1937 Bugatti Type 57G “Tank”
Pilots: J-P. Wimille, R. Benoist
Team: Jean-Pierre Wimille
Race: 1st overall (class S 5.0) at Le Mans in 1937
Ixo - LM 1937 (diecast)
Ettore Bugatti set a personal objective – he wanted to win at Le Mans. The first time he had a car there was in 1930, a Type 40. Though after a few tries, the coveted 1st place only came in 1937 with the 57G, the famous Tank. The car was developed based on the Type 57, designed by Jean Bugatti, son of founder Ettore Bugatti. For the 57G he used a 57S chassis, and produced three 57G Tanks. For the race at La Sarthe that year, two of them were enrolled. The engine was an inline 8 cylinders displacing 3.3 liters and producing around 200 hp. The engine was particularly interesting because it had the cam shaft connected to the rear axle by gears, and not by a chain, the first car to ever have that.
The car got it’s nickname because it resembled a lot the armored vehicles introduced in World War I, and was radically different from other cars of the era. The winning 57G #2, chassis number 57335, is the only one of the original three cars that still exists. Ixo did a solid model here – one of my best from the brand. Panel gaps are not very crisp, but with those gorgeous wheels, I forgive them. The cockpit is very good too, so all in all, a GREAT little car. In fact, if I had to pick, I think I like this one better than my 1939 Tank.