Bugatti 57: The Last French Bugatti and Bugatti Type 46 & 50
the publisher Octane Books, Auckland
ere we have reprints of two classic Bugatti books — Bugatti 57: The Last French Bugatti was first printed in 1992, while Bugatti Type 46 & 50: The Big Bugattis first saw the light of day in 1995.
The author, who is the chairman of the Bugatti Trust and a world-renowned Bugatti expert, put together both these books in the days before the internet made the sort of research required to compile this type of information a much easier ask. As a result, both are known to contain the odd error, but these occasional inaccuracies do not detract from the sheer wealth of information contained within their pages.
The Bugatti Type 46, announced in 1929, was, in many ways, a smaller version of the company’s outrageous Royale. With a chassis length of over 3.5 metres and
powered by a 5.3-litre straight-eight, the Type 46 became a base on which many coachbuilders built luxury saloon cars. The Type 46 was reputed to be Ettore Bugatti’s favourite.
The Bugatti Type 50 superseded the 46 in 1930, still using the previous car’s chassis but now fitted with a supercharged, high-performance, twin-overhead-camshaft engine with a capacity of just under 5.0 litres.
Through a comprehensive selection of period advertisements and photographs, both these books illustrate the many bodies that were built atop Type 46, 50, and 57 chassis. Cars featured include examples of the coachbuilder’s art from companies such as Graber, Gangloff, James Young, Corsica, Van Vooren & Saoutchik, Vanden Plas, and Figoni et Falaschi, along with many others. As well as Grand Prix– and Le Mans– winning sports cars, standard-bodied vehicles are also featured — including Atalante, Galibier, Stelvio, Ventoux, Atlantic, and Aravis.
Bugattistes who missed the books the first time around will welcome these classic reprints.