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Bugatti 57 SC Corsica, 1938 Roadster Crocodile Interior Limited Edition 3,000 pieces

SKU: M-136



Bugatti 57 SC Corsica, 1938 Roadster Crocodile Interior, Limited Edition 3,000 pieces
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  Bugatti Corsica Roadster, 1938


1938 saw British Colonel G. M. Giles receive from the “Usine Bugatti” its most exclusive Type 57SC chassis fitted with a body designed by his brother Eric Giles and Jean Bugatti. The car features a unique combination of pontoon fenders and a cigar body that merge into a focal point at the rear. Corsica of London was the coachbuilder, and the car was registered in England with the plate number GU7.

Inside, the Corsica has the most exotic of all interiors, with alligator hide being used all over. John Mozart currently owns the Corsica, and he took the Best of Show award at the 1998 Pebble Beach Concours with this car.

Thanks to the gracious support of John Mozart, CMC is hopeful that it will produce a miniature of the Bugatti Corsica which is most true to the original ever. 



  • Abridged after “La Petite Sezanne” by Colonel G.M. Giles, which was published in

the 1938 September issue of BUGANTICS, the periodical of the Bugatti Owners’ Club

Actually it was never intended to happen at all.  “Thérése” was still in her prime, running as well as ever, “Flora” had been completely rebuilt by Bugattis, ready for many thousands of pleasant, carefree miles, and finally “Black Bess” was ready to appear at any time should the occasion demand it. Such was the family and the father was justly proud and contended.  And then the Bug germ crept in.  Little 57S’s were seen from time to time, and more joined the Club.  Tales of incredible speed and fantastic acceleration spread, springing with De Rams and split front axle such as had never been experienced.  One day Lady Howe said, “But you don’t know what motoring is till you have had a 57S,” and we wondered if it was so, and if so what fun to know what motoring really was like.


 To reproduce a body similar to “Thérése” on such a wonderfully low chassis wasn’t too naughty owing to the rate of exchange -- nearly £300 less for the chassis than a year ago.

Well, that’s how it happened.  The chassis was promised in three months, which would be sometime in January, but I knew too much to take any notice of that.  I had to be in France in March, so we provisionally made our plans accordingly.  Eric finished drawing the body which we were going to entrust to Corsica Coach Works of Cricklewood to make and they were instructed to get on with it as far as possible.

At the Annual Dinner on February 4th, Jean Bugatti said the chassis was practically finished and would be ready in a week.  Ten days later, Colonel Sorel wrote and said the chassis was ready, to which I replied if they would please keep it warm for me as I wasn’t going to France till the end of March and couldn’t go before.


This shook Colonel Sorel to the core!  This, he said, cannot be – with a capital C and a capital B – you are not the only person in the world who wants a 57S.  If it is not taken at once, the works will never finish another, and if you should do such an incredibly stupid thing as to leave your chassis waiting a month at the works, it will certainly not be ready when you arrive, as the engine will have been taken out and used for some other car, likewise the back axle and likewise everything else, and what was your car, you will find is only a pool of oil.


Therefore I had to reluctantly agree to it being sent over by grand vitesse … and sure enough, on Wednesday, February 23rd, itarrived.


Eric and I dashed down and saw this marvelous chassis in all its nakedness.  The following day she went to Corsica.  After eight weeks, on April 21st, all was ready for collection.  The whole of Corsica’s staff headed by Mr. Lee, the partner who had taken such infinite pains to carry out our wishes, gathered round to see their handiwork leave the works.  Eric, as the proud designer of the body, drove the car away, and I followed on “Flora” to see how she looked on the road.


Now a few facts and particulars about the body may be of interest.  First, with regard to weight: exactly 6 cwt heavier.  This was much more than intended, but the wings and fairings come to a good deal, the car was under-pinned from front to back, and by the time a few pet accessories have been added it does mount up.


 A valence was added horizontally before the radiator grille so that the deep point of the grille which goes below the axle did not show.  Fairings were carried from the front wings to the radiator which concealed the wing supports and carried the headlamps.


The bonnet stepped down from above the fairings in front to the chassis line at the back, with wire mesh panels in the part that opened and louvres below the fairings.  The external oil tank on the near side for the dry sump lubrication was embodied in the fairing of the wing.  As the two sides of a car cannot be seen together it does not matter.


The old registration number is still carried, this now being 12 years old and having been on four Bugattis.


The windscreen is again V, having proved most satisfactory on “Thérése,” but it has been made slightly deeper to give more protection and is ample both for wind and rain.  The instrument board is covered in the same brown “crocodile” leather as the rest of the upholstery and makes a very pleasant and serviceable finish. 


 The back wheels are again enclosed.  There are twin red lamps in the fairing at the back for night work and twin orange lamps for stop lights.  The number panel lights up from inside. The car is finished in our special blue with silver waist line and silver wheels and brake drums.


As regards performance, I think the first impression is the road-holding – good as Bugattis always have been – any corner can be taken with the utmost safety at a very much greater speed than any other model.  The De Rams are most fascinating, giving soft and most comfortable springing when crawling about London and adjusting themselves to firm springing when running fast, and moreover, adjusting themselves to each type of surface.  The speed capabilities of the car are well-known – this being the same type of chassis on which the works won the Le Mans race last year.   Yet in London, the car can be driven at under 10 m.p.h. without snatch and with a clean pick-up – and this with a compression of over 10 to 1.  The brakes give very powerful and smooth braking.  The steering is high geared, very positive and extremely accurate.  The engine is rubber mounted and is absolutely smooth throughout its range and quite silent – in traffic stops it is impossible to tell whether it is running or not without looking at the gauges.  The exhaust had a hard note at certain speeds that is quite pleasant, this dying out as the revs. mounted.  The double-plate clutch is a little heavy and appears to be somewhat fierce till one gets used to it ….


Such is the 57S, and such is “La Petite Sezanne.”                                                                                                               



 Please enjoy the video review of the Bugatti 57SC Corsica done by Joe Kelly Jr. courtesy of Heavy MeTal Models at www.heavymetalmodels.com



CMC Legal Disclaimer

The use of manufacturers' names, symbols, type designations, and/or descriptions is solely for reference purposes. It does not imply that the CMC scale model is a product of any of these manufacturers. The use of racing team and/or driver names, symbols, starting numbers, and/or descriptions is solely for reference purposes. Unless otherwise stated, it does not imply that the CMC scale model is a product of any of these racing teams/drivers or endorsed by any of them

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