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Bugatti Type 57 Galibier

1933-1939 Bugatti Type 57 Galibier

Named after the Col du Galibier pass in the Dauphiné Alps, the Type 57 Galibier was Bugatti’s factory designed and produced four-door sports saloon.

Originally the Type 57 was a pillarless coupe design with a suicide rear doors and later cars switched this arrangement with a central pillar for a suicide front door. Later cars also featured a cover over the fender-mounted spare tire.

Originally all the Galibiers were produced by Carrosserie Bugatti and some were bodied to the Bugatti design by Gangloff, Van Vooren and Graber.

The Galibier befitted from all the Type 57 engineering, development and upgrades throughout production. It used the twin-overhead camshaft 3.3-litre inline-8 which was good for 135 bhp in standard form.

Chassis arrangements included Rudge Witworth wire wheels, fifteen inch drum brakes and an uncluttered chassis having good strength. As with most Bugatti designs the Type 57 was relatively simple in design, but the result of complicated craftsmanship.

Many Galibiers have been rebodied over time into more sporting roadsters and the occasional cabriolet. Some of the these were done in period by factory coachbuilders, but many were done well into the post-war period with replica bodies.

Our estimate is that Bugatti produced 65 Galibiers throughout the three series of Type 57 production and 25% are now wearing different coachwork.

Pictures & Gallery

See full 1938 Bugatti Type 57 Galibier Gallery here

Specs & Performance

type Series Production Car
production years 1933 – 1939
built at Molsheim, Alsace, France
body stylist Jean Bugatti
coachbuilder Carrosserie Bugatti
engine Inline-8
position Front Longitudinal
aspiration Natural
valvetrain gear-Driven DOHC, 2 Valves per Cyl
fuel feed Single Updraft Stromberg UUR-2 Carburettor
displacement 3245 cc / 198.02 in³
bore 72 mm / 2.8 in
stroke 100 mm / 3.9 in
power 100.7 kw / 135 bhp @ 4500 rpm
specific output 41.6 bhp per litre
bhp/weight 82.82 bhp per tonne
redline 5000
body / frame Body over Steel Frame
driven wheels RWD
wheel type 18 Inch RudgeSpoked Wire
front tires 18 x 5.50
rear tires 18 x 5.50
front brakes Cable Operated Drums
rear brakes Cable Operated Drums
front wheels F 45.7 x 12.7 cm / 18 x 5 in
rear wheels R 45.7 x 12.7 cm / 18 x 5 in
f suspension Rigid Axle w/Semi-Elliptic Springs, Hartford Friction Shock Absrobers
r suspension Live Axle w/Reversed Quarter-Elliptic Springs, Hartford Friction Shock Absorbers
curb weight 1630 kg / 3594 lbs
wheelbase 3300 mm / 129.9 in
front track 1350 mm / 53.1 in
rear track 1350 mm / 53.1 in
transmission 4-Speed Manual
tran clutch Single Dry Plate
final drive 4.16:1
top speed ~152.85 kph / 95 mph

Auction Sales History

1933→1939 Bugatti Type 57 Galibier

1936 Bugatti Type 57 Galibier 57415 – sold for €130,748

The current English owner, also a member of the Bugatti Club, subsequently purchased 57415, importing it to the United Kingdom in 2005, with some work remaining to be done. Registered in the UK, the car has been enjoyed and driven ever since. Handsomely presented in black with a lovely green leather interior, the car is well suited for continued enjoyment and currently shows less than 48,000 kilometres, which are believed to be accurate. Brought out of nearly a half century of storage, it is once again ready for the road and all the pleasures of ownership afforded by an elegant Type 57 Galibier. Auction Source: 2008 RM Automobiles of London

1939 Bugatti Type 57C Galibier Sport Saloon 57806 – sold for $396,000 A Very Late Example With All The Final Type 57 Improvements. Restored And Maintained By Experts To The Highest Standards. Factory Supercharged Type 57C Galibier Sport Saloon. One Of 95 Type 57Cs Built. A Very Late Example with All The Final Type 57 Improvements. One of 95 Type 57Cs Built. Auction Source: 2008 Monterey Preview