The 57S was a true race car for the road. The S in its name signifies a lowered body while the 3,257cc twin-cam straight-eight engine came straight out of the GP racers. No surprise then the 57S was the fastest car of its day and favoured personal transport of top-tier racing drivers. After the shipping magnate this car was owned by Rodney Clarke, who founded the post-war Connaught grand prix team.
Engineer and Bugatti aficionado Bill Turnbull bought it in 1969 and in a workshop at his home in Staffordshire stripped it down to its components parts and began a restoration that would become his life’s work. At the time of his death the work was almost complete, the car now lacking only what Bonhams says is some final reassembly.
The auction house, which is selling the car at its new Legends of the Road sale in London on 19th February, adds that the car is exceptionally original and has been mechanically restored to exacting standards. One of only 42 Type 57Ss made, it is the first time it will be offered in a public auction. It is being sold at no reserve with a guide estimate of £5-7m.
“This could well be the last ‘hidden’ pre-war Bugatti of note,” Bonhams’ Sholto Gilbertson tells us. “It is an extraordinary example of one of the most valuable and desirable prewar motor cars – a true legend of the road.”
Images courtesy of Bonhams.