By Johnny Miles
Photography by Bryan McCarthy
While Bugatti just released the much anticipated new $5.8 million Divo at The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering, in Carmel Valley, California, three weeks ago, the most exciting event of the year for vintage Bugatti enthusiasts took place over Labor Day Weekend at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut.
Lime Rock Park’s Historic Festival is a fixture on the calendars of car enthusiasts in the Northeast, with three days of historic racing and the annual Sunday in the Park Concours taking place every Labor Day weekend.
This year, the featured marque was Bugatti. And the Historic Festival organizers, in conjunction with the American Bugatti Club, arranged for one of largest-ever gatherings of Bugatti vehicles in the United States, with more than 70 examples traveling to Connecticut from around the country, Europe, and even New Zealand. To contribute to the festival, the Revs Institute sent two Bugattis from the Miles Collier Collections: the 1930 Bugatti Type 35B and the 1933 Bugatti Type 55 Super Sport.
To give you an inside look at the many Bugattis in attendance, here is a photo gallery of the event shot by Bryan McCarthy:
The Miles Collier Collections’ 1933 Bugatti Type 55 Super Sport is one of 28 ever built. It is a testament to car’s engineering and desirability that all 28 have survived. The Type 55 is a road car with the engine and chassis from two of Bugatti’s Grand Prix racers (the 2.3 liter engine from a Type 51 and the chassis from a Type 54), making it a formidable performer. Photo: Bryan McCarthy
The top half of Bugatti’s distinctive horseshoe grill on the Miles Collier Collections’ 1933 Type 55 Super Sport. This iconic shape was not inspired by a horseshoe, but rather by the legs of a chair designed by Carlo Bugatti, the father of company founder Ettore Bugatti. Photo: Bryan McCarthy
The Miles Collier Collections’ 1930 Bugatti Type 35B, which was driven to 2nd place in the 1930 Targa Florio by Monegasque racer Louis Chiron, whose name Bugatti adopted for its new Chiron supercar. Photo: Bryan McCarthy
The engine-turned aluminum dash, a signature detail of many Bugatti race cars, on the Miles Collier Collections’ 1930 Type 35B. Photo: Bryan McCarthy
The 1922 Bugatti Type 22 of Jonathan Botting & Christine Byrd. The Type 22 was a later version of the Type 13, which was the first car that Bugatti produced at scale with about 435 examples built across five different nameplates (T13, T15, T17, T22 & T23). Photo: Bryan McCarthy
A 1938 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupe next to some more modern machinery. Named after Mont Ventoux in Provence, it was designed by Jean Bugatti, the eldest son of the company’s founder, Ettore Bugatti, and built by the factory, not an outside coachbuilder. Photo: Bryan McCarthy
Most of the owners weren’t shy about driving their cars, as evidenced by the splattered bugs on the headlights of this 1926 Bugatti Type 38, owned by Timothy Dutton of the United Kingdom. Photo: Bryan McCarthy
The 1936 Bugatti Type 57 of John van Deventer leads a pack of Pur Sang’s finest on the Vintage Race & Sports Car Parade which starts off the Historic Festival. Photo: Bryan McCarthy
This 1913 Type 22 is the oldest Bugatti still on the road in the United States. It is powered by a 1.4 liter SOHC four-cylinder engine. For more on the car, watch this episode of Jay Leno’s Garage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVl3cEkSSo0 Photo: Bryan McCarthy
A glimpse inside one of the most exquisite automobiles ever made, the 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic. This example is well known to be the crown jewel of the collection of Peter & Merle Mullin, whose cars are on display at the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California. Photo: Bryan McCarthy
Collector Alden Sherman of Weston, Connecticut, celebrated his 100th birthday by driving his 1938 Bugatti Type 57C to the Lime Rock Historic Festival. Sherman has owned the car for 68 years. It is seen here in the pits at the track. Photo: Bryan McCarthy
13 Bugatti race cars prepare for the Bugatti Grand Prix event during the Historic Festival. In total, there were 19 Bugatti entries in the race. Photo: Bryan McCarthy
The 1927 Bugatti Type 37A of Andrew Larson attacks the 1.5 miles circuit at Lime Rock Park. Photo: Bryan McCarthy
A veritable swarm of Bugattis on the track. Photo: Bryan McCarthy
It may be 105 years old, but owner Alan Travis had no compunction about taking his 1913 Type 22 out on the track to see what it could do. Photo: Bryan McCarthy
The 1930 Bugatti Type 35 of George Davidson at speed on the Lime Rock track. Photo: Bryan McCarthy
The 1928 Bugatti Type 43/44 Grand Sport of the Mullin Automotive Museum. Originally a race car, this example was rebodied by renowned coachbuilder Joseph Figoni and given an upgraded Type 44 engine. Photo: Bryan McCarthy
Two important Bugatti race cars: the 1936 Type 57G Tank of the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum sits next to the 1933 Type 59 Grand Prix car belonging to Ralph Lauren. This Type 57G is the sole surviving example of the Bugatti ‘Tank,’ so named for its streamlined, if not particularly sinuous, body, which helped this car win the 1937 24 Hours of Le Mans. Ralph Lauren’s exquisite Type 59 is the first of eight built by the factory, and it finished 2nd in the 1934 Belgian Grand Prix. Photo: Bryan McCarthy
Another view of the Miles Collier Collections’ 1933 Type 55 in the gleaming sun at Lime Rock Park. Photo: Bryan McCarthy
The 1929 Bugatti Type 46 Semiprofile of the Mullin Automotive Museum. The Type 46 was penned by Jean Bugatti and is an iconic example of Art Deco design. Photo: Bryan McCarthy
Crowds admire the Bugattis as part of the Sunday in the Park Concours d’Elegance. Photo: Bryan McCarthy
Ready for any weather: rain or sun. Photo: Bryan McCarthy
Not one to shy away from superlatives, Ettore Bugatti claimed that his 1937 Type 57S was “the finest road car ever made.” And with Jean Bugatti’s Atalante bodies wrapped over the Type 57S chassis, the car could make the claim of being the most stunning road car ever made as well. This example is the 8th of 17 Type 57S Atalante bodies produced. For 38 years, it resided in the well-known Bugatti collection of Dr. Peter and Susan Williamson of Lyme, New Hampshire, next to the Type 57SC Atlantic that is now part of the Mullin Automotive Museum. Photo: Bryan McCarthy
Widely acclaimed to be the most beautiful, desirable and valuable car ever made, the Mullin Automotive Museum’s 1936 Type 57SC Atlantic looks the part in the sun during the Sunday in the Park Concours d’Elegance. Photo: Bryan McCarthy
Even though it is mostly unseen under the hood of the Mullin Automotive Museum’s 1936 Type 57SC Atlantic, the car’s engine bay is also a work of art. Photo: Bryan McCarthy
Fashion designer Ralph Lauren’s 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Gangloff Drophead Coupe is awarded “Best in Show – Road & Touring” at the Historic Festival’s Sunday in the Park Concours d’Elegance. Photo: Bryan McCarthy
This 1929 Bugatti Type 44 Grand Sport leads a group of Bugatti road cars along the Sam Posey Straight of Lime Rock Park in preparation for the group photo. Photo: Bryan McCarthy
The celebratory Bugatti group photo on the Sam Posey Straight of Lime Rock Park. Photo: Bryan McCarthy
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Johnny Miles is a lifelong car enthusiast. He taught 8th grade 20th Century History at St. Albans School in Washington, DC for seven years and recently graduated from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. He was introduced to classic cars at a young age when his grandfather unearthed an old stack of car brochures, including one from Johnny’s now favorite marque, the Czechoslovakian manufacturer Tatra. He and his wife Lauren both enjoy the hobby together.