This does not want to be an article that deals with one of the most amazing/epic/glorious cars of all time, but simply wants to see the reasons why it is also the best. Obviously, the criterion will not be if a type 35B of ’29 is suitable city car, we will judge it as a pleasuring second car. Of course, those who have a Bugatti like this one probably also have -several- other cars, but forget it: in the garage you already have a gray and boring car and you have to look for one for the weekend.
1 ~ It’s exciting
Running at 200 km/h on the circuit is certainly an incredible experience, but probably even sailing seventy in the countryside should not be bad. The windshield is virtually absent and the two dry seats can not help but smile pilot and passenger -flies permitting- and the guide could only be energetic and powerful, the car is small, but still 3.6 meters long, with a weight of about 750 kg: without aid of any kind, even steering is not always taken for granted.
2 ~ It’s involving
For the reasons explained above, is a car that fully involves the rider at all times, you never get bored on a car like that, it would be far too dangerous. With the ability to be fast in every context and situation – and this is testified by the palmares that goes from the Grand Prix to the hill climbs – is a car that, if tamed, guarantees all-round performance, just remember to treat it with respect and never forget to be a èilot in a racing car.
3 ~ It is indestructible, almost
And above all it can be fixed with hammer and wrench, tools always present in bags hanging a bit everywhere on the machine during regularity contests. The simple technology also allows a non-mechanic to try ordinary maintenance and to arrange for problems happened on the road
4 ~ It’s a passpartout
Whether at Goodwood or Villa d’Este, the T35 is always a comfortable choice, it is one of those cars simply says ofits owner: he is an enthusiast. And it is not nonsense, the risk of seeming exaggerated at an event of elegance – we think of the big Bentley and Mercedes of the period – is always around the corner, like that of appearing like a Rolls Royce fop in a sporting competition. This Bugatti – but perhaps it is a common trait to all Bugattis – has the undoubted advantage of always feeling at ease
5 ~ It is a work of art
Ettore Bugatti knew his business and this car is one of the most shining examples: the idea that a racing car should be beautiful -his famous motto was art forme techinque– fits perfectly to the T35 and in general to all Bugatti racing cars. Every detail of this wonderful car can be considered apart as a design object, every single slab, bolt and gear is exactly as it should be.
6 ~ It is the most successful car in history
Point. Whether they were the aforementioned Grand Prix or hill climb, the 35 was a beast also compared to the giants Germans of the period or the fast Italians. It could not be stopped, it combined agility in the corners, braking capacity -then more than ever a critical skill- and acceleration to a unique handling for the period. He won the first GP of Monaco and this is enough to consider its value.
7 ~ It is also beautiful, specially, if it is dirty
Like some -but not all!- race car of the period the patina gives it a greater value: a little ‘mud on the wheels, dust on the hood, some slight dent to the bodywork makes this car certainly more interesting. After all, the MilleMiglia was certainly not on asphalt roads, nor even the Liege-Rome-Liege. Not to mention some gentleman driver’s raids in the middle of the desert. However, although the story behind every stain can be interesting, it must be remembered that there is a limit to everything: to present at the start as if you had already run the 48h of the Nurburgring with the rain, is certainly not elegant.
And now the reasons that may push not to buy this little gem, then it is up to the reader to weigh them and tell us if he thinks we are facing the best second car in the world or not.
1 ~ It is expensive. Actually, quite a lot
Of the different versions of the 35, the cheapest is the A, which still costs the beauty of € 500,000, while the most expensive is obviously the B, the highest evolution and apex of the model, which easily touches the 3 million. Well, however, the price is not so high compared to the now expensive Bentley and Mercedes, but also the Talbot and the Delahaye, which despite having won less, can even exceed 2 million.
2 ~ It is expensive to keep it original
In cars like these or you choose customization, effciency, reliability and performance, or you focus on originality. The second one can bring the aforementioned patina, which on these cars is – as said – a plus that makes them exceptionally fascinating. If routine maintenance can be cost-effective, the expense of spare parts can be really exorbitant for replicas and almost impossible for the original ones, something to keep in mind before jumping into the fray of the LeMans Classic.
3 ~ It is open, always
Apart from some rare example with a makeshift hood, the type 35 is an open car, completely exposed to the elements and without any protection, it is certainly not the best choice in winter. It is also famous for Patron’s answer to the problem of lighting with cold, Bugatti replied: whoever can afford a Bugatti can certainly afford a heated garage. So, see the above point, because not always the maintenance of this car can be economic.
4 ~ It can be dangerous
Unfortunately, only a few years ago a pilot was killed during a regularity race. Unlike -normally- of modern cars, accidents with such cars do not depend only on the driver, but on the car itself. Original components may have been subject to wear in more than 90 years of existence and even modern components are often subjected to very high efforts and for prolonged periods during historical competitions. Attention must be paid especially during races and rallies: certainly in these case the best choice is to left to expert mechanics also ordinary maintenance.