Nothing before or since could hold a candle to the legendary Type 35.
History has seen some victorious racing cars hit the track over the decades, but none could hold the candle to the Bugatti Type 35 – the most successful race car of all time.
Launched in 1924, the Type 35 was not only a beautiful design, but a technological powerhouse for its time. It packed a 2.0-liter straight-eight behind its flat-bottomed horseshoe grille that would become a signature of the marque, enduring till today. With a supercharger installed and the engine bored out to 2.3 liters in later evolutions, it produced as much as 140 horsepower.
Keep in mind this was the better part of a century ago, when most cars measured their output in two figures, not three – or four, like Bugatti's latest models produce.
As potent as it was, though, the Type 35 was about much more than power. It also featured a lightweight front axle that was still more resilient than most of its competitors', helping it go the distance while improving cornering and exit speeds. With such innovations, the Type 35 weighed just 1,650 pounds or so, nearly 700 lbs lighter than today's Mazda MX-5 Miata – a flyweight by modern standards.
Little wonder it proved so dominant. From 1924 through 1930 (when it was replaced by the Type 54), Bugatti made some 340 of them, and they went on to win over 2,000 races. No other single model before or since has ever came close to that achievement, but few of them are still around today.
"The Bugatti Type 35 is one of the icons of Bugatti's rich history and tradition," said Bugatti's current president Stephan Winkelmann. "Back in 1924, the sports car was unparalleled in its technology, design and performance and the same still goes today. It is both an inspiration and a commitment."
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