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Dutch title
Chassis n° 57432

- One of the most iconic Bugatti models
- Captivating history, owned by passionate enthusiasts
- One of three surviving examples fitted from new with sunroof
- History documented by Pierre-Yves Laugier
- Delivered new in Marseille to Charles Olivero, Participated in the Rallye des Alpes 1936

Following the extraordinary Roadster Grand Raid of the Paris Motor Show in 1934, Jean Bugatti, with the help of Joseph Walter in the design department, created another aesthetic masterpiece, the legendary Atalante. As if taken from novel by Pierre Benoit, it precedes the Aérolithe and the Atlantic.
Based on the Type 57 chassis with a 3.30m wheelbase, the Atalante corresponded to the factory design N° 1070, dated 20 January 1935. When originally conceived it had the name " Faux Cabriolet ", given to the first cars built in April 1935. A month later, the magazine Omnia presented a feature on the " Faux Cabriolet 1070 " built on a Type 57 chassis. It was only from chassis n°57330, on display at the Motor Show in October 1935, that the name Atalante appeared.

The factory price for the "Coupé Atalante 2/3-seater with sunroof " was 90 000 francs in October 1935. A year later this was 87 000 francs rising to 108 000 francs in October 1937 for the new version of the Coupé, in aluminium. The model was described thus: "Coupé Atalante 2/3 seater, 2-door - Independent metal seats with removable padding - Upholstery: fine leather - Contoured wraparound wings - Large boot and tool compartment in the rear tip - Sun visor double windscreen wipers - Rear-view mirror - Front bumpers ". The Atalante coupé was withdrawn after the Motor Show in October 1938.

In 1935 and 1936, the production was as follows :
- 1935 : 10 Atalante including seven with sunroof (chassis 57249, 57263, 57267, 57312, 57325, 57330 and 57333).
- 1936 : eight Atalante including three with sunroof (chassis 57401, 57428 and 57432). The final model built in 1936, n°57432 was also the last Atalante to have a sunroof.
Of the ten Atalante with sunroofs in 1935-1936, few have survived : just 57330, 57401 and 57432 have retained their bodywork on their original chassis.
The body of 57263 was modified into a cabriolet, and the bodies of 57312, 57325 and 57333 are mounted on other chassis today. The body of 57428, transformed into a cabriolet, was subsequently rebuilt as an Atalante.

The car on offer (chassis n°57432, engine n°315) left the Bugatti coachbuilders on 13 July 1036. Described as "Coupé Atalante 57432/315, black and ivory, tan leather", it was ordered by the Bugatti agent in Marseille, Gaston Descollas, who had a showroom at 42 Cours du Prado. His client was a jeweller from Marseille by the name of Charles Joseph Olivero (1906-1990), who had inherited the jewellery business from his father, Charles Olivero, on his death in 1930. In May 1934, he acquired a second-hand Type 49 cabriolet, which he sold at the end of July 1936 to the Descollas business in order to buy the Atalante. Together with his brother, Jean-Baptiste, they also drove a Type 37 from the spring of 1936 to the summer of 1937.

The Bugatti Atalante was registered new on 24 July 1936, with the number 8357 CA 8, in the name of Charles Olivero, 22 rue Petit St Jean in Marseille. From 13 to 17 July 1938, C. Olivero took part in his Atalante in the Rallye des Alpes, with race number 14, but had to retire on 16 July during the stage from Chamonix to Nice. In 1939, C. Olivero ordered and oversaw the construction of a 57C Roadster from Gangloff. In order to do this, he drove his Atalante from Marseille to Colmar every Friday evening, to monitor the progress of his exceptional roadster inspired by the 12-cylinder Delahaye. When his new 57C was finally completed, the Atalante coupé was sold through a mechanic from Nîmes, Émile Reveiller, who registered the car in his name at the address of his garage (1 rue de Général à Nîmes), with the number 6008 FN 4. This registration, however, was for the rather short period of 24 to 25 August 1939. In fact, it appears that by this date the car already belonged to the subsequent owner, the aviator Léon Givon. This is evidenced by a letter from Givon, on Marignane airbase-headed paper and dated 9 July 1939, which stated : " I went to the Marseille agency to buy a 57 Atalante with a sun roof ". The car must therefore have been in his possession at least from the date of this letter.
Concerning Émile-Albert Reveiller, we can say that he worked as a mechanic for his brother Gaston who also owned an automobile garage in Nîmes, called Nîmes Autos which had displayed the Lancia sign since 1933. In addition, Émile ran the depots at the Société Générale des Huiles de Pétrole (which would become BP).

Léon Givon registered the Bugatti at his villa Santos Dumont, Impasse des Gattons, Bonneveine, Marseille on 25 August 1939, one week before the start of the war, with the number 7262 CB 1. We know that Givon took part in the Paris-Nice 1939 in the Bugatti 5-litre class, probably in the Type 50 he had acquired in 1937. He also took part in the Rallye des Alpes françaises, between 13 and 17 July 1939 : this was possibly the first outing for the Atalante in the hands of the Air France pilot. He did not appear in the list of finishers published in L'Auto on 17 July. During the war, given Léon Given's involvement in the Resistance, it is possible that the Bugatti was used in service, but traces of the car disappeared and we don't come across it again until 1948 in Luxembourg.
Incidentally, in September 1945, Commander Givon participated in the Grand Prix de la Libération, in the Bois de Boulogne, driving a Bugatti, but in the 1500cc compressor class.

In June 1948, the Atalante was bought by Rudi Cloos. It still had its original engine n°315, which would have been overhauled by the factory. Cloos decided on a full restoration which included replacing the engine with one from chassis-engine n°547 that he had obtained new from the factory at the end of the war. Between June 1948 and April 1949, the Atalante was sent to the coachbuilder Jos Metz and to the garage Loll Lambert, in Luxembourg, to be given a metal-roof bodied coupé configuration, with a Bugatti Ventoux windshield. A new unnumbered gearbox was fitted, and gearbox n°315 left on the new chassis, equipped with a Ventoux body. The Atalante then drove around with the registration L 5289, its registration document showing the number of its new engine, " 547 ", and subsequently given the erroneous extension " 57547 ".
We note that chassis 57547 is a 1937 Ventoux, perfectly original and with no connection to the Atalante described, which rediscovered its true identity n°57432 after the engine number 547 was erased and re-engraved 315 for reasons of administrative convenience.
Once restored, the car sold in November 1950 to Belgian architect Albert Jean de Lay, from Liège, living in Luxembourg. He took the Bugatti to the Belgian Congo (DRC today) where he was involved in a building programme. The car was maintained locally in Elisabethville but as the engine was giving a few problems, he sent it back to Molsheim, to little effect. In 1960 the independence of Congo was declared, but the civil war that ensued in 1963 forced the de Lay family to flee to Zambia with the Bugatti, abandoning all their other possessions.
The same year, Rudi Cloos agreed to take back his Atalante, giving Jean de Lay the means to start a new life. Living in Esch-sur-Alzette, Rudi Cloos registered his Bugatti L 4005 and used it again, from 1963 until 1973. Rudi Cloos, along with other bugattistes, was a regular at the night-club "Royal Bugatti" belonging to Gaston Greven. The latter possessed a new Jaguar V12 that Cloos took a shine to. He offered Greven a suitably compensated exchange with the Atalante. Greven, of 27 rue des réservoirs in Heisdorf, repainted the car in yellow and dark blue and in 1974 took part in the Rallye Monte-Carlo des Voitures Anciennes. He kept the registration L 4005. During a subsequent rally, Greven met the famous Bugatti dealer and enthusiast Lucien Mette, who offered to buy the Atalante. Greven proposed a very high price, which the dealer accepted, forcing the night-club owner from Luxembourg to sell the car. In fact, Mette was sourcing cars for the collector Maurice Teisserenc, from the Domaine de Montplaisir, Linxe in the Landes, who became the next owner of the vehicle on 12 September 1974.
Mechanically, the car required a major overhaul (the front axle had been bent during the Rally of the 50th anniversary of the Lyon Grand Prix), and the work was entrusted to Colin Crabbe's workshop " Antique Automobiles " in Great Britain. The Bugatti was repainted in black and red, and it appears the roof was modified again. Once finished, Maurice Teisserenc used it in 1978 for the 100 Bugatti meeting in Deauville, as well as for other rallies organised by the Club Bugatti France that he belonged to. After owning the car for 14 years, he put it up for auction in Fontainebleu on 24 May 1988. The Atalante was bought by the collector from Cannes, Bernard Mérian, who had the means to finally restore the beautiful Atalante to its original configuration. To this end, he called upon the author of these lines who discovered the car at the Novo garage in Marolles-en-Hurepoix.

The "57547" identity not being correct and linked to the exchanged engine number 547, it was necessary to find out the vehicle's true identity. The discovery of the number 315 engraved on the rear axle put us on the trail of chassis 57432 which proved to be a convertible Atalante delivered to Marseille. Archives show the first owner of the vehicle as a certain Charles Olivero. When contacted by phone, Olivero was surprised and delighted to recount the story of his Bugatti(s). Moreover, he provided the historian Claude Taconetti, who was dispatched to meet him, with the photos that made it possible to restore the car to its 1936 configuration.
The engine was entrusted to M.Pallier of Tours. The other mechanical elements (chassis, running gear, brakes, electrics) were overhauled by Claude Afchain of Houdan. The bodywork was restored by Jean-Claude Tisserand, of Sarcelles, who created an exact copy of an Atalante roof with sunroof. To do this, Hervé Ogliastro's car, n°57330 ex-Salon de Paris 1935, which was at the Lecoq coachbuilders in Saint-Ouen, was used as a model. The interior was re-done by Mme Tisserand, in Connolly leather from Décorauto, in Montmagny. The Atalante was presented in 1992 to the widow of Charles Olivero, who had passed away in the meantime, and to his two daughters Janie and Josette, at an exhibition at the Musée de Mougins.
In 1995, the Atalante was exhibited at Retromobile by Christophe Pund. It was finally sold by Bernard Mérian on 11 August 2001 at an auction at the Nürburgring. The car was bought by the Dutch entrepreneur Victor Muller, who presented it the following year at Pebble Beach and in Florida, and in 2003 at Goodwood and Villa d'Este. The Atalante then sold on 31 August 2003 to the current owner at a sale at the Concours d'Élégance du Palais Het Loo in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands. A great enthusiast and historian of the marque, he entrusts all mechanical work on the car to the workshop of Ab van Egmond in the Netherlands. For nearly twenty years, our enthusiast has been criss-crossing Europe and the United States at the wheel of his stunning Atalante, which shows no sign of ageing. It has become a regular guest at Concours d'Élégance events.
The new owner will benefit from a Bugatti that is exceptional in form and performance, with a rich history spent in the hands of avid enthusiasts and presented in superb condition and to a largely original configuration.

Pierre-Yves Laugier

Léon Givon, an exceptional pilot

A pilot with an outstanding record, Léon Givon deserves his moment in the spotlight. Born on 5 April 1895 in Bernay, in the Eure, he set up a workshop in Cayeux-sur-Mer, where he designed and built several planes that he was only able to test on the ground. Called up at the start of the war, he worked in aeronautics as a mechanic and obtained his pilot's licence in October 1915 at the aviation school in Pau. He was initially assigned to a squadron of bombers, and then fighters, which he had aspired to above all. He was injured when his Caudron aircraft crashed in July 1916 but resumed service in December in the R 214 squadron. His courage rewarded him with four official victories, the military medal and five distinctions pinned to his Croix de Guerre ribbon.
After his demobilisation, he entered the world of civil aviation and flew postal and commercial planes to Algeria and Morocco. In 1922 he was a pilot with Latécoère and the following year, he flew on the Algiers-Biskra trans-African routes, and then in a seaplane. In 1926, he joined Farman on the Paris-Amsterdam and later the Paris-Berlin routes. In 1927, he made an unsuccessful attempt to cross the Atlantic in " l'Oiseau Bleu " with P.Corbu.
First married in Levallois in 1920, he remarried in December 1935 in Marseille and his witness at the ceremony was the pilot and bugattiste Henri Bossoutrot. The same year he opened the " Nautic Bar' on the beach of the old chapel with a relative of his wife, the jockey from Marseille, Marius Pont. In 1931, while working for Aéropostale, he was already living in la Canebière. Chief pilot for Air France and the famous pilot of the Blériot 5190 "Santos Dumont", a four-engine seaplane for postal transport, he made some 38 crossings between 1935 and 1937. His villa in Marignane bore the name of the seaplane that he had had a hand in developing.
Made a Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur in 1929, he was appointed Officer in March 1935 and Commander in May 1947 for exceptional acts of resistance and for qualities of courage and organisation which included running the operating centre within the Athénée network. He was awarded a Resistance medal in June 1945. Having clocked up more than 11 000 flying hours, in 1949 he became Vice-President of the Cannes Aeroclub. With the pilot Marie Nicolas, who died in February 1956, he created and managed one of the busiest service stations on the Côte d'Azur, in Cannes: "Air Service Givon, aérodrome de Cannes". He lived in his villa "La Farandole", in Antibes, and it was in the hospital of this town that he passed away on 1 May 1956, aged 61. He is buried at the old cemetery of Rabiac.

Full catalogue and more photos https://www.artcurial.com/en/sale-4315-retromobile-2023-artcurial-motorcars

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