Bugatti Shines at Pebble Beach: Monterey Car Week 2023

Monterey Car Week, a prestigious event celebrated on the hallowed grounds of Pebble Beach golf course recently showcased a remarkable array of rare and exceptional cars from across the globe.

An assembly of automotive marvels, meticulously judged for their elegance, condition, and historical significance by a panel comprising the world’s foremost authorities, brought forth an exhilarating spectacle. Amidst the awe-inspiring lineup, a class dedicated to the revered Bugatti Type 57 stood out, encapsulating the legendary design’s enduring allure, engineering prowess, and innovative spirit.

Diverse Display of Bugatti Type 57 Elegance

Bugatti Shines at Pebble Beach: Monterey Car Week 2023

This year’s highlight was undoubtedly the comprehensive class featuring the Bugatti Type 57, an icon known for its timeless beauty and technological brilliance. Among the gems within this class was a gem: the 1937 Bugatti Type 57 Franay Cabriolet. A rarity in every sense, this two-seater marvel was one of only four Bugatti vehicles ever graced by the Parisian craftsmanship of Franay.

Remarkably, it is believed to stand as the sole Type 57 featuring a Franay body. The car’s intriguing history involves the German movie star and skier Hella Hartwich

, who originally envisioned the chassis and entrusted Franay to conjure an elegant cabriolet form. Subsequently, it passed into the hands of the esteemed French filmmaker Jean Rouch, who cherished it until his passing in 2004. The car’s revival in 2011 was a testament to the dedication of the Evergreen Historic Automobiles Association in Lebanon, Missouri.

Exquisite Rarity: The Vanvooren Cabriolet

Bugatti Shines at Pebble Beach: Monterey Car Week 2023

Within this distinguished class, another masterpiece garnered attention: one of only 42 Type 57S chassis to receive the Vanvooren cabriolet treatment. Presently, a mere trio of these exquisite vehicles remains, with one taking the spotlight at Pebble Beach. The Type 57S model, tailored for motorsport triumphs, clinched victory in multiple Grand Prix races during 1936 and 1937, including Le Mans. The Vanvooren Cabriolet variant on display, boasting its original powertrain, body, and rear end, underscored the exceptional build quality and enduring nature of these automotive marvels.

The expert panel bestowed the coveted ‘Jules Heumann Most Elegant Open Car’ accolade upon a Type 57S Corsica Open Sports, leaving an indelible impression. Commissioned by the German-British shipping magnate Robert Ropner, this sporting four-seater open tourer was crafted by London’s Corsica Coachworks. Its 1937 incarnation exuded elegance with black paint and cream leather, a testament to the masterful work of Corsica Coachworks. Painstaking restoration restored this gem to its former glory, showcasing the dedication to preserving automotive heritage.

The Allure of Jean Bugatti’s Atalante

Amidst the array of stunning designs adorning the Type 57 chassis, none surpassed the brilliance conceived by Jean Bugatti himself: the Atalante. Two of these masterpieces graced the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, a testament to their rarity, with only 17 ever produced.

Characterized by its streamlined coupé profile and potent straight-eight, 3.3-litre dual-overhead camshaft engine, the Atalante emerged as an emblem of timeless elegance and performance. A unique version caught the eye with its distinctive black and yellow colour configuration, a tribute to Ettore Bugatti’s preferred hues. The ‘J.B & Dorothy Nethercutt Most Elegant Closed Car Award’ rightfully graced this exceptional Atalante.

The parade of brilliance continued with the Type 57SC Atalante, now a treasured possession of an enthusiastic Bugatti collector in Switzerland. This version, echoing the distinctive Atalante features, featured an added supercharger that elevated its performance even further. This blend of impeccable condition and originality positioned it as a triumphant representative within the Type 57 class.

Honouring Bugatti’s Legacy and Future

The 2023 Concours d’Elegance not only celebrated Bugatti’s storied past but also its limitless present. The pièce de résistance was the Chiron Super Sport1 ‘Golden Era’, a crowning achievement of Bugatti’s Sur Mesure personalization program. This unique creation took centre stage at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering, capturing the essence of Bugatti’s current innovation. Bugatti enthusiasts gathered at Le Domaine Bugatti, exploring the Chiron Super Sport ‘Golden Era’ along with other exclusive offerings and lifestyle products.

The event encompassed more than just automobiles. The Little Car Company showcased the Baby Bugatti II, a nod to the Chiron Super Sport ‘Golden Era’, while Jacob&Co unveiled its range of meticulously crafted Bugatti timepieces. Asprey contributed to the spectacle with a display of renowned Bugatti sculptures. Furthermore, the Bugatti Residences by Binghatti, Dubai’s first luxury living development, offered guests a glimpse into the brand’s lifestyle beyond automobiles.

As the Concours d’Elegance paid homage to Bugatti’s groundbreaking achievements, the brand’s indomitable spirit lived on. Ettore and Jean Bugatti’s legacy served as a wellspring of inspiration, resonating through the modern Bugatti brand. From the unveiling of the ‘Golden Era’ at The Quail to the immersive experience at Le Domaine, Bugatti’s pioneering ethos remained unwavering.

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