1938 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux


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:

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1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante

1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante

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.

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1936 Bugatti Type 57 Atalante

The 1936 Bugatti Type 57 Atalante was the fourth body style created for the Type 57 series. It served as an interpretation of the 1935 Aérolithe Coupe upon which the Type 57 Atlantic was heavily based on. The expensive and time-consuming methods used to create the Atlantic’s unusual body prompted the company to create a revision of sorts that was somewhat more practical for series production. Nevertheless, only 17 of these vehicles were ever made with no two Atalantes the same, making them extraordinarily rare and extremely valuable.

The Type 57 Atalante is easily distinguishable thanks to its unique styling cues, many of them visually separating the Atalante from its fellow Type 57 body styles. The Atalante makes heavy use of the two-tone paint scheme favored by Jean Bugatti, a feature that serves to further accentuate the prominent French curve on the side of the vehicle. The most distinctive feature of the Type 57 Atalante is its single-piece windscreen, kidney-bean side windows, split rear window and its unique drop head-style roofline. A rare version of the Atalante featured a roll-back roof for open-air motoring.

1936 Bugatti Type 57 Atalante Roll Back RoofThe first batch of Atalante bodies was built on the regular Type 57 chassis. Later Atalantes were built on the Type 57S (Surbaisse) chassis, featuring a lower ride height than other Type 57 variants. Out of necessity, the rear axle passes through the chassis, supported by reversed quarter-elliptic leaf springs for improved ride compliance. The Type 57S also made use of self-adjusting DeRam hydraulic shocks at the front and rear. The Type 57S Atalante further distinguishes itself with an ovoid radiator with a deep v-shape at its bottom.

Bugatti made use of naturally aspirated 3.3-liter straight eight-cylinder engine. Fitted with dual overhead cams and a Stromberg carburetor, the 3.3-liter engine produced 135 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. The use of a Roots-type supercharger helped push engine output to a more sporting 170 horsepower. This engine sits on rubber bushings in the Type 57S chassis, whereas the original Type 57 featured the engine as a stressed member of the chassis.

The Type 57 Atalante is by far one of the rarest and most exquisite of the vehicles produced under Bugatti. Four examples of this unique vehicle currently sit at the Cité de l’Automobile Museum in Mulhouse, France.

1936 Bugatti Type 57 Atalante Photo Gallery

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