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grand prix bugatti- the real bugatti thread....

Discussion in 'Bugatti' started by dbw, Sep 28, 2009.

  1. dbw

    dbw Formula Junior

    Apr 3, 2005
    890
    palo alto ca
    Full Name:
    dave
    ok kids..time to talk man to man about real racing bugattis..as your host here i would hope you will pardon my style and keyboard skills. my heart is in the right place however.

    i will start this thing by soliciting questions anyone might have on type 37 [four cyl 1500cc single cam unsupercharged grand prix car,] type 35b, [2300cc straight 8 single cam supercharged grand prix car]..real,fantasy, urban legend, THEY said so. we'll try to sort reality from..well..unreallity.

    as an ex owner, restorer and vintage racer of the asformentioned cars i think i have a bit of knowledge of things both mechanical and spiritual hidden deep in the vicera of the grand prix bugatti.

    anything you might like to discuss or have my humble opinion on, fire away.....if this endeavour is roundly ignored, well, i'll just ramble from time to time.

    as a start, i'll throw a couple comments out to ponder;

    1] grand prix bugattis are very expensive to restore and maintain.yes!!

    2] gp bugs are mechanical nightmares and a pain in the ass to work on.oh yeah!!

    3] gp bugs driven hard are exhausting and not always rewarding. sadly true.

    4] in the end it's not always worth it. often

    5] in the right light, from a certain angle, with a bare whiff of castor oil, there is no more achingly beautiful object on earth.than the low 3/4 ass view of a gp car---
    ---- except maybe a miller ----- and we will go there as well.
     
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  3. nthfinity

    nthfinity F1 Veteran

    Mar 21, 2005
    7,360
    South East MI
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    Isaac not Issac
    Something many enthusiasts have no clue about ;)
     
  4. James_Woods

    James_Woods F1 World Champ

    May 17, 2006
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    It is interesting to remember that the type 35 (all three variants) -besides arguably one of the best-looking ever was maybe THE most successful single open wheel racing car ever. And that when it was designed, the Ford Model T was still in production.

    I believe that I once read that the type 37 (much the same car but with 4 cylinders) was created (much like Ferrari would do in the 1950s) as a 4 purposefully for circuits where more torque was needed rather than maximum top end horsepower.
     
  5. El Wayne

    El Wayne F1 World Champ
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    Aug 1, 2002
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    Ok, maybe not the type of questions you were anticipating, but which of these cars did you own? A 37 and 35B, I'm assuming, but which chassis #s? Forgive me for being a snoop, but I'm one of those chassis # freaks. When did you buy them? How long did you keep them and why did they go away?

    Were you ever able to leisurely enjoy these cars? Were you able to just fire one up on a Sunday, do a little warm-up and tune and then hit the road? Or, was driving them something that only happened at a track event with a great deal of preparation and planning?
     
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  7. AceAndy2

    AceAndy2 Karting

    May 19, 2008
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    Andrew Adams
    #6 AceAndy2, Oct 2, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  8. f308jack

    f308jack F1 Rookie

    Jun 7, 2007
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    Jack Verschuur
    Are we going to visit Le Chanteclair somewhere in this thread?
     
  9. Simon

    Simon Moderator
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    Aug 29, 2003
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  10. Simon

    Simon Moderator
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    Although no one can deny the sheer beauty of the T35's and especially the T59 GP cars, I always had a hankering for the earlier big displacement (relatively), 4 cylinder, chain driven cars. Like a mini FIAT S72 or Blitzen Benz.
     
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  12. LightGuy

    LightGuy Three Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 4, 2004
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    David
    Bugatti 37 was/is always my favorite pre-war GP car.

    However glad mention was made of Miller.
    Would it be fair to say the greatest auto engineer of all time ?
     
  13. James_Woods

    James_Woods F1 World Champ

    May 17, 2006
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    A case might be made for one of the greatest engine designers, certainly. Some of the chassis design (like that 4WD Indy car) were not so much. Also, unlike Bugatti, Stutz, Duesenberg, Ferrari, and many others - he never really produced a road car so is not as famous.

    Remember that there was a lot of cross-design back in those days:

    Quite a bit of similarity in the DOHC designs, Stutz, Duesenberg, Miller, even some of the old aircraft engines.
     
  14. dbw

    dbw Formula Junior

    Apr 3, 2005
    890
    palo alto ca
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    dave
    beg to differ..the chassis design for the indy miller fords were brilliant...the aero body coupled with alloy airfoil suspension put it in a class by itself...

    ..somebody find the red/white #35 and post it if possible...chassis #5 of 10 [or twelve]..i had it for a while and freshened it up enough to put some miles on..i sold it to a guy that had jim stranberg at high mountain classics in colorado do a real pebble beach number on it.....probably another car i should have kept. oh well....
     
  15. El Wayne

    El Wayne F1 World Champ
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  16. James_Woods

    James_Woods F1 World Champ

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    Those were very much OK. I meant that failed one from the 1950s with 4WD.
     
  17. dbw

    dbw Formula Junior

    Apr 3, 2005
    890
    palo alto ca
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    dave
    yeah..that's my old car..jim stranberg at the controls...i got the car from bucky boudeman and sold it to finance the 35b. nice car..ran well and was a lot faster than you would think a ford flathead should be.

    1935 indy- ran #35 with george bailey driving- out with steering failure.
     
  18. tritone

    tritone F1 Veteran
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    Dec 8, 2003
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    James
    YEP.
     
  19. maserich

    maserich Karting

    Mar 13, 2008
    162
    Bugatti didn't produce a twin cam until the factory bought two front drive Millers in the late '20s.
    Miller was a great engine builder but more importantly he was a great race car designer.
    His engine designs won most of the races at Indy and lots of tracks in the US from the early '20s until the early '60s, 'though by the early '30s the engines were built by Offenhauser and then by Drake.
    Rich
     
  20. Gilles

    Gilles Karting

    Aug 10, 2003
    236
    South of France
    Don't forget the famous aluminium wheels... Here is a drawing very similar from Miller in 1920, even he never made them.... Bugatti take pattent in 1924...
     
  21. odin

    odin Karting

    Nov 22, 2007
    52
    #20 odin, Feb 25, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Don't make it so easy folks.
    It was Ernest Henry, who invented The DOHC 4 Valve Racing Engine 1914, while working for Peugeot. The Design Idea came from Marc Birgkit, Hispano Suiza. Later Henry did the Ballot 8 Cyl DOHC 4 Valve Engine in 1922, in 3-litre Grand Prix and 5-litre Indy. This Engine was copied by Miller. Millers big achievement was the Miller Carburettor.
    I'm sorry to say this, but if there ever where a great american Engineer, than it must be Frank Lockhart
    You can find the Ballot Indy Car in the M.Collier Collection.

    Regards
    Jorg
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  22. VIZSLA

    VIZSLA Four Time F1 World Champ
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    Jan 11, 2008
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    If only we still could.
    Is Griff Borgeson's book still considered the final word on the Bugatti/Miller story?
     
  23. dbw

    dbw Formula Junior

    Apr 3, 2005
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    dave
    i think that mark dees' "miller dynasty" is the must-have book for any fancier of things mechanical...some of the photos can be stared at for hours..not just the standard speedway posed shots but machine shop and assembly photos.i would have to speak up for leo goosen..the man that put harry millers wildest fantasies on paper in a realised form...lockhart was a brilliant tuner but could never match the sheer brilliance of miller-goosen-offenhauser.

    just my opinion.
     
  24. f308jack

    f308jack F1 Rookie

    Jun 7, 2007
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    Hi David,

    You were the only person in the thread to pick up on this:)

    I never had the pleasure of visiting Le Chanteclair, but Rene Dreyfus was a personal friend. His stories about the years he spent at Bugatti and later Ferrari were superb!
    I have a signed copy of his autobiography "My 2 lives", a must read for every Bugatti lover.
     
  25. VIZSLA

    VIZSLA Four Time F1 World Champ
    Owner

    Jan 11, 2008
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    David
    Greetings.
    My wife and I had the pleasure if visiting Le Chanteclair back in the 70's (I think). As I recall it was run by Rene and is brother Maurice. In any case the scallops were great.
    David
     
  26. f308jack

    f308jack F1 Rookie

    Jun 7, 2007
    4,267
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    Jack Verschuur
    David,

    From those who enjoyed their hospitality at the restaurant and the quality of the kitchen I cannot do anything but conclude that I missed out. Yes, it was Maurice. Read the autobiography, you'll enjoy it!

    Jack.
     

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