For many years, the Bugatti line had separate vehicles for luxury and sport. In an effort to combine production and be within cost while still producing quality, the two forms were consolidated. The 1938 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux was primarily designed to be a passenger car, but still maintain the thrill of Bugatti race cars. The concept was to offer the desired quality of the sports car while keeping the benefit of passenger use.
The Type 57 carried a high performance chassis. The engine featured twin overhead camshafts with a displacement of 3.3 liters. It was set with 90 degree incline valves and central spark plugs. The performance offered 35 more horsepower than previous models. The Rudge Witworth wire wheels combined with fifteen inch drum brakes made this car a dream ride of its time. Although it was simplistic in design the Type 57 exuded complicated high quality craftsmanship.
The transmission was linked by way of bell housing to the engine, which was a new concept for this line of vehicle. Prior models had the engine and transmission separated. The type 57 was always being upgraded, especially where braking and suspension were concerned.
The 1938 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux featured a Dual Throat Updraft Stromberg UUR-2 Carburetor. The bore and stroke were at 72mm / 100mm. The 4-speed manual transmission could produce a top speed of 95mph. The suspension featured a rigid axle with semi-eliptic springs with Hartford Friction shock absorbers in the front, and Live Axle with a reversed quarter elliptic springs.
With the aluminum over steel frame, the 1938 Bugatti Type 57’s 3594 lbs was heavier than other vehicles of this time period. That being said, this machine was a maverick in performance and attraction. In many ways it shaped the modern vehicle of today, and holds a historic place in the automotive revolution.
1938 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Photos:
The 1920 Bugatti Type 23 was an upgrade from the successful Type 13. This particular car has a historical significance in that it was the first full production multi-valve automobile produced. The Type 23 experienced a very successful run through 1926. During this time, over 2,000 models were assembled. What was it that made the Bugatti Type 23 so successful?
To begin, it feature an inline 4 engine with 4 valves per cylinder. The component placement also showed variation from the standard Bugatti build. The carburetor was found on the left, while the exhaust was located to the right side. The Type 23 can be easily identified by its H section front axle and lack of front brakes.
The 1496cc engine produced power at 30bhp, and could maintain a top speed of 70mph. The revolutions of most engines was 4000 RPM with a few that could produce 4500 RPM. A front beveled camshaft and overhead cam were standard for this type vehicle. Operating with a wet multi-plate clutch this beauty would reliably turn out a top performance.
The 1920 Bugatti Type 23 extended the wheel base of its predecessor the Type 13. The original wheel base was at 2.0m or 78.75in, the Type 23 measured in at 2.5m or 100.4in. This allowed for faster pacing and control around track corners. This Bugatti was often referred to as the “little thoroughbred” and rightly so.
Drivers of this car were certainly of a special breed, as it required hand cranking, had no speedometer, and was all sports car. The chronograph to the left of the steering wheel could help drivers gauge where in the world they were and get an approximate speed. The excellent steering and road holding capabilities made this Bugatti the car of its time. It was revolutionary to the automotive industry, and though it had a few flaws, the overall success of the car is commendable.
1920 Bugatti Type 23 Photos:
Dubbed the world’s first supercar, the 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante had a supercharged 3.3 liter, twin-cam engine with 8 cylinders and 170 horsepower. This car’s suspension system is an independent one replacing the solid front axles that were used in older cars. The Type 57SC was designed with wonderful workmanship and great handling ability.
Bugatti cars are well known for their beautiful styles, and the Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante is no different. This model was designed by Jean Bugatti who was an auto designer as well as a test engineer. As a matter of fact, he designed all three models of the Type 57 Bugattis (Ventoux, Stelvio and Atalante). There were only 11 of the Type 57SC Atalante models produced. Interestingly, each one was built a little differently from the other. For instance, some had independent headlights, some had headlights built into the body, some had polished aluminum hubcaps, some had wire wheels, some were painted a solid color, some were painted black and an accent color, and more.
The 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante is a very attractive sports coupe touring car with an elegant body style. It has a long front end, rounded swooping fenders and roof, a mesh grille and body panels that are riveted. It has a streamlined, low-sitting chassis and two seats. The windshield is flat, there are full-sized doors, that open from the front to the rear, with kidney-bean shaped windows in them, and a it has sloped trunk where a recessed spare tire is kept.
The 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante, a real classic, is considered to be one of the most alluring Bugattis around today.