1935 Bugatti Type 57S Prototype

1935 Bugatti Type 57S Prototype

1935 Bugatti Type 57S Prototype

In 1935 Bugatti made as many as four prototype Competition chassis that provided a basis for the stunning Coupé Aerolithe and a Torpédo Competition that appeared at the 1935 Paris Motor Show.

These cars had a bespoke Gondola-shaped chassis which curved inward towards the rear of the car. Official blueprints from August of 1935 still survive of this prototype chassis and at least one original chassis still exists. They show a lower, lighter and lower design than the previous Type 57 design.

Later, Bugatti made a production version of the type 57S chassis that did not have the characteristic Gondola shape. Author Julius Kruta there must have been a problem or extreme cost to make the curved chassis. He goes on further to explain that the many of new 1936 bodies such as the Atlantic and Atalante had rear body profiles which were inspired by the Gondola prototypes.

Another feature of the 57S Prototype was the reduced grill height which gave way to an entirely new grill shape for the production cars.

Because the Gondola-shaped prototype chassis were never sold and only used as as showcars, they were never assigned legitimate chassis numbers. As many as four were made and one was found and purchased by Jim Hull who recreated Torpédo Competition bodywork around it.

Jim sourced sheet magnesium from Magnesium Elektron, Ltd and recreated the entire Torpédo Competition body with help from Jerry Weeks Baker of Indianapolis.

1935 Bugatti Type 57S Prototype Gallery

See full 1935 Bugatti Type 57S Prototype Gallery here

In Detail

typeLimited Production Car
built atFrance
engineInline-8 w/Cast Iron Block, Dry Sump Lubrication
positionFront Longitudinal
valvetrain2 Valves per Cyl, DOHC
fuel feedStromberg UUR-2 Carburetor
displacement3257 cc / 198.8 in³
bore72 mm / 2.83 in
stroke100 mm / 3.94 in
power156.6 kw / 210 bhp @ 5500 rpm
specific output64.48 bhp per litre
body / frameSteel over Ash Wooden Supports over Steel Frame
driven wheelsRWD
front tiresDunlop
rear tiresDunlop
front brakesDrums
rear brakesDrums
front wheelsF 45.7 x 14.0 cm / 18 x 5.5 in
rear wheelsR 45.7 x 16.5 cm / 18 x 6.5 in
steeringWorm & Roller
f suspensionSemi-Indpenedant Centrally Collared Axles w/de Ram Shock Absorbers, Leaf Springs
r suspensionSolid Axle w/de Ram Shock Absorbers, Quarter-EllipticLeaf Springs
wheelbase2979 mm / 117.3 in
front track1349 mm / 53.1 in
rear track1349 mm / 53.1 in
transmission4-Speed Manual
top speed~177.0 kph / 110.0 mph
0 – 60 mph~10 seconds