Sighting – 1927 Bugatti Type 35B

Big thanks to reader Felix for sending in these shots he snapped the other day of this 1927 Bugatti Type 35B Grand Prix. It must have been such an incredible privilege to see such a rare and important car in the flesh, on the streets of Adelaide.

The 1927 Type 35B is the ultimate evolution of Bugatti’s famous type 35 line. Featuring a 2300cc Supercharged straight 8 producing around 90kw, the 35B was the ultimate Grand Prix racer of it’s time. We’re all aware of the fantastic customer racing programs that the big manufacturers offer for privateer teams in GT racing these days (Porsche with the GT3RSR, Ferrari with the 458 GT3 and Mercedes with the SLS GT3 for example), but this car is the one that started it off. The Bugatti factory team enjoyed so much success with their Type 35’s that they were soon flooded for orders from privateer racers wanting the most competitive car available. 

I’m a little scarce on the exact details of this particular car, but from what I can gather it was owned from new by a Count in Belgium. It was then shipped to Australia in the late 40’s and has been here ever since, mostly on the Eastern seaboard. It has just been purchased by a new South Australian collector, and from what I understand passed its Regency park registration inspection the other day.

It looks like it’s in fantastic condition. I think the deep black paint colour sets the burgundy leather off rather nicely. And one can’t ignore the revolutionary two piece alloy rims with integrated drum brake – and this is in 1927, remember!

For a lot of our younger readers, an old vintage car probably just looks like an old vintage car. So, for comparison purposes – this is what Ford were offering the market in 1927. You can see the styling and technology of the Bugatti is simply light years away from the still wooden wheeled Ford.

I’ll pass on any more details about this car as they come to hand, but in the meantime I wish it’s new owner congratulations at brining another important piece of automotive history to Adelaide. I can only imagine what it would be like to ride in this thing through the hills, and I hope I see it in person at a historic event one day soon.


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