While many racing cars of the Edwardian period and the early 1920s and 1930s were huge—behemoths to some, especially on dirt-covered roads—there were equally a corresponding number that were miniscule in comparison, many almost fragile in appearance. At first some of these small cars suffered ridicule from bystanders, but only until they started demonstrating the characteristics that were largely lacking in many of the earlier “bigger brothers,” qualities like handling and road-holding. The Bugatti Type 13 was one of these tinier brethren, but one whose reputation soon grew very big.
The Type 13—we will get to the “Brescia” bit in a minute—was in fact the first Bugatti produced in Molsheim, as well as the first to be allocated a Type number by Ettore Bugatti himself. However, the story of Ettore’s cars is far more complicated and started a good bit earlier than Christmas of 1909 when he set up his own company at Molsheim. Thanks particularly to the work of H.G. Conway, the Bugatti chronicle is now fairly clear, though it would be fair to say that most enthusiasts who are interested in Bugatti tend to date their interest with the Type 35 Grand Prix car that first appeared in the company catalog in 1924, with the first few models running in public in 1925.
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