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About What is it? Quiz #461: Bugatti T57 Brown

About What is it? Quiz #461: Bugatti T57 Brown

Some might have recognized the car from our 'Weird Wednesday' feature from a few years ago, where the Bugatti T57 Brown was spotted at the Interclassics Show in Bruxelles. This car was in much better condition than the one that was spotted at a scrapyard near Tours around 1974. And yes, it was a feature at but as most of you knew, it was actually a pre-war car. No less than 36 answers came in, most in time, a lot of them correct. Not all. To start with what it is not: It is not an Aston Martin by Ghia. Not is it an ugly Morgan, as Larry was thinking.

Anders Svenfelt was the first to answer and gave the right car. He also told us that it was made of the new material fiberglass, Jason Palmer was the first to tell us that the car is currently at Autoworld Belgium. Horst Schultz was saying the car is at the moment at a Volkswagen Chassis, and not anymore on the T57. Ted Wilmarth was very accurate in his answer but his answer was based on the present and not based on the photo above. Gerd Klioba told us that the body saved 250 kg. He said the fate of the second car is unknown. Marco Gastaldi was the first to mention the different wheels (16"instead of the 18"). He also told us a bit more about the French sculptor James Jacques Brown: Born in 1918 in Paris, he received a law degree and became official at the Ministry of Finance1942-1945. Then he began an artistic career. 

We would like to invite Eric Duchenne for more photo of the car. Just as Luc Ryckaert, who promised us an article for about the car, as he knows the current owner. And Henrik Schou-Nielssen, as he has copies of letters between the former owner.

The most complete answer came from Josef Boers but unfortunately, he used more than 100 words (just as Henrik did). The best answer, within the limit, came from Henk Visscher: "in the early 1950s, sculptor and Bugatti-owner Jacques Brown from Paris embraced polyester as a medium for modern art. In 1954 he was commissioned to equip a 1938 Bugatti T57 chassis with lightweight aerodynamic polyester bodywork. The result was shown at the 1955 Salon de l’Automobile. Two cars were made (T57-chassis #57645 and #57723), differing in the presence/absence of air inlets underneath the headlamps. The pictured car may be identified as #57645. Chassis and body have later been separated. The chassis now bears a replica Aérolithe body. Mounted on a VW-chassis, the polyester body can be admired in Autoworld, Brussels."

So congratulations Henk, you are closing the gap with the number one!

Top 5:
1. Gerd Klioba
2. Alan Spencer
3. Henk Visscher
4. Luc Ryckaert
5. Fritz Hegemann


#1 Robert Schneider 2018-01-21 05:56
The side glass, roof & rear of that car appears to be Zagato on really, really bad day.

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