Sold for $660,000 at 2014 Gooding & Company
The purpose-built Bugatti Type 37 was introduced in 1926 and it combined the single overhead-cam, three-valve, four-cylinder of the Type 40 with a chassis based on that of the Type 35 competition car. This combination provided race car performance at road car cost. In normally aspirated guise, the Type 37 offered 60 bhp; the supercharged Type 37A offered 90 bhp. Production continued until 1930, with as few as 268 examples built, including around 67 factory-supercharged Type 37A models.
This example, chassis number 37317,is a factory-supercharged Type 37A that was purchased new on June 16th of 1928, but Baron Philippe de Rothschild. He was an avid race car driver during the late 1920s and often raced under the pseudonym 'George Philippe' for anonymity.
This car does have a competition history and was photographed in action in period. The car has passed through a succession of owners through the 1930s and 1940s, and was recorded as having been acquired by Bugatti agent Dominique Lamberjack's dealership in 1949. The following year it was purchased from the dealer by American Cabot Briggs, who commissioned a restoration by Lamberjack in 1959. The car remained in Mr. Briggs care until1 965, when it was sold to Ray Jones, who traded it to Gene Cesari of New Hampshire, through whom it passed to Bill Serri of New Jersey, and then, in 1967, to the current California-based owner.
A restoration was initiated prior to the owner's passing in 2000. His widow oversaw the completion of the restoration. It was then put on display at the 2004 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance where it received Third in Class.
In 2014, the car was offered for sale at the Pebble Beach Concours auction presented by Gooding & Company - the first time in 47 years that it was offered for sale.
The car is equipped with a proper supercharger and an electric starter.By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2014
A tremendously successful and popular little car, the Type 37 was introduced as a durable and easy to work on racer to supplement Bugatti`s sophisticated and complex Grand Prix cars. Type 37s were successful in the Voiturette class (under 1500cc), and their 1496cc plain bearing coil ignition motors were much easier to maintain than Bugatti`s full-on GP offerings. This particular car is a painstakingly recreated example that uses Bugatti Club parts, and as such, every component has passed their scrutiny and would be accepted as a correct replacement part for use on an original Type 37. To certify that the car meets their standards, the Bugatti Owners Club has granted this car a BC serial number. Based on its authenticity, the car should be a welcome entrant for prestigious rally events including the California Mille, and it has also been confirmed wîth the Federation International de l`Automobile that that the car is eligible for FIA papers (in Appendix K, whose phrasing we can pass along to interested parties). As a race car, this car will be sold on a Bill of Sale only.
The car has incredible presence and is likely the finest recreation of any car we have ever had the pleasure to offer. It was built by Dave Willis, and every detail is just so, from the square-headed fasteners wîth full safety wiring to the hand scraping etched patterns on the engine block and cylinder head. Despite the high level of the Pur Sang cars, this car is even more impressive and authentic. It was thoroughly gone over in 2002, which included a wide variety of odds and ends. The clutch was replaced, and the charging system serviced. The carburetor was also serviced, and a pair of Marchal headlamps sourced and installed at tremendous expense. The cooling system also received attention, and the tail section of the body refinished. The car also received a standard service, and various electricals. In 2004, the car was converted to electronic ignition and the fuel tank restored. All told, nearly $20,000 was spent during this period.
The car is in excellent overall condition, wîth the lightest of patina. The paintwork is very high quality and free of significant blemishes. There are a series of small cracks over each rivet just behind the driver`s compartment. The metalwork is highly polished and excellent, and the Marchal headlamps, which were added on, are very impressive as well. The exposed suspension and brake components reveal both the level of craftsmanship of this car, and the remarkable design of Bugatti.
The interior is equally striking, wîth beautifully machined dashboard, instruments, and pedals. Again the details reflect the level to which this car was built, wîth the chain tensioned brakes, and carefully rendered switches. The car shows minimal wear and soiling, and is on the whole stunning. The leather upholstery is just broken in and is excellent.
The engine compartment also stuns wîth its attention to detail. The finishes are correct throughout and the engine spotless. The turned finish on the firewall is correct, as are the other finishes.Source - Russo & Steele
The Type 37 was first introduced in 1926 and available in two forms - normal and supercharged. The Supercharged versions were dubbed the 37A. Production lasted until 1930. During its production lifespan, around 290 examples were produced. The vehicle was powered by a 2-liter four-cylinder engine with either a Zenith or Solex carburetor. With the use of the supercharger, the engine produced 90 horsepower. Top speed was achieved at nearly 100 mph. Power was sent to the rear wheels through the use of a four-speed manual gearbox.
The Bugatti Type 35 featured a powerful engine and thus very successful on the racing circuit. Ettore Bugatti wanted to mass produce the Type 35 but feared the engine would be too powerful for road use. So he used then engine from the Type 40 and installed it in the chassis of the Type 35, resulting in the Type 37. The supercharged versions were dubbed the Type 37A.
By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2009