Remembering the Classic Bugatti Racers

When we hear the word Bugatti today the sharp image of the Veyron supercar instantly appears. While the Bugatti Veyron is an exquisite example of what a supercar should be, it is important to remember the classic members of the family. Classic Bugatti cars like the Type 35 and 51 Grand Prix Racers paved the way to the successes of today.

Classic Bugatti

Potentially embarrassing admission: It is impossible for me to picture a classic Bugatti without the image of Jay Leno tooling around in one.

The story of the Type 35 and Type 51 Bugatti racers

Founder Ettore Bugatti and son Jean were pleased with the performance and success of the Type 35. Because there is always room for improvement, the duo decided in the 1920s that it could use more power. Interested in the Miller front wheel drive racers, they traded three Bugatti Type 35 cars for two Miller cars and went to work. The result was the Bugatti Type 51, visually similar to the 35 with increased power and other tweaks inspired by the Miller cars.

Classic Bugatti

The new Bugatti Legend Series is being unveiled one car at a time. Each unit pays homage to a classic counterpart. So far, 2 of 6 have been released. 

The Bugatti Type 51 Grand Prix car at a glance:

  • Just 40 examples of the Type 51 and Type 51A were produced in France the 1930s.
  • V8 engine
  • Twin overhead cam evolution of the supercharged 2.3-liter single overhead cam straight 8 from the Type 35B
  • 160 horsepower. The Bugatti Veyron of today produces a staggering 1,200 ponies. It is clear that both looks and power are necessary components of a true supercar.
  • 4-speed clutch with reverse
  • Cable operated brake drums
  • Cast alloy wheels

Classic Bugatti

The Type 51 replaced the 35 as the brand’s premier racing series during the 1930s. 

Classic Bugatti

Classic Bugatti cars are worth a small fortune these days

Classic Bugatti

Post by Imagine Lifestyles Luxury Rentals