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Stunning Tribute: 1937 Bugatti DeLahaye Type 57

Owning a classic Bugatti is an experience reserved for the fortunate few. You could conceivably park a genuine Type 57 in your garage, but you would need to open your wallet and discover a lazy $40 million to make the dream a reality. However, cars like this 1937 Bugatti DeLahaye Type 57 Tribute offer a similar experience for a fraction of the price. It features subtle and stunning details, with the build seemingly completed to a respectable standard. Its next journey could be to a new home, with the seller listing it here on Craigslist in Mission Viejo, California. It could be yours for $67,450, and I must say a big thank you to Barn Finder Tony P for spotting it.

I mentioned the word “subtle” in this article’s introduction, although neither the car’s styling nor paint shade could be described as such. The lines are reminiscent of Bugatti’s iconic Type 57S Atlantic Coupe, a vehicle that commands an eye-watering price when the occasional example crosses the auction blocks. The panel fit and finish of this car are impressive for a Tribute. The gaps are consistent and almost identical to those found on the genuine article. There is none of the panel waviness that can plague vehicles of this type. However, I’m not sold on the paint shade. The seller confirms it is a Ferrari color with a pearl fleck. It would look right at home on some cars, but it doesn’t do this classic justice. Taste is subjective, and your opinion may differ from mine. The swooping body is bolted to an Art Morrison custom chassis. Examining the supplied images reveals finer details that make this Bugatti unusual. Hood ornaments are a common feature of luxury cars, with most made from metal. This gem features a beautifully elegant Lalique “Leaping Koi” made from frosted crystal. I’ve never seen this touch before, and it is one of which I approve. The front turn signals came from a vintage Italian motorcycle, while the taillights feature modern LED illumination. The Bugatti rolls on chrome wire wheels, although it is worth noting that genuine Bugatti wires from this period were typically painted silver. The glass, including the distinctive kidney-shaped side windows, is in good order. There is little doubt that this Tribute would command attention wherever it goes.

This car’s interior leaves me with mixed feelings. Some features are appropriate for a vehicle of this type, while others look wrong. The upholstered surfaces are clad in leather and ostrich skin, looking as classy and luxurious as you might expect inside a prestige classic. The fit of some items doesn’t meet the standard of a genuine Bugatti, but neither does the price! There is no appreciable wear or other problems, and the dash is loaded with vintage-look gauges. The most significant sticking point for me is the wheel. It would look perfect in a muscle car, but it is inappropriate inside this vehicle. It detracts from the rest of the interior and would be the first thing I would change if I found the Type 57 parked in my garage. It has a few luxury touches unavailable to Bugatti buyers in 1937. The lack of flow-through ventilation makes the air conditioning welcome, while power windows are appropriate for any luxury car.

Don’t be fooled by the badge because this Type 57’s drivetrain owes nothing to Bugatti. The buyer receives a car loaded with Jaguar components from end to end. The capacity and specifications of the DOHC six are unclear, but it inhales through triple carburetors and a custom intake that cost the current owner $6,000. The transmission is a Jaguar three-speed automatic, while the independent suspension on all corners is from the same manufacturer. Rack-and-pinion steering and power brakes round out the mechanical package. The engine bay presentation is impressive, with no evidence of fluid leaks or other issues. The seller provides no details about how it runs or drives, but the visual indications are promising.

This 1937 Bugatti DeLahaye Type 57 Tribute will appeal to some readers but leave others feeling cold and unmoved. That is true of any vehicle and is one characteristic that makes the classic world fascinating. It would undoubtedly turn heads, but there is one final obstacle for potential buyers to consider before committing too heavily to this car. The seller confirms it requires DMV Verification, and how challenging that will be depends on the buyer’s location. Therefore, investigating that first would be wise. Would you consider pursuing this Tribute further if that doesn’t throw any obstacles in your path?


  1. Avatar photo DRV

    Out of all of the colors in the world!
    The original interior of the type is unmatchable unfortunately and this attempt is just …..
    It could be fun but for unreasonable money.

    Like 7
    • Avatar photo Al

      School bus yellow, yuk!

      Like 1
  2. Avatar photo Stan

    Styling and profiling ….
    Whoooooooooooo !

    Like 4
  3. Avatar photo Duke

    It’s a Jaguar hot rod, for way too many Benjamin’s. Not worth the hassle.

    Like 7
  4. Avatar photo chipsBe

    Beautiful shape, lovely lines and stance. I’m in agreement with your views, a mix of components quickly takes it to a truck-chassis kit car. A dark color would help it look classy to me. I’d love owning and driving this, the engine sound must be appropriate, but for not shifting gears. I can’t imagine trying to back it into a tight space, like my garage. It has me wonder over its length, looks 18 feet.

    Like 2
  5. Avatar photo Nevadahalfrack Member

    A more believable rendition to the uninformed would have had roll up windows, a manual transmission and thinner/larger steering wheel.
    But kudos anyway to someone to have made their dream car and fit their budget-I just hope don’t expect to get out of it what they’ve got into it.

    Like 3
  6. Avatar photo Pat Gill

    the tripple carbs and manifold are straight out of a Mk10, 420G Jaguar, simular to an E type but with an electric choke, engine looks to be a 4.2,

    Like 4
  7. Avatar photo Mark Ruggiero Member

    would have been sweet in brg or dark blue, but this is a highly subjective “hobby?” and to each their own.

    Like 2
  8. Avatar photo Martin Horrocks

    Why Delahaye? It is clearly a 57 Bugatti Atlantic caricature but can’t be both.

    Like 7
    • Avatar photo jwaltb

      Exactly. A stupid name for a repro what?
      About as much class as a Zimmer and those other baroque crap piles.

      Like 3
  9. Avatar photo George Birth

    This one has great areo dynamic lines , looks like it would be a blast to drive, but changing lanes in it would get hairy. Too rich for my blood. would make a nice cars and coffee entry though.

    Like 2
  10. Avatar photo Joe Haska

    The replica car market is unique some being very well done and desirable, others mostly junk. This car seems to me somewhere in the middle. The overall look is very well done, but the lack of details in the interior and the color choice are not consistent with the rest of the car. For that reason I think the asking price is too high.

    Like 5
  11. Avatar photo Kurt Member

    I am cold and unmoved but hey, it’s not a VW under all that body.

    Like 6
  12. Avatar photo Glenn Reynolds Member

    If any of you watch “Bad Chad”on TV, he is building a similar car for his Honey. He used a Volvo 444 body from the firewall back and it looks pretty close. Chad is a bit , shall we say, different, but he has the “eye” for design.

    Like 6
    • Avatar photo Lance

      I agree Glenn but some times he goes blind in that eye.

      Like 11
  13. Avatar photo Heartbreaker AL

    This thing is the perfect example of love it as you work. Someone did exactly what they wanted to do and they did it well! Congrats to the owner/builder. You didn’t build it with the intention of selling at a profit, did you? It’s beautiful, and I don’t buy other guys “dream come true” but if I had the space I would add this baby to my collection, just cuz it’s so impressive!

    Like 2
  14. Avatar photo Charlie G

    There’s a guy who bought the rights to the name “Delahaye USA” and makes customs based on the old icons. I saw an early example of his “Bugnotti” at a biweekly cruise I attend. The engine was labeled Ferrari, but it was actually a Mustang V8.
    Anyway, I’m guessing it’s one of his. If you google Delhayeusa.com you will find the owner and more examples of his cars.

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo jwaltb

      Barf. Thx for the info…

      Like 0
    • Avatar photo John

      I think you may be right.. it looks like he takes his design ideas from cars that were already done. You left out an “a” though.. the correct link is https://delahayeusa.com/.

      Like 0
  15. Avatar photo jwaltb

    Ostrich interior and the chrome lid on the master cylinder make it worth ALL the money.

    Like 1
  16. Avatar photo Don

    Now there we go! Love this era of the DeLahaye Type vehicles. Cars today lack any real styling & most all look the same. The cars of this era were distinct & had styling & grace. You don’t see many from this era anymore. And, those you do see have heavy price tag attached.

    Like 0
  17. Avatar photo Richard B Kirschenbaum

    Nowhere did I see a word about the body construction, Steel/aluminum or fibber glass? Critical that is, to my mind. Is this really Coachbuilt or just another high end neoclassic? ala Clenet, Excalibur?

    Like 0
  18. Avatar photo Rex Osborne

    Maybe I’ll go out and buy a nice wide poplar plank and paint a replica of the Mona Lisa on it. If I painted with care and used every optical aid available, a distant resemblence to the real thing might be the result, and I’d be willing to let it go for a small fraction of what the original is worth.

    Like 0
  19. Avatar photo hatofpork

    Fibberglass! Heh…

    Like 0
  20. Avatar photo GIJOOOE

    This car desperately needs to be any color other than yellow. These look phenomenal in black or dark blue with the silver two tone, Ferrari yellow belongs on a Ferrari. And the interior needs to be done to a much higher standard. The slushbox needs to be replaced with a more appropriate manual transmission, preferably from a Jaguar that directly bolts onto the Jag DOHC six.
    Having said all that, it’s a beautiful car, just not done to a high standard. The engine, all independent suspension, brakes and wheel/tire combo will make it fun to drive and look classy. It really doesn’t need a ton of work to bring it to the next level, but it’s a level such a beautiful car deserves. Just this man’s opinion.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo jwaltb

      Google a Bugatti Atlantic or Atlantique and see what a real one looks like. This thing is, as previously stated, a caricature.

      Like 0
  21. Avatar photo John B. Traylor

    Beautiful car, but I HATE yellow!

    Like 0

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