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Published 10 March 2014

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Bugatti Type 57G 'Tank' prepares for battle

Three original Bugatti Type 57Gs were built in the late 1930s with special aerodynamic bodywork to contest high speed circuits like Le Mans and Montlhery. Of those three original cars only one remains, and according to Bugatti restoration expert Stephen Gentry it's unlikely to leave the incredible Simeone Museum in Philadelphia any time soon. Which is why Gentry Restorations embarked on a painstaking project to build the remarkable car you see here.

'The amount of research undertaken to build this car beggars belief,' Stephen tells us. 'We managed to acquire an original Type 57 chassis, both axles, and the gearbox. But as for the motor, we had to buy the castings and make our own!' Aside from the ultra-rare Bugatti C3 carburettor, the 3.3 litre power plant was built entirely from scratch. 

'We completed it in November after two years of work, showed it to the owner, and then began preparing it for the 72nd Members' Meeting.' Stephen says. 'The first time the car ever saw a racing circuit was at the Goodwood test last week, and what a place to show it off. The only downside was that hardly anybody paid any attention to the 35B we brought along as well!'

Stephen has the honour of piloting the car in the Grover Williams Trophy, and was enthusiastic after piloting the car around Goodwood for the first time. 'It has loads of power! The brakes felt good too, but it was very light at the rear, although we think we know how to remedy that in time for the meeting. To be honest a Type 35B is more suited to Goodwood, but I'll go for it and will compete as hard as I dare.'

Considering that the only other Type 57G you're ever likely to see will be sitting in a museum on the other side of the Atlantic, the chance to see this one wailing around at full chat in the Grover Williams Trophy is simply not to be missed.

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