The Bugatti Type 35 is regarded by many as one of the most beautiful pre-war racers from the legendary Bugatti Company. Its beauty is matched by its accomplishments, is one of the most successful pre-war racer winning over 1000 races and capturing the 1926 Grand Prix World Championship with 351 races. During that two-year period, it also claimed 47 records. From 1925 through 1929, the Bugatti Type 35 dominated the Targa Florio.
The first Bugatti Type 35 was introduced on August 3rd, 1924. It was powered by a modified engine used in the Type 29. The 3-valve 2-liter overhead cam straight-eight engine had five main bearings and produced around 90 horsepower. The suspension was comprised of leaf springs attached to solid axles. Stopping power was provided by drum brakes in the rear operated by cables which could be seen on the vehicle’s exterior. In total, there were 96 examples produced.
There were multiple versions of the Type 35 which were specifically designed to accommodate many types of racers. The Type 35A, nicknamed ‘Tecla’ was an inexpensive version of the Type 35 and first appeared in May of 1925. Its nickname was given by the public after a maker of imitation jewelry. The engine was a reliable unit borrowed from the Type 30. It used three bearings, had smaller valves, coil ignition, and produced less horsepower than its Type 35 sibling. In total, 139 examples of the Type 35A were created.
Though Ettore Bugatti favored naturally aspirated engines, the Type 35C was given a Roots-Type supercharger which boosted power to an impressive 128 horsepower. Only fifty examples were created, with many providing historic victories for the company. The Type 35C won the 1928 and 1930 French Grand Prix, undoubtedly their greatest accomplishments.
The Bugatti Type 35T, commonly known as the Targa Florio, was specially prepared for the Targa Florio race. There were only thirteen examples produced. It was powered by a 2.3-liter engine. When Grand Prix rules changed, stating that engine displacement sizes of up to 2 liters were required, the Type 35T became obsolete and production ceased.
The Bugatti Type 35B was introduced in 1927 and was the final iteration of the Type 35 series. The name Type 35TC was pondered since it shared the same 2.3-liter engine as the Type 35T and a supercharger just like the Type 35C. The engine produced an astonishing 138 horsepower, by far the most of the Type 35 series. In total, there were only 45 examples produced, with one of their most significant accomplishments being the victory at the 1929 French Grand Prix.
The Type 39 was produced alongside the Type 35B but adhered to current Grand Prix regulations which limited engine capacities to 1.5 liters. Only ten examples of the Type 39 were produced.