Found on JamesList: GM Designer's 1937 Bugatti RestoMod

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Our friends at JamesList present a 1937 Bugatti Type 57/59 Roadster Supersport. GM’s ex-Director of Design penned the restomod’s basic shape and details in 1982, imagining a sports car that Jean Bugatti might have offered to the American market. You know; if he had. Clicking over to reveals that the realization of Dave Holls’ alternative universe owes its existence to deep-pocketed California collector Ron Kellogg. Aside from a slightly widened replica T59 frame, Palmer Coachworks built l’homage de Bug‘s major bits using genuine GM— I mean Bugatti parts, including a T57 powerplant (with an added blower and dry sump) and a 73C gearbox (no.6) with synchromesh. Even so, one wonders if Bugatti purists would be amused. That’s not an original thought. “The Kellogg project required climbing special challenges,” Deansgarage reports, using the adjective favored by people for whom “handicapped” is too pointed. “Not the least of which was getting the approval of the Bugatti Trust for permission to go ahead with the program. So the Kellogg Bugatti has a legitimate historical production chassis number. This is no small accomplishment. [It was] assigned the number year 1937.” Needless to say, the new seller agrees: provenance is no biggie. Well they would say that, wouldn’t they . . .

This is a no expense spared coach-built Bugatti using only genuine Bugatti parts. The craftsmanship and attention to detail as well as the distinct styling of the vehicle would have made Ettore and Jean Bugatti very proud. The car comes with extensive documentation from conception to completion. It has been shown in numerous prestigious events in the US over the past years.

August 2005 1st Display of this Concept Bugatti at Quail Lodge, Carmel, CA.

July 2006 1st place National Auto Show Pomona, CA.

May 2006 Best in Show, Fullerton, CA

July 2006 1 place Custom Design, Art Center of Design, Pasadena, CA.

June 2008 2nd Concept Cars/Manufacture Dream Cars, Houston, TX.


Chassis: Type 59 widened and Bugatti Trust sanctioned 128

Engine: 3.3 Liter 8 Cylinder D.O.H.C. Dry Sump, Roots Supercharger

Type 57 Ignition Vertex Mag.

217.8 hp at 6000rpm. Engine built and dyno-tested at Phil Reilly & Cop. (Dyno sheets and 4 hour DVD of running available).

Coachbuilder: Palmer Coachworks

Wheelbase: 102.25 inches

Front tread 55.25 inches, Rear tread 55 inches

Weight: Approx. 750kg (1600 lbs)

Body: 0.063 Hand formed aluminum

Fenders: 0.090 Hand formed aluminum

Transmission: 4 speed Bugatti

Rear Rend: Bugatti Double Reduction

Steering: Left Hand for World Sales

This is a true Masterpiece and a very rare opportunity for the most discerning collector. The car is registered as a 1937 Bugatti and part of a private collection in California. Extensive information including photos, articles and dyno sheets are available for the serious prospect. Please contact us for details.

Price on request, of course. So, how much would YOU pay?

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Robert Schwartz Robert Schwartz on Oct 17, 2009

    I am really kind of amazed that there are so many Bugatti purists. Folks, are you aware that the old man died more than 60 years ago, and that the Company's glory days ended 70 years ago? I like the pictures above, and I would probably admire the car if I saw it in the flesh. But, it is not relevant to my life and its existence discommodes me not at all. Purism is not something that amuses me.

  • Ingvar Ingvar on Oct 17, 2009
    "Put it this way, if you hadn’t been told it was supposed to be a Bugatti homage, what would you have guessed?" That's a good question. It has too much pizzaz to be an Italian design. They usually have more clarity in line. It's too deliberate an attempt, and have too much flow to be an English design, those happens to be more haphazard. It looks a little bit haute couture, like something a french fashion designer would design for someoneelse. It actually looks like something a Californian playboy would order at a renowned french carrosier, like Figoni & Falashci or Saoutchik. Or perhaps the anglo/french Hibbard & Darrin?
  • ToolGuy First picture: I realize that opinions vary on the height of modern trucks, but that entry door on the building is 80 inches tall and hits just below the headlights. Does anyone really believe this is reasonable?Second picture: I do not believe that is a good parking spot to be able to access the bed storage. More specifically, how do you plan to unload topsoil with the truck parked like that? Maybe you kids are taller than me.
  • ToolGuy The other day I attempted to check the engine oil in one of my old embarrassing vehicles and I guess the red shop towel I used wasn't genuine Snap-on (lots of counterfeits floating around) plus my driveway isn't completely level and long story short, the engine seized 3 minutes later.No more used cars for me, and nothing but dealer service from here on in (the journalists were right).
  • Doughboy Wow, Merc knocks it out of the park with their naming convention… again. /s
  • Doughboy I’ve seen car bras before, but never car beards. ZZ Top would be proud.
  • Bkojote Allright, actual person who knows trucks here, the article gets it a bit wrong.First off, the Maverick is not at all comparable to a Tacoma just because they're both Hybrids. Or lemme be blunt, the butch-est non-hybrid Maverick Tremor is suitable for 2/10 difficulty trails, a Trailhunter is for about 5/10 or maybe 6/10, just about the upper end of any stock vehicle you're buying from the factory. Aside from a Sasquatch Bronco or Rubicon Jeep Wrangler you're looking at something you're towing back if you want more capability (or perhaps something you /wish/ you were towing back.)Now, where the real world difference should play out is on the trail, where a lot of low speed crawling usually saps efficiency, especially when loaded to the gills. Real world MPG from a 4Runner is about 12-13mpg, So if this loaded-with-overlander-catalog Trailhunter is still pulling in the 20's - or even 18-19, that's a massive improvement.