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  Bugatti 35B 1929
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  Bugatti 57 1936
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Bugatti type 57 1936, chassis number 57437, engine number 325


Bugatti Type 57 was first produced in 1934 and was gradually modernized until the beginning of the war, including the sportier and lower 57S and the supercharged 57C. The model was largely engineered by Ettore's son Jean who increasingly took over more and more of his father's responsibility for the factory. This was the first model with the new leadership and in many ways groundbreaking. It had a newly developed type of engine, a 3.3-litre straight eight with dual overhead camshafts (but still with the cylinder head cast in one piece with the engine block) which gave 135 hp at 5000 r/m. They were driven by helical gears instead of chains. The vehicle had a gearbox that for the first time with Bugatti was not separate but bolted to the engine, in combination with a single-plate disc clutch instead of the previous complicated multi plate. The engine type was further developed for use in the racing car type 59.
Jean Bugatti wanted to introduce a new independent front suspension with transverse leaf springs - but that was the limit of what the conservative Ettore Bugatti could withstand. He demanded that the cars would have the classic elegantly curved tubular front axle that has existed virtually from the start. The brakes were as previously mechanical and worked by wires.

A large part of the model's success was due to the beautiful body types that Jean Bugatti designed for the new model - long, sweeping lines, but in a classic style. For the first time some bodies were made at the factory, but most were built by famous coach builders. Of course, there were many who bought a chassis and ordered a beautiful body from a skilled coachbuilder -  there were still quite a number of those in Europe. The standard bodies offered had been designed by Jean Bugatti and were named after famous Alpine peaks: the Galibier, the Stelvio, and Ventoux and usually built by the factory, but they could also be ordered from various body manufacturers using factory blueprints. Later came two very sophisticated coupé models with names from the Greek mythology, Atlantic and Atalante. There was also a supercharged version, 57C. Total production was 630 cars of types 57/57C.

Our Type 57 was sold in August 1936 to Bugatti agent Bucar in Switzerland and bodied by the well-known coachbuilder Graber. It was originally a 2-door coupé, but was later converted by Graber to a very elegant 4-seater coupe.

Just after the war the car was imported to Sweden and the new owner consulted Curt Borgenstam about some problems with the clutch. Curt Borgenstam (who was a good friend of Bertil Lindblad) bought the car in 1951 and drove it to Molsheim to have the engine overhauled. It was discovered that the front axle was incorrectly positioned, probably in connection with the replacement of the mechanical brakes by hydraulics before the war. This had been done in the wrong way and the braking system was now changed to the type of Lockheed brakes as the model was supplied with since 1938. After that the car handled as well as a modern car.

For several years Curt Borgenstam had his car for everyday use, but also for long trips abroad. For example he, together with Bertil Lindblad and two automobile friends, undertook  a long trip to Germany, France and England to meet other like-minded people, mainly Bugatti owners.

The car was used by Curt Borgenstam in many rallies for old cars and he kept it until his death in 1999 when it was donated to the foundation. It is ready for operation and is used occasionally for rallies and demonstrations.


Björn-Eric Lindh 2015


Technical data
Make: Bugatti
Type/Model: 57
Body: Coupé
Year of manufacture: 1936
Engine: 8-cylinder in-line engine with dual overhead camshafts
Cylinder capacity: 3257 cc
Power: about 135 hk?
Gearbox: 4-shift plus back
Brakes: Hydraulic 4-wheel brakes
Wheelbase: 3300 mm
Maximum speed: about 150 km/h
Manufactured quantity: 546


Curt Borgenstam and his Bugatti type 57 1936.

The photo was taken in Stockholm in the 1990s when Curt Borgenstam participated in a motoring event.



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