Concept Carz Home
 CoupesArrow PictureManufacturersArrow PictureBugattiArrow PictureType 51 Coupe (1931 - 1935)Arrow Picture1931 Bugatti Type 51 Coupe 
1932 Type 51 Image Right
 

1931 Bugatti Type 51 Coupe news, pictures, specifications, and information

Coupe
Coachwork: Dubos
Chassis Num: 51133
 
This Bugatti Type 51 Coupe was originally built as a Bugatti factory team Grand Prix racer that was driven to great success by legendary French racing driver Louis Chiron. Chiron won the Monaco race in April 1931 and following the racing season, Bugatti gave the car to Chiron. Chiron sold the car and it was acquired by Parisian playboy Andre Bith who drove the car in rallys and sporting events. In 1937, Bith commissioned Louis Dubos to build an exciting and stylish aerodynamic coupe body for the Type 51. Bith was so pleased with the new body, he entered it in the 1937 Bagatelle Concours d'Elegance and scored a 2nd overall. Bith sold the car and lost track of it during WWII.

The car changed hands several times until located by the present owner who, with the help of 90-year-old Andre Bith, was able to restore it with its original Grand Prix racer body with a replica body by renowned Bugatti authority O.A. Phillips.

The car is powered by a dual-overhead-cam, 8-cylinder, 2.3L (136.5 cubic inch) engine, developing 185 horsepower.
The Bugatti Type 51 was produced from 1931 through 1935 with a total of 40 examples being produced of both the T-51 and T-51A. These new racers were Ettore Bugatti's attempt to replace the aging Type 35's with a more-modern racer with improved power and performance. The front-wheel drive Miller racing cars were extremely quick and Ettore wanted to know the reasons for their success. In exchange for three Type 43, Ettore got two Miller 91's. These two vehicles were studied and their engines dismantled. Nearly identical copies of the engine block and head were made and installed in a Type 35. The result was the Type 51. The Type 51 came in to configurations, a 2.0-liter and 2.3-liter. The Type-51A had a 1.5 liter engine and a supercharger. The twin overhead cam engine 2.3 liter engine was capable of producing 160 horsepower with a Roots-Type supercharger. With the body and chassis weighing in around 750 kg's, the car had a top speed of 230 km/h.

In 1931 a Bugatti Type 51 emerged victorious at the French Grand Prix. This was one of the few highlights of its career. The more powerful Alfa Romeo's and Maserati's were far too dominate. Bugatti found it difficult to compete with teams that had government support such as the German's and Italians.

Later, the Type 53, Type 54, and type 59 were created. The Type 59 was powered by a 3.3 liter engine and mounted in a modified version of the Type 54 chassis. These were produced in very limited numbers with only about 7 examples being created. The 250 horsepower and low center of gravity made them formidable contenders. The weight of the vehicle was reduced by drilling holes in the chassis.

Not all of the Type 51's were bare-bones racers. A coupe was created that coupled power with luxury. It had a short racing career driven by Rene Dreyfus and Louis Chiron. It was later purchased by Andre Birth who had a custom coachbuilt body adapted to the chassis. In 2000 it was purchased by the Nethercutt Collection who commissioned a full restoration. It was shown at the 2003 Pebble Beach Concours in honor of the featured marque, Bugatti. It was awarded Second in Class.

By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2006
For more information and related vehicles, click here

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles key player in the Classic Days in Germany
Concours d'elegance, parades and special races on roads closed to traffic: this is the packed programme reserved for the historic cars arriving at the medieval Dyck castle • Alfa Romeo takes part with four precious models: the prototype 750 Competizione (1955), the 8C 2900 Le Mans (1938), the Giulietta SZ (1960) and the 1900 Sport Spider (1954) • Under the spotlight the Lancia 037 Rally (1984 - group B) and the Formula 1 Lancia D50 (1955) • At the German event also the Abarth 1000 Monomille ...[Read more...]
80 years ago: victory by the Mercedes-Benz W 25 in the International Eifel Race gave birth to the legend of the Silver Arrows
•The silver-coloured body of the W 25 gave this nickname to the racing cars from Mercedes-Benz •Successful new development by Mercedes-Benz for the750-kilogram racing formula •Manfred von Brauchitsch drove the W 25 to victory and established a new track record for Nürburgring It was a debut in sparkling silver, and it ended with shining gold: the first race at Nürburgring with the completely newly developed Mercedes-Benz W 25 racing car on 3 June 1934 was won by Manfred von Brauchitsch with...[Read more...]
Wec Spa: Audi Presents Long-Tail R18
• First fielding of three Audi R18 e-tron quattro cars
• Premiere of a new aerodynamic variant
• Last race preparation for the Le Mans 24 Hours
Ingolstadt, April 25, 2013 – Audi is pursuing ambitious aims at round 2 of the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) on May 4 at Spa. The version of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro that was victorious at the season opener is to extend Championship leader Audi's points advantage. At the same time, a new long-tail variant of t...[Read more...]
Ferrari 'Tour De France' Joins RM's Monterey Sale
• RM Auctions announces a rare and coveted 1956 Ferrari 250 GT LWB Berlinetta Scaglietti 'Tour de France' as the latest feature attraction for its Monterey sale, August 17–18 • The first 14-Louver TdF built and one of just nine examples of its kind, 0585 GT is Ferrari Classiche certified and boasts a well-documented history, including a co-starring role in the 1966 Disney classic, The Love Bug • Exclusive TdF joins previously announced Ferrari 410 S to lead an exceptional roster of more than a...[Read more...]
Formula One - Spanish Grand Prix
Kimi Raikkonen bagged his second podium on the trot in Barcelona, charging hard to finish third behind first time grand prix winner Pastor Maldonado and, by just half a second, Fernando Alonso. The Finn was disappointed not to finish on the top step, though, claiming that the Lotus E20 had the potential to have won every race this year so far. Nevertheless, he is now fourth in the Drivers' Championship, just 12 points behind leaders Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso. Starting on the sec...[Read more...]
8-Liter
EB110
Royale
Type 101
Type 13
Type 23
Type 35
Type 37
Type 38
Type 39 and Type 39A
Type 40
Type 46
Type 50
Type 51
Type 55
Type 57
Type 59
Veyron

1932 Type 51 Image Right
© 1998-2014. All rights reserved. The material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.