After opening his new factory in Molsheim, Ettore Bugatti refined his lightweight Type 10 into the Type 13 racer. The new company produced five examples in 1910, and entered the French Grand Prix at Le Mans in 1911. The tiny Bugatti looked a little out of place in the race, but took second after seven hours of racing. World War I halted car production but Ettore took completed Type 13 cars with him to Milan for the duration of the war, leaving the parts for three more cars buried near his factory in France. After the war, Bugatti returned and prepared five Type 13s for racing. They were a great success, winning the first four places at the 1921 Brescia Grand Prix, so Type 13s are often called the 'Brescia' Bugattis.
The Type 13 was unbeatable in Voiturette races in the early 1920s; they placed 1,2,3, and 4 at the Brescia Grand Prix in 1921. Capitalizing on this achievement, all subsequent four-valve Bugatti models were known as Brescia Bugattis.
This car was first sold as a bare Type 23-length chassis, with a Brescia twin-magneto engine, to an owner in Australia who had a body fitted to it. Its chassis was converted to the proper Type 13 style in the 1930s. After more transformation, this Bugatti was used as both a touring and competition car in Australia and England. A later owner, Chris Hutchins, campaigned it in the United States. In 1996 it appeared at the 75th anniversary of the Primo Gran Premio d'Italia back in Brescia.
Founded in Molsheim, France, Bugatti was a manufacturer of high performance vehicles in 1910. Ettore Bugatti, founder, was an Italian man that some described as an ‘eccentric genius'. The Bugatti Company is well known for creating some of the most exclusive cars worldwide, along with creating some of the fastest. Much like many high-end marques of the time, the original Bugatti brand failed with the onset of WWII. Also, Ettore's son Jean died; a major contributing factor in this. Struggling financially, the company released one final model in the 1950's before it was eventually purchased for its airplane parts business in the 1960's. The name is owned by Volkswagen Group today, and they have revived it as a builder of a very exclusive set of sports cars.
Bugatti is credited with building cars that were not only works of art, but also amazing mechanical creations. The first Bugatti ever built, the Bugatti Type 13 is considered to be one of the most successful cars in Bugatti history. With the company's founding in 1910, production of the Type 13 and later Types 15, 17, 22, and 23 lasted through 1920 with 435 examples produced.
The Type 13 featured a 16-valve four-cylinder, one of the first ever produced, that performed wonders on the track and also earned the company's first big race win in the 1920 Grand Prix de Le Mans. The following year the four Type 13s took the top four spots at Brescia in Italy. Until 1926 the Brescia Bugatti was produced. In keeping with Ettore Bugatti's feelings for his designs, road cars became known as 'pur-sang' ('thoroughbred'). After World War I the car was brought back with multi-valve engines. Much needed money was also brought in by the production of the 'Brescia Tourer'.By Jessica Donaldson