This 1938 Bugatti Type 57SC, Vanden Plas Tourer, is the only one of its kind built. It was photographed in 2010 at the Danville, Calif.-based Blackhawk Automotive Museum.
“The Type 57S was a more sporting version of the Bugatti Type 57 launched in August of 1936,” according to a Blackhawk display. “The ‘S’ did not represent ‘sport,’ but signified ‘surbaisse,’ which is the French word for ‘lower.’ The rear axle was mounted through the frame, and it was the first production Bugatti with underslung chassis configuration.
“Axles were mounted above the center line of the chassis resulting in sportier handling by lowering the car’s center of gravity. The Type 57S also had a shorter wheelbase than the original Type 57. When a supercharger (referred to as a compressor in Europe) was added, the Type 57S was designated the Type 57SC. The traditionally flat radiator shell is v-shaped and sits much lower in the chassis.
“This Type 57SC was created by Vanden Plas of London and is the only Tourer built on a Type 57SC chassis. Carrosserie Van Den Plas was formed in Brussels, Belgium, as a carriage builder; Vanden Plas Ltd. was formed in England in 1913 as an offshoot of Van Den Plas.”
The 8-cylinder engine could achieve 170 hp at 3200 rpm. The car was manufactured by Automobiles E. Bugatti in Molsheim, France. Vanden Plas (England) was located in London.
Keywords:1938 Bugatti Type 57SC, Blackhawk Automotive Museum, Danville, Ettore Bugatti, Glenn Franco Simmons
© Glenn Thomas Franco Simmons