Bugatti Type 44 – 1927

Can the word ‘common’ be applied to any Bugatti? It seems insulting to tar this prestigious marque with such a mundane description, but if a Bugatti can ever be thus described it must, be the Type 44, because more of these popular vehicles were produced than any other type.

So if there’s one Bugatti the enthusiast can realistically aspire to drive, this is it… and the experience should be a real pleasure.

The wire-wheeled Type 44 was Bugatti’s first true touring car. A new engine was created from two cast-iron four-cylinder blocks with a single overhead camshaft delivering its power through a four-speed manual gearbox to drive the rear wheels. Teamed with the proven chassis developed for the earlier Type 38, this offered the smoothest of rides with all the creature comforts. As a result, the Type 44 proved to be immensely popular and sold very well.

This highly-rated classic benefits from the fact that today’s survivors come with a considerable assortment of attractive body styles fitted by top coachbuilders that included Kellner, James Young, Weymann, Gerber, Gang]off arid Graber. Among the bodies they created were roadsters, coupes, two-door tourers and four-door saloons.

Common it may have been by Bugatti standards, but that Is a relative term – just under 1,100 Type 44s were built out of the grand total of 7,000 cars that actually emerged from the factory at Molsheim between the company’s foundation in 1909 and the effective end of car production with the death of Ettore Bugatti’s son Jean whilst testing a Type 57 racing car in 1930, and the subsequent advent of World War 11. Attempts were made to establish new model lines after 1945, but these proved unsuccessful and the company was finally sold to Hispano-Suiza in 1963.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

France

FIRST MANUFACTURED:

1927 (until 1930)

ENGINE:

2.992 cc Straight Eight

PERFORMANCE:

Top speed around 85 mph (137 km/h) according to body type

YOU SHOULD KNOW:

The most unusual Type 44 was the wooden-bodied fire tender constructed on a Type 44 chassis used at Bugatti’s Molsheim factory in the late 1920s and 1930s – whether or not it was ever put to the test is not recorded.

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