Bugatti Type 37 Grand Prix Recreation

Of the many luminaries and respected personalities in automotive history, few can compare to Ettore Bugatti, who was responsible for creating some of the most legendary cars of all time, both on and off the race track. From his grand estate in Molsheim, France, he oversaw a community of craftsmen, engineers and, in the eyes of many enthusiasts, automotive artists.

Right from the very beginning his early Type 13 proved to be years ahead of the competition with its overhead cam engine, four-speed gearbox and superior handling and steering characteristics. In fact, all of Bugatti’s cars are highly coveted by serious car collectors today and when it comes to “pur sang” (pure blood) racing cars, the Bugatti Type 37 Grand Prix model is certainly one of his crown jewels. The high performance Type 37 not only embodied the essence of Ettore Bugatti’s racing program, but was also a race car that set the standard for engineering excellence when it was introduced.

Whereas much of the competition relied on brute force from a powerful engine, Bugatti achieved his success in racing through a blueprint in finesse, refinement and sophisticated design. Introduced in 1926 to replace the famous Brescia, the top speed in a Type 37 was routinely 85 to 90 mph and, as noted in road tests of the day, the cable brakes were capable of handling smooth stops at this speed. Such engineering made for a wonderful racing car that enjoyed a highly successful career on the track.

Aesthetically, the two-seater Type 37 has been described as symbolizing the ultimate in simplistic beauty. Ettore Bugatti combined an artistic sensibility with considerable engineering prowess to create the Type 37’s wide cockpit, tapered boattail and characteristic horseshoe grille. Add to that a Brooklands windscreen, leather hood straps, a classic four-spoke wooden steering wheel and an incomparable exhaust note, and the effect was about as visceral and exciting as anything on the road – before or since.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in August 2009 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.

80 bhp, 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine, four-speed transmission, semi-elliptic front and reversed quarter-elliptic rear springs, four-wheel cable brakes. Wheelbase: 94"

Source: RM Auctions

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