In 1934, the Type 57 marked Jean Bugatti’s leadership and innovation at Bugatti. It was the first model under his direction, introducing new features for Bugatti. The car featured an 8-cylinder engine with dual overhead camshafts, 3,257cc displacement, and a five main bearing crankshaft. The camshafts were gear-driven at the engine’s rear, and it had a unique transmission attached to the engine crankcase with a single-plate clutch. The top three gears in the four-speed gearbox were always engaged. It also sported Bugatti’s distinctive hollow tube live front axle, semi-elliptical front and reversed quarter-elliptical rear leaf springs, and cable-operated mechanical drum brakes.
Notably, despite financial challenges, the Type 57 project persisted and evolved over time. A reinforced frame and an engine that was rubber-mounted were among the improvements introduced. In 1936, the supercharged Type 57C model was introduced, adding a further layer of performance to the Type 57 lineup. The supercharger, of the Roots-type variety, was ingeniously driven by the camshaft at the rear of the engine and operated at 1.17 times the engine’s speed. This setup generated a substantial 5-6 psi of boost, pushing the power output to a robust 160 bhp, enabling the Type 57 to reach nearly 120 mph.