Bugatti Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid Usine - rare and beautiful

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Bugatti Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid Usine 11

 

Unique design and outstanding technology are the basis for everything that Bugatti has created in its long history. But even among the famous models, there are some that stand out - like the Bugatti Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid Usine. The model is as rare as it is beautiful and mysterious - a perfect specimen. In October 1934, Bugatti presented the Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid to the international automotive press and car lovers at the Salon de l'Automobile in Paris. The "Grand Raid" is one of several body variants of the legendary Bugatti Type 57 and is specially designed for competition - "Raid" in French means a long and strenuous rally.

Bugatti Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid Usine

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In total, Bugatti builds only ten Grand Raid chassis, the most fascinating of them all being the Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid Usine with its unusual aluminum body. The only known model has the chassis number 57222 and is painted in black and yellow - the favorite colors of Bugatti founder Ettore Bugatti.

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“The Bugatti Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid Usine is an exceptional piece of Bugatti heritage in every respect and embodies everything Bugatti stands for in the 21st century,” says Christophe Piochon, President of Bugatti Automobiles. “It was tuned for performance and designed to the highest standards of craftsmanship and luxury. It is a luxury sports car, the inspiration for modern Bugatti automobiles.” The Bugatti Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid Usine is surrounded by a number of mysteries: “Usine” has never been an official Bugatti trademark. Presumably Jean Bugatti, son of Bugatti founder Ettore, designed the model.

Differences to Type 57SC Atlantic and Type 57S Atalante

The Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid models differ from versions such as the Type 57SC Atlantic and Type 57S Atalante in that they are designed for racing. This is evident in the streamlined and extended fenders, the V-shaped windshield and the aerodynamic headrests. Among other things, Bugatti adjusts the angle of the steering column to move the driver further back. Bugatti has also repositioned the shifter, handbrake and pedals.

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Shortly after Bugatti presented the Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid Usine with its beautiful design and its highly developed chassis at the Salon de l'Automobile in Paris, the legendary racing driver Pierre Veyron entered it in the Paris-Nice Rally - the first was named after him in 2005 Modern-day Bugatti, the Veyron hyper sports car. In April 1935, the Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid Usine with Grand Prix driver Robert Benoist took first place in the Chavigny hillclimb.

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In 1946 this model is sold to a Bugatti enthusiast. The new owner modified the roadster, including changing the headlights on the fenders. As the original car was now heavily modified, it will later be fully restored to the original configuration as seen at the Salon de l'Automobile with chassis number 57222. Today it is in the Louwman Museum.

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The Louwman Museum in The Hague is the place where more than 130 years of progress, innovation and design are presented through the unique collection of more than 275 examples from the history of the automobile. Founded in 1934, the museum houses one of the finest private collections of historic cars and motorcycles in the world and has been owned by the Louwman family since it opened. Today it is managed by Evert Louwman, the son of the founder Pieter Louwman. This spectacular automobile collection is housed in one of the most impressive buildings in the Netherlands, designed by Driehaus Prize-winning architect Michael Graves and located on Leidsestraatweg in The Hague.

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Bugatti Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid Usine - rare and beautiful
Photo credit: Bugatti
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