Bugatti Type 35

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Bugatti Type 35C in racing trim
Bugatti Type 35B replica Dashboard

The Bugatti 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.[1][2]

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.[3]

Type 35[edit]

Bugatti Type 37 (left) and 35 (right) cars at the Cité de l'Automobile Museum, Mulhouse

The original model, introduced at the European Grand Prix Lyon on August 3, 1924, used an evolution of the three-valve 2.0 L (1991 cc/121 in³) overhead cam straight-eight engine first seen on the Type 29. Bore was 60 mm and stroke was 88 mm as on many previous Bugatti models. Ninety-six of these un-supercharged examples were produced.[4]

This new powerplant featured five main bearings with an unusual ball bearing system. This allowed the engine to rev to 6,000 rpm, and 90 hp (67 kW) was reliably produced. Solid axles with leaf springs were used front and rear, and drum brakes at the 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 cars in New Zealand.


  • Length: 3680 mm (144.9 in)
  • Width: 1320 mm (52 in)
  • Wheelbase: 2400 mm (94.5 in)
  • Track: 1200 mm (47.2 in)
  • Weight: 750 kg (1650 lb)

Type 35A[edit]

Bugatti Type 35A Grand Prix racer 1925

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 examples of the Type 35A were sold.

Type 35C[edit]

File:Bugatti Type 35C Grand Prix Racer 1926.jpg
Bugatti Type 35C Grand Prix racer 1926

The Type 35C was introduced in 1926 and featured a Roots supercharger, despite Ettore Bugatti's disdain for forced induction. Output was nearly 128 hp (95 kW) with a single Zenith carburettor. A Type 35C won during its first race outing at the Grand Prix of Milan. The type continued to be very dependable. Approximately 45 examples left the factory.

Type 35T[edit]

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. Bugatti is 'world champion of car builders' this year.

Type 35B[edit]

Bugatti Type 35B Grand Prix racer 1929

Named by the factory "Type 35TC" (Targa Compressor), this most powerful version became known colloquially as the "T35B". It shared the 2.3 L engine of the Type 35T this time with a large supercharger added. Output was 138 hp (102 kW) and around 37 examples were made. A British Racing Green Type 35B driven by William Grover-Williams won the inaugural 1929 Monaco Grand Prix. Type 35Cs revved higher and ended-up proving to be a better all-round configuration including better fuel consumption levels, so the final production at Molsheim shied-away from producing T35Bs in favour of T35Cs.

Type 37[edit]

Bugatti Type 37 Grand Prix racer 1928

The Type 35 chassis and body were reused on the Type 37 sports car. Fitted with a new 1.5 L (1496 cc/91 in³) straight-4 engine, 290 Type 37s were built. This engine was an SOHC three-valve design and produced 60 hp (44 kW). The same engine went on to be used in the Type 40.

Type 37A[edit]

Bugatti Type 37A Grand Prix racer 1929

The supercharged Type 37A accounted for 67 of the Type 37's production slots. Engine output was up to 60–67 kW (80–90 bhp). It also had larger shrouded brake drums.

Type 39[edit]

Carl Junker won the 1931 Australian Grand Prix with a Type 39

The Type 39 was basically identical to the Type 35C except for its engine. This was modified to be smaller at 1.5 L (1493 cc/91 in³) with a shorter-stroked crankshaft. This brought stroke down from 88 mm to 66 mm, and a mix of regular and ball bearings were used. Ten examples were produced.

An odd 1.1 L (1092 cc/66 in³) version was also created by reducing the bore of the engine to 51.3 mm.

Race victories[edit]

Year Race Driver Car
1925 Targa Florio Bartolomeo Costantini Type 35
1926 French Grand Prix Jules Goux Type 39 A
Italian Grand Prix Louis Charavel Type 39 A
Spanish Grand Prix Bartolomeo Costantini
Targa Florio Bartolomeo Costantini Type 35 T
1927 Targa Florio Emilio Materassi Type 35 C
1928 French Grand Prix William Grover-Williams Type 35 C
Italian Grand Prix Louis Chiron Type 37 A
Spanish Grand Prix Louis Chiron
Targa Florio Albert Divo Type 35 B
Moroccan Grand Prix Edward Meyer Type 35 C
1929 French Grand Prix William Grover-Williams Type 35 B
German Grand Prix Louis Chiron Type 35 C
Spanish Grand Prix Louis Chiron
Monaco Grand Prix William Grover-Williams Type 35 B
Targa Florio Albert Divo Type 35 C
Australian Grand Prix Arthur Terdich Type 37 A
1930 Belgian Grand Prix Louis Chiron Type 35 C
Czechoslovakian Grand Prix Heinrich-Joachim von Morgen and Hermann zu Leiningen Type 35 B
French Grand Prix Philippe Étancelin Type 35 C
Monaco Grand Prix René Dreyfus Type 35 B
Australian Grand Prix Bill Thompson Type 37 A
1931 Australian Grand Prix Carl Junker Type 39
1932 Australian Grand Prix Bill Thompson Type 37 A


  1. ^ "Bugatti Type 35B". Retrieved 2021-10-25.
  2. ^ "Bugatti Type 35". AutoZine. 2009. Retrieved 2021-10-25.
  3. ^ "The legendary Bugatti Type 35". Bugatti. Retrieved 2021-10-25.
  4. ^ "Bugatti Type 35 specs, performance data". FastestLaps. Retrieved 2021-10-25.

External links[edit]