The Type 35 Bugatti made its debut in the 1924 French Grand Prix at Lyon and was  Immediately recognised as an outstanding machine combining mechanical functionality and handsome looks. The final version of the Type 35 series was the Type 35B (sometimes titled 35TC) of 1927 which had a 130hp, 2,262cc, straight 8-cyl engine.

    The engine was the heart and soul of the car featuring 5 main bearings for the crankshaft and roller bearings for the big ends which helped raise the safe engine rev’ limit by around 50% and thus increased power too. The cylinders were cast in pairs with an integral head  housing 2 inlet and 1 exhaust valve. The valves being operated by a single overhead camshaft. and cross over finger rockers. A Roots-type Bugatti supercharger helped raise     performance to a top speed of 125mph, the car reaching 60mph from rest in six seconds.

    The standard Bugatti multi-plate wet clutch passed power through a four-speed gearbox featuring a geared-up layshaft permitting remarkably quick gear changes.
   The front axle beam is hollow, except at its ends were it is solid, and the front springs pass through two integral boxes incorporated within the beam. Even more innovative are the eight-spoke wheels. Cast in aluminium, incorporating an integral brake drum, and with the spokes slightly angled they improved brake cooling and facilitated brake pad changes too. Suspension was by semi-elliptical springing at the front and Bugatti’s standard quater-elliptical springs at the rear. The aerodynamic look of the bodywork was enhanced by a full-length undertray.

    About 40 examples of the Type 35B Bugatti were built. Our model competed in the 1930 Monaco Grand Prix which was dominated by Bugatti Type 35's. It was driven by Juan Zanelli who did not finish the race but did complete 93 of the 100 laps before an mechanical problem put him out of the race while lying in 7th place. Zanelli is a little remembered driver but was more than reasonable. He won the "Bugatti" GP, a race held by Mr. Bugetti at Le Mans for owners of his racing cars, in 1929 and 1930 as well as being European racing car class Hill climb champion. Juan Zanelli died in 1944 during a gun battle between the Gestapo and his French resistance movement cell in Toulouse. 

   An interesting fact is that  Mr. Bugatti sold exactly the same specification and standard of race car to his private customers as his works team themselves were given. He was the only major manufacturer to do this! In some cases this came back to bite Bugatti and the 1930 Monaco Grand Prix was one such occasion.

   1930 saw the abolition of co-drivers and the new rule inspired privateer René Dreyfus to fit a 30-ltr fuel tank in the vacant passenger seat position. He won the race by a margin of 21 seconds without a pit stop. Bugatti could have fitted his team cars with new, more powerful 2.3-liter engines, but insisted on equality. In contrast Dreyfus’ car sported tires and ignition plugs that were different from those of the “official” Bugatti models.

   Mr. Bugatti was most put out and refused to see Drefyus when he called by to introduce himself, it took a further 2 and a half years before Dreyfus would be granted a works drive!

1/24th scale kit.

 Built by Ian.

    During the late 1990s Ian built several highly detailed models taking months to make just one model. This car was one of those lengthy projects but very much the better for the time spent working on it.

    Monograms kit is actually very nice the poor fit of the tyres being the only real gripe. It was so good it really needed detailing and the work started with shaving off all the moulded on detail that is supposed to represent the pin and wire body panel securing system. Each pin hole was then painstakingly drilled. After the body panels had been painted and polished new pins and wire could be added to replicate this mounting system.

    Other details added include a new rear view mirror mount, leather tool and spark plug pouches in the cockpit (complete with tools and spark plugs) and the wires for the brakes and hub nut securing system. The gear lever was replaced with thin metal strip and the leather bonnet straps and aero screen shroud were made from masking tape.

    One of the most necessary changes was to the kit wheels which were chrome plated and far too bright. The original wheels were cast alloy and although polished never achieved a “chrome” look. So the plating was stripped using oven cleaner (see our articles on restoring model cars for more information on this process) and Halfords aluminium paint used to spray them. After some subtle washes with Citadel inks the wheels take on a much more realistic appearance.

    The body and seats are spray painted with Halfords car paints and Citadel acrylic paints were used ford detail painting. Ink washes have been used to give depth to certain areas along with dry brushed highlights this adds to the illusion of reality.