Chassis #: 1925
In 1925, Bugatti produced five factory Type 39 models, each powered by a 1500cc, eight-cylinder roller bearing crankshaft engine. The cars had identical chassis and engines and wore beaded edged tires on aluminum wheels.
This example, chassis number 4604, is the sole surviving example in original condition. 4604, along with the four other Type 39 factory models, were raced at the French Touring Grand Prix at Montlhéry in July of 1925. At the time it wore a temporary touring body to comply with race requirements. It was driven by 'Meo' Constantini to an impressive first place finish. Out of the remaining four Bugatti Type 39s, only one finished the race. After the race, all five cars were returned to the standard Grand Prix body configurations and entered in the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in September of 1925. 4604 finished third overall, and first among the Type 39s. The Type 39 driven by Jules Goux had lead most of the race, but was forced to retire close to the finish due to a leaking fuel tank.
After racing at Monza in 1925, 4604 was sold and sent to Australia, along with car number 4607. Both cars were actively campaigned during the 1920s and 1930s, earning several important victories during that time. 4607 won the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island in 1931.
By Daniel Vaughan | May 2011
Currently, 4604 is in impressive condition considering its originality, age, and racing career. In 2004, the car was sent to England and given a re-commissioning.