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1935 Bugatti Type 57S Prototype

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 show cars, 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.

Pictures & Gallery

See full 1935 Bugatti Type 57S Prototype Gallery here

1935 Bugatti Type 57S Prototype

Specs & Performance

type Limited Production Car
built at France
production 4
engine Inline-8 w/Cast Iron Block, Dry Sump Lubrication
position Front Longitudinal
aspiration Supercharged
valvetrain 2 Valves per Cyl, DOHC
fuel feed Stromberg UUR-2 Carburetor
displacement 3257 cc / 198.8 in³
bore 72 mm / 2.83 in
stroke 100 mm / 3.94 in
compression 8.5:1
power 156.6 kw / 210 bhp @ 5500 rpm
specific output 64.48 bhp per litre
redline 5500
body / frame Steel over Ash Wooden Supports over Steel Frame
driven wheels RWD
front tires Dunlop
rear tires Dunlop
front brakes Drums
rear brakes Drums
front wheels F 45.7 x 14.0 cm / 18 x 5.5 in
rear wheels R 45.7 x 16.5 cm / 18 x 6.5 in
steering Worm & Roller
f suspension Semi-Indpenedant Centrally Collared Axles w/de Ram Shock Absorbers, Leaf Springs
r suspension Solid Axle w/de Ram Shock Absorbers, Quarter-EllipticLeaf Springs
wheelbase 2979 mm / 117.3 in
front track 1349 mm / 53.1 in
rear track 1349 mm / 53.1 in
transmission 4-Speed Manual
top speed ~177.0 kph / 110.0 mph
0 – 60 mph ~10 seconds