en vrai…et au 1:8°….
… moteur 486, chassis 57335, c’est comme cela que le nomment les puristes. On ajoute souvent “aérodynamique”. C’est un coach Ventoux à l’avant, mais il est profilé à l’arrière. Un coach ou un coupé car il n’a que deux portes. Il est unique, "spécial" suivant la nomenclature d'usine, donc célèbre, cadeau d'anniversaire de Jean pour son père Ettore en 1938. Aujourd’hui, ce genre de véhicules made in France ne se trouve plus qu’aux Etats Unis, ce qui explique que la suite soit en américain ! Mais en lisant lentement, on comprend. Ce commentaire est extrait du catalogue de la vente aux enchères de 2009 :
Bugatti constructed a Type 57 Torpedo for the Paris-Nice rally in 1936 but the car was destroyed. Later, the factory reissued the chassis number, a common practice for the firm throughout the late 1930s. The company was under serious financial duress during this period and every measure was taken to economize the company. One of the benefits of reusing the chassis number was to avoid taxation on a new chassis number. Chassis number 57335 had originally been registered to Ettore Bugatti, so the decision to assign the number to a new car designed for his use was appropriate.
The coachwork on this Type
57C was designed by Jean Bugatti, and is believed to be the last design penned by Jean Bugatti to have been constructed. When new, the car had a two-piece glass roof. This car may have even been presented to Ettore Bugatti by the workers at the factory as a birthday gift.
With the onset of World War II and the German invasion of
, the car was driven from the factory to a safe location by factory driver Robert Benoist. When peace time resumed, the car returned to Molsheim where it was often used by Pierre Marco, the Director General for Bugatti. Even after the passing of Ettore Bugatti in 1947, the car remained in the care of the factory until 1959. France
The car was fitted with special components prior to leaving the factory care. It has a three-spoke steering wheel, sourced from a Type 1010 with the EB insignia. The problematic glass roof was replaced with a special fabric roof. There are Lockheed hydraulic brakes, a feature not found on any other Type 57. It has a radio set, aftermarket heater and greasing points. There are rubber engine mounts, and Rudge-Whitworth wire wheels.
On January 31st of 1959, the car was sold to Belgian Bugatti distributor Jean de Dobbeleer. Before being sent to
, it was fitted with engine number 340, the same that can be found under its bonnet in modern time. The engine has a unique downdraft carburetor, top inlet manifold and a different supercharger from the type fitted to a standard Type 57. Belgium
The next owner of the car was Lyman Greenlee, who purchased the car in 1959, although it was until 1960 that he took delivery of the car. The car was placed into storage and seldom used. Just prior to his death in 1973, Mr. Greenlee sold the car to William Howell of
. The current owner of the car purchased it in 1983. Oklahoma City
The car remains in its original, unrestored condition. It is one of the most authentic Bugattis still in existence. It was shown in 1985 at the
Concours d'Elegance, the same year all six Royales were reunited. 57335 was not judged at Pebble Beach , in respect to the prior owners requests. In 2009, the car was shown at the Meadow Brook Concours, but again it was not entered to be judged. Pebble Beach
After a divorce settlement, last owner Gary Kohs was forced to sell 57335 and it was offered at Gooding & Company's 2009
Auction. David Gooding described it as "one of the most spectacular Bugattis ever built." Pat O'Quinn picked up the car for inclusion his extensive Pebble Beach Collection for 1.375 million USD inclusive of buyer's premium. Houston
La devise qui suit ne manque pas de sel, traduite en anglais : « Make your dream devour your life, so that life doesn't devour your dream » . C’est la formule de Saint-Exupéry !
Quand on possède une telle merveille, et qu'on aimerait la contempler le jour et la nuit, on désire une réplique à une échelle plus facile pour ...dormir avec ! L’échelle reine est le 1/8°, même si je préfère le 1/7°. Je vous ai déjà parlé de la firme Fine-art-models, Royal Oaks, Michigan : voici les photos que l’on trouve sur leur site :
Je préfère le modèle réduit :
allez-y : il y en a plein d'autres !
j'ai oublié de vous dire : le président de Fine-art-models, fondée en 1983, est Gary Kohs.