1934 Bugatti Type 57 coupé VentouxSOLD
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Bugatti Type 57 coupé Ventoux

Reference Number 127383

as of 5/23/2011

Overview
Car 1934 Bugatti Type 57 coupé Ventoux
VIN 57213 
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Known History

Nowadays it sounds trite to say that Ettore Bugatti was an artist as well as a car maker, and to add that his son Jean made an effort to drag the car into the modern world. Nevertheless the Bugatti 57 is a kind of combined expression of this meeting of two personalities, containing a certain technical and aesthetic rigidity offset by the very low-angle windscreen of the Coach Ventoux. The mechanics of the vehicle are a nod to progress, the most notable feature being a dual engine connected to the gearbox instead of a separate box. First exhibited at the Salon de Paris in 1933, the 57 is the follow-up to the 49, the more classic tourer. It has the same engine references as its predecessor, with a 3.3-litre capacity, but almost everything else is different, the dual overhead camshaft providing extra power and therefore a more impressive performance. Comfort has also been taken carefully into account, turning this new Bugatti into a real long-distance traveller. This vehicle opened the way to a whole new family of bodies, with names prettily inspired by principal Alpine passes: Galibier 4-door, Coach Ventoux, Cabriolet Stelvio and Cabriolet Aravis. Only the Atalanta Coupé had a name inspired by Greek myth. The family produced several derivations: the 57 C with compressor, the low-slung 57 S and the competition 57 G, which won the Le Mans 24 hours in 1939. The 57 S chassis formed the basis for the Atlantic, probably the most famous Bugatti, a magnificent example of which recently drew the crowds at the exhibition of the Ralph Lauren collection in Paris. With some 600 vehicles manufactured, the Type 57 was at the time a very popular car with Bugatti clients, and is still eminently useable today.

 

The car presented by us was produced in July 1934, with engine no. 83 and Ventoux bodywork, and first issued in September 1934. On the 4th of that month it was delivered to Roger Spiessert (a.k.a. Spessardy), head of the Pinder Circus and a Hungarian-born animal tamer based in Malakoff. An experienced manager, he was passionately interested in motor vehicles and equipped his circus with a high-quality fleet, part-exchanging his Type 37 to purchase this vehicle. According to the order book, the total paid was 55,900 francs, although the Bugatti ?delivery book? shows 58,000 francs; possibly the difference is in the price of the Type 37. The Bugatti 57 was registered under number 7994-AR on 7 September 1934, in Basse-Alpes Département (now Alpes de Haute Provence Département), where Charles Spiessert may have lived. He kept the vehicle for a short time and then exchanged it at the factory for another 57 (no. 57364). In April 1936, the car was sold to the Dépôt de Bordeaux and passed to Pegaz Peynel. In 1961, Henri Malartre sold it in Belgium to Jean De Dobbeleer, a Bugatti agent and specialist in Brussels. It currently has the registration number 828-H-42, issued in September/October 1950 in Loire Département under the new French registration system. After that it was sold to Hugh Sutherland of Ontario, Canada, and crossed the Atlantic to join its new owner. It then passed to E. Leyland, of West Vancouver, and then to Bill Hinds in the USA, who had the engine overhauled by the renowned Phil Reilly, using original parts. Other works were carried out on that occasion, including chroming of the headlights and radiator. The next owner was Otto Zipper of Malibu, California, followed by Paul Myers Jr. of Los Altos, California, who owned it until his death in 1991. His wife kept the car and after her death in 1997, her heirs gave Bob Cole the responsibility of selling it. Entrusted to an auction house, it then made its way to Italy where its current owner lives. This Bugatti 57, complete with sunroof, has its own user?s manual from the period and a certificate of identity issued by the Automotoclub Storico Italiano or ASI. Black and purple in colour, and rear wheel aprons, this car represents a rare opportunity to acquire a true classic Bugatti with a well-known and carefully followed history.

 

(Source of History of Car: Kees Jansen, The Bugatti Register, The Netherland, Belgium Volume III, to be published 2011)