachwork, although sourced from another Type 23, is completely original and of the correct period and moreover it blends in perfectly well with the rest of the car . . . It will certainly be regarded as a particularly attractive example of the early 16-valve Bugatti, of which only a tiny proportion of those manufactured have survived to the present day and more specifically one of only three surviving Diatto-Bugattis from the fifty or so built’.
The original Bugatti factory records show that chassis 968 was fitted with engine 502 (the same unit found aboard the sale car today) and, like its fellow Type 23 Diatto-Bugattis, despatched from Molsheim as a rolling chassis sans bulkhead, bonnet and radiator. Known to have been delivered to the Diatto agent Louis Pabanel in Paris on 26th May 1920, the car’s next seven decades are a mystery. Purchased by Brescia exponent Hamish Moffat from specialist dealer Bruno Vendiesse in 1989 at which time it was erroneously thought to be chassis 985 (a shorter wheelbase Type 22), the Bugatti was substantially complete but dismantled and lacking coachwork. A handsome two-seater Roadster body that the Berlin coachbuilder Baer had used to clothe another Type 23 (chassis 1828) was subsequently acquired. However, little further progress was made before Mr Moffat sadly died in June 2002. Steeped in Bugatti lore not only as Hamish Moffat’s widow but also the step daughter of privateer racer Lindsey Eccles, the vendor commissioned David Murray of Trinity Farm, Cirencester to reassemble / restore the car.
Issued with the age-related registration number ‘BF 6460’ by the DVLA on 15th May 2013, the associated V5C Registration Document lists the chassis number as ‘985’ (which is how it was sold to Hamish Moffat by Bruno Vendiesse and the ID quoted on the import paperwork) and the engine number as ‘502’. Enjoyed by the vendor on various local journeys and driven by her to Prescott and back (and up the famous hillclimb course), the Brescia is nicely detailed with a well-stocked dashboard and Marchal headlights. Repeating Mr Murray’s advice to her that ‘the engine must not be thrashed’ due to its original block being cracked, she is only reluctantly offering the Bugatti for sale because it has become less comfortable to drive of late. True automotive jewels, Bugatti Type 13, 22 and 23 cars are rightly prized the world over. Potentially eligible for the Mille Miglia Storica, ‘BF 6460’ surely deserves another long-term custodian.
Accompanying paperwork includes a V5C Registration Document, the aforementioned David Sewell report, Bugatti Owners’ Club correspondence and numerous bills / invoices.
March 27, 2023 Osenat Auction Fontainebleau, France
The type 57 chassis engine 11 was assembled at the factory in March 1934, as were the chassis with engines 9-10-12 and 14.
The first Stelvio convertibles by Bugatti.
In the sun of the white city.
The article reads as follows:
Second life in New Aquitaine and on the banks of the Loire.
A year later, on August 3, 1948, the convertible was sold to a doctor by the name of Pierre MARIE residing in the small village of Saint Romain sur Vienne near Dangé.
Pierre MARIE (1910-1983)
Pierre Jean CHEVALIER (1913- 1999)
He married in Poitiers in October 1944 and took over Marcelle Tessier’s dental practice at 17 rue Charles Gide. Divorced for the first time in 1958, he was soon divorced for a second time in 1968. J. Chevalier practised until 1975. He died in Poitiers in May 1999.
On 24 June 1952, the car left the South West for the Orléans
Georges METZ (1907-1973)
In 1922, his father wanted to move away from the family business and found a similar job in Orléans. He bought a wax whitening factory called «La Fougère» in a forest near the village of Olivet.
The company was called «Ets CHALON- DESFORGES». Georges Metz left the factory. He went to run a garage in the Paris suburb of Saint Ouen before returning to Olivet to get married in December 1933 shortly before his father’s death. He became the factory manager until his death in February 1973. Georges Metz owned many Bugattis, from his Brescia acquired in 1929 to the Atalante 57570, including a 55 roadster, a Type 46 and two Type 49s, one of which he kept until the 1960s. According to the memories of his brother Pierre, all were second-hand cars.
G.Metz kept his 57 cabriolet for six years, and sold it on 27 March 1958 to Robert HABIB, living in Aire sur Adour. The Bugatti was given the plate 250 BM 40.
Robert HABIB (1924-1968)
His childhood took place between Neuilly and 12 Avenue d’Eylau, where the two Habib brothers had set up their families of three children and a dozen servants. Robert was close to his cousin, the filmmaker Ralph Habib (1912-1969), who ran the Aéroclub du Cinéma in Paris from 1946 onwards, and in 1947 Robert continued his training with the club. They then moved on to the André Ager Club, where Robert became the head of the motor flight committee. In 1952, he became a pilot at the Beynes gliding centre in the Yvelines. In 1954, from this flying club, R.Habib flew 500 km to Portets in Gironde. He took part in the eight days of Angers reserved for this discipline in 1959 on a Breguet 901. He was then already a member of the Aire sur Adour Aero Club. He wrote many articles on aviation in general in the magazine «Les Ailes» in the early sixties. In 1967, he was part of the Georges Payre study group which was studying a wide-body glider. He started the study but died in a car accident in Saint Cloud on 21 March 1968. We were able to find the person who bought the car from Habib around 1960.
Gérard le Breton is a dashing 93 year old collector. He was born in Les Sables d’Olonne on 13 February 1929, to parents from Vendôme in the Loir et Cher region. The family arrived in the Landes at the time of the exodus. He was kind enough to share his memories of the car with us: «I was born in 1929, my father intended me to study medicine, but in my fifth year of university I gave up to devote myself to my real passion, for another kind of mechanics. I started out as a car mechanic, then worked at the «Clin - Byla» laboratory, which later became Sanofi. I retired as soon as possible in order to work as a mechanic again. My first Bugatti was a type 40 torpedo GS, bought in the early fifties. It was being scrapped by Guttierez, a scrap dealer in Mont de Marsan. The car was not bad, I drove it a little and sold it three weeks later without having put it in my name, as I was short of money at that time.
The second was a Ventoux first series, bought from a doctor in Haubourget in the Hautes Pyrénées. It was not working well, the local mechanic had revised it without success. The timing had to be revised again. I did not keep it and did not put it in my name. I saw it again at the Hotel du Commerce in Aire sur Adour, run by Mr Habib. There had been a flood and the Bugatti had water up to the running boards. The body was grey-green metallic. The third was the 57 cabriolet. I didn’t find it, it was brought to me!
One Saturday night, around midnight, a guy who could still be Habib, sank a connecting rod on his Bugatti while driving through Mont de Marsan. Only the dance hall «le Midou» was open at such a late hour. The guy was going to work in Paris at Dassault. I was phoned from the nightclub because they knew of my interest and skills in this type of vehicle. The deal was concluded in the bar. I bought him the car for the substantial sum of 30,000 ff. In exchange I also provided him with another car to drive to the capital.
I took care of the mechanical restoration. The engine was rebuilt, I found in Paris a set of new pistons of the time. The rectifier in Mont de Marsan advised me against reworking the cylinders. I changed the valves and the timing gears. I revised the clutch and the gearbox. The axle was in good condition. The body with black wings and burgundy cut-out was very well preserved. The leather interior was changed because it was damaged. The Connolly leather upholstery was entrusted to the Dargelos workshop in Mont de Marsan. The bonnet was black, and the metal grey wheels were never chromed. At that time, nobody wanted a Bugatti because it consumed too much fuel and had the reputation of a « beast of burden ». But my ‘57 cabriolet never broke down and I didn’t use it for long journeys. I didn’t use it for long journeys, just a few hundred kilometres to the seaside. The car caused crowds at stops and some onlookers even allowed themselves to sit in it. I bought all the cars I wanted, and expanded my garage several times.
A Mr Lucas, who was very nice, wanted me to sell him my Bugatti. I had him try it out, «I am a former racing driver,» he said, «I have tried all the ‘57 Bugattis that are for sale and none of them are as well tuned as yours, I need it. He came back two or three times, and the last time he told me he would stay with me until I sold it to him. He arrived with his wife in a camper van and settled on the edge of my little pine forest, where they stayed for a week and I invited them for lunch. Finally, I agreed to give him the convertible.
The Bugatti Register published by H.G. Conway in 1962 lists
Bugatti 57109 as a 2-door, 4-seat convertible, with registration
numbers 659 AF 45 and 250 BM 40 in the name of: «Gilbert
(mistake, it should read Gérard, his brother) Le Breton, 1
bis Avenue du 34 ème R.I à Mont de Marsan. The vehicle is
mentioned as having previously belonged to Habib from Aire
Jacques LUCAS (1921-2005)
J.Lucas had the paintwork and interior redone. The bodywork was entrusted to a workshop in Poitiers who did the bodywork before repainting it in the previous colours. Lucas installs large chrome horns and long-range headlights. The upholstery was also entrusted to a local craftsman to be redone as well as the carpets.
The Bugatti is only used for local rallies and outings, and after the death of its owner in November 2005, the car is stored in good condition.
Analysis of the vehicle:
The bodywork is in very good original condition and the woodwork does not appear to have suffered any damage. The front wings are more wraparound than the original design seen on the car at the Algiers Fair in 1934, but it was fashionable to modernise the lines of vehicles in the late 1930s. The original chassis plate is engraved «57109 19 hp Bas Rhin» and riveted to the apron.
The original frame has the number 7. The front axle does not appear to be numbered, but it is of the rare first model in two sleeved sections. Many 57s of the first series were returned to the factory to receive a new one-piece axle. Convertible 57109 has retained this rare 1934 model specificity.
The rear left-hand leg of the engine casing bears the number 11. The gearbox body is numbered 11. The rear axle with engraved gear 12X50 is numbered 11. The dashboard is as per the first model with a large blackbacked Jaeger speedometer graduated up to 170 km/h and with four small indicators for tank capacity, water temperature, oil pressure and ammeter.
Of the 25 Stelvio cabriolets built by the Bugatti coachbuilders in 1934, the first year of production, only 9 have survived. Cabriolet 57109 is the oldest surviving car, and probably one of the few that still has all its original mechanical parts, woodwork and bodywork.
Toby Nippel for Road and Track, 1970's.
March 2, 2023 Bonhams' the Amelia Island Auction Fernandina Beach, Florida, USA
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Stelvio Convertible, Chassis no. 57195, Engine no. 13
THE BUGATTI TYPE 57
Bugatti, introduced in 1934, marked Jean Bugatti's emergence as Bugatti's leader and creative force. It was the first new model built under his direction and it incorporated many features that were new to Bugatti. Its dual overhead camshaft eight-cylinder engine had dimensions of 72 x 100mm, offering 3,257cc displacement. The crankshaft ran in five main bearings. The camshafts were driven by a train of helical-tooth gears at the engine's rear with a further crankshaft bearing behind them. Finger cam followers minimized side thrust on the valve stems.
The Type 57 also marked Bugatti's first use of a transmission fixed to the engine crankcase and a single plate clutch. The Type 57 The top three gears in the four-speed gearbox were constant mesh. Jean created a novel independent front suspension system using transverse leaf springs for the first two examples of the Type 57 before Le Patron spied it and insisted it be replaced by a proper Bugatti hollow tubular live axle. Thenceforth suspension was traditional Bugatti semi-elliptical front and reversed quarter-elliptical rear leaf springs with cable-operated mechanical drum brakes.
THE MOTORCAR OFFERED
The latter can be thanked for the comprehensive chain of ownership, much of this knowledge has been freshly researched and substantially improves the known history of the car. Its tale begins on March 29, 1934 when it was delivered in chassis form to a Marcel Gagneraud, in France. M. Gagneraud was an industrialist of some note, and in this period ran the firm founded by his grandfather specializing in railways and public works. According to the Bugatti works, it was briefly bodied as a four door 'Berline' built by the lesser-known coachbuilder Mignot & Billebault of Boulogne-sur-Seine (Paris). Bugatti had paid some 13,000 French Francs for this coachwork. For Gagneraud, this was the latest in a succession of Bugattis, it replaced his Type 50T, a Gangloff Berline, which in turn had replaced a Type 46, as the top of the range production cars had progressed from single cam to twin cam and then the refined 57, he had followed suit. Interestingly, he would receive 50,400 FF back for trading in his Type 50T.
But Gagneraud did not keep his latest Bugatti for long and its second owner preferred the car to take an open form, as Laugier confirms at some point in the second half of 1934 the car returned to Gangloff in Colmar and was rebodied with the coachwork that remains on the car to this day. Proof of this comes very simply from its export papers into Basle in Switzerland on December 28, 1934 where its is described as a "Drophead Coupe 4 Seater, weight 1,500kg".
According to Laugier, Swiss road registration records do not survive for the pre-war years, so its first confirmed Swiss owner is charted as Marc Saugey of 14 Boulevard Helvetique, in Geneva, who returned the car to the road on April 23, 1948. It is easy to see that M. Saugey would have appreciated the quality and design of the Bugatti, as his profession was architecture. Having studied under Le Corbusier in Paris and later in Germany, from 1938 through to 1971 he would be responsible for numerous important buildings in Geneva in this period. He also taught at the University of Geneve.
From registration records, we know that Marc Saugey kept the Bugatti until September 1, 1952 when his plates were surrendered back to the local Police jurisdiction. Its next formal owner was Richard Hoffman, a mechanic who registered it for the road in his home town of Neuchatel, slightly north on Lake Geneva, on July 30, 1955. A photograph of the car in this period survives showing it at Garage Vivot in Saint Blaise, Neuchatel in this period. Roughly a year later the car returned into the Geneva based ownership of Pierre Adler who would house it at his home on Schaub Street also keeping it for around one year.
By 1958 it had become the property of Robert Baer, an Anglo-Swiss gentleman who traded a number of Bugattis in this period. Perhaps unsurprisingly, from Baer it passed to another notable trader of these cars, Jean de Dobbeleer of Belgium, who Bugatti aficionados will recognize as the source for many of the cars that are in the USA today, a large number being traded between he and Gene Cesari. Whether this followed that path or not is uncertain, but later that same year it was in the American ownership of Bernard Haines.
Next, the car came onto the radar of noted collector, Judge John North and was purchased by him. He appears to have kept it for 4 years before it moved to the long term custody of John Metzgar. In Hugh Conway's register for 1962, the car is listed as 'undergoing complete rebuild. Was in good running condition but is being restored as new. All parts being replaced where worn, new top, upholstery, plating etc. Believed to be original except upholstery'. Metzgar who would retain the car through to 2007, when it joined the collection of the late Mark Smith, of Pennsylvania.
Offered for sale by Mr. Smith having received considerable work carried out by respected Sargent Metal Works, in Vermont, Mr Fafard purchased the Bugatti 11 years ago. He elected to repaint the car in one of his preferred schemes, being of two tone coloring, of a rich dark blue over silver, an effect which suits the car well.
The car's new color scheme was ready by the spring of 2013, and it was in this guise that the car was seen on the American Bugatti Club rallies of that year in Mont Tremblant and the following year at Lake Placid. Over the course of the last few years the car was stationed here in Florida and exercised occasional by Mr. Fafard until his passing 2 years ago.
Mr. Laugier reports that Gangloff are understood to have built only 17 four seater dropheads in the early season of these cars from 1934 to late 1935, and that only 2, possibly 3 have survived the vagaries of time. A beautifully presented touring Bugatti which would provide a welcome entry to any concours lawn or indeed tour, it is a (relatively) affordable entrée to the world of this famed marque.
1937 Bugatti Type 57S Sports Tourer, Chassis no. 57541, Engine no. 29S, Body no. 3595
THE BUGATTI TYPE 57
Introduced in 1934, the Type 57 marked Jean Bugatti's emergence as Bugatti's leader and creative driving force. It was the first new model built under his direction and it incorporated many features new to Bugatti. Its dual overhead camshaft eight-cylinder engine had dimensions of 72x100mm, offering 3,257cc displacement, with a five main bearing crankshaft. The camshafts were driven by a train of helical-tooth gears at the engine's rear with a further crankshaft bearing behind them. Finger cam followers minimized side thrust on the valve stems. The Type 57 also marked Bugatti's first use of a transmission fixed to the engine crankcase and a single plate clutch. The top three gears in the four-speed gearbox were constant mesh. A proper Bugatti hollow tube live front axle was suspended by semi-elliptical front and reversed quarter-elliptical rear leaf springs with cable-operated mechanical drum brakes.
Despite financial problems, development of the Type 57 continued with the introduction of a stiffened frame and rubber-mounted engine, along with the supercharged Type 57C model in 1936. Driven by the camshaft drive at the rear of the engine, the Roots-type supercharger ran at 1.17 times engine speed. This provided a 5-6 psi boost and a healthy 160 bhp which made close to 120 mph possible. The Type 57 in all its forms attracted discerning owners who were only satisfied with the best, among them land speed record holder Sir Malcolm Campbell, who wrote: "If I was asked to give my opinion as to the best all-round super-sports car which is available on the market today, I should, without any hesitation whatever, say it was the 3.3 Bugatti... it cannot fail to attract the connoisseur or those who know how to handle the thoroughbred. It is a car in a class by itself."
THE TYPE 57S AND SC
However, the fundamental difference between the 57S and the standard Type 57 lay in the low-slung frame design with its shorter wheelbase - identical length to the t43 and T55 it replaced. The special frame sees the rear axle passed through the frame, while the hollow, split front axle with de Ram shock absorbers provided damping cleverly engineered to increase with speed. The resulting car was so low in fact that the standard exhaust tube and silencer would not clear the ground and the exhaust had to be divided among six individual small tubes with a thin box silencer. This new low chassis and the distinctive 57S vee-shaped radiator was a gift to the stylist, and the Jean Bugatti-influenced Atalante Coupé styling that was fitted to 17 of the 57S chassis, blended impeccably with the sculpted radiator design. Production was very limited. A mere 48 Type 57S chassis were built until the outbreak of hostilities. Two of these were 57SC models, fitted with a supercharger by the factory to create the ultimate-specification 200 bhp prewar French supercar. Along with the legendary Alfa-Romeo 8C 2900, the Type 57SC was quite simply the fastest road car in the world. With these extraordinary credentials, it is little wonder then that the 57S has been held in awe across the decades by collectors and enthusiasts alike, right up to the present day.
Even rarer than the Type 57S chassis that were bodied with Bugatti factory designs built by Gangloff in Colmar, were the very few that were handed over to outside coachbuilders. The car offered here is one of these ultimately rare cars. The Carrosserie Van den Plas was incorporated in Brussels in 1898. Automobile body manufacture commenced in 1900, and the company grew quickly. From about 1906, Metallurgique cars with Van den Plas bodies were imported into England by a company called Warwick Wright, which acquired the license to manufacture Van den Plas bodies and designs for the United Kingdom in 1910. In 1913, Vanden Plas (in two words) Ltd. was incorporated which then became a coachbuilding company in its own right.
The two companies led separate lives but co-existed peacefully over the years. From 1924 to 1931, the English Vanden Plas company became famous for its rakish bodies on W.O. Bentley chassis, of which about 700 were built. With its reputation for quality coachwork well-established, Vanden Plas also bodied a number of Alvis, Armstrong Siddeley, Bentley, Daimler, Lagonda, and Rolls-Royce chassis in the 1930s. Vanden Plas bodied a total of two Type 57S chassis, namely the subject car and chassis 57572 which was given two-seater cabriolet coachwork in the autumn of 1937.
THE MOTORCAR OFFERED
Factory records indicate 57541 was ordered by Colonel Sorel, the London agent on Brixton Road. The chassis was sent to Vanden Plas and given a four-seat touring-roadster body no. 3595. Painted gray with red accents, the cost of this exquisite bolide was £275. Interestingly the Vanden Plan records state the coachwork as being ordered by Ettore Bugatti. Bodied in the classic minimalistic British style with sporting cut-down doors, 57541 resembles the Vanden Plas 4 1/4-liter Bentley Tourer body no. 3340 delivered to Malcolm Campbell in April 1936, as well as the 4.3-liter short chassis Alvis body no. 3588 built in 1937. Historically and stylistically, these three bodies can trace their lineage directly back to the great Vanden Plas-bodied W.O. Bentleys from the late 1920s. In this period a body with four-seats was mandatory for events like the 24 hours of Le Mans and the most minimal, light weight seat was fitted to this sports tourer. It has the clever feature of being hinged and of light alloy construction to allow instant access to the rear brakes, axles and batteries. Colonel Sorel must have been justifiably happy with the result, as 57541 was pictured in the company's 1937-1938 catalog.
George Rand and Samuel Collier, US Bugatti importers had 57541 shipped to New York where it is likely that it was used at the A.R.C.A. races on September 25, 1937. Period images exist of the car taken at the Roosevelt Raceway race in New York without the fender skirts it was fitted with initially. Rand was unable to find a buyer for the car, and it was shipped back to England and shown on the Bugatti stand at the London Motor Show held at the Olympia from October 13 to 22, 1938. On November 3, 1938, it was registered with the number FGW 384. The first English owner remains unknown. It is likely that 57541 remained in England, but according to Pierre-Yves Laugier, it is possible that by the end of 1938, 57541 was in the ownership of Herman H. Harjes, Jr., director of the Harjes and Morgan Bank on the Place Vendôme in Paris.
57541 vanished from sight during the hostilities, but towards the end of the war, it appeared for sale at the Continental Cars garage which was owned by Rodney Clarke, and it is likely that it was given registration number DXP 970 in 1947. That same year, the car had no less than three owners, namely Rodney Clarke, Brian Finglass, and Sir Alfred McAlpine, all of whom were managers of Continental Cars. Using Jack Bartlett as intermediary, they sold 57541 to Jack Robinson, who exported it to Trinidad, where it was registered as PB 371. According to Pierre-Yves Laugier, Robinson stated in a 1952 issue of Bugantics that when he bought the car through Bartlett, it was equipped with a Type 35B 3-blade racing supercharger. Robinson also noted that major work had been done to the car including fitting a new crankshaft, crankcase, cylinder block, pistons and connecting rods. In 1952, the car was completely overhauled, but its original gray color was kept. As Laugier succinctly states, "After its restoration, Robinson made the XK120 Jaguars pay dearly at the Trinidad Aerodrome, where he reached speeds of more than 180 km/h."
Robinson kept 57541 for more than thirty years and sold it to Peter Agg in 1985, with Leonard Potter possibly acting as middleman. Via his Trojan company, Agg undertook a complete restoration of the car. The engine was given to Crosthwaite and Gardner, who replaced the 35B supercharger with a correct Type 57 unit, thereby bringing 57541 up to factory correct 57SC specification. Hydraulic brakes were fitted and the car was repainted in the light metallic blue color that it wears today. Agg took great joy in using 57541, and he was regularly seen participating at the Prescott hill climbs and various circuits. In 1995, the car was sold to its previous owner, who retained it for the over 20 years. In 2016 57541 finally entered the ownership of a collector prepared to bring it back to its original glory.
THE RESTORATION OF 57541
The philosophical guidelines for the restoration were:
The project was lead and managed by Evan Ide's Historic Vehicle Services who handled the metal work, mechanicals and assembly. F40 Motorsports prepped the metal work, painted the nitrocellulose paint and did all final sanding and polishing. Interior Motives handled the upholstery and trimming and Holman Engineering was used for engine assembly and testing.
A tremendous amount of research was done to find out exactly how this car was configured as new and every effort was made to get the smallest detail correct. The bodywork, despite a clean, simple appearance has wonderful complexity in the details. In particular, features such as the stunning fenders that through years of minor parking damage and old repairs had their beauty compromised, were returned to their original lines. A large effort was made rebuilding the edges of the fenders to bring back these wonderful styling dhetails that visually lower the car and give it a feeling of motion. The backs of the rear fenders - a vulnerable spot when backing up were nearly 4" higher than when the car was built. The car also received the correct wheel spats and the proper disc-wheel covers it had when new.
Mechanically, the work extended as far as the huge task of ensuring that nearly all the hardware used was original factory hardware. Unlike most manufacturers of the day Bugatti designed and manufactured his own unique fasteners. It was essential that only this original Bugatti hardware be used one such an important car. The philosophy of no reproduction parts extends even to the iron cylinder block which is the original to the car - very rarely seen.
The top material was specially made in a cotton-based material so it would have the proper black color not the dark synthetic color of modern acrylics typically used. The goal was for the material to begin to fade and weather like the original over time. The foot boxes were fitted out with the proper rubber mats and exposed sides revealing the factory hand tooling marks. These floor boxes nestle alongside the fully exposed transmission - weight saving was paramount to this design.
The original crankcase was reunited with the original engine components. Every piece was found to be the original numbered Molshiem components and were reassembled. The engine was in excellent condition and consumable parts were renewed as needed. Extensive time was spent hand scraping the main babbit bearings until the crank would keep spinning on its own after a light a swing by hand. The final product is a strong and punchy engine with excellent low-down torque and smoothness. The original multi-tube exhaust system was rebuilt to preserve the proper growl, a notable characteristic of these cars.
When finished, the reaction was that this Bugatti was as close to the factory delivered article as could be achieved. A cursory inspection quickly provides the feeling that the car has a wonderful authentic appearance, something not possible in a more conventional restoration. The other goal of the restoration was for the car to be able to age gracefully like the original, which has been achieved by using the nitrocellulose, rather than thick modern plastic-based paints, so that the paint finish will age softly and not develop the thick cracking that can occur with modern products.
Also, when it comes to road performance, such an important aspect of these cars, with no modifications mechanically it drives like it should - an absolute beast of a car but with beautifully direct and light handling. With nearly 200hp and only a little over 2000lbs of car it gives up nothing to its most potent contemporaries.
Since 57541 has received numerous awards at Pebble Beach, Amelia Island, Audrain Newport Concours, and a recipient of Best Restoration at the Villa D'Este Concours d'Elegance. And, it is certainly no 'trailer queen' the 57S has spent many miles of on the road unleashing its thrilling performance.
Remarkably, 57541 has a virtually unbroken chain of protective owners who have taken extremely good care of this automotive jewel since it left the factory. Factor in the unbeatable combination of its unique coachbuilt body and genuine 1930s supercar underpinnings, and the result is truly a heady cocktail. The Bugatti Type 57S embodies the highest standards in road holding, engineering refinement and maximum performance in a prewar car. It also displays a sheer mechanical elegance that is the very pinnacle of mid-1930s aesthetic finesse - one can lose oneself just contemplating the gorgeous engine compartment!
The Type 57S ticks every box – it is in many ways the ultimate pre-war supercar, and in SC form, certainly faster than virtually anything else on the road at the time. The production run of the 57S was brief as manufacturing costs were high, and a devastating war intervened. The full production and current ownership record is summarized by Bernhard Simon and Julius Kruta in their reference work on the model. The list represents a stunning statement of the importance and exceptional esteem that collectors have held these cars in almost from new. When such things were still possible the Schlumpf brothers cleverly snapped up no fewer than 9 of them, precluding 20% of the production from changing hands again. Trend setting collector Ralph Lauren is one who can count 2 in his definitive stable, the majestic Atlantic Coupe as well as a convertible for example. As one analyzes this list today the potential to secure one, let alone an open car becomes so much more daunting, given that so many are now in long term ownerships or Institutional collections.
March 4, 2023 Broad Arrow Auction - the Amelia Island Auction Fernandina Beach, Florida, USA
Introduced in 1934, the Bugatti Type 57 would emerge as the first model built under the direction of Jean Bugatti, the well-respected engineer, designer, and son of founder Ettore. One of the most sophisticated, highly praised road-going chassis of Bugatti's illustrious history, the Type 57 featured elegantly designed coachwork from some of Europe's most notable coachbuilders. As a result, ownership of a Type 57 provided not only one of the finest driving experiences, but also a statement of high fashion and automotive sculptural taste.
The Type 57 would also include many luxury refinements providing better ease of use for customers. As opposed to the bevel gears used on previous Bugattis, the Type 57 would use spur gears to transmit power from the crankshaft to the camshafts, dramatically reducing noise levels. Featuring four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes and a solid front axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs and live rear axle with quarter elliptic leaf springs, these upgrades provided the Type 57 chassis impressive stability at high speeds. These improved touring characteristics were demonstrated by Jean Bugatti boasting claims of completing the 270-mile trip from Molsheim to Paris in less than three and a half hours.
Bugatti Type 57 Chassis No. 57742
One-off Vanvooren Coachwork
With both Type 57 chassis no. 57742 and the special one-off Vanvooren roadster body now belonging to Jean Serre, he would eventually sell the chassis and body to a collector in Southern California sometime between 1997 and 2003. During this period, the body and chassis were united and also upgraded to supercharged configuration. Boasting over 210 horsepower with a supercharger (compresseur), this upgrade delivers significant performance advantages over the already capable Type 57.
In 2005, records indicate that Dutchman Tony Paalman had shown this vehicle at the Techno Classica Essen with his then firm “Car Discoveries”. After this period, chassis no. 57742 was delivered to the US by famed car collector Howard Fafard in Framingham, Massachusetts who commissioned a complete restoration at Competition Motors Portsmouth, NH. During this restoration, beginning January 2006, meticulous documentation and over one thousand photographs were taken and archived. These documents tell a story of an extensive, frame-off restoration with detailed invoices noting specific work performed to the vehicle. Restored in formal Black over Aubergine specification complete with an exquisite and unexpected ostrich leather interior and black folding convertible top, records on file indicate that Competition Motors would then assume ownership once completed in 2012. Following completion of this multi-year restoration costing over $800,000, this vehicle was shown at the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and also featured in advertisements by Ralph Lauren Purple Label for their 2012 Fall collection.
Spurred on by the motto of Ettore Bugatti “if it is comparable, it is no longer Bugatti”, their long-standing tradition of excellence plays a crucial role in maintaining their extreme collectability among enthusiasts. Not simply a work of art, the consignor reports at the time of cataloging this Type 57C drives and performs as expected of a fully restored, Pebble Beach entrant. What can only be considered a exquisite example, this Type 57 is ready to be appreciated by a new caretaker for its extraordinary blend of French style and sporting performance the likes of which only a Bugatti can deliver.
January 26, 2023 RM - Sotheby's Arizona Auction USA
Benefitting from a short ownership chain of a handful of doting collectors, and attention from some of the world’s most respected EB110 specialists, this Bugatti is a particularly noteworthy example of the celebrated Campogalliano supercar. According to the research of Johann Petit’s Bugatti EB110 Registry, chassis number 068 is approximately the 51st of 85 examples built to GT specifications, and it was completed as a second-series car equipped with a revised cooling system and a modified rear bumper.
Ordered in May 1994 by the dealer Zdenek-Auto on behalf of a client in the Czech Republic, the Bugatti was finished in Bugatti Blue paint and appointed with an interior upholstered in dual-tone gray leather in a non-standard special-order configuration. After being delivered to the first owner in August 1994, the EB110 was frequently enjoyed on the open road while being consistently maintained.
In 2001 the Bugatti was sold to its second owner, another enthusiast residing in the Czech Republic, and he immediately submitted the car to the specialists at Dauer Sportwagen in Nuremberg, Germany—the company responsible for the Le Mans-winning Dauer 962, and the officially licensed continuation builder and servicer of EB110 examples following Bugatti Automobili’s receivership. At this time the original engine number 090 was replaced by the motor currently installed, engine number 063, a correct GT-specification motor. The car was also fitted with the revised rear fascia panel it now wears, featuring a centrally-placed Bugatti logo.
The EB110 GT remained in the Czech Republic through 2012, at which point the car was exported to Italy and exhibited at the Auto e Moto d’Epoca concours d’elegance in Padua. Sold to a noted Italian collector, 068 enjoyed the company of numerous flagship supercars until the collection’s offering by RM Sotheby’s in late 2016.
After being presented at the London Concours d’Elegance in June 2017, the Bugatti was sold in 2018 to an enthusiast based in Denmark before more recently passing to the consignor, who soon submitted the car for servicing to B Engineering in Emilia-Romagna, the current rightsholder to EB110 production and official marque-endorsed maintenance; over $12,000 was invested in the maintenance of the Bugatti at this time. Accompanied by an owner’s manual and warranty booklet and documented with service invoices from Dauer and B Engineering, this mildly used Bugatti displays 31,930 kilometers (~19,840 miles) at cataloguing.
The beautifully presented EB110 GT should steal the heart of any supercar enthusiast or Bugatti collector. Ideal for presentation at concours d’elegance or enjoyment of its groundbreaking high-performance engineering and design envelope, it is sure to deliver visceral thrills at speed. It ably epitomizes the undeniable success of Romano Artioli’s short-lived dream, a muscular thoroughbred emitting the panache and style for which Le Pur Sang has become a thing of legend.
February 1, 2023 RM - Sotheby's Paris Auction Paris, France
1928 Bugatti Type 43 Roadster by Lavocat et Marsaud, Chassis 43233, engine 62
The Type 43 on offer, chassis 43233, was delivered in chassis form to Stand Auto Garage on the Champs-Élysées in Paris after being invoiced in September of 1928. One month later, the Bugatti received standard Grand Sport coachwork and was registered to its first owner, Robert Senechal. A Delage Works driver and former manufacturer of cyclecars, Mr. Senechal was exactly the type of esteemed character one would expect to purchase such a fine automobile in the period; in fact, according to a report on file from marque expert Pierre-Yves Laugier, he ordered six Type 43 chassis, apparently intending to become an agent for the marque.
He would soon put this chassis, then wearing temporary torpedo bodywork, to work; he achieved overall victory at the 1928 Rallye de Pau while entered in the lower 2-to-3-litre category, followed by a class win a few days later at the nearby Morlaas hillclimb. Soon after, respected Parisian coachbuilders Lavocat et Marsaud completed a two-seat roadster-style body for the chassis.
After the coachwork was fitted in January 1929, the campaign continued at the French Motorcycle Club Hill climb that same month, with a class win at the Gometz le Chatel hill climb coming that October. Not long after, the car was sold to an unknown buyer, but in 1932 chassis 43233 entered the ownership of Jean Trevoux. Several months later, he won the Paris-Nice Rally outright with his new purchase. A class win at the La Turbie hill climb soon followed.
Four additional Frenchmen are reported to have taken ownership of the car before the war. Beginning in 1945, Jean Charbonneaux and his family would be owners for just over a decade. Charbonneaux owned a separate Type 43, chassis 43251 with engine number 62, and at some point during his ownership, the engines were swapped. It would be sold to François Claude Pruvot, an engineer, in 1955, before passing to a Parisian mechanic, Jacques Banao, in 1962.
By 1965 the Bugatti had landed on English shores, entering the collection of Peter Newens. After being purchased by Franck Wall in 1971, an extensive mechanical and cosmetic restoration occurred. A photograph from the period shows the Type 43 painted in a single shade of dark blue and wearing a plate numbered “FGW 27C”.
In October 1978, chassis 43233 sold at auction in London to the Seydoux Collection in Paris; after exactly 50 years, the Bugatti had returned to its original hometown. The vehicle would remain on the continent after being purchased by Oscar Davis at auction in 1996. Invoices and correspondence from the period show the Bugatti was maintained at a shop in the Netherlands in order to be used at a moment’s notice for a number of European rallies.
Davis eventually sold the car to a New Hampshire gentleman in 2002 but would eventually buy back this wonderful machine in 2007. A year prior to this purchase, the car received a FIA Historic Technical Passport.
Today, the Type 43 is finished in a deep shade of red with a black leather interior. A suite of Jaeger gauges reading water temperature, amperes, engine speed, road speed, and oil pressure complement the finely finished wood dashboard. The car has been maintained by Leydon Restorations of Lahaska, Pennsylvania throughout ownership of the consigning owner. Work has included the installation of a new wiring harness, a valve job, a full reseal of the engine including new water plates, and the fitment of a new radiator core by Chuck Niles at American Honeycomb.
With approximately just 160 examples of this model produced, this extraordinary Bugatti is both rare and desirable in equal measure.
1932 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster in the style of Jean Bugatti, chassis 55219
According to the report by marque expert David Sewell, the Swiss Bugatti Agent Bucar of Zurich ordered chassis 55219 in the winter of 1932 on behalf of their client Mr. Edmond Reiffers, a notary in the city of Luxembourg. Once completed later that spring, a factory employee delivered the unbodied chassis with a temporary seat to the border just 160 kilometres away from the factory.
Mr. Reiffers intended to commission coachwork of his own choosing for the car—but not before one of his three sons, Ernest, entered the chassis with only a bonnet, headlights, and seat in several local events organized by the Automobile Club of Luxembourg. Finally, in October of the same year, Pritchard & Demollin of Angleur, Belgium constructed a four-seat cabriolet body for the Type 55.
In 1938, the car was sold to industrialist Rudi Cloos, a fellow resident of Luxembourg. However, the Bugatti changed hands two more times in the following two years within the Grand Duchy before being hidden away during the war. When peace finally arrived in 1945, the vehicle was unearthed and registered to Pierre Schickes, an electrician. Unfortunately, the Bugatti would suffer front end damage under his ownership. Subsequent photographs after the accident show the car received modified front wings which hang down to the front crossmember; the remainder of coachwork stayed intact. By 1955, ownership had changed hands once more to a Belgian named Gillard, but in 1957 well-known Bugatti dealer, Jean de Dobbeleer of Brussels, purchased the Type 55.
Part-owner of Precision Motor Cars, Bob Estes of California, eventually took ownership of chassis 55219 in order to use it as a parts car for his other Type 55, chassis 55230. The remainder of the car was then sold to Ray Jones of Birmingham, Michigan, in 1963. The Type 55’s present, highly attractive bodywork built in the style of the famous Jean Bugatti roadster design was created and fitted in the 1970s.
In 1988, the consigning owner purchased a car containing elements of 55219 and a four-year endeavour would soon commence to make the Type 55 whole again. After a great deal of research, three chassis were ultimately purchased to bring this goal to reality: 55219, 55229, and 51127. The Bugatti Owners Club officially recognised the reconstituted car on 17 August 1993 and issued a replacement chassis plate.
In 2008, a comprehensive mechanical and cosmetic restoration was undertaken by Leydon Restorations of Lahaska, Pennsylvania, bringing together the original components from the three cars acquired. While disassembled, independent Bugatti researcher David Sewell inspected the car. He concluded the chassis frame, engine, bulkhead assembly, gearbox, and differential casing contain the stampings indicating them to be correct to chassis 55219. However, during the restoration parts of the engine were determined to be too worn to use and today, the car utilises a different top crankcase and cylinder block. Both pieces remained in the possession of the consignor and accompany the sale.
Prior to being acquired by the consigning owner, the lower crankcase had been machined, removing some of the original factory stampings. Luckily, assembly number 36 remained on the front left arm and matched the same assembly number found on the top crankcase which further bore the correct “11” engine number stamping. Additionally, “11” was found stamped on the upper camshaft drive housing, in addition to both the exhaust and inlet camboxes.
This highly sought-after Type 55—clothed in timeless roadster bodywork in the style of the great Jean Bugatti—can be enjoyed by enthusiasts for decades to come.
February 2, 2023 Bonhams' Auction - LES GRANDES MARQUES DU MONDE À PARIS Paris, France
1932 Bugatti T55 Cabriolet,
Coachwork by Vanvooren,
Chassis no. 55217
This Type 55 chassis with engine '24' was assembled at the factory in May 1932, as were chassis with engines '17' to '23'. Chassis '55217/24' was transported by road from Molsheim to Paris on 29th July 1932 and was invoiced that same day to Lamberjack's Paris dealership for the sum of 72,500 French francs. The chassis was then sent to Vanvooren in Courbevoie to receive a two-seater cabriolet body.
Dominique Lamberjack junior has stated that the car, once back from the coachbuilder, had remained on display in his showroom at the corner of rue Bayen and boulevard des Marechaux, for more than three years without finding a single buyer. It would take four years before a loyal Bugatti customer stepped in and bought it.
The Type 55 was registered new on 12th May 1936 at the Pas de Calais prefecture, under the license plate number '3988 NA 6' in the name of Eugène Leleux (junior). Born on 17th October 1906 in Lille, Eugène Florimond Albert Leleux was a brewer by trade and ran the Croix de Grès brewery in Divion. The Leleux family's first Bugatti was a Type 40A convertible acquired on 23rd June 1932. It was replaced in October 1936 by a Type 57 cabriolet which was sold to finance the purchase of the Type 55. Lamberjack's Société Franco-Américaine d'Automobiles' original invoice for the Type 55 cabriolet is made out to 'Mr Eugène Leleux son, Divion' and is dated 6th May 1936. It details 'A Bugatti 2L300 type 55 car number 55217. New, bodied as a two-seater Vanvooren convertible. For a payment of sixteen thousand francs in cash, twenty-five thousand francs in ten installments and the trade-in of a Bugatti 57143 as it is'.
On the back of one of the original photographs of the Bugatti, taken in the courtyard of the brewery, Eugène Leleux has written: "2l 300, type 55, year 1936, 8 cyl in line 2 compressor camshafts, 18 fiscal hp 4 floor speeds, 180 km/h, Gearbox separated from the engine Cable brakes, drums incorporated in the aluminum wheels, magneto Scintilla, Connecting rods and crankshaft on ball and roller bearings. Convertible Vanvooren 2 places, Yellow, Wings and black hood." This note seems to indicate that at the time of purchase by Leleux, the car was not yet equipped with a Cotal pre-selector gearbox, otherwise this feature would have been mentioned, so detailed is the car's description.
In 1941, the Lille newspapers reported that Mr Eugène Leleux, a brewer in Divion, had filed a complaint with the police concerning the theft of his car, which he had left on rue de la Comédie. He was able to regain possession of his car, which had been discovered during a police patrol. We do not know if it was his Type 55 cabriolet, but the notion is appealing.
In 1942, the car was entrusted to the good care of the Bugatti repair workshop at 75 quai Carnot in Levallois, managed by the famous Doctor Gabriel Espanet. A first letter and invoice dated 28th August 1942 states: "Following your letter of August 24, we have the advantage of sending you a single speed, two type 55 front springs and a steering wheel. As regards the rear spring slide supports, the model of which you sent us, we are writing to our factory in Bordeaux to send us a pair as soon as possible..." The invoice for 1,053 French francs was attached. By letter of 14th October 1942, the rear slides were provided in turn for the sum of 1,318 French francs.
A final letter of 30th December 1942, relates to the repair of the cylinder block: "As we had let you hope, in our letter of the 10th instant, we have been able to take, despite the current working conditions, the arrangements which have enabled us to finally complete the perfect repair of your cylinder unit. If the delay was a little long, the execution of the work is as precise as in normal times. The valves supplied in particular are of the best pre-war special steel and we have been able to maintain the old price for one last time. You will find them mounted in their guide, broken in, ready to run.
These letters shed light on the Bugatti factory's ability to continue its activities at the Levallois repair workshop and the relocated factory in Bordeaux. Soon this factory would close and the tools would be repatriated to Alsace by the new owner, H Trippel.
It is probable that the Type 55 convertible was used for another four years. A request for 'non-pledge' of the vehicle was registered in March and again in October 1947. The Bugatti was then sold in the Nord department and registered as '6803 ME' on 11th February 1948 in the name of Eugène Mulnard, an electrical engineer resident at 108 rue Grand Chemin in Roubaix. On 27th February 1951, the Type 55 was registered in the name of Miss Andrée Desplats, a secretary living at 58 rue du Molinel in Lille. The Bugatti was re-registered as '3553 AF 59'. Eugène Mulnard would later divorce his wife and marry Andrée Desplats in Lille in September 1965.
Eugène Mulnard was president of the Écurie Flandre, founded in Lille just after the war, whose notable members included the pilot/manufacturer Paul Delbarre, the Simca specialist Monnier, Jacky Pollet, Flamencourt (the team's official mechanic) and Werry the administrative director. Mulnard raced in the Monnier Spéciale with a BMW 328 engine at the Chimay Grand Prix in 1953 but retired with a gearbox problem.
In July 1988, Eugène Mulnard was kind enough to commit his Bugatti memories to paper for Bugatti authority Pierre-Yves Laugier: "The Bugatti 55217 was equipped when I bought it with a Cotal 32 mkg gearbox. I do not know if the assembly was done by Bugatti or any other mechanical workshop. The engine block was leaking some water at a spark plug cupola I repaired. In 1950, the Bugatti company rue Carnot in Levallois supplied me with pistons and rings. I completely dismantled the engine and all the parts remained detached for many years, not having time to take care of them.
"In 1975, I put everything back together. The only part that I could not find at Scintilla: the battery charge regulator. In 1980 the Bugatti was in perfect working order. This car has never been damaged, and always perfectly maintained. I did 117,000 km with it.
"Only one problem: while I was in Switzerland, around 1948, I filled up with gasoline, in this gasoline was incorporated at the time Tetra-ethyl lead. I had to drain and replace with unleaded gasoline. "In 1949, I was in Germany. During my stay, there were heavy snowfalls, roads rutted by the war. The engine being very close to the ground. It had to stay two months in the garage. I was president of Écurie Flandres in which there were eight cars. We raced in Formula I and did rallies and hill climbs. The Bugatti has never been entered in any competition; it was the car I drove every day."
Dealer Bruno Vendiesse remembers that as a young enthusiast aged twenty in 1974, he went to see the Bugatti on display in the window of Flamencourt, who was a Simca agent in Mons en Baroel, and saw it again in the garages of the General Heating Company at 37 avenue du Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny in Saint-André-lez-Lille. Mulnard had no place to park the car, which was stored at Georges Tranchet's saddlery in Lomme from 1976 to 1979, before its sale the following year.
The great Bugatti lover Marc Blanc of Montbrison bought the Type 1955 cabriolet in 1980. He had known Mulnard for years, paying him frequent visits, but Mulnard was never inclined to sell the car. One day Mulnard contacted Marc Blanc, saying that he had decided to part with his Bugatti. He confided in him that he had four potential buyers but wished to visit them in turn to determine which was best able to restore the Bugatti to correct original specification. At that time Marc Blanc was reassembling his Type 35A in his garage. Mulnard was pleasantly surprised and immediately handed Blanc his business card as a bill of sale. The transaction, for a price of 250,000 French francs, satisfied both parties.
Blanc traveled to Wattrelos to take possession of the Type 55, which arrived in Montbrison towed by a Peugeot 504 belonging to the company. According to Marc Blanc, the Bugatti had had a minor collision leaving one of the wings out of line. The car remained in its garage in Montbrison between two Bugatti Grand Prix cars for nearly ten years, without being restarted. Marc Blanc then dismantled the engine, which he entrusted, together with the Cotal gearbox, to his official mechanic Marc Defour of Sury-le-Comtal for an overhaul. In 2009, the Type 55 was exhibited for the first time, at the Salon d'Avignon, and four years later was sold to collector Ton Meijer through dealers Bruno Vendiesse and Jaap Braam Ruben.
The Bugatti was driven to its new home in Carpentras but the engine was running poorly. It was decided to undertake a complete restoration, which was entrusted to the Ventoux Moteurs workshop run by Laurent and Raphael Rondoni. The rebuild would take more than three years to complete. The chassis was stripped bare and all the mechanicals overhauled, with some worn parts replaced. The cam boxes and the camshafts were manufactured by Rondoni together with the water pipes and compressor mounting gear. The split cylinder block was replaced with a new block obtained from Crosthwaite & Gardiner in Buxted, UK. The original roller-bearing crankshaft was overhauled with new connecting rods with cages and rollers from Brineton Engineering of Wolverhampton.
During the replacement of the Cotal gearbox, the old Bugatti gearbox's fixing holes were found, as well as those of the levers and the braking system, which had been modified to suit the Cotal which required a special crosspiece. A new gearbox from Crosthwaite was machined by Ventoux Moteurs and fitted with dog gears from Brineton Engineering.
The lined black hood and the upholstery work were entrusted to Ventoux Saddlery in Carpentras. The backs of the seats have been reduced in thickness and the door panels have been kept; only the seats have been changed. A beige carpet, identical to that on the base of the doors, was used as the cabin carpet.
The electrical wiring harness was remade by Rondoni, while the Scintilla lighting and magneto are original. The radiator was only cleaned, and the rear axle overhauled, as were the shock absorbers and the brakes. The front axle was re-nickeled and the original cast aluminum wheels retained. The exhaust, which had been shortened, was extended by a muffler and a silencer under the running board.
Restoration of the bodywork was entrusted to the good care of renowned Dutch workshop Dijkhof in Achterveld, which also took care of the restoration of Mr Meijer's former Bugatti Type 55 roadster. The body's timber framework was changed in large part because it was rotten,and the Bugatti was finally delivered to its owner around Christmas 2018. All original mechanical parts that were replaced were returned to the owner and are offered with the car.
Among the six Type 55 cabriolets bodied by Vanvooren in Courbevoie, '55217' is the only one to have retained its original bodywork on its 1932 chassis; all the others have been modified to a greater or lesser extent, while '55227' and '55236' no longer exist.
Bonhams would like to offer its grateful thanks to marque expert Pierre-Yves Laugier for his assistance in compiling this description, a longer report in French is available upon request.
1939 Bugatti Type 57 Cabriolet Project,
Chassis no. 57751
Registered in the Seine department as '58810-RQ' on 9th December 1947, the car then spent several years off the road in storage before ending up in the possession of Jacques Leli?re in Toulon. The Galibier body was removed and placed on another car. A new body in the style of the British coachbuilder Corsica was made for '57751'. Subsequently this car's identity became confused with that of another Bugatti (a not uncommon occurrence) but all numbers on the car are compatible with '57751' and clearly the '49' on the authentic chassis plate is an over-stamping (see Bugatti Registry extract on file).
Believed to have covered only some 30,000 kilometres in its lifetime, the Bugatti is offered as an incomplete rolling chassis together with a quantity of non-original body parts. The chassis was restored recently and is presented in excellent condition. Offered with Netherlands registration papers, this Type 57 is a potentially most rewarding project for the Bugatti enthusiast.
February 3, 2023 Artcurial Retromobile Auction Paris, France
1929 Type 35C Grand Prix, chassis 4920, ex Bart Rosman
The 2-litre supercharged engine 166 C was assembled at the factory in May 1928 along with 2-litre engines n°164 to 167 and 2-litre 300 engines n° 168 to 170.
Georges Philippe de ROTHSCHILD (1902-1988)
Therefore, for the Monaco Grand Prix on 14 April, he used 4920, its registration number 2677 RB 6 clearly visible in photos. He finished an honourable 4th place behind the Mercedes SSK of Caracciola.
The team came together again for the second Bugatti Grand Prix, organised by the Molsheim boss at the Le Mans circuit on 2 June 1929. Bouriat took part in testing in 4920 N° 33 and Rothschild in a new and as yet unregistered 35C N° 34, (probably 4930 bought two weeks earlier). Having broken a rod in his Bugatti, Juan Zanelli acquired 4920 on the weigh-in day from Rothschild who decided to drive his Type 44, while Bouriat moved to the wheel of N°34. Zanelli, who was racing 4920 for the first time, won the Grand Prix. He repeated this feat in 1930, this time at the wheel of 4921 which he also acquired from the Rothschild team, before Hellé Nice took it over for the following two seasons.
In 1929, Guy Bouriat was in charge of Baron de Rothschild's racing team before becoming the director of sales for the new Bugatti showroom at 46, avenue Montaigne. Juan Zanelli (1906-1944), the young Italo-Chilean millionaire and vice-consul for Chile in Nice, had been racing Bugatti since 1926. It is believed he acquired, or was lent for the race, Bugatti 4920, just before the start of the Bugatti Grand Prix held at the circuit at Le Mans on 2 June 1929. The registration plate of the Chilean's winning Bugatti, 2677 RB 6, was clearly visible at the finish. At the Marne GP on 7 July 1929, Zanelli drove Rothschild's other Bugatti 35C, 2678 RB 6, namely 4921, and at San Sebastian on 25 July, Zanelli entered 4921 for Foresti as well as his new 4939, acquired ten days earlier. He appears not to have used 4920 in any other event during 1929.
A life in Lyon.
As early as 1929, he acquired a Bugatti Type 37A which it is thought Eddoura used for testing during the Laffrey hillclimb on 18 August 1929. Using the pseudonym " Ralph " Rousselet began racing in his 37A from the spring of 1930. He took part in several hillclimbs, at Camp in May, and at Les Alpilles and Val de Cuech in June, again in the 1500cc class. In the summer of 1930, he lent his 2-litre supercharged vehicle, which he had not yet competed in, to the young motorcycle prodigy Eddoura.
Edouard GRAMMONT (1906-1930).
From September 1926, the grounds of the château Grammont resonated to the sound of Bugatti on an improvised circuit at the property. The young Edouard, who had just turned 20 years old, drove a Brescia and a Type 37, probably bought new. At the start of the 1930 season, Marcel Rousselet decided to put his faith in the young motorcycling prodigy and entrusted him with a drive in his powerful supercharged Bugatti 2-litre. At the Lyon Grand Prix on 15 June 1930, Eddoura, competing in the 2-litre class, in the 35C 4920, was classified 6th despite retiring on the 24th lap.
On 20 July, Eddoura, driving the 35C, set the fastest time and the outright record for the race at Baraque, completing 10km in 5 min 44 sec at an average speed of 104,651 km/h. On 10 August 1930, the spirited driver lined up for the start at the Circuit du Dauphiné in Grenoble. Some of the best Bugatti drivers were amongst his competitors. On the first lap, Etancelin was in the lead with Eddoura second, followed by Lehoux who took over the lead in the fourth lap. On the sixth lap, Eddoura beat his own lap record at 127 km/h and overtook Etancelin, before running in first place during a pit stop by Lehoux. A few laps later, while overtaking Savora in his 2-litre Bugatti at the end of the straight, Eddoura caught his front left wheel. The driver was thrown out and died instantly, while the 35C rolled three times, hit a tree and came to rest on the rails of the tram line. The remains of the car were picked up along the entire length of Me. Delamarche's property. Photos show it was only the rear of the car that was completely destroyed. The radiator, bonnet, engine and bulkhead appear to have been left intact. The chassis was totally bent and the axle broken. An imposing monument in Eddoura's memory was erected on the site of the accident from a subscription made by the Moto Club Dauphinois. The brothers Jan & Joel Martel made four bronze plaques, recounting Eddoura's victories and passions. The Grammont family reimbursed M. Rousselet for the full cost of the car.
For the 1932 season, Rousselet - alias Ralph - got his Bugatti 35C back, which had been completely rebuilt by the factory at Molsheim. He participated in the Camp hillclimb, winning the 2-litre class. On 5 June, he was second in Les Alpilles hillclimb. He also took part in the race at Klausen in Switzerland on 7 August 1932.
However, he kept his Bugattis for a while longer. On 7 October 1936, the last Lyon owner following Rousselet registered the 35C for a two week period, still with the number 7466 PF 1.
This was likely to have been an automobile dealer as, on 19 October the Bugatti was registered in Ain. This was in the name of Claudius Triffe, a grocer from the village of Hauteville, with the registration number 7997 AB 2. In 1923, his mechanics workshop had been declared bankrupt and in 1928, he sold a furniture business. He was no more than an intermediary in the sale of the Bugatti which he kept for under a week. On 24 October 1936, the Bugatti returned to the Rhône department with the number 954 PF 8. Details of the owner are unknown as police records were destroyed.
The Bugatti 35C has probably not left the city of light and was re-registered in the new system on 11 July 1955, given the number 6397 AM 69. Around 1960, a young enthusiast by the name of Antoine Toti, confided to his friend Michel Payet, that he knew of a racing Bugatti that he hoped to recover. Toti told the Bugattist Bernard Viallon that he had got the information from his uncle Nazare Toti, the talented mechanic for the Malartre collection in Rochetaillé sur Saône since 1952. The car was believed to belong to a coal merchant by the name of Girard, whose company was located at the quays in Gerland in the 2nd arrondissement of Lyon. The wholesale coal company supplied heating coal for the entire Lyon conurbation, and occupied these premises between 1946 and 1964. The date the company was sold may correspond to the purchase of the Bugatti, as it is believed that Antoine Toti, then 54 years of age, succeeded in acquiring the car in 1964. The vehicle was registered at his address, 12 rue du Repos Lyon VII, on 11 May 1965. Bernard Viallon came to work on the car in Toti's hangar in Corbas around 1983. He was asked to adjust the valves, but only the engine was made accessible to him. He was not allowed to uncover the rest of the car. After a week's work, the Bugatti was running again and was driven around the yard before being put away again for another fifteen years. Bernard Viallon remembers that the front axle was chrome with front and rear clips conforming to a 1931 Type 51. This is logical as the rebuild following the accident must have taken place that year.
The car was sold by Antoine Toti on 26 September 1997 to the Dutch collector Bart Rosman through the dealers Bruno Vendiesse and Jaap Braam Ruben.
The current vehicle :
#4920 has been raced by such prestigious drivers as Guy Bouriat, Baron Philippe de Rothschild, Juan Zanelli, Eddoura, and Ralph with notable successes in major events. It is one of the best preserved and most original and authentic Type 35Cs to survive, one of just 55 examples produced between the spring of 1927 and the summer of 1930. A thoroughbred of this kind rarely comes up for auction, the stables containing them jealously guarded by their enlightened owners.
Some might have been tempted to keep such a masterpiece under wraps in the hushed confines of a heated garage, but Bart Rosman was not such a man. His training as an engineer and decades of mechanical experience, especially with Bugatti, meant that his cars were always ready to go, with meticulously assembled and tuned engines. This 35C was the perfect illustration of his know-how and philosophy: a true race car, he used it as such, at 100% of its capacities, even using a mixture of petrol and methanol as was the practice in competition at the time. During the various Historic Monaco Grand Prix in which he took part at the wheel, the car's performance, combined with the excellent driving skills of its driver, left a lasting impression. Never driven, but always driven, this fabulous 35 is just waiting to be put back on the track, it will have to benefit from a careful restart after a few years of disuse. It comes with a lot of parts including a front axle, a stone guard, an incomplete engine whose lower crankcase will have to be repaired, 2 seats and a consequent backrest.
1929 Type 43, chassis 43303, ex Bart Rosman, ex Guillaume Prick
The Bugatti Type 43 we are presenting has the advantage of a continuous history which shows that it has remained completely authentic. This is confirmed by the study below by the Bugatti specialist Pierre-Yves Laugier.
Engine no. 130 was assembled at the works on 9 September 1928, but it was only at the end of 1929 that the chassis with engine no. 130 was dispatched from Molsheim to the showroom on the avenue Montaigne in Paris. And so, on 25 November 1929, the car, with the chassis plate 43297, arrived in the capital. It is possible that it remained in stock for some time, on display or as a demonstrator, before returning to Molsheim.
On 29 January 1931, with its definitive chassis number 43303, it was sent by train to Zurich on behalf of the company B.U.C.A.R. It remained in stock there for another few years, possibly in the free zone in the firm's premises at Saint-Louis (near Basel) as it was not cleared through customs in Switzerland.
The car's first private buyer was an amateur Dutch racing driver and pilot, Johannes-Willem Rens, who was quite a character. He was born in 1896 into a Dutch colonial family, whose company Fuchs & Rens distributed Chrysler, de Soto, Plymouth and Renault in the Dutch East Indies and also had a branch in Amsterdam. The family returned to Holland in 1902 and Rens had an eventful life in Brazil and then in Canada, serving a few months in prison for desertion, before his first marriage in 1919 and then a second in 1931 to a young woman from Burgundy, Georgette Gatheron, who held shares with him in a garage in Calais. They were a colourful couple, as in October 1934 Georgette shot him in the jaw with a revolver before he shot her in the foot.
As a result, they separated in January 1935 and Rens instituted legal proceedings to reclaim his shares in the garage in Calais which he ran jointly with a M. Rejeange. He returned to Holland for good and it was at this point that he expressed his interest in the Bugatti Type 43, which was for sale at van Ramshorst's Albatros garage. Rens started by renting the car from 10 May to 1 July 1935 and insured it for the substantial sum of 225 florins. He was then supposed to buy the car for 4000 florins.
Rens asked van Ramshorst to convert the Type 43 3/4-seat torpedo into a two-seater, most likely for tax reasons. The modification was carried out on 4 June 1935, but instead of being shortened, the car was fitted with a (removable) metal panel covering the rear seats. The panel can be clearly seen in family photographs from the time. The car was also fitted with a bonnet strap and stone guard.
The insurer J.-Herm Schroder recorded the registration number GZ 17555 for the insurance policy on 5 September 1935; the vehicle licensing records for Amsterdam also indicate that this number was transferred to Rens on 16 May 1935 at his address at 102 Euterpestraat.
Rens held out the promise to van Ramshorst of the French inheritance - his shares in the garage - he was due to receive. His lawyer was none other than the best man at his wedding in Paris, Maître Raymond Hubert, a leading barrister who had pleaded in the Stavisky affair. One wonders how he had become friends with the infamous Dutchman. Before the affair was settled, Rens managed in May 1936 to get his mother to pay for his latest fad, a secondhand Bugatti Type 51, which would be seized in 1938.
In April 1940, he tried to serve his country courageously by asking the Secretary of the Swedish Legation for the possibility of enlisting as a pilot instructor in the service of the Swedish government, pointing out his perfect knowledge of German, English, French and Dutch, but it does not seem that he was able to obtain this assignment.
On 17 August 1941, after a wild rant in front of one of his neighbours in Amsterdam with a revolver in his hand, he was arrested and sent to the Gross Rosen concentration camp at Rogoznica in Poland. He died there on 9 April 1942.
Meanwhile, the Type 43 had been sold in spring 1939 to Bernard Cramer, the heir to a long line of Dutch industrialists who produced paper and cigars. Rens put a fanciful value of 3000 florins on his Bugatti, but Cramer finally bought it on 10 March 1939 for 475 florins plus his Hillman taken in part-exchange. The record from the Albatros garage states: "IR. B. Cramer Heerde-Ende Wapenveld (Gelderland) - Bugatti and chassis/engine 43303 'mit kompressor'".
In December 1939, Cramer bought a secondhand supercharger, no. 154, and had some work carried out on the car. According to the recollections of some local people, however, Cramer's young wife could not stand the noise the Bugatti made and he soon had to sell it back to the Albatros garage. As the marriage between Bernard Cramer and Anna Catharina van Marle was celebrated at Wapenveld on 4 August 1942, it may be assumed that the Bugatti was sold around then.
The Type 43 torpedo joined the stock of at least ten Bugattis tucked away in large premises known as 'The Temple', next to the Obrechtkerk church in Amsterdam. In an old photograph showing the Bugattis in this secret location, the Type 43 torpedo can be seen second from the left. It was registered in the name of van Ramshorst's garage as G 70670.
The hiding-place was kept secret through the war, and in 1950 van Ramshorst decided to shorten the Type 43 chassis to race it at Zandvoort. Several photographs show the modified car in the streets of Amsterdam, with the registration plates G 274, and then with the racing number 40 driven by van Ramshorst at Zandvoort.
A year later, the car was sold to the Bugatti enthusiast Guillaume Prick in a purchase agreement dated 16 July 1951. Prick registered the car as P 5198 and christened it 'Prima Donna'. In his ownership, the torpedo became part of the origin of Bugatti's legend in Europe, as from 1951 Prick spread his gospel at circuits and on rallies across the continent. For him, the world had begun the year in which the founder of the Molsheim company was born!
Prick founded the Dutch Bugatti Club in 1956 and also contributed to the creation of the Bugatti Club Deutschland that year. The car travelled to Ermenonville for the 1958 Rallye, then to Molsheim in 1961 for the Rallye International. Prick also went to Alsace as often as possible, bringing with him the first Bugatti collectors. For more than 30 years, he drove his Type 43 all around Europe; it was sold by his family the year after his death.
It was bought by Pim Hascher, an unconventional collector born into a family of musicians in Leiden; he became the proud owner of the Type 43 torpedo on 13 October 1984 and registered it as PX-51-RG. Hascher had driven Bugattis since the start of the 1950s, first a Chevrolet-engined Type 40 and then, from 1953, a Type 37. But for him, the Type 43 was the final stage in his initiation into the legend of Bugatti, the design of whose engines was instrumental in the revelation he experienced.
On 9 February 2008, at Bonhams' auction at Rétromobile, the Type 43 torpedo was sold to the engineer and Bugatti historian Bart Rosman for 1,327,500 €. The car joined his collection, which had long included a Type 40 GS, a Type 37, a rare 35C and a Touring-bodied Ferrari 340 America Barchetta.
Today, we can make the following observations based on an examination of the Type 43. The original chassis plate is engraved '43303 Bas Rhin', as it is a car sold after 1929. Engraved by the Dutch authorities, the plate shows the number 43303 in place of the engine number and below it the capacity of 2246 cc. There is no number visible on the front axle, which had been chromium-plated, but the chassis number 43303 and engine number 130 are present on the sump.
According to the notes from the factory, the original crankshaft was no. 165. It has not been possible to check whether this was noted when the engine was stripped down. The gearbox and its casing are numbered 131, and the strut 132.
The original rear axle, no. 132, was swapped for no. 52 from the Type 43 chassis no. 43196 which Prick also owned in the 1960s. No. 43196 still has the rear axle no. 132 previously fitted to chassis no. 43303. Bart Rosman and the other owner intended to refit these parts to their original chassis. The original, shortened chassis frame is no. 131.
Pierre-Yves Laugier, December 2022
Combining the performance of a Bugatti 35 B with the comfort of a touring torpedo body, the 43 Grand Sport was one of the best models produced by the marque from Molsheim. We had the pleasure of spending several hours test driving this example, which can be considered one of the best performing cars in circulation today. In fact, beneath the superb patina of its bodywork, the mechanics are set up optimally, the result of a lifetime of observation and working on Bugatti. The car's acceleration is impressive, accompanied by the exhilarating roar of its supercharged 8-cylinder engine. Every start feels like the start of a Grand Prix, while the powerful braking allows full use of the car's capabilities. It is clear that in 1929, there wasn't a road in Europe that allowed you to exploit to the max the potential of such a car, which could be compared retrospectively to the philosophy of Supercars. Today, Prima Donna remains, more than ever, an invitation to take to the road, for no particular reason other than the chance to enjoy its performance and its fascinating history, etched into every detail of its bodywork.
1936 Bugatti Type 57 Atalante, Chassis 57432
The first owner Charles Olivero used it for various rallies: the Rally des Alpes (with a female friend Daisy), the Rally de Monte Carlo and the Liège Rome Liège (both with his brother Jean).
The second owner was a famous pilot Leon Givon, who crossed the Atlantic Ocean (but alas after Charles Lindbergh had managed to do it in the other direction) and who used it extensively.
The third owner wanted to have a new Atalante after the war but as the factory could not build one anymore, he had this car restored to ‘as new’ with a new engine and gearbox, a closed more ‘modern‘ aerodynamic body (mince coupe fermé) and he renumbered it. The rebuild took ten months and cost more than a new car and as such was called ‘the Millionen auto’ (after the money).
It saved the life of the fourth owner and his wife when he had to flee the Congo (on that day over 70 Belgians were killed in an uprising by the rebels).
The car was restored back to its original shape in the early nineties when its original chassis number was retrieved (as a result of the research of Pierre Yves Laugier).
The last two decades the caretaker of "57432" was a well-known Bugatti Historian.
This car had a real life but it has kept its soul!
It was around 1984 that Bart Rosman bought a collection of original Bugatti 35 parts from Bernard Viallon, the well-known haulier and collector from Meurthe-et-Moselle. The parts included a cam box (no. 85), a steering box, a complete gearbox (no. 186) from A.F. Loyens' stock in Luxembourg, a rear axle (14x54) from Antoine Raffaelli's stock, a front axle, a clutch, a steering wheel, an oil pump and a water pump, as well as various items including brake compensators.
To this collection is added a rebuilt chassis (probably by Eysseric at Nyons), a radiator and stone guard, apparently from A.F. Loyens' stock, the pointed aluminium tail section of the body, as well as the scuttle, both of them remanufactured, while the bonnet appears to be original. The floor pans are also present, as are four detachable rim wheels with large drum brakes, shod with tyres, four wheel hubs, four brake flanges and the brake shoes. The engine, with the number 4867 on the lower sump, is currently being assembled, and the crankshaft, conrods, pistons, new valves and valve springs are all present. This lot also includes a roughcast throttle body, a Bosch 8-cylinder magneto, some spring leaves, a remanufactured fuel tank and many other valuable parts, either original or remade after much careful thought. This can be seen in the seat squab and backrest, the pair of Marchal headlamps with their supports or the fuel filler cap. This collection of parts, coming with a French title, is exceptional in terms both of its quality and its completeness, as so few items appear to be missing.
February 5, 2023 Artcurial Retromobile Auction: Sale Racing, Flying & Yachting Paris, France
Many of the Bart Rosman collection will be sold in this auction, not the cars which will be sold on February 3, but many lots of spare parts, mostly type 35 and type 37 Bugatti.|
Apart from the items from the Rosman collection, there will be many more interesting things for sale, like the drawing above. Seems to be a waterpump?
All parts are sold as is, without reserves. Estimates seem to be quite low, though of course the condition is unknown.
Please note that the lots in this collection will not be exhibited at Rétromobile but will be visible by appointment only Wednesday 25 January 2023 in Tremblay-en-France (93290).
February 1-5, 2023 Retromobile Paris, France
As usual, there will be stands like those of Ivan Dutton, William I'Anson, the French Bugatti Club with Bugatti's.|
However, this year Jaap Braam Ruben of Fineautomobiles will host a large stand with Bugatti's only!
Drawing by Mark Lacey, with T57 Ventoux.
January 4 - 15, 2023 MECUM KISSIMMEE Auction USA
927 Bugatti Type 37,
Chassis No. 37212, Engine no. 117
Displacing 1496cc, the 4-cylinder Type 37 engine was in essence half the inline 8-cylinder unit of the Type 35, featuring a compact cylinder block with small water passages, a single overhead camshaft and three-valve cylinder heads. Unlike the Type 35 powerplant, the 1.5L engine of the Type 37 utilized plain—rather than roller—bearings and a simpler one-piece crankshaft, yet it could be operated up to 5,000 RPM. Power output for the Type 37 was rated at 60 HP at 4,500 RPM, and in 1927, Bugatti released the Type 37A with a Roots-type supercharger, raising power by 20 HP.
As with the Type 35, the Type 37 specification featured a low center of gravity, excellent directional control and strong braking. Underpinnings included Ettore Bugatti’s favored live front-axle suspension with friction-type dampers and characteristic reversed quarter-elliptic leaf springs with friction dampers to the rear. Brakes featured Bugatti’s proven cable-type system. Fitted with simple cycle-type fenders, the Type 37 and Type 37A contested and won at the greatest road races of the era, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Mille Miglia and Targa Florio, with a litany of top drivers behind the wheel. Production spanned 1926-1933, with just 290 Type 37 and a mere 67 Type 37A models built.
Bearing Chassis No. 37212 and powered by Engine No. 117, this compelling 1927 Bugatti Type 37 was delivered new in October 1927 to the original selling dealer in Paris, France. The rolling chassis and Engine No. 117 were acquired in 1958 by famous Bugatti dealer Jean De Dobbeleer of Belgium, who purchased a separate Grand Prix body from Seyfried at the factory at Molsheim and placed it on Chassis No. 37212. In 1959, this 1927 Bugatti Type 37 was acquired by Antonio A.N. Carvalho of Portugal from De Dobbeleer, and it then remained in the care of the Carvalho family for nearly 60 years. A restoration was completed in 1960, when the car was fitted with a fendered body and a Type 13 Brescia-type gearbox; a correct Type 37 unit will accompany the sale of the vehicle. Following that restoration, the car was put on display at the Museo do Caramulo in Portugal. The SOHC, water-cooled, 1496cc, inline 4-cylinder engine was recently rebuilt and is equipped with a Zenith carburetor and a proper one-piece crankshaft. Marchal headlamps, cycle fenders, blue paint and wire wheels, including the side-mounted spare, complete this wonderful Bugatti Type 37, which exudes Ettore Bugatti’s “Pur Sang” ethos in every possible way.
1936 Bugatti Type 57 Binder Coupé
Chassis No. 57295
Type 57-based racing cars achieved many international successes in the hands of prewar driving legends including Robert Benoist, Réné Dreyfus, Raymond Sommer, Pierre Veyron and Jean-Pierre Wimille, including achievement of many world records in 1936 and outright victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1937 and 1939. The basic Type 57 even lived on as the foundation of the postwar Type 101, Bugatti’s last.
Serious Type 57 production commenced in 1934 and continued until 1940 along two generally accepted series. The Galibier sedan, Ventoux coach (two-door sedan) and Stelvio drophead coupe comprised the bulk of Type 57 road-car production, followed in 1935 by the Atalante coupe, with coachwork mostly built in Bugatti’s Molsheim coachworks or in small numbers by Gangloff in nearby Colmar. While the Type 57 was an unqualified success for Bugatti, production only reached 710 examples in all along numerous road and competition variants.
While all surviving Bugatti automobiles are immensely collectible, valuable and, above all, enjoyable, this singular Type 57 is a particularly attractive and fascinating example. Carrying Chassis No. 57295 and Engine No. 121, it has been a part of The Rick Grant III Estate Collection since 1968, after Grant found the car in a classified ad placed in the January-February 1968 issue of Antique Automobile, the magazine published by the AACA (Antique Automobile Club of America). Purchased for $1,850 from Emil Schrickel of Costa Mesa, California, the Type 57 was previously believed to have been fitted with Gangloff coachwork. However, following intensive research at the Bugatti Trust in England, Grant discovered the body was in fact one-off coachwork by Henri Binder of Paris. Binder’s expertise with Bugatti chassis was considerable, with the firm having already earned critical acclaim for its Coupe de Ville coachwork for the low-production, massive and breathtakingly expensive Bugatti Type 41 Royale.
In 1994, Grant commissioned Bugatti expert Donald Koleman's Competition Motors of Salem, Massachusetts, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to perform an extensive restoration, including an engine rebuild, with the work completed in 2016. Handsomely finished in distinctive Eggplant and black paint with striking two-tone brown and tan upholstery, the Type 57 is complemented by a black top with formal, Victoria-style blind rear quarters and black-painted, knock-off wire wheels.
The 3257cc twin-cam inline 8-cylinder engine and engine compartment are highly detailed and well presented, including Bugatti’s signature details, with the engine paired to a 4-speed manual gearbox. Awarded Best of Show at the 2016 Dayton Concours and the Cincinnati Concours, this one-of-one, Binder-bodied Type 57 was also displayed at the 2017 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and completed the Tour d'Elegance required for competitive exhibition. In addition, the Bugatti garnered a special award at the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance. The only Bugatti of its kind with its elegant, yet sporting Henri Binder coachwork, this Type 57 carries all the earmarks of collector car greatness with its incomparable heritage, interesting provenance, concours-quality restoration and appearances at the top events in the collector car world.
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