The Bugatti Type 57 was available in a variety of styles, ranging from the Galibier 4-door saloon to the 2-place convertible, the Aravis. In addition to the standard bodies supplied by Bugatti, many examples received coachbuilt bodies by such famous names as Franay, Graber, Gangloff, Figoni & Falaschi, Saoutchik and many more.
This Bugatti T57 'Aravis' was designed by Albert d'Ieteren for a Mr. Baggage. The chassis (#57589) was delivered to D'Ieteren's Brussels workshop at March 9th 1938 and fitted with D'Ieteren's body design #5219. It is one of just two Type 57's bodied by Albert d'Ieteren. D'Ieteren used a Letourneur et Marchand Aravis (s/n 57826) as a basis for their modeling study. D'Ieteren set about producing their own version, incorporating the suggestions and recommendations of the client, Monsieur Baggage, whose tall stature and carefully defined sense of what he wanted resulted in a unique and striking design. Following the collaboration of Monsieur Baggage and Albert d'Ieteren on the car's design, Monsieur Baggage took delivery of the completed car in the Autumn of 1938. He used and enjoyed the car until World War II forced him to conceal it.
A Belgian Bugatti Specialist, DeDobeeller, acquired the car in the 1950's, and subsequently sold it on to a fellow in the United States by the name of Julian Sano. In 1962, another American owner, Robert Wells, acquired the car, though he laid it up with a camshaft gear problem in the mid 1960's. The car had covered just 72,000km from new, and was largely unmolested. The next owner acquired the car from Mr. Wells about ten years ago, and subsequently had a complete restoration effected by Bugatti specialist Jim Stranberg of Colorado. The restoration was completed in June of 2009, and the car has covered 300 miles since. The restoration included the renewal of all major cosmetic and mechanical components, including interior, paintwork, chrome, engine, suspension, and brakes.
The car was shown in the special Bugatti class at Pebble Beach in August of 2009, and also participated in the Rolex Tour. Recently the car was sold through Fantasy Junction.
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