✨ “Take it easy driving – the life you save may be mine.”
― James Dean


Monday, 28 April 2014

Car of the month April 2014 - Bugatti Type 35B

The Bugatti Type 35B - The rawest thrill that is road-legal - once you've heard the tearing-calico exhaust note that is a blown 35 at full rip, you'll yearn to drive one.

The straight-eight is a cacophony of aural delight, with each sound individually identifiable by its timbre even to the tone-deaf: valves chime, chains sing; revs howl and the b lower shrieks once the car's running past the fouled-plugs stage, and the outside gear-change works as fast as you can move it. this is a Grand Prix racer - 1926 world championship winner - and looks like a million bucks, which is what they cost now!

All Bugattis are handsome, but the 35 is a work of art, the square-cut engine castings contrasting with the elegant arch of the horse-shoe grille, the beautiful detail of the engine-turned dash and zig-zag wired body panels - and the Heath Robinson arrangement of chains, sprockets and cables that constitutes the brake linkages.

Ettore Bugatti ploughed his own furrow through life and that came to making his idiosyncratic automobiles, manifested in the exquisitely sculpted hollow front axle (whose springs pass right through the tube), the cast-alloy wheels with integral iron brake drums, the roller bearings hidden away in the crankcase - and the complex opening arrangements for the three-valve-per-cylinder valve gear. All with no gaskets...

William Grover-Williams' Type 35 beat 15 cars to win the inaugural Monaco Grand Prix in 1929, kicking up dust for a gruelling four hours and 100 laps. It was worth it though... Williams was 100,000 francs better-off - 1000 francs per lap.

BUGATTI TYPE 35B 1924-1929
ENGINE - 2262cc Eight-cylinder
POWER - 140 bhp
PERFORMANCE - Top speed : 120mph - 0-60mph : 6sec

Following the Second World War, Etorre Bugatti's fabulously engineered, but vastly expensive creations, were at odds with the times, and production never really restarted. There were many attempts to revive the name, but none was very convincing - until a man called Roman Artioli stepped into the arena. This canny Italian magnate managed to rekindle the Bugatti magic in spectacular fashion, but ultimately the dream prove over-ambitious and ended in bankruptcy.

THE PLAN WAS GRAND : a state-of-the-art factory was built in northern Italy, industry greats were hired (including Paolo Stanzani as technical director and Marcello Gandini as designer - both of them effectively fired later on), and a brand-new V-twelve engine was created from scratch.

The new BUGATTI EB110 was to be a superlative mid-engined super-car, the sort of car that Ettore would have been making if he were still alive. The EB110 name was chosen as a composite of Ettore Bugatti's initials and the fact that the car was to be launched on the 110th anniversary of his birth.

The aluminium-bodied Bugatti's styling (created by an Italian architect) was dramatic but controversial: the lines were hardly harmonious and the traditional Bugatti horseshoe grille looked almost farcically small on the car's nose. Inside, meanwhile, the lever of finish was superb, and equipment levels were generous, but space was severely limited.

Mechanically, the Bugatti was highly advanced. Its centre-piece was a V-0twelve engine fitted with no less than four turbo-chargers and 60 valves, developing 553bhp. There was a six-speed gearbox mated to a four-wheel-drive system and suspension, which delivered handling akin to a grown-up Lancia Inegrale. Bugatti claimed a top speed of 212mph (341kph) and stated that this was the fastest road car in the world; Jaguar with its XJ220 and McLaren with the F1 might have questioned this, but no one was in any doubt that the Bugatti was an extraordinarily fast and very capable machine. .....

BUGATTI EB110 (1991-95)
ENGINE - V-twelve-cylinder
CAPACITY - 3500cc
POWER - 553-611bhp
TOP SPEED - 212-221mph (341-356kph)
NO. BUILT - Not known
Info from 'the World Encyclopedia of Cars' - Martin Buckley and Chris Rees


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...