Lot 26

2022   |   London Auction

1937 Bugatti Type 57C Ventoux

Asking Price

£750,000

Chassis

57506

Engine

8C

Car Highlights

One of 96 Factory-Built Supercharged Type 57Cs

History Documented by Bugatti Historian David Sewell

Fitted with Its Original Supercharged Engine and Coachwork per Accompanying Sewell Report

Benefits from Well-Maintained Restoration in the 2000s

History Dossier Includes Restoration Details and Photographs

Technical Specs

3,257 CC DOHC Inline 8-Cylinder Engine

Single Twin-Choke Stromberg UUR2 Carburetor

Roots-Type Supercharger

160 BHP at 5,000 RPM

4-Speed Manual Gearbox

4-Wheel Bugatti-Lockheed Hydraulic Drum Brakes

Front Solid-Axle Suspension with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs

Rear Live Axle with Reversed Quarter-Elliptical Leaf Springs

Register to Bid

Joe Twyman

J. Moreau, France (acquired from Bugatti in 1937)

Jean Mantoulet, France (acquired in 1946)

Monsieur Desmarest, Paris, France (acquired in 1955)

Jean-Louis Bouyer, Vanves, Paris, France (acquired in 1964)

Bruno Vendiesse and François du Montant, Fournes-en-Weppes, France (acquired in 1995)

Carrosserie François Cointreau, Pellouailles-les-Vignes, France (acquired circa 1997)

Bruno Vendiesse, Fournes-en-Weppes, France (re-acquired from the above)

Mr. Gianorroli, Liège, Belgium (acquired from the above in 1999)

Karel Van De Velde, Belgium (acquired from the above in 2000)

Current Owner (acquired in 2011)

Heveningham Concours, UK, July 2017

Bugatti Owners’ Club Concours d’Elegance, Prescott, UK, July 2017

*
UK V5
See UK Registration/Import Status Guide in catalogue.


While many volumes celebrate Bugatti’s legendary automobiles, the importance of the Type 57 cannot be overstated. The marque’s last truly new model line, the Type 57 marked, in the words of author Barrie Price, “the final flowering of the genius of Ettore Bugatti and Jean Bugatti.” Built from 1934 to 1939, the Type 57 heralded a new 3.3-liter, dual overhead camshaft engine and while modern hydraulic brakes were utilized, the Type 57 maintained Ettore Bugatti’s favored solid front-axle suspension. Development included an improved second series from late 1936, plus the supercharged 57C.

Type 57 Grand Prix and sports racers expanded Bugatti’s rich legend on the track, including the Type 57 “Tank” that scored Bugatti’s first Le Mans victory, a feat repeated in 1939. Type 57 road cars were stylish, luxurious, and very fast, with four core body styles designed by Jean Bugatti and mostly built at Molsheim, including the Ventoux coach (two-door sedan), the Stelvio Drophead Coupe, and Galibier four-door, plus the Atalante Coupe. While the Type 57 was an unqualified success for Bugatti, total production only reached 710 examples of all variants.

Bearing chassis 57506, this 1937 Bugatti Type 57C Ventoux is a factorysupercharged example. Documented by Bugatti historian David Sewell, 57506 was built to an order placed December 10, 1936, by J. Moreau. M. Moreau was an influential Bugatti client who had purchased a 1936 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux, chassis 57357, directly from the factory, and subsequently traded it back to Bugatti, presumably in exchange for this 1937 Bugatti Type 57C Ventoux, 57506. According to Mr. Sewell’s notes on file, 57506 was completed in April 1937 with engine no. 8C, and according to Bugatti factory coachwork records, the “four-light” (window) Ventoux body was finished in black, trimmed in red leather upholstery, and completed on June 14, 1937, with the invoice issued to M. Moreau on June 22, 1937.

Mr. Sewell did not find any additional factory records relating to 57506, leading him to conclude it may have remained with M. Moreau through wartime. According to Mr. Sewell, by 1946, the Bugatti was acquired by Jean Mantoulet, famed inventor of food-processing appliances and founder of Moulinex. In 1955, M. Mantoulet sold 57506 to M. Desmarest, a central Paris resident who retained the rare Bugatti until 1964, when it was acquired by Jean-Louis Bouyer of suburban Paris, who retained 57506 for the next three decades.

On June 22, 1995, M. Bouyer sold the Ventoux at 69,000 indicated kilometers (42,875 miles) to a French classic car dealer. Mr. Sewell describes a letter from M. Bouyer to the buyer, noting that the Bugatti was stored during wartime and just 48,000 km were indicated when he purchased it in 1964. Following restoration during the late 1990s, the Bugatti passed in May 2000 through a short-term Belgian owner to Karel Van de Velde, also of Belgium. During this ownership, a complete, concours-quality, body-off-frame restoration was performed, with photographic documentation and detailed reporting by Swiss Racing Engineering SA of Gland, Switzerland. The dual-camshaft, 3.3-liter supercharged engine was rebuilt, run in, and dynamometer-tested at 173 peak horsepower. Of further note, the Bugatti’s interior, dash, and instruments were restored, while the delightfully patinated red leather front seating surfaces were carefully preserved and retained.

The current owner acquired the Bugatti in January 2011 and registered it in the UK as “YUB 160.” Concours appearances include the UK Bugatti Owners’ Club Concours d’Elegance held at Prescott in July 2017. Benefiting from service and maintenance by noted professionals since the consignor’s acquisition, 57506 is offered with a wealth of data, correspondence, past and present registration paperwork, operating instructions, detailed restoration records, and the David Sewell report. Pure automotive royalty, in rare factory supercharged specification, this 1937 Bugatti Type 57C Ventoux offers a truly uncommon and thrilling opportunity to join its roster of keepers and share the incomparable Bugatti mystique.