One owner pulled out all of the stops for this vehicle. This classic car is the pinnacle of rare Bugattis. The 1938 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante Coupé is extensively documented, features a “roll-top” roof, and won Best in Class at the 2016 Pebble Beach Concours D’elegance. What else sets this Bugatti apart? Apparently, the top!
How much is a 1938 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante Coupé worth?
Robb Report first reported that this “Ultra-Rare” 1938 Bugatti Type 57S is heading to the auction block. Worldwide Auctioneers notes renowned Bugatti historian David Sewell documented this particular Bugatti Type 57S. Chassis number 57641 even has the factory records that indicate it was delivered to Monsieur Baptifaut of France on November 15, 1938.
The historic documents noted Parisian Bugatti collector Henri Novo’s extremely rare “roll-back” roof design during its life. The Bugatti Type 57S Atalante Coupé features the Atalante body. This is one of the rarest attributes for a Bugatti of this time.
“The “Atalante” body that was used on this particular T57 is a very interesting and rare one. It is a so-called TO (Toit Ouvrant or Bureau/Roll Top) Grand Raid, one of the very early “Atalantes” before the name was actually used.”Worldwide Auctioneers
It participated in events like Pebble Beach, Le Mans, and Corsica Trials. It was even noted in “The Bugatti Book.” “The Bugatti Book.” is a prestigious book belonging to the Bugatti Owner’s Club. The last time a vehicle of this nature went up for sale by Gooding & Company in 2020, it fetched $10.4 million.
The 1938 Bugatti Type 57S won at Le Mans – twice!
Bugatti made the Type 57S from 1934 until 1940. This model, in particular, has attributes that make it even rarer. Ettore Bugatti’s son Jean designed this model. “The Type 57 included S and SC variants—Surbaissé for “lowered” and Compresseur for ‘supercharger’—and featured a low-slung chassis,” Robb Report noted. Bugatti made only 710 examples of the Bugatti Type 57S. The Type 57S and 57SC Atalante on saw 17 produced.
Jean Bugatti named the 1938 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante Coupé after Atalanta, a heroine of Greek mythology.
“They are regarded as among the most beautiful of all Bugattis, evoking speed and expressing the graceful spirit of Art Deco style.”Robb Report
This Bugatti offers a 3.3L engine getting 160 hp at 4,500 rpm. It had a top speed of 120 mph at a time where most had trouble hitting 50. During the 1937 and 1939 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Type 57S won.
Other vehicles up for auction by Worldwide Auctioneers
Worldwide Auctioneers has its 14th annual Auburn Auction on September 3rd and 4th. It offers a 1965 Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe, a 1937 Miller-Gulf Race Car, and a 1934 Packard Twelve Individual Custom Convertible Sedan. So far, though, the Type 57S is the clear standout vehicle for sale.
Ralph Lauren owns a 1938 Type 57SC Atlantic, but not the 57S Atalante Coupé. Bob Smith Coachworks in Texas fully restored the classic car in 2012. 2021 has been an exciting year for private auctions, so this particular 1938 Bugatti Type 57S might break that $10.4 million record.