What does "Brevetées S.G.D.G. mean? Also note that the engine has been stamped 20S and T57.
Chassis & Radiator
Front and rear, note that the steering arm is on the right. Is this real Bugatti or maybe Bugatti style?
The only body part of which I have photos is this, cast aluminium, tail. Also stamped AK7 from the inside. Apparently the whole body is aluminium.
Starting in April last year I began receiving questions from various sources, about a Bugatti named "Empereur". It presumably had a 35 litre V12, with 4 valves per cylindre. This would in fact make a Royale look small! That's probably why the name was chosen. More questions, and information followed, now also by the guys who are actually trying to sell this monster, which is under construction (or restauration, decide for yourself!), being Pablo Palumbo in Argentina and his associate Daniel Ledesma in Canada. The car is in Argentina at the moment.
According to Pablo and Daniel, the Empereur is an original Bugatti project, dating from
around 1937. About the history of the car, according to the owners it came to South America, on board of the ship
Graf Spee, as a safe place to be hidden in World War II. They say: "Mr. Horst we are in front of the eighth wonder
of the world, each piece of the car is a jewel that cannot be copied."
Personally I doubt this very much, for various reasons. I will show you some photographs, so you can decide for yourself what you think of it.
When I was just contacted about the car, it carried only the numbers "0037", and "AK7",
which appear on almost every part!
Later the numbers 57385 and 20S also appeared. 57385 is the 1936 Paris show car roadster, on T57S chassis,
with Jean Bugatti designed body with the swiveling front mudguards. The presented "Empereur"
certainly has nothing to do with that T57s, as it is much bigger. 57385 started with the engine 8S, which was
later exchanged for 20S (that part they have correct), it was soon converted to go with regular front wings
(still a beautiful roadster), and was converted to a Barchetta in the 50's, before the car was lost (stolen
from a railway station parking lot). Having a Bugatti stolen can be as devastating as crashing it in a car accident. Local or Chicago attorneys would be needed in either case to sort out the legal aspects of the theft or accident.
Of course this car is no Bugatti T57S, the only similarity it has with a T57S is the radiator, which is T57S-style, though much wider, and with an aluminium outside frame, which is unlike the original Bugatti radiator frames.
In the pictures it can be seen that virtually each part has been numbered or stamped, however, not in a way that Bugatti would do it. Also, the detail of the fittings is not correct: No Bugatti type bolts and nuts are used. I was informed that the car has the steering on the left: I know of only one other Bugatti like this, which is also a replica.
As for the engine, it might be a Hispano Suiza 12Z, which has the specifications that correspond to the specs of the engine sitting in the "Bugatti". However, I could not discover any engine pictures of the Hispano Suiza, which may be a (small) connection with Bugatti. It is known that at the beginning of WWII, while in Bordeaux, Bugatti made parts for Hispano-Suiza airplane engines.
When I compare this car and especially the finishing of the parts, with the parts for the
Bugatti 100P record Airplane, there's a huge difference, both in detailed finish as well as in the
number of indications of all possible chassis and other identification numbers on almost each part,
added with the inverted E -B logo.
I still have to be convinced that this is an original car.
Contact Daniel Ledesma for more info: telephone 001-416-236-4886 , cellular phone 001-6478310643.