Bugatti Type 35 history
|Production:||1925 to 1929|
|Engine and Powertrain|
|Weights and Dimensions|
|Wheelbase:||2400 mm (94.5 in)|
|Length:||3680 mm (144.9 in)|
|Width:||1320 mm (52 in)|
|Height:||1200 mm (47.2 in)|
|Weight:||750 kg (1650 lb)|
The Type 35 was the most successful of the Bugatti racing models. Its version of the Bugatti arch-shaped radiator that had evolved from the more architectural one of the Bugatti Type 13 Brescia, was to become the one that the marque is most known for though even in the ranks of the various Type 35s there were variations on the theme.
Ettore Bugatti believed throughout his life that the cars he sent from Molsheim to race on the circuits of the world should be similar to those he offered for sale to the general public. Fiat, Delage and Alfa Romeo all considered such restraints impracticable and unrealistic. Bugatti was to prove them wrong to a considerable extent.
For the Grand Prix of the Automobile Club de France at Lyon in 1924, he unveiled his Type 35, perhaps the greatest classic beauty of its era. He considered supercharging an Italian trick and an infringement of the two- litre capacity regulations, and since he was Italian by birth few could criticize his comments on jingoistic grounds.
His 1924 Type 35 used a vertical-valve straight-eight engine of 60mm x 88 mm, 1900cc, with a built-up eight-section crankshaft revolving in five main bearings.
In both construction and effect the Bugatti chassis was a revelation, its side members being tapered fore and aft to offer the greatest section and therefore greatest strength at the points of maximum stress, while the engine contributed materially to its rigidity. Semielliptic front leaf springs passed through forged slots in the front axle, which was itself
a masterpiece of craftsmanship with its bowed centre section and tapered, upswept extremities. Bugattis had been typified by their quarter-elliptic rear springs reversed forward onto the axle, but in the Type 35 they curved
inwards at the tail and were concealed within the beautifully proportioned bodyshell, with its Bugatti horseshoe radiator. The wheels defied 15 years' acceptance of the spoked-wire type, being of cast alloy with spokes integral with both the rims and the brake drums, thus rendering brake shoes easily replaceable at tyre-change stops. The Type 35 displayed superb handling, magnificent torque and braking, and an essential charm. All these qualities went to make up a revered motor-car.
In 1925 the Type 35 made its real mark winning the first of five successive Targa Florios, and in 1.5-litre form the Italian Voiturette Grand Prix. In 1926 Bugatti supercharged it and won the European Championship, and from 1928 to 1930 the Bugatti 35B in supercharged 2.3-litre form had things more or less its own way in racing everywhere.
The Bugatti cast-alloy wheel, integral with rim and brake drum.
The Type 35 was phenomenally successful, winning over 1,000 races in its time. It took the Grand Prix World Championship in 1926 after winning 351 races and setting 47 records in the two prior years. At its height, Type 35s averaged 14 race wins per week. Bugatti won the Targa Florio for five consecutive years, from 1925 through 1929, with the Type 35.
The original model, introduced at the Grand Prix of Lyon on August 3, 1924, used an evolution of the 3-valve 2.0 L (1991 cc/121 in³) overhead cam straight-8 engine first seen on the Type 29. Bore was 60 mm and stroke was 88 mm as on many previous Bugatti models. 96 examples were produced.
This new powerplant featured five main bearings with an unusual ball bearing system. This allowed the engine to rev to 6000 rpm, and 90 hp (67 kW) was reliably produced. Solid axles with leaf springs were used front and rear, and drum brakes at back, operated by cables, were specified. Alloy wheels were a novelty, as was the hollow front axle for reduced unsprung weight. A second feature of the Type 35 that was to become a Bugatti trademark was passing the springs through the front axle rather than simply U-bolting them together as was done on their earlier cars.
A rare version was de-bored (to 52 mm) for a total displacement of 1.5 L (1494 cc/91 in³). There are two of these rare cars in New Zealand.
A less expensive version of the Type 35 appeared in May, 1925. The factory's Type 35A name was ignored by the public, who nicknamed it "Tecla" after a famous maker of imitation jewelry. The Tecla's engine used three plain bearings, smaller valves, and coil ignition like the Type 30. While this decreased maintenance requirements, it also reduced output. 139 of the Type 35As were sold.
The Type 35C featured a Roots supercharger, despite Ettore Bugatti's disdain for forced induction. Output was nearly 128 hp (95 kW) with a single Zenith carburettor. Type 35Cs won the French Grand Prix at Saint-Gaudens in 1928, and at Pau in 1930. Fifty examples left the factory.
For 1926, Bugatti introduced a special model for the Targa Florio race. Called the Type 35T officially, it soon became known as the Targa Florio. Engine displacement was up to 2.3 L (2262 cc/138 in³) with a longer 100 mm stroke. Grand Prix rule changes limiting capacity to 2.0 L limited the appeal of this model at the time with just thirteen produced.
The final version of the Type 35 series was the Type 35B of 1927. Originally named Type 35TC, it shared the 2.3 L engine of the Type 35T but added a large supercharger like the Type 35C. Output was 138 hp (102 kW), and 45 examples were made. A British Racing Green Type 35B driven by William Grover-Williams won the 1929 French Grand Prix at Le Mans.