Lot 71

1936 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux

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$200,000 - $250,000| Without Reserve





Car Highlights

Formerly Part of the John Shakespeare and Schlumpf Reserve Collections

Desirable Second-Series Type 57; Equipped with Lockheed Hydraulic Brakes

Retains Original Engine and Factory-Fitted Coachwork

Unveiled in 1934, the Type 57 is widely regarded as a masterpiece by the hand of Jean Bugatti. Bugatti continually refined the Type 57 throughout its production run, resulting in three distinct series of chassis. The second-series chassis – introduced in 1936 and underpinning the car presented here – featured a strengthened rear axle, cross-braced frame, rubber engine mounts, and upgraded brakes, among other improvements.

According to copies of Bugatti factory records on file, this Type 57, chassis 57377, was assembled in February 1936 and equipped with engine 278. Upon completion, it was fitted with two-door Ventoux coachwork, designed by Jean Bugatti and constructed in-house at the Molsheim works. Originally finished in blue with a blue leather interior, this body features a striking, avant-garde design characterized by its steeply raked windscreen, flowing lines, and rear-mounted spare.

According to the American Bugatti Register and Data Book, this Type 57 Ventoux was delivered to Monsieur D. Saint on February 28, 1936. Following delivery, little is known of its provenance until the 1960s, when the car was pictured reportedly wearing Swiss license plates, as seen in a photo in the American Bugatti Register and Data Book. The car’s next known owner was Bugatti collector John Shakespeare of Centralia, Illinois. Heir to the fishing reel company which bore his name, Mr. Shakespeare assembled a collection of 30 prewar Bugattis throughout the 1950s, which included a Type 41 Royale bodied by Park Ward and a Type 57SC bodied by Vanvooren.

When Swiss textile magnates Hans and Fritz Schlumpf began amassing their Bugatti collection in 1963, dealers throughout Europe and the US sourced cars on their behalf. One of these individuals was Illinois native Robert Shaw who sold his Type 38 to Schlumpf. This formed a relationship between the two that eventually led to Shaw facilitating the sale of Shakespeare’s entire collection to Schlumpf in 1964.

By the time 57377 came into Fritz Schlumpf’s ownership, the exterior had been refinished in black and maroon and the original blue leather, which the car retains today, was painted red. At some point in this Type 57’s history, the rear axle was exchanged with another Bugatti unit. The car retains its original engine and Ventoux coachwork per copies of factory records on file. Modifications to the engine are present including a cast aluminum air filter and coolant expansion tank.

Today, what was the Schlumpf Collection is the Musée National Cité de l'Automobile. As the collection is a nationalized jewel of the French government, the vehicles therein are not likely to ever return to private hands.

The Schlumpf Reserve Collection, however, was a separate group of Schlumpf cars, which included this Type 57, that had been placed in static storage in Malmerspach, France for future restoration. Fritz Schlumpf’s widow, Arlette, eventually sold this collection to Dutch vintage car dealers Jack Braam Ruben and Bruno Vendiesse in June 2008.

The large majority of the Schlumpf Reserve Collection, including this Type 57, was then acquired by the Mullin Collection and displayed in an unrestored state in the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California. This Bugatti coming to sale presents an exciting opportunity to acquire a vehicle that was once a part of the Schlumpf Reserve Collection. This remarkably original Type 57 Ventoux would make a great basis for a restoration or careful preservation for its next caretaker.

*Please note that all of the Lots in this Auction have been in long-term static storage at the Mullin Automotive Museum and may not be currently operational. They will require mechanical attention and in some cases significant restoration prior to any road use.


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