The suggestion that the streamlining on the LNER locomotive “Mallard” owes something to the 1936 Bugatti 57S is surely nonsense.
The first Gresley’s A4 streamlined Pacifics was in service by September 1935 and drawings showing the basic shape are in existence dated much earlier than this.
There is no evidence to suggest that Gresley “was friendly with Bugatti” and the idea is, I think, highly improbable.
There is, however, reason to think that Gresley, in introducing his high speed trains, was influenced by the successful Bugatti petrol rail Cars on the PLM and State lines and the “Flying Hamburger” diesel rail car on the German State Railways, both introduced in the early 1930s. The streamlining on the A4 is similar to the wedge shaped front of the Bugatti rail car which had much publicity at that time.
Fortunately for us Gresley decided to retain steam traction, which the results more than justify.
Stourport-on-Severn – PAUL H. SHAW