Bugatti Typ 37/44

  • Extensively documented and exciting history
  • Optimized for historic motorsport
  • Prominent previous ownership
Year:1927
Paintwork:Blue
Interior:Leather red
Gearing Type:Manual
Mileage:-
Power:ca. 140 HP
Fuel*:Petrol
Price:390.000,- € (TAX paid)

* Fuel consumption: (DIN 70030) 13,5 L Super determined at 3/4 of maximum speed, maximum of 110 km / h below surcharge of 10% (factory specification)

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The Bugatti Typ 37/44

When working on his first four-wheeled automobile in 1900, 19-year old Ettore Bugatti probably wouldn’t even have dreamed of what successful career would start at this very moment. Because only nine years later, the doors to his own car factory opened for the first time. Through outstanding engineering and motorsport successes en masse, "Automobiles Ettore Bugatti" took its place in the history of the automobile in the coming years. The Bugatti Type 35, one of the most successful racing cars of all time, played quite a role in this success story. Between 1924 and 1930, the French manufacturer's open sports car achieved over 2,000 race wins, making it a motor sports legend. The elegant, well-proportioned body with a slim and light shell and a pointed rear end was made of a special, in-house developed, alloy. Thanks to the wider radiator, which was flattened at the bottom for the first time, the Type 35 appeared more present on the road. It is not for nothing that the Type 35 is considered the most beautiful race car of the era. With the Type 37, Ettore Bugatti presented a new four-cylinder sports car in 1925 as the successor to the Brescia models. The chassis remained that of the legendary Type 35, but the engine was replaced by a new one, rectangular and smooth-surfaced, like the in-line eight-cylinder of the Type 35. It was equipped with three valves per cylinder, opened by an overhead camshaft. Now the crank drive of the 1.5-litre four-cylinder ran on plain bearings instead of roller bearings as in the two-litre eight-cylinder. The sleek, particularly narrow Grand Prix bodywork of the two-seater was also characterized by the horseshoe-shaped radiator and the pointed rear end, but the Type 37 was fitted with wire-spoked wheels instead of the alloy wheels of the Type 35. The easy-to-dismantle lighting system and a speedometer remained the only standard concessions to road use, because just like the Type 35, the Bugatti Type 37 was also intended to be used as a race car.

The car offered here began its career as a Bugatti Type 37 with a 1.5-litre engine. When it was owned by the wife of John Houldsworth, who raced it, the car suffered from a fatal engine failure. Houldsworth, a Bugatti enthusiast himself, turned to a specialist, who raced Bugattis. Jack Lemon Burton. He offered Burton to buy the car, which Burton gladly did in the 1930s. Once he owned the car, he made a more than competitive race car out of it, capable of competing and succeeding both on Grand Prix tracks as well as in hill climbs. Instead of the modest 4-cylinder original engine, he decided to install a 3-litre-8-cylinder Bugatti engine from the Type 44. It was twice as big and fitted with a supercharger. In a letter, dated July 23 1976, he remembers: “That was hard work”. Due to the 3-litre engine being significantly longer than the old engine, the car was modified on the bonnet and engine mounts. Also, the front axle was replaced by a wider element of type 43/44 with larger brakes, which were more suitable for the higher weight. The ENV gearbox and rear axle were from a Grand Prix Bugatti. The car was then given a monoplace body, which enabled Burton to successfully participate in various hill climbs and sprints with his machine. Burton eventually sold the car to his friend Kenneth Bear, who was also a Bugatti enthusiast. Bear drove the car without the supercharger, instead it was powered by four carburetors. He was even more successful than his predecessor and took second place at a hillclimb race in Prescott in 1939, losing only to the Type 59 of Arthur Baron. When Bear passed away at the end of the 1940s, the car was bought by Bert Raven, who kept on competing in races with it and had good success with it at the end of the 1950s. He kept the car until his passing at the end of the 1980s. The car was then restored by the specialist Ivan Dutton and was offered for sale by Dan Margulies, one of the most well-respected British dealers. The copy of a letter, which we have in our possession, from the Bugatti Owners Club in 1992, confirms that the car was converted by Jack Lemon Burton, before the Second World War and has an original Bugatti Grand Prix chassis with the number 557. The windshield was produced by Avro and the body has an Ettore Bugatti body badge in the cockpit. The registration number NPH 254 is from August 1949 and the engine is stamped with the number 686. Approved for VSCC and other historical events, this vehicle also has an engine that is noticeably more powerful than the original engine. The car had an unusually high power output for its time, together with the power development of a "muscle car" that was ahead of its time. With the engine currently installed, implemented as a direct result of the failure of the original engine, this vehicle is typical of modifications made by experienced enthusiasts, making this an exciting testimony to that era and appealing to those enthusiasts who are planning a serious commitment to historic motorsport. Our sales staff will be happy to answer any further questions you may have.