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What Are You Working On? 1935 Bugatti T57 Stelvio

These are the tools used to create many of the body panels and bumpers required for the cars being restored or recreated.

In early 2016 we did an article on Chalfant Motor Company since that time James (Jim) Hery has continued to use his artistic mechanical skills to save and create some of the World’s most beautiful cars. He is truly an artist and master of metal shapes. His shop is full of metal working devices and tools. However, his brain and his hands are the most valuable tools in his shop.

Here is a buck for the RF fender of the Bugatti.

On a recent visit to see what new cars he might be working on I was blown away by his ambition and dedication. I have included a large number of photos of various projects that are underway but I was most intrigued by the 1935 Bugatti T57 Stelvio with a body by Gangloff. My wife and I have always been in love with the 30s Bugatti, Delahaye, Talbot Lago cars and similar art deco vehicles.

More tools and another buck.

James is not only restoring the 1935 Bugatti T57 cabriolet but he is also building a prototype and five exact replicas of the car that will be for sale! This is all had work just like the coach builders back in the day.


This is the front end of the Bugatti that is being restored and the model for the new creations. On my previous visit to James’s shop I watched as he hammered out the one of these bumpers by hand!
Take a close look at this bumper. It is hand formed, it has not yet been sent out for chrome but when it is, it will require next to no additional work to make it perfect. It is near finished excellence when James is done with it. I think it could be simply polished and satisfy many of us.

The next time you are installing a quarter panel or patch panel on you muscle car stop for a minute and think of the skill and patience it would take to and make that panel. Then think a little harder and consider hand forming the bumpers, frame and suspension components by hand from raw steel! That is the skill it takes to restore, never mind create one of these cars!


Take a good look at the Bugatti’s engine and then look down and see the cross member/engine mount at the front of the engine. Even these parts are pure are by the original builders.


This the transmission.
This is the body for the Bugatti T57 Stelvio.
This is not the same car or exact model but is as close as I could find.


The badge “Bugatti” says it all!


I find even the brake drums to look like sculpture, they are beautiful by them selves.


Here is another view of the engine mount in the Bugatti.
This is the first frame for the prototype Bugatti recreation being built on the table.
Another project in his shop.
He built this extra grill shell as a future clock for the wall.
This is a car he built from the ground up. Everything on the body is of his own design in the style of the coach builders of the day.
This is a front view.

He even has a rare Minerva in the shop for restoration.

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I grew up and lived in Iowa for a good portion of my life before moving to Southern California. After 20+ years we now live outside Nashville Tennessee. I have been into cars since I was old enough to remember. I don't have a brand loyalty although I do prefer American Muscle especially the 1969/1970 NASCAR Aero Cars. (Check out our other web site at www.TalladegaSpoilerRegistry.com site) As long as it has four wheels and an engine I get excited. Few men are lucky enough to be able to share their passion for cars with the woman they love. Fortunately, my wife, Katriana, is also a gear head and many of our activities revolve around the cars. We have a small collection that includes at least one car from each of the Big Three. It includes a Best of Show winner, a survivor, a driver with lots of patina and several others. Katrina prefers all original cars while I like to modify them so we have a few of each. When we aren't playing with cars we are out working with or showing our miniature donkeys. You can see more about that part of our lives at http://www.LegendaryFarms.com.

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