Offered From The Terence E. Adderley Collection
$841,000 USD | Sold
| Monterey, California
- Offered from the Terence E. Adderley Collection
- Restored by marque specialist Jim Stanberg
- Featuring Gangloff-inspired coachwork custom-made by Auto Classique Touraine
- Powered by a supercharged straight-eight engine
- Accompanied by damaged numbers-matching engine block with stamping 57661
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.