Stunning Bugatti Type 57C Atalante Coupe Goes Under The Gavel

Bugatti Type 57C Atalante Coupe
1938 Bugatti Type 57C Atalante Coupe with extremely rare 'roll-back' bureau-style sliding roof

An incredible 1938 Bugatti Type 57C Atalante Coupe with extremely rare ‘roll-back’ bureau-style sliding roof coachwork will go under the auctioneer’s gavel Saturday 23 November.

Once again the 1930s proved that style, charm and beautiful lines could be achieved well before the use of any high-tech wind tunnels were conceived. The stunning Atalante personifies everything that French design has to offer with spectacular lines from both fenders and roofline working in perfect synergy with its two-tone overcoat.

Designed under the guidance of Le Patron’s creative son, Jean Bugatti, the Atalante is symbolic of the French emphasis on beauty, effervescence and unapologetic boldness. Advanced chassis design, engine and body were ahead of the time with collectors magnetised by the sheer elegance of this desirable classic.

Sir Malcolm Campbell, himself the owner of a T57:
“If I was asked to give my opinion as to the best all-round super-sports car which is available on the market today, I should without any hesitation whatsoever, say it was the 3.3 litre Bugatti it cannot fail to attract the connoisseur of those who know how to handle the thoroughbred, it is a car in a class by itself.”

Bugatti Type 57C Atalante Coupe
1938 Bugatti Type 57C Atalante Coupe with extremely rare ‘roll-back’ bureau-style sliding roof

Bugatti Type 57C

This particular Bugatti Type 57C (chassis no.57641) is a right-hand drive, ‘Series 2’ example and has been given certain safety and technical upgrades from 1936 including improved engine mounts, detail updates to the camshafts and valve timing, a redesigned exhaust manifold and a modified crankcase with provision for supercharger mounting. Other welcome improvements included the adoption of De Ram self-adjusting shock absorbers and a new dashboard with two large centrally placed instruments.

Integrity and provenance are unequivocal and extensively documented by Bugatti marque historian David Sewell, who quotes transcriptions of Bugatti factory records stating the car was fitted with engine no. 456 and invoiced as a Type 57 on November 15, 1936, for direct delivery to its first owner, a Frenchman named Baptifaut.

Chassis 57641 was still located in Paris during the early 1950s, listed as such in ‘The Bugatti Book‘, first published in 1954 in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Bugatti Owner’s Club.

Bugatti Type 57C Atalante Coupe - Roll Back
1938 Bugatti Type 57C Atalante Coupe with extremely rare ‘roll-back’ bureau-style sliding roof

Exceptional restoration and care reaped awards such as a perfect judging score at the 2015 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance and Best in Class at the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Beautifully finished and preserved throughout, 57641 is accompanied by a concours tool kit and mounted spare tyre inside the rear boot space.

Full details on this car and the auction can be found via this link.

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