After opening his new factory in Molsheim, Ettore Bugatti refined his lightweight Type 10 into the Type 13 racer. The new company produced five examples in 1910, and entered the French Grand Prix at Le Mans in 1911. The tiny Bugatti looked a little out of place in the race, but took second after seven hours of racing. World War I halted car production but Ettore took completed Type 13 cars with him to Milan for the duration of the war, leaving the parts for three more cars buried near his factory in France. After the war, Bugatti returned and prepared five Type 13s for racing. They were a great success, winning the first four places at the 1921 Brescia Grand Prix, so Type 13s are often called the 'Brescia' Bugattis.
This Brescia was acquired by the late Gary Byrd in 2004 and restored for vintage racing. He raced it in the 2007 and 2008 Monterey Historic Races as well as in the Wine Country Classic Races at Sears Point.
2 Seat Dog Cart
Chassis Num: 981
Engine Num: 538
Sold for $379,500 at 2012 Gooding & Company
Sold for $400,431 (€357,600) at 2016 Artcurial
Ettore Bugatti entered four examples of his Type 13 in a newly estalbished Grand Prix race in northern Italy, the Gran Premio d'Italia Internazionale held at the Circuito di Brescia on August 21st of 1921. Ernest Friderich drove car number 13 to a victory in its class with an average speed of 72 mph over 215 miles, setting a new record for the 1,400cc category. The other Bugatti cars finished 2nd, 3rd and 4th. After this impressive accomplishment, the model was dubbed the 'Brescia Bugatti.' Between 1920 and 1926, the Brescias scored a long list of important successes in Britain and Continental Europe.
This Bugatti Type 13, chassis number 981, was manufactured in Molsheim, France, on August 14th of 1920. It was originally configured as a Type 22-27 and was equipped with a 16-valve, overhead-camshaft engine (no. 538), an RB magneto, four shock absorbers, five Rudge wire wheels, the 'long'-type steering column and four-place coachwork.
Chassis 981 was included in a delivery of 20 Bugatti chassis to Louis Pabanel of Paris on September 5th of 1920. Louis Pabanel was an official agent for Bugatti, Diatto and Hotchkiss automobiles.
The first recorded owner was Edmond Autran of Avignon, France. He registered the Bugatti on June 17th of 1922, but by the fall of 1928, the Brescia had been sold to M. Bailly, a resident of Toulon. About two years later, M. Pensin of Draguignan became the next owner.
When World War II came to a close, an American serviceman stationed in France discovered the Bugatti and shipped the car to the United States. It was later purchased by Bud Ley of Cleveland, Ohio. Under Mr. Ley's ownership, the car was sent to England, where the original chassis was shortened to Type 13 configuration.
In 1978, the car joined Ben Moser's collection of motorcars. In the 1980s, the car was purchased by Yoshiyuki Hayashi of Gotemba, Japan. In 1995, the Bugatti returned to the United States where it was sold to Rick Rawlings of Balboa Island, California. Three years later, the car was purchased by its present owner. Upon purchase, the car was given a high-quality restoration. The car retains its original, matching-numbers engine (538), gearbox (488) and rear axle (891).
In 2012, the car was offered for sale at the Pebble Beach auction presented by Gooding & Company. The car was estimated to sell for $250,000 - $350,000. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $379,500 inclusive of buyer's premium.By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2012
Founded in Molsheim, France, Bugatti was a manufacturer of high performance vehicles in 1910. Ettore Bugatti, founder, was an Italian man that some described as an ‘eccentric genius'. The Bugatti Company is well known for creating some of the most exclusive cars worldwide, along with creating some of the fastest. Much like many high-end marques of the time, the original Bugatti brand failed with the onset of WWII. Also, Ettore's son Jean died; a major contributing factor in this. Struggling financially, the company released one final model in the 1950's before it was eventually purchased for its airplane parts business in the 1960's. The name is owned by Volkswagen Group today, and they have revived it as a builder of a very exclusive set of sports cars.
Bugatti is credited with building cars that were not only works of art, but also amazing mechanical creations. The first Bugatti ever built, the Bugatti Type 13 is considered to be one of the most successful cars in Bugatti history. With the company's founding in 1910, production of the Type 13 and later Types 15, 17, 22, and 23 lasted through 1920 with 435 examples produced.
The Type 13 featured a 16-valve four-cylinder, one of the first ever produced, that performed wonders on the track and also earned the company's first big race win in the 1920 Grand Prix de Le Mans. The following year the four Type 13s took the top four spots at Brescia in Italy. Until 1926 the Brescia Bugatti was produced. In keeping with Ettore Bugatti's feelings for his designs, road cars became known as 'pur-sang' ('thoroughbred'). After World War I the car was brought back with multi-valve engines. Much needed money was also brought in by the production of the 'Brescia Tourer'.By Jessica Donaldson