1934 Bugatti Type 57

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1934
  • Car type 
    Other
  • Lot number 
    40
  • Drive 
    RHD
  • Condition 
    Restored
  • Number of seats 
    2
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Black
  • Drivetrain 
    2wd
  • Fuel type 
    Petrol

Description

French title
Chassis n° 57106
Engine n° 40

- One of three Gangloff coupés built in 1934 on a 57 chassis
- Known history
- Matching numbers
- Elegant shape

Ordered by the Bugatti dealer in Toulouse, Fernand Leyda, in the spring of 1934, this chassis was paid for on 29 May 1934, at the agent's rate of 60 800 francs (dealer's price for a Type 57 bodied at the factory as a Galibier saloon or a Stelvio cabriolet). Leyda no doubt paid in advance for the chassis, plus the cost of the coachwork built by Gangloff.

Coach Gangloff and coach Ventoux
Chassis 57106, fitted with engine 40, was assembled at the Bugatti factory at the start of June 1934, one of sixteen chassis of the same model built that month. On 12 June 1934, the rolling chassis was driven by a Molsheim employee to the workhops of the coachbuilder Gangloff on Rue Stanislas in Colmar. The Gangloff design team created a two-door, four-seater 'coach' body for the chassis that was built by an employee called Schmidt, and the car is logged in the coachbuilder's construction register as number 76. It was the first four-seater coach made by the company from Colmar on a Bugatti Type 57 chassis. This must not be confused with the Ventoux coach built by the Bugatti factory in Molsheim, designed by Joseph Walter for chassis no. 57119 in the series, which left the body workshop on 2 June 1934, just ten days before chassis 57106 was sent to Gangloff. The Bugatti factory had been building four-door, four-seater sedans on Type 57 chassis, known as Galibier, since September 1933.

The design of 57106
The body built by Gangloff on chassis 57106 differs to the factory Ventoux model in its roof section, which had an airier feel due to the larger area of glass. The window frames extended to the roof and the windscreen surround, refining the appearance of this surround. There was a chrome moulding running along the centre of the body, separating the entire length of the car and allowing a clear distinction between the two-tone colours that extended to the boot. The doors had three hinges on the front, allowing them to open the " right " way, which differed to the factory model.

Early days in the South-West (1934-1946)
It took four to six weeks for the Gangloff workshops to complete the coachwork for a car. Chassis 57106 was registered as soon as it had been delivered, on 12 June 1934 in the Tarn-et-Garonne prefecture, with the number 1763 YS 1, in the name of its first owner, Jean Baylet, the mayor of Valence d'Agen. An administrative director, and later the chief editor of the newspaper Le Petit Toulousain, he became, at the age of 26 years, the youngest mayor in France. He was already a good client of both Bugatti and Gangloff, having had a 2/3-seater faux-cabriolet built by Gangloff on a Type 49 chassis in January 1931. This car was sold in July 1934, around the time he bought chassis 57106.

The Bugattis of Jean Baylet
The Gangloff Bugatti 57106 belonging to the young mayor was driven fast on a daily basis. Jean Baylet's driver, Charles Sabatier, remembers that his boss and friend rarely let him drive his Bugattis. A genuine enthusiast, Baylet took great enjoyment in getting behind the wheel himself ! Having acquired two Gangloff Type 57 coaches in 1934, chassis 57106 and 57121, in 1937 the young politician ordered the first supercharged Type 57 cabriolet, chassis 57466. He also bought one of the last examples of this model, chassis 57817, in March 1939.

The 1934 Type 57 coach by Gangloff
57106 was one of the new Type 57 chassis and was the first to be bodied as a coach by Gangloff in 1934. It was order number 76 which undoubtedly referred to the body number. An aerodynamic coach, order number 79, chassis 57149, was built in August 1934 for a doctor from Troyes. A third and final Type 57 coach was built by Gangloff that year, chassis 57121, which was also delivered to Jean Baylet in Leyda ! The design was similar to that of 57106. Baylet was therefore the owner of two of the three Type 57 Gangloff coaches built in 1934. The reason for the two similar orders may be explained by the following details. The factory register detailing repairs to Type 57 engines has the following entry dated 24 October 1934 in relation to the car 57106 /40 :
" Engine 40, engine service, the number 1 con rod had failed. Changed the gears in overhead cams and lower gear. Changed intake cam, split in middle of bearing. Replaced two weak pistons. On second inspection all 6 weak pistons changed. "
The coach 57106 was probably looked after by the factory before Leyda was able to take delivery of it in February 1935. On 12 November 1934, Fernand Leyda ordered chassis 57121 for his faithful client Jean Baylet. The chassis cost 49 600 francs and was later destroyed in an accident in June 1957, on a small road in Cantal. However, a photo of this car taken before that fateful day shows a two-tone coach with light coloured sides and dark coloured wings, roof and bonnet top. Chassis 57106 was probably originally presented in the same colour scheme.
On 19 February 1935, the Bugatti 57106 was officially sold to the Bugatti dealer Fernand Leyda, of 20 rue Denfert-Rochereau,Toulouse. The vehicle was registered 7770 FS 3. Some two months later a client appeared who bought the car that was almost new and had been serviced by the Bugatti factory in October 1934. The buyer was Raymond Grillon, from La Réole, near Bordeaux. He enjoyed four happy years at the wheel of the Bugatti, registered in Gironde on 11 April 1935 with the number 2823 GA 7. His cousin, André Grillon, who owned a Type 43 Grand Sport in 1939, remembered the car. All Bugatti were bought and maintained at the Bugatti garage based in Bordeaux at 27, rue du Bel Orme, and run by Léon Pierron. It was this garage that took in the coach 57106 on 23 June 1939. The car spent the war tucked away with other pur-sang models entrusted to Pierron. In 1945, it took to the road again in the hands of its new enthusiast owner, Paul-Louis Bricq, from Montbron (Charente), who became the new owner on 3 December 1945 and registered it 2930 DB 4.
The Bricq episode
Paul-Louis Bricq, the youngest of four brothers who together ran a family textile factory, was imprisoned by the Germans in 1940 and freed by the Russians at the end of 1945. During his five-year absence, his brothers Robert, Jacques and Henri conscientiously paid his salary and profits into a dedicated bank account and proudly handed this nest egg to him on his return. During the war, Louis had dreamed about owning a Bugatti. He used his entire savings to buy the Gangloff coach 57106 that was waiting for him with Pierron at Bordeaux ! His nephew recalls " The Bugatti was two-tone, beige and brown or beige and burgundy. The brothers weren't impressed by this foolhardy purchase. The car caused Louis Bricq no end of trouble. He had to bring a mechanic from the Bugatti factory in Alsace to sort out the engine which he was never happy with. This was the reason he sold it just a few months later. " And so, in the spring of 1946, the Bugatti left SW France to head back to the capital.

The post-war story
On 16 April 1946, the car was registered 9753 YC 6, in the Seine-et-Oise department, and in the name of Jean Danis, of 12 Rue du Parc de Clagny, Versailles. Danis kept the Bugatti for four years before selling it on 26 July 1950 to Edouard Pradel, of 7 rue Marguerite, who registered it with the number 1202 K 75. This enthusiast drove the car around for a short while before storing it at his property to the south of Paris. It was discovered there some ten years later. Jean Paul Guillemot has told us that he bought the Bugatti directly from Pradel. He was just 18 years at the time and bought the car on 25 October 1962. However, the young enthusiast did not have the means to put the car back on the road nor to restore it. It lay untouched in the outbuilding of the family business. It was there that Maurice Sauzay, an enthusiast from Lyon and like Guillemot, a member of the AAA club, learnt of the existence of this sleeping beauty. He asked his friend Jacques Lefranc, of Surry-le-Comtal, to help fund the acquisition that took place on 16 September 1972. The Gangloff coach found itself at the coachbuilders Sauzay, on 28 quai Perrache, in Lyon. A new garnet-coloured dress soon replaced the black robe that it had worn since the 1950s. The original pigskin upholstery was retained.
A little later, the car was sold to Yves Anselin, from Lyon, and registered in the Rhône with the number HN 69. The first engine rebuild was carried out by Henri Novo. In September 1981 the Gangloff coach took part in events organised in Alsace for the Bugatti centenary. In the early 1980s, Yves Anselin asked the specialist Bernard Viallon to carry out a mechanical service : the engine was taken out and rebuilt correctly and the clutch refurbished. Still being run in, the car was presented by Bernard and Nicole Viallon in 1984 at a concours d'élégance on the Riviera. In 1986 the car changed hands once more, acquired by Michel Jospin, an enthusiast from Nice, and it was re-registered 5829 WC 06. He maintained the car regularly for the next ten years.
On 24 November 1996, it was sold to the Parisian dealer Jean-Claude Houdayer, of the garage Passionauto in Nanterre. He offered the car for sale through the intermediary Christophe Pund's "La Galerie des Damiers" . However it was finally bought directly from Houdayer, in December 1996, by Dr Michel B., from Paris. In December 1999 the dealer took the car back, and sold it once more to another collector from Paris, Pascal Pessiot. The Bugatti 57106 was handed over to the Lecocq coachbuilders in Saint-Ouen. The body was stripped to bare metal and repainted in two-tone black with red sides, suggesting the Ventoux coaches of the 1934 - 35 period. In 2004, the current owner purchases this very first Gangloff coach built on a Type 57 chassis.

Pierre-Yves Laugier