Conceived by a brilliant Italian and built in France, this is the ultimate vintage racing car. The two-seater Bugatti Type 35 was certainly the most successful racer of all time, various models winning over two thousand races and establishing the marque’s mythical status.
This blue bombshell with its superb handling and reliable engine was the first Bugatti to feature that iconic arched radiator and remains an all-time favorite with classic car aficionados. With nearly 350 Type 35s made, plenty survive to thrill weekend drivers.
The original Type 35 of 1924 had a new engine with five main bearings and a unique ball-bearing system that allowed this potent power plant to rev at an impressive 6000 rpm and produce 90 hp.
This state-of-the-art machine was expensive and complicated, so the Type 35A of 1925 addressed the problem. The public swiftly nicknamed this simplified model ‘The Tecla’ after a maker of cheap jewelry, but it was nonetheless hugely successful.
Although Ettore Bugatti claimed to dislike forced induction, he allowed Type 36C cars to be fitted with a supercharger that boosted power output by a third and brought two French Grand Prix victories (1928 and 1930). Type 35T with a bored-out engine was created for Sicily’s famous endurance race and swiftly christened the Bugatti Targa Florio – justifying the nickname with straight victories between 1925 and 1929. Its successor – the final Type 35 – was the 35B (originally 35TC) of 1927. It was the same as the 35T with the addition of a large supercharger. A 35B won the French Grand Prix of 1929. The Bugatti Type 37 was an extension of the 35 series. This sports car reused the chassis and body of the 35 but had a smaller 1,496 cc engine – supercharged in the Type 37A. Type 39 was visually identical to the Type 35, but with a smaller engine.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: France
1924 (until 1931)
1,991 cc or 2,262 cc Straight Eight
PERFORMANCE: varied according to model, with around 90 mph (145 km/h) being the norm.
YOU SHOULD KNOW: when a customer had the temerity to complain that the brakes on his Type 35 left something to be desired it is said that Ettore Bugatti disdainfully replied ‘I make my cars to go, not to stop’.