Everything Bugatti has created throughout its long and prestigious history is based on refined design and exceptional engineering. But among all these famous models, some really stand out: this is the case of the Bugatti Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid Factory. As rare and mysterious as it is magnificent, there is only one example.
The Bugatti Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid was unveiled to the international motoring press and enthusiasts worldwide at the Paris Motor Show in October 1934. The “Grand Raid” body – one of many body types used for the legendary Bugatti Type 57 – was specially designed for racing . The word “raid” denotes a long and difficult rally.
In total, only ten ‘Grand Raid’ chassis were built, but perhaps the most exciting of them all is the Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid Usine – unveiled at the Paris Motor Show – with its iconic bodywork. This unique example, bearing chassis number 57222, had an aluminum body and wore the favorite colors of Ettore Bugatti, the brand’s founder: black and yellow.
“The Bugatti Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid Usine is, in all its forms, a unique piece of Bugatti heritage. She embodies everything the brand stands for in the 21st centuryth century,” emphasizes Christophe Piochon, president of Bugatti Automobiles. “She was engineered for performance and constructed to the highest standards of craftsmanship and luxury. It was a luxury sports car and still inspires the design of modern Bugatti vehicles today. »
Mystery hangs over this Bugatti Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid Usine because “Usine” has never been an official name at Bugatti and it is believed that it was Jean Bugatti, son of founder Ettore Bugatti, who designed this car.
The Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid models differ from the Type 57SC Atlantic and Type 57S Atalante in that they were designed for racing – as evidenced by the streamlined and elongated lines of the fenders, the “V” shaped windscreen and aerodynamic headrest brackets. The angle of the steering column has also been changed to move the driver further back in the chassis. The gear lever, handbrake and pedals have also been relocated.
Shortly after stunning the world with its beautiful design and sophisticated chassis at the Paris Motor Show, the Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid Usine takes the start at the Paris-Nice Rally. At the wheel: the legendary Pierre Veyron, the man who gave his name to the first Bugatti hyper sports car of the modern era in 2005. Then, in April 1935, in the hands of Grand Prix driver Robert Benoist, the Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid Usine takes first place in the Chavigny hill climb.
In 1946, the car was sold to its first post-war owner. He made changes, especially to the headlights on the fenders. It will later be completely restored to its original configuration – the one it had when it was presented in Paris. Since 2001, this Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid Usine has been on display at the Louwman Museum in The Hague.
The Louwman Museum in The Hague and its unique collection of over 275 magnificent vehicles trace over 130 years of automotive advancement, innovation and design. With the oldest private collection of classic cars in the world, it is the perfect place to host this incredibly rare piece of automotive history. Founded in 1934, the museum houses one of the finest collections of cars and motorcycles, including the most iconic, in the world. It has been owned by the Louwman family since opening and is now owned by Evert Louwman, son of founder Pieter Louwman. This incredible car collection can be admired in one of the most impressive buildings in the Netherlands: located on Leidsestraatweg in The Hague, it is the work of architect Michael Graves, winner of the Driehaus prize.