1927 Bugatti type 35B
  • Register
  • Help
Results 1 to 7 of 7
Like Tree1Likes
  • 1 Post By 1915 type 153

Thread: 1927 Bugatti type 35B

  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Christchurch
    Posts
    318

    Default 1927 Bugatti type 35B

    Following is an abridged version of my test of the ultimate French car last month, a 1927 Bugatti type 35B...

    Advertisement


    We went back and put a video camera on it the following week... any excuse to drive it again!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYc_kvvxLCc


    The car proudly wears the scars and travel stains of itís years of active motoring and even though it is an inanimate object, it is almost as if it sits in the driveway begging to be driven. And who can resist the charms of a thoroughbred Alsatian?
    Unlike a modern car, one doesnít just jump in, turn the key and drive off in one of these, but the starting procedure is certainly around three hours quicker (literally!) that that needed to start a modern Grand Prix car. Once oil and water levels are checked and taps are on for fuel supply and oil to the supercharger, the wooden-handled pump on the riding mechanicís side of the snug cockpit needs to be worked vigorously to pressurise the fuel tank located in the tail just behind the driverís seat. This is most comfortably done standing outside the car, before walking around to the driverís side and climbing in. This too needs a little thought in order to maintain at least some sense of decorum. The cockpit is small and the steering wheel is not. You need to get a leg either side of the wheel and then lower yourself down into the thin but surprisingly comfortable black leather seat. Then flick the nickel plated lever in the centre of the dash up to retard the spark from the magneto, unscrew the brass knob of the Ki-gass pump and give it two or three strokes to squirt raw fuel into the manifold, then get the riding mechanic to give the starting-handle a swift pull up and that should bring the engine into life.

    But one thing they are not is quiet. The crank runs in roller bearings and the single overhead cam, which operates three valves per cylinder is gear driven as is the large supercharger. The end result is a cacophony of sound from under the bonnet, complemented by the unmistakable bark of a GP Bugatti coming from the twin pipes exiting at the rear of the car. It really is one of the most intoxicating sounds in the motoring universe!

    Once installed in the car I was reminded of just how small Grand Prix drivers must have been in the 1920s. My left calf was pushed against the gearbox and once it warmed up, so did my leg. On the other side my right leg was hard against the bulkhead support. There is a reason why the gearlever pokes out through a gap in the bodywork and lives outside the car alongside the handbrake. There is just no room for it inside the car nor the space to actually operate it if it were.
    The tiny clutch pedal only has a very short movement and even with it depressed fully, the clutch doesnít always clear completely and there is no way to delicately feed the lever into gear if it hasnít. The accepted technique is to put your fingers behind the lever and quickly snatch it into gear. Either way it will go in. It might be silent or it might protest but in the end, the result is the same. The shift pattern is not quite conventional and takes a minute or two to become accustomed to. And it does pay to make sure you know exactly where you are wanting to put the lever for the next gear, the Ďbox may be vintage but it does not like slow changes. Best just to stamp twice on the clutch and at the same time flick the lever through the exposed brass gate to the next position. Low gear is left and back. Then with the palm of your hand, push the lever straight forward for second gear and it just gets better. With fingers behind the lever, pull it back to neutral, to the right and back again for third and this takes a fraction of the time it took you to read this line.
    Meanwhile the note from the exhaust, a combination of eight-cylinder rumble and rasp from a pure competition motor, complete with the mechanical sound of all those components whirring away up front, accompanied by the whine from the straight-cut gears in the transmission increasing in pitch as speed increases all are part of the Grand Prix Bugatti experience and in this car, while definitely dominant, are not over-powering. You sit very low in the open cockpit and the twin aero-screens do their job well in directing the slipstream away from the crew. Certainly this is not exactly a restful car to ride in or drive, yet it is still perfectly acceptable for long-distance motoring and once the gear lever is pushed straight forward into top gear and the direct-driven ratio, much of the sound emanating from the gearbox which sits uncovered between driver and passenger vanishes.
    The suspension, half-elliptic springs up front and reversed quarter elliptic at the rear is firm and every change in road surface is communicated directly to the driverís rump. The steering is very direct and loads up as cornering speeds increase, again constantly feeding information from the road back to the driverís arms. This is not to say that driving at speed is a wrestling match. Far from it, this is a car which demands finger-tip delicacy from the driver. Should you make the mistake of grabbing hold of any of the controls and forcing them, you will go nowhere fast, make some horrible noises and most likely, break something. Be gentle, just suggest to the car what you want to do, be decisive but delicate and it comes alive, as if it is reading your mind.
    Now I suspect you might now be thinking I am talking a load of drivel, but when you point that long louvered bonnet at the apex of a corner and lean in as if you are riding a bike, the Bugatti just bends to your will and the sensation is amazing, I have yet to drive another car, vintage, modern or anywhere between which ďtalksĒ to you like these cars do.
    Cruising along, holding the loosely in the quarter to three position Ė on the road there is no need to take your hands over-centre in anything but a tight hairpin bend, this is as good as it gets! The instruments are all located on the riding mechanics side of the dash, giving fuel and oil pressure readings, while the driver just gets a mechanical rev-counter and there is a charm all in itself with the jerky movements of the black needle on the white-faced instrument. Engine temperature is monitored from the Boyce Moto-Meter in the radiator cap.
    tractionfan likes this.
    1999 Peugeot 406 V6 Coupe (Manual)
    1982 Porsche 944 Chassis no. 97, quite likely the oldest surviving production 944
    1978 Peugeot 504 Ti French assembled... because I need another project...
    1971 Peugeot 404 U10 ute (the love/hate vehicle. Used to love it. Now restored and I hate it)
    1930 Durant 614 coupe (Some American quality among the froggie taxis in my shed)
    1928 Renault KZ2 (the latest addition to the fleet)
    1915 Peugeot type 153A (very long term project)

  2. #2
    Fellow Frogger!
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    canberra
    Posts
    827

    Default

    Beautifully captured, thank you for the dream you lucky b

  3. #3
    Fellow Frogger!
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Greensborough, Victoria
    Posts
    359

    Default

    Great stuff and a very pretty film location, it looks a bit like around Cromwell, Wanaka, Queenstown?

    Cheers John

  4. #4
    Fellow Frogger!
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Christchurch
    Posts
    318

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by J'aime la vie View Post
    Great stuff and a very pretty film location, it looks a bit like around Cromwell, Wanaka, Queenstown?

    Cheers John
    Banks Peninsula. Lyttleton to Governors Bay
    1999 Peugeot 406 V6 Coupe (Manual)
    1982 Porsche 944 Chassis no. 97, quite likely the oldest surviving production 944
    1978 Peugeot 504 Ti French assembled... because I need another project...
    1971 Peugeot 404 U10 ute (the love/hate vehicle. Used to love it. Now restored and I hate it)
    1930 Durant 614 coupe (Some American quality among the froggie taxis in my shed)
    1928 Renault KZ2 (the latest addition to the fleet)
    1915 Peugeot type 153A (very long term project)

  5. #5
    Fellow Frogger!
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Christchurch
    Posts
    318

    Default

    It doesn't get much better!
    1999 Peugeot 406 V6 Coupe (Manual)
    1982 Porsche 944 Chassis no. 97, quite likely the oldest surviving production 944
    1978 Peugeot 504 Ti French assembled... because I need another project...
    1971 Peugeot 404 U10 ute (the love/hate vehicle. Used to love it. Now restored and I hate it)
    1930 Durant 614 coupe (Some American quality among the froggie taxis in my shed)
    1928 Renault KZ2 (the latest addition to the fleet)
    1915 Peugeot type 153A (very long term project)

  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger!
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Greensborough, Victoria
    Posts
    359

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 1915 type 153 View Post
    Banks Peninsula. Lyttleton to Governors Bay
    Gosh you/we are really spoilt for choice with scenic roads in NZ!

  7. #7
    Fellow Frogger!
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Christchurch
    Posts
    318

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by J'aime la vie View Post
    Gosh you/we are really spoilt for choice with scenic roads in NZ!
    Yes, there really is no shortage. The advantage of having no-one living here!
    1999 Peugeot 406 V6 Coupe (Manual)
    1982 Porsche 944 Chassis no. 97, quite likely the oldest surviving production 944
    1978 Peugeot 504 Ti French assembled... because I need another project...
    1971 Peugeot 404 U10 ute (the love/hate vehicle. Used to love it. Now restored and I hate it)
    1930 Durant 614 coupe (Some American quality among the froggie taxis in my shed)
    1928 Renault KZ2 (the latest addition to the fleet)
    1915 Peugeot type 153A (very long term project)

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •