17 May 1999
1989 DE LA CHAPELLE 55 TWO SEATER ROADSTER WITH HARDTOP
Chassis no. 533 188 045
Yellow over black with tan leather interior
Engine : BMW Alpina six cylinder in line, 2500cc, overhead camshaft, 170bhp; Gearbox: five-speed manual; Suspension: independent front by strut and coil spring, live rear axle; Brakes : hydraulically operated disc/drum. Left hand drive
The French Xavier de la Chapelle set out to build what were initially rather well-proportioned replicas of the suave two-seater Bugatti Type 55 Roadster as designed by Jean Bugatti, Ettore's son. He was credited with a number of Molsheim's most handsome body designs through the 1930s. The De La Chapelle's modern components were particularly well-chosen, for underneath the fibreglass skin were found BMW overhead camshaft power units in various forms. Running gear and suspension were from the same source. In keeping with the roadster's considerable potential performance, brakes were ventilated disc. Well finished and detailed in largely appropriate manner, the De La Chapelle is a subtle amalgam of classic design motifs and modern practicality. It features a number of necessities for comfortable modern touring, including adjustable seats with head restraints, air conditioning and stereo sound equipment. There is a rear luggage trunk. The dual tone paint finish is in the style that Jean Bugatti conceived for his Type 55 roadster.
This De La Chapelle is equipped with a hardtop. It was purchased new by the vendor for a price close to SFR 200.000, has covered 6140 km and is considered to be in close to new condition. Capable replicas such as this now have their place in the classic car world, and may be relied on to provide a focus of attention at any gathering of specialist car enthusiasts. The car is Swiss registered.
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