Bugatti T57S #57601 has been rebodied twice. I was first delivered with a coupe body. The first owner was a Mr. Pearce-Jones of Oxshott and he ordered the car in 1938 through the British Bugatti agent situated on London's Brixton Road, from where it was sent to Corsica to be fitted with the body once described by famed Bugattiste (and subsequent owner) Ronny Symondson as: ?A fruitless attempt to copy the Atlantic?. Registered on the 7th of June 1938 with the registration number J 222, 57601's history until 1948 is unknown. The original owner's life is also a bit of a mystery. He was one of the first members of the B.O.C. but it is not known if he ever owned any other Bugattis, or whether he kept the car until 1948 when it passed to Donald Campbell who, in turn, only kept it for a short while before passing it on to Crooks Motors Ltd. Garage in Caterham, Surrey.
He sold the car in 1949 to Dennis Dwyer who in turn passed it on to Daniel Richmond in 1952 who crashed it shortly afterwards. The remains were stored for a future rebuild but in 1964 the hanger caught fire and 57601 was severely damaged. The fire seems to have broken Mr. Richmond's spirit and he gave the remains to Ronnie Symondson.
By the time Ronnie Symondson received the car it needed a lot of work and a great many parts were so badly damaged, there was no choice but to replace a whole slew of them. The engine block, cylinder head, crankcase, crankshaft, ignition, right front half-axle, steering box, front brakes, rear shock absorbers, gearbox casing and radiator were all replaced. Little of the original body remained, and the bits that did were rusted and the wooden frame was rotten.
A lot of credit must go to Mr. Symondson for respecting the wishes of Daniel Richmond by restoring this severely damaged car instead, of using it as a spares car for his other 57S, 57375. There are no questions about its originality; only by replacing all the damaged parts could this car be put back into working order. The alternative was to scrap it.
Wakefields and Sons, of Byfleet, Surrey constructed an aluminum over tube-frame coupe body in 1968. While the wings were "age appropriate" the body was quite modern looking and not particularly attractive. I suspect that the performance must have been greatly improved due to the new body being much lighter than the steel original.
Dan Margulies was the next owner and he advertised 57601 in Thoroughbred & Classic Car in its August 1983 issue. Brian Classic bought it and while he was full of praise for the mechanical condition of the car but he just couldn't live with the coachwork and it was he who had a rather attractive 2-seater roadster body constructed and fitted. Strongly influenced by the Col. Giles car, it incorporated many Corsica styling cues, this car is today owned by Oscar Davis. When entered in the Meadowbrook Concourse in 1997, it was not clearly explained that this body was new and a lot of people, including the judges, were confused about its provenance.
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