Up For Auction: 1938 Bugatti Type 57 Stelvio Cabriolet


A 1938 Bugatti Type 57 Stelvio Cabriolet is up for bids at this year's Pebble Beach auction from August 21st to August 22nd. Bids expected to reach around $700,000-$800,000.

The 1930' sure was quite a “fun” time to be alive. Babe Ruth was leading the Yankees to World Series championships, the entire world was still stinging from the Stock Market Crash of 1929 which was the beginning of the Great Depression and John Dillinger was holding up banks. Then there was the 1938 Bugatti Type 57. The Bugatti Type 57 is not your ordinary Bugatti. There is actually an interesting story behind this vintage masterpiece, chassis number 57569.

From early 1934 until after the outbreak of war in Europe in September 1939, the automotive output from Bugatti's Molsheim factory was almost exclusively devoted to the Type 57 model. This also proved that Bugatti was capable of luxurious coachwork and thus, the rare 1938 Bugatti Type 57 Stelvio cabriolet was born. This brings us to this rare beauty, a Type 57 Stelvio. After several decades, it was restored and eventually made its way to Switzerland in the late 1980's. Since then, the Type 57 has belonged to a Dallas, Texas native named John R. Lee.

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Bob Smith Coachworks Inc. of Gainesville, Texas performed some extensive work on the vintage classic including an adjustment of the carburetors, new carpeting, new wheels, paint repairs and thorough attention to the braking and electrical systems. The coachwork to the Type 57 Stelvio cabriolet features a somewhat smaller and racier profile. Tall rear-fender crowns nearly reach to the base of the cabriolet top. The engine bay, with Bugatti's trademarked engine-turned firewall and race-bred DOHC inline eight-cylinder engine, produces 135hp and is mated to a four-speed transmission.

It also has a solid axle and semi-elliptic leaf spring front suspension. Oh, as for the asking price. If you want to be the next owner of this prized Bugatti treasure, be ready to shell out an estimated $700,000-$800,000 at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance taking place from August 20st to August 21st in beautiful Monterey, California. Photos courtesy of RM Auctions.

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