Former Fiat designer G. C. Cappa designed a four wheel drive race car and convinced Bugatti to built it with the 4.9 litre engine from the Type 54 race car as powerplant. The Type 53 was a notorious for its bad steering as it suffered from torque steer.
Only two were built by the factory and one assembled from factory parts (this one) and they were raced in hillclimbs with some success. Ettore Bugatti took one of the two factory cars to the English Shelsley Walsh hill climb. He unofficially broke the hill record in practise but in the race he broke nothing except for his Type 53. The other factory car remains as a bare chassis in the Musee National d'Automobile, the Schlumpf Collection.
This example was raced at the 2001 Shelsley Walsh hill climb and set the fastest time of all Bugattis entered. It is seen here at the 2002 Retromobile Paris show.