A stunning 1935 Bugatti Type 57 Grand Raid Roadster is slated to sell at RM Auction’s Monterey sale in California this August. One of only ten Bugatti Grand Raid roadsters built and one of just two examples bodied by Carrosserie Worblaufen in Switzerland.
Specially commissioned by flamboyant Swiss collector, Mr. Jules Aellen, 57260 was completed just in time for Aellen and his wife to show the car at the second Concours d’Elegance at Montreux on Lake Geneva in Spring 1935, where it won the Grand Prix d’Honneur.
Following Aellen’s ownership the roadster remained in Switzerland – in and around Geneva – well into the 1950s. From there it went to France before an American collector finally acquired the car in 2000 and commissioned its complete restoration over an 18-month period.
With no expense spared, the Worblaufen archives were referenced to ensure absolute correctness, as was the existing Montfort sister car. In 2005, 57260 was invited to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, where it secured 2nd in Class. It is estimated to achieve between $1,000,000 – $1,200,000. Take a closer look at it in our high-resolution gallery.
The Bugatti Type 57 and later variants (including the famous Atlantic and Atalante) was an entirely new design by Jean Bugatti, son of founder Ettore. Type 57s were built from 1934 through 1940, with a total of 710 examples produced.
Most Type 57s used a twin-cam 3257 cc engine based on that of the Type 49 but heavily modified by Jean Bugatti. Unlike the chain-drive twin-cam engines of the Type 50 and 51, the 57’s engine used gears to transmit power from the crankshaft.
The Type 57 chassis and engine was revived in 1951 as the Bugatti Type 101 for a short production. A rediscovered Type 57 sold for 3.4 million euros at auction on 7 February 2009 at a motor show in Paris. The original Type 57 was a touring car model produced from 1934 through 1940. It used the 3.3 L (3257 cc; 198 cu in) engine from the Type 59 Grand Prix cars, producing 135 hp (100 kW). Top speed was 95 miles per hour (153 km/h).
It rode on a 130-inch (3,302 mm) wheelbase and had a 53.1-inch (1,349 mm) wide track. Road-going versions weighed about 2,100 pounds (950 kg). Hydraulic brakes replaced the cable-operated units in 1938, a modification Ettore Bugatti hotly contested. 630 examples were produced.
The original road-going Type 57 included a smaller version of the Royale’s square-bottom horseshoe grille. The sides of the engine compartment were covered with thermostatically-controlled shutters. It was a tall car, contrary to the tastes of the time. [RM Auctions via Autoblog]