Journey with a 1937 Bugatti 57 S

This magnificent creature is a recently restored 1937 Bugatti 57 S. I lucked out when I was commissioned to accompany it on a road trip from the south of England to its birthplace at the home of Bugatti in Molsheim, Alsace. The resulting article was published in edition #23 of ettore, the Bugatti customer magazine. The magazine itself is strictly reserved for owners of modern-day Bugattis. However, you can read a photo-pdf of the full article here.

From our starting point near Folkstone, we took the Channel Tunnel to France, where we stuck to back roads the whole way. The absence of motorways provided an inkling for what it must have felt like back then to drive such a wonderful piece of machinery – although I hasten to point out that only the owner himself actually drove this precious item. I had the chance to passenger for some of the way, but spent most of the trip driving the support car while photographer Heiko Simayer hung out the back or poked through the roof to capture the driving shots.

One image in the piece that can’t be accredited to Heiko, however, is the one taken at the petrol station. If the quality looks below par, it’s because I took it. Seeing what many might regard as a museum piece undergoing such an everyday motoring ritual was strangely satisfying.

The shot above (also one of my own) is from a brief stopover at the old Reim-Gueux race track, which remains part of a public road outside the city of Reims. I have loads of shots from that, and if I ever get round to setting up an Instagram account, I’ll post them all on there. For the story itself, I focused less on the actual journey we made to Molsheim and more on the personal road travelled by the car’s owner as his passion for cars has evolved over the years.

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