Lime Rock Historic Festival set to break Bugatti turnout record

The annual festival is poised to set records for its Bugatti gathering – with the line-up led by the Type 57SC Atlantic Coupe and the 1937 Le Mans-winning 57G Tank

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The USA's famous Lime Rock Historic Festival expects to break records for the number of Bugattis raced and displayed during its latest annual gathering, which commences later this month.

Bugatti is the featured marque for the latest five-day Lime Rock historic event, taking place from August 30 in Lakeville, Connecticut. The festival also will include the 100th US Bugatti Grand Prix.

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Leading the confirmed line-up of Bugattis for the Concours d’Elegance taking place on the festival’s Sunday is the Mullin Museum’s 1936 Type 57SC Atlantic Coupé, which in recent years has earned Best of Show at the Arizona Concours d’Elegance and the Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille, as well as was named the Peninsula Hotel’s 'Best of the Best' for 2018. It will be joined by Ralph Lauren’s 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Gangloff drophead coupé.

Historic endurance racing will also have a significant representative at the event in the 1936 Bugatti Type 57G 'Tank' which won the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1937, Bugatti’s first victory at a major international event. In the hands of Jean-Pierre Wimille and Robert Benoist it ended the 24 hours seven laps ahead of its nearest competitor. The car also won the ACF Grand Prix and the Grand Prix de la Marne in the previous year.

The 57G Tank at the Lime Rock event is the sole known remaining example of the car, as the two other were lost by the end of 1937. This remaining prototype was sold eventually into private hands and in 1968 was acquired by American Bugatti collector Eri Richardson in partnership with John Truslow. Richardson had already amassed a collection of original 57G Tank components from the Bugatti factory and was able to make considerable progress in returning the car to its as-raced condition.

After passing through a few more collections, the Bugatti was acquired by Dr Fred Simeone. Since joining the Simeone Foundation’s collection museum the car has appeared at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and was shown at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance where it earned the Pebble Beach Cup (now the Phil Hill Cup), presented to the most significant racing car on display.

The latest Lime Rock Historic Festival opens on the Thursday with the Vintage Race Car & Sports Car Parade, open to advance-registered sports cars built prior to 1975, departing from Lime Rock Park at 4pm. The vintage racing starts on the following day and continues on the Saturday and Monday.

The event's Sunday in the Park Concours will feature an estimated 300 collector cars displayed on the front straight. In addition the Gathering of the Marques arranged around the circuit will feature an additional 800 cars from a wide variety of years, models and manufacturers. Dragone Auctions will be also hosting its Lime Rock Auction on Sunday too.

For more information or to purchase tickets visit the event’s website.

1937 Le Mans images courtesy of Motorsport Images

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