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 Post subject: Re: Bugatti T57 Atalante 57252
PostPosted: Thu Jul 02, 2009 5:48 pm 
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Uwe - thanks so much for posting up these pages, off to study them now.

Claire


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 Post subject: Re: Bugatti T57 Atalante 57252
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:21 am 
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If anyone can tell me any more about Grand Raid cars please.

Also regarding previous owners, it states Dovaz owned this car once, where would that information have been received please along with does anyone have any information about Ben Shaschoua as my file starts with letters from Lyman Greenlee.

Thanks

Claire


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 Post subject: Re: Bugatti T57 Atalante 57252
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:51 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Bugatti T57 Atalante 57252
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 12:26 pm 
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Thanks Uwe

It's very kind of you to keep posting these copies as I have no books myself, I have learnt a lot in the last few days.

Claire


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 Post subject: Re: Bugatti T57 Atalante 57252
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 12:33 pm 
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Do we know anything about the other 2 Grand Raid faux cabriolet Atalantes;

57263 and 57325


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 Post subject: Re: Bugatti T57 Atalante 57252
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:56 pm 
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Hi Claire.

Ard op de Weegh wrote the definitive history of the Dovaz collection and you are right, Michel Dovaz did indeed own 57252. He bought her in 1950 from Parisian dealer Ben Shaschoua and sold her to Jean de Dobbeleer in 1956. After de Dobbeleer incorporated the headlamps into the front wings the car went to Greenlee (1957), North (1979), Dixon (19??), Jones (19??) and then to the Artom in Italy (1988).

Now to see what I can find on the G.R. cars and the 2 Atalantes you were enquiring about.

Regards
Johan


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 Post subject: Re: Bugatti T57 Atalante 57252
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:03 pm 
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Hi Claire

Herewith the entire chapter on the first Grand Raid Roadster followed by the listing of the whole series of Grand Raid chassis, both courtesy of Laugier's English translation.

Uwe has just written to me asking about 57281; herewith the available information from the LEVRAISONS CHASSIS TYPE 57.

57281/196 ; FX-cabriolet ; Agent unknown ; First owner, Goddet delivered to him 26/06/1935.

This differs slightly from the information from the Price book and if past experience is anything to go by, the information in Laugier is correct and the information contained in the Price work is spectacularly wrong, anyway, herewith the Price entry for 57281 :

57281/196 ; invoiced 20 September 1935 ; FX-cabriolet and he gives the first owner as Liliaz. So apart from the date and the first owner Barrie Price is correct. Five facts of which he got two wrong and left out one. About what one can expect from a guy who does not know the difference between a T46 and a T50T.


57221/110 The Roadster Grand Raid

In the autumn of 1934, a year after the commercialization of the Type 57, the only model in production at the factory, it was time for the Molsheim builders to give it a more sporting look if they wanted to successfully diversify their series.

During the first year of production, from October 1933 to October 1934, the Bugatti factory had met with open success with its Type 57. This chassis was aimed at a family market and the finished cars coming out of the Bugatti workshops were lacking outstanding styling. During that year, 39 four-door Galibiers, 22 four-seater Bugatti factory Cabriolets, and 6 Ventoux coaches were made. This latter model was not officially unveiled until the October 1934 Show and afterwards would see its production increase.

Gangloff, the body shop in Colmar, had not made many designs either. That year it produced five Type 57 Cabriolets, including Mr. Bertrand’s 57164 (see 57384S), four Berline four-door Type 57s and three Coach Type 57s, two-door and two specials: the first 57 Aérodynamic and 57149 delivered to Dr. Mauguière, designed according to the owner’s drawings (see 57149). After the October 1934 Automobile Show, Gangloff designed his one and only Roadster 57217 based on the 1935 catalog (see 57492S Lillaz).

It was thus during the autumn of 1934 that Bugatti’s research department studied the possibility of a 57 Roadster two-seater. On September 15, 1934, a blueprint numbered 1067 two-seater roadster on a 57 chassis was produced.

This was the first mention we found of the 57 Grand Raid. The term was not yet used, but it was under this name that the car was presented at the October 1934 Automobile Show with extraordinary tapered bodywork – aerodynamic and entirely made in aluminium. At the simple mention of the term, the enthusiast should feel an adventurer’s calling emerge, imagine himself at the wheel of this incredible racing car, and ignore the cars of mere mortals.

The car was to be ready for the show held in mid-October 1934. In the Bugatti body shop, we found documents dated October 8, 1934 that mention “Roadster Grand Raid 57 engine 110 chassis 57221.” This corresponds to the day the car left the body shop and went to the workshop to have the rear springs, hand break lever and gearshift modified.

The 57 Grand Raid was shown to the public on Bugatti stand No. 20 at the Automobile Show held in the Grand Palais in October 1934. It was surrounded by models of all the 57s built by the Bugatti factory: the Cabriolet Stelvio four-seater, the Ventoux Coach two-door, four-seater, and the Galibier four-door with no central pillar.

The November-December 1934 edition of the magazine “L’Auto Carrosserie” describes the Bugatti Torpedo Sport as follows:

“The Bugatti stand is always very beautiful. It is rare that one does not find some curiosities. This year, in Bugatti’s favorite colors, it was a black and yellow “bomb” that attracted everyone’s attention. This Torpedo Sport, which has a fairly classical shape, has on its rear upper structure two streamlined head rests like one sees on the fuselage of an aircraft. The two tubular seats lined with pigskin are quite comfortable. In the rear there is a large trunk set in the tail of the car. It is next to a red Cabriolet and two Ventoux coaches with slanted windshields.

This Roadster would be the first equipped with a special hood with nine vertical slots made by the factory body shop. The dashboard was also special: it was made in two sections, separated by a vertical chromed band on which, from one side to the other, were the adjusters for the shock absorbers and four small gauges for the liquid levels. On the extreme left-hand side was a large speedometer and to the right of the steering wheel, a rev counter.

The specifications of the Grand Raid included some mechanical modifications to the chassis that we have been able to list from the notes of the modifications to 57316, engine 190, which dates from March 16, 1935. It carries the notation: “Modify this chassis to Grand Raid specification.”

Rear axle with ratio 14 X 54

Steering lengthened and angled

Special dashboard

Ten or so chassis appear to have benefited from some or all of these modifications. As for 57221, engine 110, after its exhibition in the Auto Show of 1934, where it was not sold (but perhaps it was not for sale), it was run in and, on November 20, 1934, the engine was serviced.

On March 15, 1935, it had a standard 12 X 54 rear axle fitted. This corresponds to the Grand Raid specifications that were equipped with this ratio when they were initially built.

On March 16, the first engine test was made on the Roadster and 49 mm high Type 59 pistons were installed. Type 59 valve guides and springs and a special tubular intake manifold were also fitted.

On April 1, 1935 the engine was again serviced and the old pistons were re-fitted.

On April 11 the engine was taken down again in order to mount the 49 mm Type 59 pistons and new Bollé piston rings. Three days later, Robert Benoist participated in the Chavigny hill race near Nancy and won at the wheel of Roadster 57221-110 in the 5-liter category.

On May 10, 1935 the engine was rebuilt and the previous Type 57 special pistons were refitted (four hundredth smaller in diameter).

On June 4, 1935 a standard 12 X 50 rear axle was fitted.

On June 7 a series of trials with the following pistons were carried out: first, pistons of 48.5 mm followed by a test with 56 mm pistons and finally 52 mm pistons were fitted.

On June 8, 1935 special brake drums were installed.

All of this work was carried out for the “Circuit des Vosges” which was held on June 9, 1935 and was a 450-kilometer constant average speed trial through the Vosges region of France. Robert Diebolt, a close friend of the Bugatti family, was the director of the event and Pierre Marco was among the three sporting judges. We are certain that “57 engine 110 Roadster Grand Raid” participated in the event. After having been refitted with the standard engine in October 1935 and rebuilt at Pierre Marco’s workshops in November, the black and yellow Grand Raid Roadster labelled “ex-circuit des Vosges” was for sale at the factory for FRF 60,000. This was a second-hand car, used for a year by the factory and thus justifying its price, compared with the sales price of FRF 88,000 for a new Grand Raid Roadster on October 1, 1934. It is worth noting that the Grand Raid was no longer listed in the price catalog in October 1935.

When the Roadster was at the factory in January 1936, it no longer had a chassis plate. The plate engraved 57221 had been taken off and the car was described simply as “57…/110 Roadster Grand Raid, black and yellow, pigskin interior.” It appears that the number 57221 was quickly attributed to another 57221. In fact a Gangloff Cabriolet four-seater has this plate but is equipped with a newer engine, in the 500 series, a chassis which was certainly finished at the end of the war. Today it is in a collection in Switzerland.

On June 15, 1936 the factory thought they had found a buyer for the second-hand GR Roadster for FRF 52,000 after negotiations with Robert Benoist. The client was Mr. Desechallier, a Parisian garage owner who, on June 26, 1936, ordered a Roadster 57222, bodied by Bugatti, black and yellow, equipped with five new tires, serviced and guaranteed for three months. The delivery seems not to have taken place. On November 11, 1936 the 57 Grand Raid Roadster was delivered to Gaston Docime, Bugatti agent at 23 Boulevard de la Saussaie in Neuilly. There exists a photograph of Mr. Docime’s stock, taken at the beginning of 1937, showing Atalante 57267 ex-Goddet. It was sold in November 1937 to the garage owner Mr. Pintaut in the village of Hermonville in Marne, France, the residence of the author. The Cabriolet for sale at Docime’s garage was a Labourdette, 57442 ex-Monestier.

The photograph showing the four cars offered for sale by Docime could have been taken at the end of autumn 1937, and it was possibly at this time that the garage acquired the Grand Raid from the painter, André Derain. In the Derain family archives there is a small photograph of the Roadster with license plate number 5510RK6 dated November 1936, corresponding to the time when Docime bought the car, perhaps for the painter’s account. André Derain could have owned the Grand Raid Roadster up until the end of January 1937 or the beginning of 1938 because Docime purchased the 57385S Roadster on November 8, 1937 and did not officially sell it to Derain until August 1938.

If 57222 engine 110 belonged to Derain until the winter of 1937-1938, we lose trace of it until the beginning of the 1950s when it appeared in Belgium. The car had been somewhat modified. The headlights were integrated into the front wings, the dashboard had been exchanged for a more modern one and the lateral arrow had been changed to match the upper contours of the door and reinforced by a chromium band. The rear wing covers were grooved and two small wooden bumpers were added. The general lines of the car had not suffered. The car participated with this configuration in the Bugatti Rally of 1958, which started at Ermenonville and finished at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The car belonged to Mr. De Ridder of Gdonsk, Belgium. It was painted in two tones: the wings were water green and the body was very pale grey. Later, Mr. De Ridder had it repainted black and yellow. The reverse of how it was painted for the Automobile Show in 1934: i.e. the body was yellow and the wings black. Freshened up, the Roadster was exhibited in the window of Mr. De Ridder’s Jaguar agency.

In 2001 the car was purchased by the Louwman Museum in Holland and it was sent to England for a complete restoration. We were not able to inspect the car, which was completely dismantled with each part being entrusted to a different specialist.

Nevertheless, Mr. Kort, the person in charge of the restoration project, inspected the different parts of the car and confirmed that the gearbox and axle are numbered 110, and that the body is entirely aluminium. The engine is numbered 259 (perhaps the ex-57351 Ventoux Coach delivered in February 1936 to Mr. Chausson). Thanks to the numerous documents and photographs of the period, the Louwman Museum’s restoration will soon be finished and we can once again admire the only Bugatti factory 57 Grand Raid Roadster in its Salon configuration of October 1934.

The 57 CHASSIS GRAND RAID CLIENTS

After the presentation of the Grand Raid Roadster at the Automobile Show of 1934, the Bugatti factory produced a small series of special chassis called “Grand Raid Chassis.” They were intended to be fitted with two-seater open sport bodywork. A number of coachbuilders built bodies on these chassis. We will present a brief list of these cars and then discuss only those that were delivered by the factory and equipped with the special Grand Raid hood and the lateral arrow along the flanks.

Among the 57 Grand Raid clients, certain are listed “GR” just on the sales registers and others figure in the sales registers of the coachbuilders. It seems that the coachbuilder did not mention certain cars that received the special hood. This is the list of the cars delivered in their numerical chassis order:

January 31, 1935: 57243 engine 130, chassis Grand Raid delivered to BUCAR of Zurich for Constantin (n.b. Grand Raid hood but forgotten in the work shop register).

February 23, 1935: 57246 engine 129, chassis Grand Raid, delivered to BUCAR for Séchaud (n.b. Grand Raid hood, but forgotten in register).

57249: engine 179, the first Atalante that received, on April 13, 1935, a steering column 60mm longer, a modified handbrake lever and an angled steering column, Type Grand Raid.

May 18, 1935: 57252 engine 195, false Cabriolet Grand Raid, delivered to Monestier for Perrot. (n.b. It is in fact an Atalante Coupe; the Grand Raid specifications most likely consisted of a modification to the steering column.)

April 2, 1935: 57260 engine 187, chassis delivered to BUCAR for Séchaud. This car does not mention Grand Raid anywhere, but it was delivered like 57246. (n.b.: Forgotten in the factory register.)

June 26, 1935: the false Cabriolet Atalante of Mr. Goddet, before being delivered, received a longer Type Grand Raid steering column on July 1, 1935.

May 25, 1935: 57268 engine 215, chassis Grand Raid, delivered to Michel Kampmann. We have no information about the bodywork of this car. We think that it was delivered new, as a chassis, to Paris and almost certainly was completed in a Parisian body shop that might have been Figoni, but it does not appear in Figoni’s register. This car has disappeared, and although we have traced it up to the end of the war in southern France, we have not found any photographs of it.

June 20, 1935: 57282 chassis for Mr. Hicque. The delivery was delayed for the mounting of a longer Grand Raid steering column on July 1. We have no information about this car, but the chassis was certainly bodied in Paris.

April 27, 1935: 57283 engine 20, chassis Grand Raid, delivered to Sorel for O’Dwyer. This car was a 57 bodied by Corsica probably as a Torpedo in order to take part in the 1935 Tourist Trophy and was driven by Mc Ferrand and O’Dwyer. This was certainly the only 57 GR 4-seater which left the body shop. The car still exists in a Swiss collection.

On May 20, 1935, the 57312, engine 175, Robert Labbé’s false Cabriolet Atalante received a modification to the steering column and a Type Grand Raid handbrake lever as well as a modified gas tank.

March 19, 1935: 57316 engine 190, chassis Grand Raid, delivered by Sorel to Colonel Giles. On March 16, 1935, the factory modified the chassis to Grand Raid specifications. It was delivered with a Type Grand Raid hood and Bertelli, in England, created a 2-seater Roadster for Colonel Giles, the forerunner of his future 57593S Roadster.

April 5, 1935: 57323 engine 199, chassis Grand Raid, left the body workshop. The car would be bodied by Gangloff as a 2-seater Roadster.

April 27, 1935: 57324 engine 204, chassis Grand Raid delivered to Sorel in London. T.A.S.O. Mathieson was the first owner of this car before he bought chassis 57491S. The two cars were bodied as 2-seaters by Corsica. 57324 resembled the following car, the last Grand Raid delivery.

It was on September 13, 1935, that 57326 engine 225, chassis Grand Raid was delivered to Colonel Sorel. It was around the time of the October Automobile Show that the name Grand Raid no longer appeared in the Bugatti catalog.

Of all these 57s delivered with a Grand Raid chassis there were several cars delivered with the special hood with nine vertical openings. The coachbuilders integrated these features to resemble the 57 Grand Raid Roadster of the 1934 Show.

We will present in the following chapter only the four cars that we are certain were delivered with these specifications:

BUCAR received 57246 engine 129.

57260 engine 127 went to Ramseier in Worblaufen to be bodied as a Roadster;

57243 engine 130 was bodied by Figoni;

57316 engine 190 based on a drawing by Geoffrey Giles was built by Bertelli. It would inspire roadster 57593S, which was owned by Colonel Eric Giles, Geoffrey’s brother.

I did not include this next chapter because (a) it does not deal with your Atalante and (b) Lionel Decrey, Laugier's publisher, is a member of this forum and if I plagiarise one of his star authors too much he can and will black-list me (possibly) and Laugier's work on both T51 and T55 is nearing completion. If I'm removed from the preferred client list I will have no choice but to kill myself.

Kind Regards
Johan Buchner


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 Post subject: Re: Bugatti T57 Atalante 57252
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 9:53 pm 
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Sorry to correct you but at le Mans 1958 with Dolf de Ridder the car was blue and grey, NOT green and grey.Picture below shows mr. de Ridder at le Mans. At that time most photogaphs were black and white but for these details my memory is still working rather well. Keep up the good work. My compliments and regards


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 Post subject: Re: Bugatti T57 Atalante 57252
PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:13 pm 
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Hi Jacobug

Being a bit of detail freak, especially about colours, you can imagine your post sent me scurrying off to look at photographs! Did you know that of the 5 photos in Laugier of the Grand Raid roadster during its "blue" period only one is in colour? Looking at it again the wings may very well be blue, and the grey body has a definite greenish tinge to it and the back ground colours also seem a little strange. Perhaps the "green theory" came from observation of very old colour photographs?

Also the translation that I quoted from use the term "water green." Laugier's text has been translated rather literally; it could be that the French term for blue/green has been transcribed as words and not as the true meaning of the phrase.

Either way, my own memory for colours are pretty acute as well ; if you remember this car as being blue and grey I suspect it was. Thank you for the update, these small details matter a great deal to me!

Kind Regards
Johan Buchner


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 Post subject: Re: Bugatti T57 Atalante 57252
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 8:37 pm 
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What a fantastic thread, even if the knowledge is scary. 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Bugatti T57 Atalante 57252
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 9:42 pm 
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Location: Port Elizabeth; South Africa
Hi Adam

I agree this thread is fascinating ; actually there are several threads going that intrigues me, the mystery T35 and the American gentleman researching the history of his T37 in particular. Level of knowledge scary? Speaking only for myself, whatever knowledge I may have comes courtesy of the hard work from dedicated historians and authors whose work books I quote non-stop. What truly amaze me is that there is still so much mystery about 57252, I have exhausted all literature I have dealing with the T57 and I'm still not 100% sure which came first - the fixed head Atalante, or the version with the roll-back top.

I'll let you into a little secret, when I joined this forum in September 2007 I knew very little about Bugattis; indeed I knew so little I wasn't even embarrassed to ask really stupid questions! And no-one ever mocked me. Not once. Now that I have many books I understand why - every day millions of people log-on to the internet but only a handful think Bugattis more interesting than pron! It's that handful that matters and we have Herman to thank for that, before this Forum there was really no place for non-Bugatti owning enthusiasts to find an international sense of belonging - certainly not in South Africa I can tell you.

Ettore Bugatti was responsible for creating a mere 8000 cars of which roughly 1500 survive ; this is a precious, irreplaceable legacy and by sharing everything we know with anyone curious enough to stop by for a visit is a devastatingly effective way of helping to safe-guard this legacy. There are many rich tasteless buffoons who own Bugattis as status symbols, utterly ignorant of their value but obsessed with their price. Luckily there are some glorious exceptions - and all (very well, most then) of them are contributors to this forum. I find it quite thrilling to rub virtual shoulders with an arch enthusiast sharing the mechanical maladies of his T73. Pure magic.

I hope you'll stick around for a long time Adam, new blood is most welcome. Now does anyone know when the body on 57252 was constructed, if this was the first chassis it was mounted on and if so, why was this chassis completed in 1934 but only delivered in 1935 then? See? Easy.

Got to go - I have some pron that's just finished down-loading!

Cheers
Johan Buchner


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 Post subject: Re: Bugatti T57 Atalante 57252
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:43 pm 
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I have thought of another question, oh no I hear Johan sigh haha.

Is Shaschoua one of the former owners name spelt correctly as per the cars history page as nothing comes up on the internet search for this name as far as I can see.


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 Post subject: Re: Bugatti T57 Atalante 57252
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:17 pm 
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On the contrary Claire, I love questions I can answer. It's the ones that makes me go "what?" that gives me sleepless nights! Courtesy of the Dutch and Belgian Register herewith the correct spelling : Ben Saschoua. Except for the fact that Ard op de Weegh spells it Shaschoua! So there's you answer, its either Saschoua or Shashcoua ; take your pick.

Glad I could clear that up.

They call me - Johan


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 Post subject: Re: Bugatti T57 Atalante 57252
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:20 pm 
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I have had a search through the web and came up with the spelling "Ben Shashoua " quite an interesting read if it is the same man.

Also found this but can't read the archive as not a subscriber, quote

The New Yorker Digital Reader Dec 09 1950
Ben Shashoua was an automobile dealer in the early days, when it took intelligence to find out what makes were worth handling. Abra- ham Shashoua was in the .......

Thats as much as it lets you read

http://archives.newyorker.com/default.a ... ge0000050#

EDIT - Johan you are just too quick for me, looks like I found the wrong one then.


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 Post subject: Re: Bugatti T57 Atalante 57252
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:39 pm 
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The correct name is Ben Soussan, rather famous trader in B ugattis and Ferraris.Will give more details tomorrow


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