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						Bugatti 35 Replica

Alfa-Powered Bugatti Type 35 Re-Creation

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, BringaTrailer.com

Instantly recognizable from its tall silhouette and large diameter alloy wheels, the Bugatti Type 35 was a super star on the track throughout the 1920s and early ’30s, winning some 2,000 events in that time period. The Type 35 has experienced a bit of resurgence lately, no doubt aided by the high-profile replicas from companies like Pur Sang. But it doesn’t necessarily take a quarter-million dollar budget and a team of dedicated craftsmen to get it right, evidenced by this hand built Type 35 re-creation on BringaTrailer.com. Built by the current owner over a five-year period, this DIY Bugatti employs a mix of old-world skills, new technology and repurposed parts.

Since you be hard-pressed to find Bugatti Type 35 frame rails laying around, or any vintage Bugatti chassis for reasonable money, the seller set about crafting his own. But it was far from a guess-and-check process, as the builder obtained factory drawings of the chassis and had them laser-cut through a CAD program. The same goes for the chassis cross members and the front bulkhead as well.

Another defining element of the Type 35 was the hollow front axle with leaf springs passing through the assembly, and the builder carefully replicated this piece as well. Dampening the front axle are a pair of original Bugatti friction dampers and the steering box was supplied by Pur Sang. Custom Dayton wire wheels complete the chassis with Ford F1 rear drum brakes on all-four corners and fully look the part, as not all Type 35s were built with alloys.

From the auction listing it seems that the seller also crafted the aluminum bodywork, which appears to be expertly formed, louvered, fitted and riveted into place. The traditional horseshoe-shaped Bugatti radiator shell was also his handiwork, topped off by a genuine Bugatti radiator cap, emblem and thermometer.

Likely the most interesting element of this build is the Alfa Romeo driveline though — a 2.0-liter DOHC four-cylinder sourced from an Alfa Romeo Spider with a five-speed transmission. However when you consider the 2.0 and 2.3-liter eight-cylinder engines were a technical masterpiece with ball and roller bearings and 6,000 rpm capability, it comes as no surprise that a suitable replacement was needed.

By simply perusing the photos in the auction listing you can see the level of craftsmanship that went into the build. It’s a work of art from top to bottom, and likely one of the most authentic Bugatti Type 35s that you could actually drive hard, as the value of a quarter-million dollar Pur Sang would probably be in the back of your mind every time you stab the loud pedal.

As such, this car has to come in at a considerably more affordable price point than the Pur Sang. But I wouldn’t exactly count on it selling cheap, as the BaT community does understand value. A price estimate on this car would be a total shot in the dark, but I’m throwing one out there at $80,000.

See the Type 35 here on BringaTrailer.com.

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Bring a Trailer Bugatti