Last Sunday, rare Bugatti Type 57 cars won Best of Show honors at two of the country’s premier car shows. At the 41st annual Cincinnati Concours d’Elegance, a striking 1936 Type 57 Coupe prevailed, while at the 8th annual Elegance at Hershey in Pennsylvania, it was a flowing 1937 Type 57S Atalante.
Also, common to both events was the placement of invited cars throughout period formal gardens, especially befitting the two French luxury entries: Cincinnati’s Ault Park with its tree-framed lawns and Italian Renaissance-style pavilion and the Mediterranean inspired Hotel Hershey, built in the 1930s, with its manicured landscape and architectural features.
The Type 57 has enjoyed immense success on the American concours scene this year with four Best of Shows — and it’s only mid-June! Other wins were at the La Jolla Concours d’Elegance in California and the Concours d’Elegance of Texas.
While all of these examples bear the same model designation, no two are identical as with “normal” production cars. The Type 57 Bugatti was produced during the 1930s in various chassis/engine configurations. They were bodied either in house or had their chassis delivered to custom coachmakers for final fitment.
Other Double Wins
In addition to winning Best honors at this year’s Cincinnati Concours, the 1936 Type 57 Coupe, owned by Rick Grant, took top prize at the 2016 Dayton Concours.
Richard Workman, owner of this year’s winner at Hershey, also won Best of Show at the 2014 Hilton Head Island Concours with a different Bugatti: a 1938 Type 57C.
In 2015, the 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante owned by James Patterson of Louisville won Best of Show at the Keeneland Concours in Lexington (KY) on July 18, then eight days later was best at Concours d’Elegance of America at St. John’s, near Detroit.
And finally, James Patterson won back-to-back Best of Show titles at the Concours d’Elegance of America in 2014 and 2015 with two different Bugattis. The 2015 winner is shown in the video above and the 2014 victor in the photo below.
[Addendum 6/18/18 – A page subscriber commented today that the 1939 Patterson Bugatti (above) also was Best of Show at the 2008 Ault Park Concours (since renamed as the Cincinnati Concours d’Elegance, but still at the beautiful Ault Park venue). In keeping with the “double win” theme of the post, I’ll one-up the reader and add that this beauty also won at the 2009 Louisville Concours.]
Recent Bugatti Best of Show wins:
- 2018: Cincinnati Concours, The Elegance at Hershey, La Jolla Concours, Concours d’Elegance of Texas
- 2017: Arizona Concours, Chantilly Arts & Elegance
- 2016: Dayton Concours
- 2015: Keeneland Concours, Concours d’Elegance of America
- 2014: Concours d’Elegance of America, Hilton Head Island Concours
(Photo credits – Cincinnati: Dale Oakes. La Jolla: www.lajollaconcours.com. Texas: www.concoursoftexas.org. All others: John Olman)