Chassis Num: 4935
Engine Num: 186 (ex-4940)
Sold for $900,000 at 2010 Gooding & Company
The Bugatti Type 35 was an iconic, important, and historically significant Grand Prix car in Bugatti's racing history during the 1920s. It would quickly become one of the most dominant vehicles in motorsport with nearly 1,800 racing victories attributed to different varieties of the Type 35.
The cars greatness was sourced from its featherweight chassis, short wheelbase, brilliant engineering, and its low center of gravity. It took full advantage of the new two-litre formula. Using the small displacement, roller-bearing engine, it had a high redline. With the addition of a blower, there was sufficient power throughout the rev-range.
This car, chassis number 4935, began life as a Type 35B. It would have a long and fascinating race record. Later in life, it was purchased by Dr. Williamson - his first Bugatti. Prior to the acquision, it had been with restorer Bunny Phillips, where it remained for some time. In the early the 1960s, Eugene Kettering, Peter Williamson's father-in-law, purchased the T35 on the condition that Phillips would be commissioned to complete the restoration.
The car was disassembled and a new frame was sourced - number 342 - thought to be from another Type 35. A Type 35C engine was installed along with the appropriate driveline and suspension components. It is believed that the engine is number 186, meaning it originally belonged to another Bugatti, chassis 4940. Phillips constructed a new Grand Prix body incorporating unique features such as a small Type 37 radiator, cycle fenders, pinched hood, and full road equipment. The body was mounted on the chassis and painted in French Blue.
Dr. Williamson later purchased the car from Mr. Kettering. Over the years, Dr. Williamson would acquire every straight-eight Bugatti as a direct result of the fondness for the first Bugatti he purchased - this Type 35C.
In 2010, this Bugatti was offered for sale at Gooding & Company's auction held in Amelia Island, Florida. The car was expected to sell for $100,000,000 - $140,000,000. As bidding came to a close, the car had been sold for the sum of $900,000, inclusive of buyer's premium.By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2010
Though it is personal preference, the Bugatti Type 35 is regarded by many as one of the most beautiful pre-war racer from the legendary Bugatti Company. Its beauty is matched by its accomplishments, being one of the most successful pre-war racer winning over 1000 races and capturing the 1926 Grand Prix World Championship with 351 races. During that two year period it also claimed 47 records. From 1925 through 1929 the Bugatti Type 35 dominated the Targa Florio.
The first Bugatti Type 35 was introduced on August 3rd, 1924. It was powered by a modified engine used in the Type 29. The 3-valve 2-liter overhead cam straight-eight engine had five main bearings and producing around 90 horsepower. The suspension was comprised of leaf springs attached to solid axles. Stopping power was provided by drum brakes in the rear operated by cables which could be seen on the exterior of the vehicle. In total, there were 96 examples produced.
There were multiple versions of the Type 35 which were specifically designed to accommodate many types of racers. The Type 35A, nicknamed 'Tecla' was an inexpensive version of the Type 35 and made its first appearance in May of 1925. Its nickname was given by the public after a maker of imitation jewelry. The engine was a reliable unit borrowed from the Type 30. It used three bearings, had smaller valves, coil ignition, and produced less horsepower than its Type 35 sibling. In total 139 examples of the Type 35A were created.
Though Ettore Bugatti favored naturally aspirated engines, the Type 35C was given a Roots-Type supercharger which boosted power to an impressive 128 horsepower. There were only fifty examples created with many providing historic victories for the company. The Type 35C won the 1928 and 1930 French Grand Prix, undoubtedly their greatest accomplishments.
The Bugatti Type 35T, commonly known as the Targa Florio, was specially prepared for the Targa Florio race. There were only thirteen examples produced. It was powered by a 2.3 liter engine. When Grand Prix rules changed stating that engine displacement sizes of up to 2 liters were required, the Type 35T became obsolete and production ceased.
The Bugatti Type 35B was introduced in 1927 and was the final iteration of the Type 35 series. The name Type 35TC was pondered since it shared the same 2.3 liter engine as the Type 35T and a supercharger just like the Type 35C. The engine produced an astonishing 138 horsepower, by far the most of the Type 35 series. In total there were only 45 examples produced with one of their greatest accomplishments being the victory at the 1929 French Grand Prix.
The Type 39 was produced alongside the Type 35B but adhered to current Grand Prix regulations which limited engine capacities to 1.5 liters. Only ten examples of the Type 39 were produced.
By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2011