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Rein Car Nation Cover Winter 2020
						Bugatti Type35 B 11
Crosthwaite & Gardiner Bugatti Type 35B

1928 Bugatti Type 35B re-creation

By Dean Larson

Photos courtesy of Fantasy Junction

It would be no mistake to say that this 96 year old sports car design forged soul and character of the Bugatti we know today. The artistic beauty and visual completeness of its design, coupled with its ever-evolving technical excellence, made the Bugatti Type 35 an instant success, and one of the most significant cars of the 1920s and ’30s. Constructed by U.K.-based specialists Crosthwaite & Gardiner, this thrilling Type 35B re-creation pays homage to an era of dominance in the golden age of motorsport.

As far back as the early 1920s, Bugatti was well on its way to becoming an international success in road and racing car design. Technical excellence and visual elegance were already known mainstays of Bugatti design by this time, and the latter, is likely thanks to the artistic nature of founder Ettore Bugatti’s family. And to credit the company’s technical advancements, early Bugattis touted overhead camshafts, four-valve cylinder head designs and innovative suspension and axle configurations. It was these innovations and more that led to the 1924-’27 Type 35.

Bugatti’s original Type 35 was first seen at the Grand Prix of Lyon on August 3, 1924. Bodywork consisted of Bugatti’s trademark arch-shaped radiator shell, with a long hood and streamlined tail. Most notable, was the Type 35’s power plant though.

While the 2.0-liter, three-valve straight-eight was largely carried over from the Type 29 and Type 30, Bugatti made a few improvements along the way. The engine already used an unusual roller-bearing system on the big end of the connecting rods to improve high-rpm operation, but Bugatti went one step further in the Type 35. The crankshaft would now use two roller bearings and three ball bearings, instead of typical sleeve bearings, allowing the engine to rev to an unprecedented 6,000 rpm. By upgrading to twin carburetors, the engine produced over 90 hp, and the company would eventually bump output up to roughly 140 hp by increasing displacement to 2.3 liters and installing a Roots-style supercharger in the Type 35B.

Other innovations on the Type 35 included alloy wheels and a hollow front axle to reduce unsprung weight. The front leaf springs would also pass through the front axle, instead of being bolted to it, and the rear live axle used inverted quarter-elliptic springs.

The Type 35 didn’t win on its first outing in 1924, but it did begin taking checkered flags in short order. Type 35s would win the Targa Florio for five consecutive years, in addition to the Grad Prix World Championship in 1926. Bugatti would set some 47 records and take home thousands of victories in the Type 35, cementing its reputation on the world stage.

Bugatti built roughly 340 Type 35s, and it’s unclear how many remain. Originality, prestige and specification all play into the value estimation for Type 35s today, with some selling for less than $700,000, while other crest $3 million. This exclusivity and the marque’s competition legacy help create a demand for exceptional Type 35 re-creations, and the example shown here leaves little to be desired.

Built by U.K.-based specialists by Crosthwaite & Gardiner in 1999, the car emulates the final iteration of the Type 35 — the 35B — also known as the Type 35TC, as it used the 2.3-liter engine from the 35T with the Roots supercharger from the 35C. Most impressively, this re-creation is powered by a correct 2.3-liter overhead cam eight-cylinder fit with roller bearings. The mill is force-fed by a Roots-style supercharger and sends power to the rear through a four-speed transmission. The engine was allegedly overhauled extensively between 2008 and 2010, before being campaigned at various historic racing events and premier motorsport gatherings.

Offered by Emeryville, California-based Fantasy Junction, this Bugatti Type 35B is said to be in excellent condition with an authentic appearance. The car comes with a clean Arizona title and considerable documentation, as is ready to be shown and driven at events and track outings.

See the Crosthwaite & Gardiner Type 35B here at Fantasy Junction.

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