1937 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux CoupeSOLD
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Estimate: $450,000-$550,000 US

AUCTION RESULTS: Lot was Sold at a price of $412,500

Fresh major servicing - Phil Rielly - complete mechanical overhaul with less than 2000 miles.

135hp 3,257 cc twin-cam, eight-cylinder engine, four speed manual transmission, solid axle and semi-elliptic leaf spring front suspension, solid axle and quarter elliptic leaf spring rear suspension and four-wheel mechanical brakes. Wheelbase: 3,300mm

The Type 57 is perhaps the most celebrated of the road-going Bugatti chassis. Its unbeatable combination of style and performance made it a success from its first introduction and provided Jean Bugatti with his final and most lasting legacy. It was an important project for Bugatti, as it was the road cars that paid the bills. To be successful the new model would have to be both powerful and beautiful, and to appeal to Bugatti ’ s clientele it would have to exhibit the Molsheim firm ’ s trademark engineering and design.

Introduced in 1934, the Type 57 was everything it was supposed to be. Not only was the chassis clearly Bugatti, but the new engine provided more power, less noise, reduced vibration, and improved reliability and durability.

The 3.3-liter engine was an eight-cylinder dual overhead cam that had essentially been inspired by the ingenious designs of Harry Miller and his skilled team. The engine in the Type 57 still featured Bugatti ’ s signature double overhead camshaft and was now driven by gearing located in the rear of the block. Rated at 135 bhp, the 3.3- liter engine was fitted with a conventional clutch and transmission. Introduced in 1936, a second series of chassis was redesigned to incorporate a flexible engine mounting system to replace the earlier rigidly mounted engine. It is equally important to note that these engines proved to be Bugatti ’ s most reliable, stable and equally impressive design ever produced from within the talented company.

The Type 57 was originally offered with four body styles, three of which were named after famous mountain peaks in the Alps: Galibier, Stelvio and Ventoux. The four-seater two-door Ventoux body was heavily influenced by sketches for the Type 50; with its Profilee style, the Ventoux was easily recognizable by its sharply raked windshield. Unlike the Stelvio, which was commonly outsourced to various coachbuilders, Jean Bugatti himself had designed the Ventoux in-house.

The 1937 Bugatti Type 57 we are pleased to offer here, chassis number 57614, is an absolutely remarkable automobile. It was sold new on April 3, 1937 to Paul Pernod (of the beverage family) through agent Montaigne as a Ventoux Coupe with engine number 429. In the last 70 years it has resided in the collections of John Armstrong, Jean Arkin, as well as the Blackhawk Collection.

In the 1988 and 2003 American Bugatti Club register it stated that the original engine number is 443, but that was incorrect. This is thought to have been an error made by Bugatti historian, the late Andy Rheault. Unfortunately, this error has been perpetuated in many other publications. What has recently come to light is that engine number 443 has always been in its original car, chassis number 57625, which is a car with continuous Dutch provenance. Today, Bugatti experts agree that this car does in fact have its original engine (number 429) and always has. The first known restoration of the Ventoux Coupe was performed by Phil Reilly & Company, in California for the late William Ruger of Sturm-Ruger Arms Company of Guild Road, Newport, New Hampshire. The Bugatti was then listed in the ABC (American Bugatti Club) as being the property of Ruger.

The most recent restoration returned the Bugatti Type 57 to its original livery, Oxblood with tan hides and matching Oxblood Wilton carpets. The Ventoux Coupe has a tachometer in the dash fascia, which appears to be a factory special order accessory. Also of note, the Bugatti is fitted with factory correct 18" wire wheels which have been tastefully chrome plated by a previous US owner. In addition to receiving cosmetic attention, included in the restoration was a major mechanical service. It was last checked over and subjected to a thorough road test by Bugatti expert and restorer, Mr. Scott Sargent of Fairly, Vermont in March of this year and was given a clean bill of health.

One of the most useable, enjoyable and satisfying Bugattis to own, it is truly difficult to find fault with such an example. They make for outstanding cars and are fully capable of high speed cruising on any open road. With its stunning restoration and excellent mechanical condition, this Type 57 offers the next owner membership into a wonderful community of enthusiasts who hold events and functions worldwide. This example will undoubtedly bring its next owner great pleasure in the years to come.

Reference Number 11505

as of 7/22/2007

Car 1937 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupe
VIN 57614 
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