1938 Bugatti Type 57C Special Coupe
Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 7, 2013
The Bugatti Type 57 was introduced in 1934 after having been designed by Jean Bugatti, founder Ettore’s son. It featured a 3.3-liter straight-eight. When the Type 57C came along in 1937, a Roots-type supercharger was added, bumping horsepower to 160. This particular 57C underwent continuous factory fiddling for an extra 20 years and is likely a little more powerful.
The special body was designed by Jean Bugatti himself. I can’t help but think how cool it would look if those rear wheels matched the green paint on the body instead of being black. When this car was finished, it was retained by the factory and given to Ettore Bugatti himself as a gift. It was then used as a demonstrator and loaned to the factory racing drivers.
It is one of ten Bugattis ever retained by the factory for such use and the fact it belonged to Ettore and had Jean’s custom bodywork means it is one of a kind. Many Bugattis have exceptional history… but this one was owned by the big boss man himself. It was hidden during the war and returned to the factory afterward. It wasn’t sold until the factory closed down. It passed between three owners before being acquired by John O’Quinn. The car has never been restored and is described as being as close as you can get to driving a 57C off the Bugatti factory floor. It should sell for between $1,000,000-$1,300,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams in Paris.
Update: Sold $924,600.