The Bugatti Type 35 is viewed by several car enthusiasts as one of the greatest pre-war racer to be crafted from the Bugatti Company. Its virtue is matched by its achievements as it conquered the race scene during its time. It was one of the most successful pre-war racer winning over 1000 races and achieving the 1926 Grand Prix World Championship with 351 races.
The success of the Type 35 was attributed to its astounding road handling ability. It’s exceptionally rigid chassis provided for steadfast control and driver confidence.
Of the racing Bugattis, the Type 35C is considered to be one of the finest racing cars of its era, with Gooding & Company set to auction this rare beauty in their upcoming auction on the 5th September.
A glorious work of art from the Grand Prix racing age, the 35C is irreplaceable. Light, fast and strong, yet elegant, it is one of the most revered racing cars till date. Of note, the 35C had success at the French Grand Prix in 1928 at Saint-Gaudens, and Pau in 1930. Today, it has become a legend in the world of motor sports, and deservedly so.
History of the Bugatti Type 35C
The Type 35 Bugatti was unveiled in 1924, with a long hood, and a 2.0 litre inline-8 engine that produced 90 hp. The Type 35 was renowned for its featherweight chassis and low center of gravity. These factors combined made these relatively diminutive GP cars extremely maneuverable, especially on short tracks.
Fast-forward a few years and the Bugatti company introduced the Type 35C with an improved engine giving out greater horsepower. Although Ettore Bugatti favored the naturally aspirated engines, the Type 35C was given a Roots-Type supercharger which lifted the power to an astonishing 128 horsepower.
As a result of the engine modifications, the Type 35C was not only light and agile, but also unbelievably powerful. To make sure the new supercharger fitted in with the overall aesthetics of the engine compartment, Bugatti had it designed especially.
The particular example up for auction by Gooding & Company, chassis 4871, was originally equipped with engine no. 139 and served as a works entry for the 1928 Targa Florio.
In the hands of its first private owner, the entertainer-turned-racer Jannine Jennky, the 35C captured an overall win at the inaugural Coupe de Bourgogne and then continued to race in European Grand Prix events under its second owner, Jean de Maleplane.
In spring 1932, Ricardo Bernasconi, an Italian living in the Champagne region of France, acquired 4871, had it repainted red, and campaigned it in various hill climbs and circuit races, including the Gran Premio di Monza.
The Bugatti remained his prized possession, seeing limited use, until 1958, when it was sold to Captain Jean Ooms of Belgium.
Some of its major technical specifications of the Type 35C Grand Prix set for auction include:
1,991 CC SOHC Inline 8-Cylinder Engine
Single Zenith Carburetor
125 BHP at 5,500 RPM
4-Speed Manual Gearbox
4-Wheel Cable-Operated Mechanical Drum Brakes
Front Solid Axle with Semi-Elliptical Leaf Springs and Shock Absorbers
Rear Live Axle with Reversed Quarter-Elliptical Leaf Springs and Shock Absorbers