Bugatti with chassis number 4948 is a Type 35B Grand Prix race car that is powered by engine number 200T, a supercharged overhead cam inline eight with 130 horsepower. There is a four-speed manual gearbox and four-wheel drum brakes. It was brought to the 1930 Monaco Grand Prix and driven by Guy Bouriat to a third place victory. After the race, the car was sold by the factory to Joachim von Morgan of Germany who continued to campaign this car during 1930 and 1931. The car was later brought back to the factory and exchanged for a new Type 51 Bugatti.
The factory re-sold the Type 35B to Auto Union team driver Paul Pietsch. It was raced during the 1932 season by Pietsch and after the season was sold to Herbert Wimmer. Wimmer competed with the car from 1933 through 1936. It is believed the car was sold after the Second War, and from there, it's history not thoroughly recorded. It appeared as many hillclimbs and various racing competition throughout the years, before crossing the Atlantic and coming to the United States. Upon its arrival, it was in very poor shape. Its curved side frame rails were sold to a Bugatti collector and over the next few decades the chassis number 4948 would reside in storage. It was purchased near the close of the 1970s by its current owner who performed a restoration which brought the car back to its original 1930 Monaco Grand Prix livery. It was given a French Racing Blue paint color and fitted with a black interior. The chassis is actually an exact duplicate replication of the original and its 2.3-liter supercharged straight eight-cylinder engine has been rebuilt to factory specifications. It features its original factory crankshaft and rod assemblies. Many of the vehicle's mechanical parts are the factory verified numbered parts.
Since its restoration is has been brought to a number of events including historic racing such as the Monterey Historics and Bugatti club events worldwide. It was brought to the 2007 Monterey Sports & Classic Car Auction presented by RM Auctions, where it had an estimated value of $600,000 - $800,000. As the gavel fell, the lot had been sold for $605,000 including buyer's premium.
The Type 35 Bugatti has a history that first began at the 1924 French Grand Prix held at Lyon where it quickly created a reputation as an outstanding machine with mechanical functionality married to sensational aesthetics and design.
It was a very modern vehicle fitted with many innovative technological features such as cast-aluminum eight-spoke road wheels with an integral brake drum. This setup simplified the overall design and improved brake cooling. The front axle beam was hollow throughout its length but solid at its ends, fitted with two integral boxes through which the front springs passed.
The crown jewel of the car lay under the bonnet. The straight-eight engine had five main bearings and roller bearing big ends which greatly improved the durability of the engine and increased its power. The paired cylinder blocks with integral heads had two inlet and one exhaust valve which were operated via crossed finger rockers via a single overhead camshaft.
The Type 35B was the most powerful version of the Type 35 family. It had a top speed of 125 MPH and zero-to-sixty was achieved in just six seconds. The quarter mile was accomplished in under 15 seconds. In total, around 40 examples of the Type 35B Bugatti were ever produced and less than a dozen can actually make the claim of having survived to the present day in essentially original form.