The world’s best cars meet once a year at the décor of Elegance near Lake Como, Italy. But even among the best in the world the winner can only be one, and this year the honor was given to the Bugatti Type 57S Vanvooren Cabriolet. It was one of four Bugatti cars on display, and in addition to winning its class, it was named “Best at Show”.
With seven different classes on display, the Bugatti Type 57S was presented in Class A, “The Golden Age of Elegance: The Age of Art Deco Car Design”. Technical excellence comes from the Bugatti, and the sleek convertible body is a Vanvooren affair based in Courbevoie in the Paris suburbs. The convertible still impresses today with its proportions and clear lines. This is the first of four Bugatti Type 57S cars built with the Vanvooren convertible. One of its previous owners replaced the original engine with a V8 for testing purposes. After some extensive research, the original straight eight-cylinder engine, which had been lost for more than 40 years, was moved to the site, which has become a true marvel of modernity.
Next to the Type 57S in Class A were the rare racing car Bugatti Type 59 Sports of 1934 and the convertible Type 57C Stelvio with Gangloff body from 1937. Passing as a factory race car in 1934 and 1935, the Type 59 was converted to a sports car. sports car and successfully participated in races until 1937. It had only five owners, one of whom was King Leopold III of Belgium since 1938. This car is now considered one of the most significant Bugatti racing cars and is widely revered for its originality. The judges of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este were so impressed that the Type 59 was awarded the FIVA Trophy for best preserved pre-war car.
The Stelvio Cabriolet was the first Type 57 to be fitted with a supercharger from Bugatti. Bugatti named it after the Passo dello Stelvio – otherwise known as the Stelvio Pass – as this steep mountain pass was easily lifted by its powerful engine. The body is manufactured by the exclusive body manufacturer Gangloff, based in Colmar, France, a few steps from the Bugatti headquarters in Molsheim. Cabriolet bumpers in the Art Deco style deserve attention, this is the only known example of this Bugatti, decorated with such details.
In the “Concept Curry and Prototypes” class, the new Bugatti Bolide became one of seven prototypes on display, receiving the coveted design award for that class. An experimental study, Bolide, provides an answer to the question of what Bugatti would look like if it were returned to the latest stuff and based on the iconic 8.0-liter W16 engine. When the concept was originally introduced in 2020, customers from all over the world wanted it so much that Bugatti decided to produce a small series of 40 Bolide units – all the assembly slots of which were immediately sold out.
The extreme, track-oriented hyper sports car has an unprecedented weight-to-power ratio. Bugatti has explored a new dimension of hyper sports cars thanks to its W16 engine with a capacity of 1600 hp. combined with the ultra-high clamping force of the Bolide. Bolide achieves LMP-like performance – all without compromising optimum load capacity. However, in line with the brand’s core philosophy, Bolide’s performance will be highly accessible to all drivers behind the wheel to create a unique yet confident experience.
Christoph Piochon, president of Bugatti Automobiles said: “Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este is one of the most beautiful and significant events in the world of classic cars and luxury sports cars. We are proud to have been part of it again this year with four rather exceptional cars. We are happy that the Bugatti car should win the prestigious “Best Show” award among such famous competitions as well as win in its class. It’s also an honor to see how the wonderfully original Type 59 Sports won the FIVA Trophy, and Bolide received the Concorso d’Eleganza Design Award for “Concepts and Prototypes”. All of these cars showcase Bugatti’s enduring values, despite being shared for nearly 90 years: design, performance, elegance and quality. ”
Villa d’Este – showcasing the beauty of Bugatti
In the 16th century, Cardinal Talamea Gallio had a palace intended for his private residence. In 1873, this hotel was transformed into one of the most luxurious hotels in the world. The majestic Palace of Villa d’Este, Italian Renaissance-style gardens and the sparkling waters of Lake Como now guarantee an exceptional experience. For almost 150 years, the hotel has housed some of the biggest names in film, art, literature, politics and business. The hotel has hosted the Concorso d’Eleganza since 1929, with Bugatti cars among the participants and winners.
In 2013, the 1938 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic was awarded the coveted “Best at Show” award. The car, owned by designer Ralph Lauren, is one of two original Atlantics that still exist. Only four cars were built, one sadly lost and the other rebuilt after a serious accident. In recent years, the jury has also won the Bugatti Type 57S Sports Tourer since 1937 and the Type 59 Grand Prix since 1934.
Bugatti captivated the jury and audience by surprise three years ago with a one-off La Voiture Noire. The supreme grand tourer draws on the lost 57SC Atlantic type of Jean Bugatti and carries art deco design into the 21st century. Bugatti won the “Concept Curry and Prototypes” category from La Voiture Noire in 2019.