This stunning Type 57 Atalante Chassis number 57570 and engine number 420 was ordered by Mister R. Du Pouget in France and completed on October 1937 the 19th according to the Bugatti Trust archives. It has been ordered in black with some special fittings such as the non incorporated head lights ( indeed this was no more used at this time on factory bodied 57s ), half incorporated fog lights ( one off ), four pointed wings at their submit with a very nice and round back styled in a very similar way to the Atlantic. 57570 passed through two hands, until its purchase by Mister Lecorchet, a reputed French pioneer collector from Clermont-Ferrand. During the mid 1960s the car was repainted into its current colours and sold to Albert Prost from Roanne via the famous dealer Johnny Tuisberg located nearby Cannes. Albert Prost was assembling at this period his wonderful collection, which gathered Delages, Hispanos, Bugattis and Ferraris including a 250 LM. Albert Prost very sparely used the Atalante, accordingly it has been very rarely seen during his ownership. Like most of his cars it was carefully kept and maintained during four decades until his death in the early 2000s. The Type 57 was retained by the family until it was sold to a French collector in 2008. During his ownership, it made a sensational appearance to the “Centenaire Bugatti” held at Molsheim in 2009. Prior to our purchase in June 2011 it has been serviced by the Garage Novo near Montlhéry, the best French Bugatti specialist, who confirmed the amazing originality and authenticity from this Atalante. Indeed it was never dismantled, only serviced, refreshed and repainted when needed. Since the repaint in the late 1960s it has never been restored, having been very sparely used since, it shows a very little and nice patina but can be described has being in very nice condition. This stunning automobile which never left France until we received it, is a very unique opportunity to purchase one of most original Atalante, virtually coming from four decades of display in a private and rarely seen collection.
Styled, refined, powerful and glory-covered in racing, which make could pride better prestige in the 1930s than Bugatti? Ettore Bugatti “Le Patron” after collaborating with various makes created « Automobiles Bugatti » in 1909 and launched the « Type 13 » which will be the first step from Bugatti’s legacy. Indeed soon after the War it finished at the first four places from the 1919 Italian Grand Prix, this opened the doors to much more ambitious and creative projects until the most famous of the Bugattis, the “Pur Sang” Type 35 introduced at the “Grand Prix de Lyon” in 1924. It won about 2000 races until the mid 1930s and these successes rendered the make so famous and popular that Ettore realized the potential of building high performance tourism cars to be sold to fortunate enthusiasts. The first car built by Bugatti devoted to a road use was the type 44 which was powered by a derivative from the 35 engine, the success was immediate and Ettore thought about more powerful and luxurious cars to compete with Hispano Suiza, Delage, Isotta or Rolls-Royce. The Type 46 ( Petite Royale ) and 49 were remarkable automobiles but the 1929 crisis and the progresses from the concurrence required a new model which was to be lighter and quicker. Jean Bugatti, Ettore’s son was a fabulously skilful engineer and designer, one of his first drawing was the Royale “Coupe Chauffeur” and he was much more “avant-gardiste” than Ettore. In 1931 at the beginning from the “Type 57” project Jean had extremely innovative ideas but he was refrained by Ettore on the independent suspensions, hydraulic brakes and separate cylinder heads. Despite this, Jean was able to create a fantastic car around the 3,3 liter engine from the “Type 55”. Launched in 1934, the Type 57 was a wonderful driver with remarkable handling and speed, its 3.3 liter double head cams engine delivered 140 HP and the car easily reached 155km/h. The factory Bugatti offered four types of body styles, the berline “Galibier” , coach “Ventoux”, “cabriolet” Stelvio and the magnificent two seater coupé “Atalante” ( named after the mythological Greek huntress ). All of these wonderful lines origin Jean Bugatti’s drawings who was at his pinnacle, indeed most of the 57s bodied by others were much less nicer. In 1936 Jean presented the “Aerolithe” which was later modified into the breath taking “Atlantic”. Reflecting Jean’s growing importance and the retirement from Ettore, between 1936 and 1937, the Type 57 was largely modernised with to name a few hydraulic brakes, rubber mounted engine, telescopic shocks and upgraded engine. From 1937 it was also possible to order the “Surbaissé” version from the Type 57, the “57 S” being a lighter, lower and shorter chassis. Only a total of 58 Atalante were built from 1935 to 1937 but only 14 were based on the normal Type 57 chassis. Many are those who consider this version to be more sculptural than the one on the “S” chassis.