Ettore Bugatti debuted the Type 50 in 1930. It was derived from the Type 46, sharing many mechanical components, but with a higher price. Part of this price was the eight-cylinder DOHC engine; the most powerful Bugatti-designed engine at the time. Though physically smaller because of a decreased bore and stroke when compared with the Type 46, it was capable of producing over 200 horsepower with its Roots-type supercharger and dual Zenith carburetors. Depending on the body style the Type 50 might reach a top speed of 105 mph and a 0-60 time of eight seconds.
The Type 50 was introduced in 1930 as a super sports car with outstanding performance. It was the first Bugatti with twin overhead camshafts. The Type 50 was designed to be a high-performance, daily driver automobile. The traditional steel-ladder frame chassis was available in two sizes, a short and long version. The Type 50T had a longer wheelbase. With its three-speed manual gearbox and live axles, it was suitable for long trips.
This body style is a roadster with a rumble seat. It rides on the shorter 120 inch wheelbase chassis. Bugatti supplied a rolling chassis to coachbuilders to outfit the vehicles according to the customer's wishes. The specifications for the vehicles varied greatly; most of the vehicles were given enclosed coupe bodies. This example is a drophead coupe, with four seats, two doors, a folding roof and sloping rear.
Production of the Type 50 lasted from 1930 through 1933 with just 65 built. Many magnificent bodies, both closed and open, were installed on the Type 50 chassis. With the costly chassis and typically elaborate coachwork, this car was only for the wealthy. Today, with the production volume and various body styles and coachwork, the Type 50 is highly regarded as a collectable and rare automobile in modern times.