57C Aravis Special Cabriolet

1939 Bugatti Type 57C Aravis Special Cabriolet by Gangloff

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Monterey, California | August 19-20, 2022

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Among the most valuable Bugattis – and pre-war cars in general – are variations of the Bugatti Type 57. This particular car is a rare version called the Aravis Special Cabriolet with coachwork by Gangloff, who were also responsible for the Stelvios.

This is a Type 57C, which indicates a racing chassis powered by a supercharged 3.3-liter inline-eight capable of 160 horsepower. This car is one of three Gangloff-bodied Aravis cars in existence, of what is thought to be six built (in addition to six from Letourneur et Marchand). Only two of the remaining three were factory-supercharged examples, with this being one of them.

In 1959, the coachbuilder Graber was hired to put a fixed roof on the car, a configuration it was rescued from after being purchased by its current owner in 1993. It has a replacement engine, but of the correct type. You can read more about it here.

Update: Sold $1,545,000.

Bugatti Stelvio

1938 Bugatti Type 57C Stelvio Cabriolet by Gangloff

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 3, 2022

Photo – Bonhams

Bugatti’s Type 57 was the last new Bugatti to be introduced before the start of WWII. Which makes it the last true production Bugatti, as post-war models were never produced in much quantity and later models were… well… Italian or Volkswagens.

There were various 57s, including the C, which was sold from 1937 through 1940. It’s powered by a supercharged 3.3-liter inline-eight rated at 160 horsepower. The Stelvio was designed in-house at Bugatti as a four-seat cabriolet. This one, as were most, was actually bodied by Gangloff. It could be had on a standard, non-supercharged Type 57 as well.

These are very pretty, very desirable cars. The pre-sale estimate reflects it: $910,000-$1,400,000. This particular example has had the same owner since 1963 and has known ownership history since new. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Ettore’s Bugatti

1938 Bugatti Type 57C Special Coupe

Offered by Bonhams | Paris, France | February 7, 2013

1938 Bugatti Type 57C Special Coupe

Photo – Bonhams

The Bugatti Type 57 was introduced in 1934 after having been designed by Jean Bugatti, founder Ettore’s son. It featured a 3.3-liter straight-eight. When the Type 57C came along in 1937, a Roots-type supercharger was added, bumping horsepower to 160. This particular 57C underwent continuous factory fiddling for an extra 20 years and is likely a little more powerful.

The special body was designed by Jean Bugatti himself. I can’t help but think how cool it would look if those rear wheels matched the green paint on the body instead of being black. When this car was finished, it was retained by the factory and given to Ettore Bugatti himself as a gift. It was then used as a demonstrator and loaned to the factory racing drivers.

It is one of ten Bugattis ever retained by the factory for such use and the fact it belonged to Ettore and had Jean’s custom bodywork means it is one of a kind. Many Bugattis have exceptional history… but this one was owned by the big boss man himself. It was hidden during the war and returned to the factory afterward. It wasn’t sold until the factory closed down. It passed between three owners before being acquired by John O’Quinn. The car has never been restored and is described as being as close as you can get to driving a 57C off the Bugatti factory floor. It should sell for between $1,000,000-$1,300,000. Click here for more info and here for more from Bonhams in Paris.

Update: Sold $924,600.

Re-bodied Bugatti 57C

1938 Bugatti Type 57C ‘Cäsar Schaffner Special Roadster’

Offered by Bonhams | Monaco | May 11, 2012

The Bugatti Type 57 was the most popular Bugatti model that the company ever made. It was produced from 1934 until 1940 and there were some very limited editions that are very desirable today – such as the 57SC Atlantic. The 57C, as seen here, featured the 3.3-liter straight-eight – but with a Roots-type supercharged added on, for a total output of 160 horsepower.

This car, chassis 57.577, was originally a Gangloff-bodied Stelvio cabriolet. In the 1960s, it was acquired by Cäsar Schaffner who restored it and, in the process, decided to restore it to the specifications of a different chassis number. So, while 57.577 retains its original chassis (although it was shortened) and engine – it does not retain its original body. The new body was in the style of a Type 57S by Corsica. It looks nice, but you have to question, today, what would be more valuable? A Bugatti with its original body, or a Bugatti with a sort of replica body?

In any case, this car has been freshened over time and is quite nice and it’s eligible for all of the historic events it would have been had the Gangloff cabriolet body remained. It is priced confidently with an estimate between $420,000-$580,000. And if you’re still not quite sold on it, check out the back of this thing:

Pretty nice. For the complete catalog description, click here. And for more on Bonhams in Monaco, click here.

Update: Not sold.