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Bibliophile price: £18.00
Created by Ettore Bugatti's eldest son Jean, the iconic Type 57 racer went through several incarnations between 1932 and 1939, the year in which Jean died tragically in the car a few days before the outbreak of WW2. The author considers that Type 59 was a racing model of Type 57 and in this stunning, glossy book he looks at the two in parallel. Dating archive photos can be difficult but the author attempts to untangle the cars' history, together with their origins, specifications, victories, the personalities behind them and the political and social background. The Type 57G tank racing car of 1936 was a Grand Prix version of the 3.3 litre T57S which had evolved from the T57 touring car of 1933. Jean took over its development aged only 23, and the twin overhead camshaft was a totally new design producing 50% more power. From their Paris factory the Bugattis set out to beat the 1930s depression. Type 59 is considered one of the handsomest racing cars ever made and the archive photo does it full justice. The streamlined 57G with its sloping aerodynamic bonnet is pictured in 1934, contrasting with the Futuristic 57S with its bulging bonnet and hubs, while the fully aerodynamic T57G Tank, with its absence of rear jacking bars, is as sleek as a submarine. French people adored it at the 1936 Grand Prix, driven to victory by Wimille, who also swept to victory in that year's Grand Prix de la Marne. A series of fascinating interior photos of model 57248, later owned by King Leopold of Belgium, displays the stripped chassis, gearbox and spark plugs. Following a 1936 strike Ettore felt betrayed by his workforce, and although astonishing records were set at Le Mans in 1937, Jean's death followed by the outbreak of war changed the business. Full specifications, diagrams, and a chapter on spin-off toys, triumphs, failures and trivia. 176pp, bibliography, archive photos on almost every page. 10" square.
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