Reincarnation Magazine

Reincarnation Magazine
Continuation, Reproduction and Replica Automobiles
Rein Car Nation Cover Winter 2020
						Vw 35 B 3
Nostalgic VW-Powered Type 35B

VW-based Bugatti Type 35B re-creation

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, Craigslist

The VW air-cooled platform has always been a favorite of weekend warriors and tinkerers because it’s just so darn simple — and cheap to work on too. Even these days, it’s possible to find dilapidated old VWs with titles for less than a thousand bucks and turn them into a spirited classic like this Bugatti Type 35B re-creation on Denver Craigslist. And while Bugatti replicas like this one aren’t too hard to find, this one seems to have a little something extra in its presentation.

The mechanical donor that brings life to this re-creation started out as nothing more than a common 1,600 cc single-port Beetle, likely early 1970s. The VW sheetmetal was then replaced with minimalist, open-wheel bodywork that mimics the legendary Type 35B, Bugatti’s pre-war competition icon. While you won’t find a supercharged straight-eight engine aboard, or the large-diameter alloy wheels and fancy leaf-spring arrangements, it’s clear the owner of this re-creation went to substantial lengths to take his car to the next level.

So maybe the wire wheels and whitewalls aren’t alloys and blocky Excelsior tires, but I’d argue they’re the right choice here. You’re not going to find replicas of the large-diameter Bugatti alloys at an affordable price, and some early Type 35s actually did run wire wheels. The vintage Ford wheels look the part, even if the V8 hubcaps are a little misleading, and the vintage whitewall tires match the aged beige paintwork on the body. Other additions like the massive driving lights, brass radiator shell and various racing decals reinforce the image.

For the money here, you’re getting into a fun hobbyist car with loads of character that anyone can capably wrench on in their driveway or garage stall. From the limited information in the seller’s listing, the car appears to be in good mechanical order with a recent engine rebuild, upgraded shifter assembly and new coilovers. So if air-cooled heirlooms are your thing, grab $15,000 (or so) and a trailer and head over to Wheat Ridge, Colorado, because this one sure looks like a hoot.

See it here on Denver Craigslist.

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Classic Replicas VW