1920 Bugatti Type 23

1928 Bugatti Type 23

The 1920 Bugatti Type 23 was an upgrade from the successful Type 13. This particular car has a historical significance in that it was the first full production multi-valve automobile produced. The Type 23 experienced a very successful run through 1926. During this time, over 2,000 models were assembled. What was it that made the Bugatti Type 23 so successful?

To begin, it feature an inline 4 engine with 4 valves per cylinder. The component placement also showed variation from the standard Bugatti build. The carburetor was found on the left, while the exhaust was located to the right side. The Type 23 can be easily identified by its H section front axle and lack of front brakes.

The 1496cc engine produced power at 30bhp, and could maintain a top speed of 70mph. The revolutions of most engines was 4000 RPM with a few that could produce 4500 RPM. A front beveled camshaft and overhead cam were standard for this type vehicle. Operating with a wet multi-plate clutch this beauty would reliably turn out a top performance.

The 1920 Bugatti Type 23 extended the wheel base of its predecessor the Type 13. The original wheel base was at 2.0m or 78.75in, the Type 23 measured in at 2.5m or 100.4in. This allowed for faster pacing and control around track corners.  This Bugatti was often referred to as the “little thoroughbred” and rightly so.

Drivers of this car were certainly of a special breed, as it required hand cranking, had no speedometer, and was all sports car. The chronograph to the left of the steering wheel could help drivers gauge where in the world they were and get an approximate speed. The excellent steering and road holding capabilities made this Bugatti the car of its time. It was revolutionary to the automotive industry, and though it had a few flaws, the overall success of the car is commendable.

1920 Bugatti Type 23 Photos:

1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante

1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante

Dubbed the world’s first supercar, the 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante had a supercharged 3.3 liter, twin-cam engine with 8 cylinders and 170 horsepower. This car’s suspension system is an independent one replacing the solid front axles that were used in older cars. The Type 57SC was designed with wonderful workmanship and great handling ability.

Bugatti cars are well known for their beautiful styles, and the Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante is no different. This model was designed by Jean Bugatti who was an auto designer as well as a test engineer. As a matter of fact, he designed all three models of the Type 57 Bugattis (Ventoux, Stelvio and Atalante). There were only 11 of the Type 57SC Atalante models produced. Interestingly, each one was built a little differently from the other. For instance, some had independent headlights, some had headlights built into the body, some had polished aluminum hubcaps, some had wire wheels, some were painted a solid color, some were painted black and an accent color, and more.

The 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante is a very attractive sports coupe touring car with an elegant body style. It has a long front end, rounded swooping fenders and roof, a mesh grille and body panels that are riveted. It has a streamlined, low-sitting chassis and two seats. The windshield is flat, there are full-sized doors, that open from the front to the rear, with kidney-bean shaped windows in them, and a it has sloped trunk where a recessed spare tire is kept.

The 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante, a real classic, is considered to be one of the most alluring Bugattis around today.

1939 Bugatti Type 64 Coupe

Bugatti Type 64

To have a vision about a stunning vehicle is the seeding of dreams. Automotive visionary Jean Bugatti designed the 1939 Bugatti Type 64 Coupe which almost never was. 73 years after Mr. Bugatti’s vision, it has finally come to fruition. This stunning vehicle was worth the wait! The 1939 Type 64 Coupe features the coachwork that signified the Bugatti line, and adds some new enhancements while maintaining classic elegance.

Originally there were three 1939 Type 64 Coupes slated to be built. However, only one model was fully completed until recently due to the unexpected death of designer Jean Bugatti. The other two had the framing, but no coachwork had begun. The Type 64 was envisioned to be the successor to the infamous Bugatti Type 57 of the mid to late thirties.

Now, thanks to some innovative creativity by forces behind the Mullin Automotive Museum of Oxnard, California, the world will again have the opportunity to see the beauty of dynamic engineering. The new coachwork was handled by Stewart Reed Design of Pasadena.

The Bugatti Type 64 is utilizing a gullwing design that has the look and feel of automotive yesteryear. Many of the sketches of Jean Bugatti were used in the completed design. Forward thinking of an automotive genius taken in his prime may well have catapulted the automobile industry even more than we have seen thus far.

From a performance standpoint, use of a straight eight engine with dual overhead cam and two valves gives this beauty a quick speed of its day with 170 horsepower. This is not a bad performance report for a car of the day.

Other features of the Type 64 Coupe include semi elliptical spring front suspension with an inverted quarter spring rear suspension. Cable drum brakes help to slow this baby down when she gets rolling. The sheer elegance of design and presentation make this car one to remember.

Bugatti Type 64 Top View

The Papillion doors and riveted body design is a classic example of automotive excellence that will never be outdated. Though completed almost a century after it was a vision in one man’s mind, the Bugatti Type 64 coupe is proving to be every bit of automotive legacy had it reached its full potential then.

Automobile connoisseurs have to be pleased with the efforts being made to complete a project that began back before World War II. The design team is certainly not taking any shortcuts and are expending every effort to be sure that the Bugatti legacy is honored in all manners possible. After a brief stay at the Quail in Carmel, California – this masterpiece will be on display at the Mullin Museum in Oxnard, California beginning in the fall.