1937 Bugatti Type 57S Sports Tourer @ Bonhams Amelia Island Auction

1937 Bugatti Type 57S Sports Tourer @ Bonhams Amelia Island Auction

Estimate: US$10,000,000 - US$12,000,000

Estimate: US$10,000,000 - US$12,000,000

Coachwork by Vanden Plas 
Chassis no. 57541 
Engine no. 29S 
Body no. 3595

3,257cc DOHC Supercharged 8-Cylinder Engine
Stromberg Carburetor and Roots-type Supercharger
200bhp at 4,500rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission
Low-slung Leaf Spring Suspension
4-Wheel Hydraulic Drum Brakes

*Original New York Delivery
*Concours, Award-Winning Restoration
*One-off Vanden Plas Sports Tourer coachwork
*Original Coachwork and Fully Numbers Matching
*A collector car that ticks all the boxes



"The car sped along at 80 mph with the comfort and quietness one associates with the Type 57... We were quite willing to believe that Jean Bugatti has achieved the 435 kilometers to Paris in just under 3½ hours in the Type 57 - an average of 77mph..." - Motor Sport, May 1939, writing about the normally aspirated 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."


2 March 2023, 10:00 EST
Fernandina Beach Golf Club

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