100 Years Ago, the Bugatti Type 35 Revolutionized Auto Standards

Revolutionizing Racing: Dominating Over 1,000 Competitions with Production-Ready Cars

The year 2024 will celebrate the centenary of Bugatti’s famous Type 35. Originally revealed in 1924, it quickly became a household name, dominating the racing world with its unmatched speed, control, and unique aesthetic. Ettore Arco Isidoro Bugatti, the mastermind behind the prestigious French company, personally crafted the Type 35.

The Model 35 stands as a renowned racing car in the annals of history, claiming victory in more than 1,000 races through its eight distinctive models. Notably, it was Louis Chiron who achieved the most iconic triumphs in the Grand Prix, earning this vehicle an esteemed reputation. Molsheim recognized the significance of this driver’s accomplishments while behind the wheel of this car, leading them to pay homage to it by naming their Veyron successor after it.

Bugatti came from a family with a strong inclination towards art and design. Despite not having any formal education in engineering, or perhaps because of it, the Type 35 revolutionized motorsports by introducing groundbreaking technical advancements.

According to Luigi Galli, specialist for heritage and certification at Bugatti, “The Bugatti Type 35 was the world’s first purpose-designed and engineered race car. It was unlike anything that had come before, as it was not a road car modified for racing. However, it also proved to be an exceptional road car.” Galli goes on to explain that Ettore Bugatti’s meticulous approach to the overall concept and every minute detail resulted in a car that set unprecedented standards for design, engineering, materials, handling, and performance. The Bugatti Type 35 was a game-changer, giving birth to the Grand Prix era and forcing other motor manufacturers to completely rethink their approach.

One of the revolutionary aspects of the Type 35 was its use of alloy wheels, which had a lower unsprung weight in comparison to the traditional wired sets used by other cars at the time. The vehicle had a streamlined design and sat close to the ground, with a concealed rear suspension that helped minimize drag.

The Type 35 was renowned for its exceptional performance, outshining its competitors in this regard. Its initial version boasted a powerful 2.0-liter eight-cylinder engine. However, it was later upgraded with supercharging and enlargement to 2.3 liters, resulting in an impressive output of 89 horsepower and a redline capacity of 6,000 rpm. This proved to be more than adequate for the race car’s modest weight of only 1,653 pounds, made possible by the utilization of a lightweight chassis and an unconventional rear axle construction.

According to Galli, “At its debut in 1924, the Bugatti Type 35 was a game-changer for the automotive world, completely revolutionizing the perception of vehicle design and engineering.” Even after a hundred years, its influence and appeal remain undiminished. The Type 35 remains a crucial part of the brand’s DNA, alongside the Bugatti Atlantic and the Bugatti Royale. Each and every car produced by Bugatti stays true to the design and engineering principles set by Ettore Bugatti, which were so expertly embodied in the Type 35 a century ago.

It’s a rare find to come across a flawlessly refurbished Bugatti Type 35 up for sale nowadays – and if you do, they come with an incredibly steep price tag in the millions. However, for those with an intense desire to possess one, or perhaps something that closely resembles it, Little Car Company offers scaled-down versions known as the Bugatti Baby II. Despite being only 75% of the original size, these replicas come with a hefty price tag, but will still cost you less than six figures.


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