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 Post subject: Bugatti T57 Atalante 57252
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 2:30 pm 
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Posts: 55
Hello all, my name is Claire and I am the owner of the above car.

I inherited the car when my father died in Jan 2009.

I am trying to learn its history by going through the cars file but any help would be great as there is a lot to take on board for a novice like me.

Many thanks and I look forward to using your forum.

Claire

Edit Herman: Here is the file for 57252 on www.Bugattiregister.com:

http://www.bugattiregister.com/wiki/index.php?title=57252


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 Post subject: Re: Bugatti T57 Atalante 57252
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 3:36 pm 
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Image

Image

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Bugatti T57 Atalante 57252
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 4:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 12, 2004 4:26 pm
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Location: Reeuwijk, The Netherlands
Thank you, Claire, for posting the info. Your car looks stunning!

Anyone with more info on this car? It seems this car had another body long time ago, and some say this car is the car that Jean Bugatti used in some promotional pictures.

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 Post subject: Re: Bugatti T57 Atalante 57252
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 5:08 pm 
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Thanks for posting the link Herman.

This is the cars original body.

The info I have;

The factory used the Grand Raid assembly on the Type 57 chassis for the production of a two-seater coupe, which was named Faux Cabriolet in 1935 and then from December 1935 onwards the name was changed to Coupe Atalante.


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 Post subject: Re: Bugatti T57 Atalante 57252
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:42 pm 
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Last edited by Uwe on Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:38 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Bugatti T57 Atalante 57252
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 10:12 pm 
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Thanks Uwe, that's where I got confused.

In the cars file there is a copy from a book by Kruta / Simon, I don't know the title but page 24.I also don't have the final paragraph Quote

Chassis Nos 57252 G.R., 57263 G.R, and 57325 G.R the FxCabr G.R.

The factory used the Grand Raid assembly on the Type 57 chassis for the production of a two-seater coupe, which was named Faux Cabriolet in 1935 and then from December 1935 onwards the name was changed to Coupe Atalante.

In 1935 about 9 or 10 of these coupes were produced and in Carnet no 4 ref 3 three of them were recorded as G R cab and fxCabr G.R. We have no idea in what way these cars differed from the other coupes that were produced. In all these bodies the two seats had to be placed nearer to the rear of the chassis and the steering column had to be placed at a steeper angle.

A batch of 3 cars was produced in May 1935 and Jean and his fiancee Reva Reyes used one of them 57252G.R on a promotional trip in summer 1935. There are still some colour pictures of them that were printed in the bugatti sales brochure in 1936.

The car survived and was restored to concours condition. Although it resembles the car on the bugatti sales brochure there is no basic proof of its identity because several other Faux Cabriolets that were produced.......my photocopy finishes.

The picture is a girl walking down steps with flowers on towards the car.



Also in the file is a copy from a book - page 63 Bugatti 57 - The Last French Bugatti by B Price quote

photograpah taken by Jean Bugatti while enjoying the Vosges countyside in summer with a nice girl and a fine car. First Atalante, chasis 57252, May 1935

- picture of girl/fiancee sitting on front of car.

On the same page ; First Atalante, may 1935 chassis 57252

-picture of lady in hat leaning against car.

Thanks

Claire


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 Post subject: Re: Bugatti T57 Atalante 57252
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2009 11:08 pm 
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Last edited by Uwe on Tue Apr 19, 2016 10:38 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Bugatti T57 Atalante 57252
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 11:40 am 
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Last edited by Uwe on Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:38 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Bugatti T57 Atalante 57252
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:06 pm 
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Uwe - thanks again.

I have spoken to a previous owner that undertook the restoration. He said there were no signs at all that this car ever had a bureau top.

I also have found a copy in the file from the book copied above, showing grey / green .

It would be interesting to know if the car you posted shown at Techno Classica has the non-standard dashboard as in the Paris Salon 1935.

Claire


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 Post subject: Re: Bugatti T57 Atalante 57252
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 6:58 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 12, 2004 4:26 pm
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Location: Reeuwijk, The Netherlands
I checked the pictures I made during Techno classica. Unfortunately the car has had its original body destroyed, after which a 1960's fantasy body was fitted. Now a new body is fitted, as much as possible similar to the old body. However, who knows what they altered re. the dashboard? I do not have a clear picture of the dashboard.

Chassis number is 57312. First registration May 1935.

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 Post subject: Re: Bugatti T57 Atalante 57252
PostPosted: Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:39 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2007 10:39 am
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Location: Port Elizabeth; South Africa
Hi Claire

Congratulations on your ownership of this fine Bugatti.

I have little to add except the entry for 57252 in the "LIAVRONS CHASSIS TYPE 57" taken from Pierre-Yves Laugier's work, Bugatti 57 Sport. Details as follows :

Numeros : 57.252/195
Voitures : Ex-Cabriolet
Agents : Monestier
Clients : Perrot
Date De Sortie : 18/05/1935

Also please find attached a copy of the chapter dealing with the first Atalantes taken from the English translation of the aforementioned book. Unfortunately 57252 warrants only a brief mention :

The First Atalantes
After the extraordinary Grand Raid Roadster début at the October 1934 Automobile Show, Jean Bugatti, with the help of Joseph Walter’s design office, decided to create a new esthetic work of art, with the mythic name “Atalante.” As if out of a novel by Pierre Benoît, she precedes the Aérolithe and the Atlantic, two other beautiful heroines.

Where did Jean’s inspiration come from for this name? Did he look in mythological and astrological references for a name that evoked the image of speed? Quoting from the French Larousse, the dictionary states:

“Atalante: a very small planet discovered in 1855, the Atalante is also a legendary heroine who figures in Arcadian mythology. She was the daughter of the King of Sycros, who had decreed that she was to marry only the suitor who beat her in a race. First she let herself trail behind, then she chased after them, caught up with them and killed them.”

We can commend her intelligent strategy but deplore her way of carrying it out! We must admit that a number of opponents of the Bugatti Atalante on the road were often left with spiteful feelings!

Jean Bugatti was a movie enthusiast and he had a small private theater installed in the Pur-Sang Inn. The latest films from Strasbourg were regularly shown and perhaps he saw Jean Vigo’s film “The Atalante.” It was made in 1933 and shown at the Coliseum in Paris on September 13, 1934. Vigo died of tuberculosis on October 5, 1934, the same day that Jean Bugatti showed the Grand Raid Roadster to the public for the first time.

The long Atalante chassis, designed by Joseph Walter, corresponds to the factory drawing no. 1070 dated January 20, 1935. In the June 1935 issue of the magazine “Omnia,” an unofficial presentation was shown of the “False Cabriolet 1070” on a Bugatti 57 chassis. The Automobile Show was still a long way off. The factory gave the number of the drawing of the body to the press.

The first cars that came out in May 1935 were called “False Cabriolet,” not yet “Coupe” or “Atalante.”

The first car built left the Bugatti body shop on April 12, 1935. It is described as a “False Cabriolet 57, engine 179, chassis 57313.” In May 1935 three other False Cabriolets were produced:

57312, engine 175, left the body shop on May 14, and was delivered to Robert Labbé in Gorcy, France.

57254, engine 202, left the body shop on May 16, and was delivered to Bartholomeo Costantini in Molsheim. It would later belong to the Louis Dubreuil family for nearly sixty years. They bought the coupe secondhand in November 1936.

57252, engine 195, left the body shop on May 18, and was delivered to Mr. Perrot in Lyons.

In June 1935, three other Atalantes left the Bugatti workshop:

57263, engine 206, left on June 8, and was delivered to Mr. Blanc in Agen, France. After the war it reappeared in the form of a Cabriolet in southern France.

57325, engine 208, left on June 14, and was delivered to Achille Gaillard in Béziers;

57267, engine 219, left on June 26, and was delivered to Maurice Goddet in Paris.

The Coupe was used as the official car for the Tour de France and was driven by Madame Goddet and the journalist and actress, Meg Lemonnier.

Other cars followed, but the term “False Cabriolet” was only used for the cars produced before the 1935 Show.

On the factory price list published for the October 1935 Show, the name “Atalante” appears and it was described as a: “Touring car on a 57 chassis, with Atalante Coupe two-three seater bodywork, with sun roof” priced at FRF 90,000.

Also on the October 1935 price list appeared the chassis Sport Type 57S for the first time. It was sold for FRF 89,000, which was the same price as the Atalante.

The “Torpedo 57S” was priced at FRF 112,000.

The 57S Atalante appeared on the October 1936 price list as “Coupe two-seater, chassis 57S” at the price of FRF 109,000.

The “Conduite Atlantic” on a 57S chassis was priced at FRF 117,000.

The October 1935 factory price list only seems to offer the Atalante with a sunroof. The hard roof must have been an option because 57312, 57313, 57263 and 57267 were originally equipped with a sunroof.

Let us come back to the genesis of the first Atalante, called 57313, engine 179, False Cabriolet. For some unknown reason it received the chassis plate 57249 before being sold and was delivered, as such, to Mr. Welsch on May 21, 1935. The factory photographs for “Omnia” show that the car was licensed in June 1935 with the number 2378RJ6 that corresponded to 57313. It was then sold to Mr. Welsch, who registered it with the new chassis number 57249 under the number 2271RJ7. It later belonged to Mr. Gerard Bauche of Paris, the happy owner in 1939 of a stable of Pur-Sangs, which included Atalante 57249 and Atalante 57451SC.

The black and yellow Atalante 57249 was damaged and repaired in 1938 after a spectacular somersault, a dangerous exercise in a car with a sunroof. In 1940 it was requisitioned by the Germans; only the 57SC escaped their covetousness.

After the autumn of 1936, the production of the Alatantes with the 57 chassis at the Bugatti factory was shared with that of the short chassis Atalantes. If seventeen Atalantes on Type 57S chassis were produced by Bugatti, they built 33 or 34 Atalantes with the standard T57 long chassis. The latter bodies were made of aluminum whereas all the 57S Atalantes from the Bugatti body shop were made of sheet metal. Most of those cars have survived. Only two or three Atalantes with the 57 chassis and two 57S Atalantes have disappeared.

One must praise the collectors and garage owners and even the vandals at the end of the war, who couldn’t destroy such a car. And so today, we can admire them in all of their splendor, in collections and museums around the world.

Kind Regards
Johan Buchner


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 Post subject: Re: Bugatti T57 Atalante 57252
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 10:06 am 
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Thanks Johan - that was a great read.

So it appears mine is the earliest chassis number for an Atalante and the 4th Atalante to leave the factory.

I have a copy of page 297 from The Bugatti Type 57s, evolution, prototypes, racing cars by Simon / Kruta, if possible could someone post a copy of the page up please.

It shows the 11 Grand Raid cars, 3 of which are FxCabr - Atalante;

57252 del 18 may 1935
57263 del 8 june 1935
57325 del 1 july 1935


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 Post subject: Re: Bugatti T57 Atalante 57252
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:38 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2007 10:39 am
Posts: 1029
Location: Port Elizabeth; South Africa
My pleasure.

I have a copy of the Simon book but not access to a scanner (and even if I did I'm a little too anal about my books to subject them to the spine-cracking brutality of a scanner), but I do have the English Translation for the Laugier book as a PDF. file. I never even thought about the possibility of him dealing with 57252 in his chapter on the Grand Raid chassis'. As soon as I get home I will check. Image

If memory serves correct Laugier also identifies the above photo as 57252.

Comparing Laugier's work on the T57S with the Bernard Simon work is quite fascinating, Laugier identify 4 Atlantics, and provides proof, Simon merely states its possible. Laugier believes there was only one Aerolithe while Simon argues there were two. Both are wrong about the chassis used for the Aerolithe though, it was not an S chassis. What is really fascinating is that both authors deal with the same T57 'normale' chassis' to illustrate the development from T57 to T57S.

What is of particular interest to me is that the Atalante body is the only factory body to be offered on both T57 and 57S. And even though a lot more T57s were made than the S version (700+ T57 versus 41 T57S) 22 Atalantes were built on the long chassis and no less than 17 on the S version. To add to the confusion Gangloff built quite a few Atalante-like bodies on the long chassis and three coupes on the S chassis, but they are not called Atalantes. I also think Van Vooren built a similar body on the T57.

The Atalante owned by Dr. Williamson (57624) until his death was one of few alluminium bodied cars as opposed to the steel panelling as was normal (your car included?). Were the alluminium cars known simply as Atalantes too and were they also built by the factory? This might account for the difference in the number of Atalantes reputedly built on the T57, some sources claim 22, others, Laugier included, as many as 33.

Till later then
Johan


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 Post subject: Re: Bugatti T57 Atalante 57252
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 1:43 pm 
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Johan - many thanks again.

Yes that picture is on page 73 of the Laugier book according to my photocopy.

Also on page 74 Les 57 Sport by Laugier;

La 57252 dans sa livree d'original. Distributeur Exclusif Monestier


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 Post subject: Re: Bugatti T57 Atalante 57252
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 5:07 pm 
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