1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34

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Lot 111
The first one built
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé
Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34

Sold for € 385,250 (US$ 434,985) inc. premium
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé
Chassis no. 57119
Engine no. 34
• The first Type 57 Ventoux produced
• Rare factory sunroof
• Known ownership history from new including many important Bugattisti like the van Ramhorst brothers
• Split front axle
• Used for the wedding ceremony of François Rinaldi with Caroline Bugatti in 1998.

1934 BUGATTI TYPE 57 VENTOUX COUPÉ
N° DE CHSSIS 57119
N° DE MOTEUR 34
• Le premier Type 57 Ventoux fabriqué
• Rare toit ouvrant d'usine
• Historique des propriétaires connus depuis le début, y compris les frères van Ramhorst.
• Essieu avant non forgé en une pièce
• Utilisée pour la cérémonie de mariage de François Rinaldi avec Caroline Bugatti en 1998.

Footnotes

  • "The car sped along at 80mph with the comfort and quietness one associates with the Type 57... We were quite willing to believe that Jean Bugatti has achieved the 435 kilometres to Paris in just under 1½ hours in the Type 57 - an average of 77mph..." - Motor Sport, May 1939.

    By the early 1930s Ettore Bugatti had established an unrivalled reputation for building cars with outstanding performance on road or track; the world's greatest racing drivers enjoying countless successes aboard the Molsheim factory's products and often choosing them for their everyday transport. Because of its lengthy run of success, Ettore Bugatti remained stubbornly committed to his single-cam engine, only adopting the more advanced double-overhead-camshaft method of valve actuation, after much prompting by his eldest son Jean, on the Type 50 of 1930. From then on Jean Bugatti took greater responsibility for design, his first car being the exquisite Type 55 roadster. He followed that with a design of equal stature: the Type 57. A larger car than the Type 55, the Type 57 was powered by a 3.3-litre, double-overhead-camshaft straight eight of modern design housed in Bugatti's familiar Vintage-style chassis. The range showed the strong influence of Jean Bugatti and at last gave the marque a civilised grande routière to match those of rivals Delage and Delahaye. The Type 57 in all its forms attracted discerning owners who were satisfied only with the best, among them 'speed king' Sir Malcolm Campbell.

    The Type 57 attracted coachwork of the finest quality executed in a startling variety of styles but was no mere rich man's plaything, as evidenced by two outright wins at Le Mans. Proof, if it were needed, that ancestral virtues had not been abandoned when creating a car fit to rank alongside Rolls-Royce or Bentley. Its success is revealed by the production figures: some 680 examples of all Type 57 models were produced between 1934 and 1940, and the post-war Type 101 was based on its chassis. However, although many Type 57s were fitted with bespoke bodies, the most popular coachwork was built to Jean Bugatti's designs by the marque's preferred carrossier, Gangloff of Colmar, just a few miles from the Bugatti works at Molsheim. One of Jean's own designs was the Ventoux, a two-door four-seat coupé with steeply raked windscreen, which took its name from the forbidding Provençal mountain best known for its role as a regular Tour de France stage and long-established motoring hill climb.

    This original Series 1 Type 57 closed coupé is the first Ventoux ever made and the only T57 equipped with a factory-fitted sunroof. '57119' has a continuous provenance and comes with a fully documented inspection and provenance report compiled by Kees Jansen. A highly respected Bugatti expert, Kees Jansen is the author of several Bugatti Registers: the Dutch/Belgian Registers (four volumes) and the fourth volume of the American Bugatti Register. Included with the car is a FIVA identity card and Belgian registration papers.

    Rolling chassis '57119' with engine '34' was produced in March 1934. One of the first Type 57s commissioned, it had been ordered on 7th March by a close friend of Jean Bugatti, Jerome Wagner, a brewer in Mutzig. The order was delayed and the factory-built Ventoux coach body, designed by Bugatti employee Joseph Walter and trimmed in Havane coloured leather, was finished in June 1934. It had an open roof and three hinges for the doors. The adjustable shock absorbers, which were only available as an option for the early Type 57, were fitted to the car also. This car has the split front axle, which was a prototype design only fitted to the first six-or-so cars.

    As stated above, this Type 57 was sold directly from Bugatti to Jerome Wagner, the sale being dated 2nd June 1934 in the factory record books. Wagner had already registered the car in Strasbourg as '7372-NV2' on 14th May 1934. He drove the Type 57 for five years until 1939 when it was sold on 11th July to Dr Pierre Muller in Strasbourg, so keeping its license plate. In 1949 the Bugatti was sold to Garage Waeffler, also in Strasbourg. It was then sold to Henri Meurdra in 1950, an enthusiastic Bugattiste and trader in Bugattis. Henri Meurdra's family used the car for a wedding in 1950 or '51.

    On 14th June 1951 the car was sold to Paris and registered as '1175 AK 75' by the new owner, Geo Lepere. He sold the Type 57 in 1959 to Phillippe Berlin in Neuilly-sur-Seine, who reported it to Hugh Conway for inclusion in the second and third editions of the Bugatti World Register. The next owner was Philippe Charbonneaux. In 1965 the Type 57 was sold to the Bugattisti van Ramhorst brothers, who drove the car to Holland and restored it. The Type 57 was registered in Holland as 'FS-68-84' in 1965. This Type 57 was a participant at many meetings of the Bugatti Club Nederland and also at the 1975 International Bugatti Rally held in Holland.

    In 1984 the Bugatti was sold to France and registered as '6967 TL 67'. The Type 57 ended up with Bernard Merian, a successful French entrepreneur who also owned the Bugatti Atalante '57432'. He embarked on another restoration and enlisted the help of the first owner's son, Roland Wagner, president of La Fondation Bugatti, in order to have it restored to its original specification and colour. In 1993 Merian sold the Type 57 to Patrick Friedli, a staunch Bugattiste, who registered it as '967 ZM 67'. When Friedli moved to Beaune in the Côte d'Or in 2008 he registered the car as '1738 XV 21'. Patrick Friedli used the car on many occasions, one of the most important being to drive François Rinaldi to the church for his wedding with Caroline Bugatti in 1998. Patrick owned the Type 57 for almost 20 years before selling it to Bugatti specialist Bruno Vendiesse, who sold it to the present owner. Bruno Vendiesse has known '57119' for many years and Bonhams would like to thank him for his assistance in preparing this description.

    This exceptionally well-documented Type 57 Ventoux would be an ideal candidate for touring, rallies, leisure driving and any of the world's most prestigious concours events: Pebble Beach, Villa d'Este, Amelia Island, etc. An enticing prospect for the fortunate next owner.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that we were unable to locate the Kees Jansen report in the file.
Contacts
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
1934 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupé  Chassis no. 57119 Engine no. 34
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