Bugatti Type 52 “Bebe”

These “Bebe” Bugattis were modelled on the Type 35 and 51, which were very successful racers at the time. This was an expensive and desirable toy for children of the wealthy in the late 1920s and early 1930s, and races were staged for them at Deauville and Monte Carlo.

The first car was built for Ettore’s five-year-old son, Roland, for the 1925 Milan show. But what was thought of as a joke turned out to have remarkable staying power. These are often referred to as the Type 52, but it’s believed the factory just called them the “Bebe.” They were aimed at children between six and eight years old. Early models were built on a 47-inch wheelbase; later cars were stretched to 53 inches. Altogether approximately 500 “Bebes” were built between 1927 and 1935.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in October of 2011 at the Battersea Evolution, London.

3.5 hp, 12-volt electric motor mounted on back axle, single-speed, with switch to reverse polarity, semi-elliptic springs front and rear live axle, front and rear mechanical brakes. Wheelbase: 1,350 mm.

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Tom Wood

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