The Type 35 Bugatti was emblematic of France's racing prowess in the 1920s. In motor sport, it was the French equivalent of the legendary British Bentley. The Bugatti was the product of an engineer born into a family of artists: For Ettore Bugatti, aesthetic perfection was as important as technical flair.
The result was a car of extraordinary beauty in all its details, conservative in some aspects, but of proven effectiveness on the race circuit. The Bugatti Type 35 was-and is-beautiful. But it also earned its keep: In its 1924-1931 lifespan, it claimed 2,000 racing successes. Many of these can be attributed to the supercharged 2,262 cc 35B. The car is instantly recognizable by its eight-spoke, cast-aluminum wheels.
Lightweight and helping to boost brake-cooling, these components made history because they were the first alloy wheels fitted as standard to a production car. The un-supercharged 1,991 cc Type 35 and the Type 35A came with less elaborate 2-liter engines and wire wheels.
The Type 35 was a family of cars, and included an unblown 1,493 cc racer, a supercharged 1,100 cc racer, and various other sub-breeds. There was also a four-cylinder sister car, the Type 37, of which 290 were made. The Type 35 was, however, the more popular, with 336 produced. Of these, a healthy 139 were the more tame 35A, the so-called Técla model. But it is the blown T35B-with its tearing-calico engine note-that stirs the blood the most.
The Bugatti's lithe lines are hard to fault. The supercharged 35B and 35C have a wider radiator, moved farther forward, as opposed to the more slender radiator of the Type 35, the roadgoing wire-wheeled Type 35A, and the four-cylinder Type 37.
The tubular axle, through which the springs pass, is a Bugatti trademark,and the horseshoe-shaped grille is a reflection of Bugatti's love of all things equestrian.
The elliptical logo is found on all Bugattis from 1910 onward and bears the initials of Ettore Bugatti. It was used until the end of Bugatti car production in the early 1950s, and was revived when the marque resurfaced in the 1990s.
Bugatti logo from 1910