A German Firm Reimagines the Legendary Bugatti Type 35
Replicas are an excellent alternative if you can’t afford the ‘real’ classic. And then there are restomods, which elevate the original with modern quality standards, performance, and features. German firm Uedelhoven Studios, though, took a slightly different approach with its latest project. Instead of restoring a Bugatti Type 35, it reimagined the classic racer for the modern era.
The original Bugatti Type 35 is an iconic race car
The Bugatti badge has adorned a number of desirable vehicles, not least of which is the Chiron, the most expensive production car in the world. But the Bugatti Type 35 is in a league of its own.
The Bugatti Type 35 was a fairly advanced car for its time, Petrolicious reports. The first cars had a 2.0-liter straight-8 engine with two carburetors, giving 94 hp and a 6000-RPM redline. The later Type 35B and 35C have 2.3-liter engines with superchargers rated at 138 hp, Automobile reports.
These classic Bugatti racers are also very light, thanks to aluminum bodies and cast-aluminum wheels with integrated brake drums. As a result, the supercharged 1650-lb Type 35s can go up to 134 mph. For the 1920s, that was extremely fast. Fast enough to win a lot of races.
The Bugatti Type 35 competed in numerous Grand Prix races—the precursors to today’s F1 events—in the 1920s, Hagerty reports. And it was extremely successful. Between 1924 and 1930 it won over 2000 races, including the treacherous Targa Florio. In fact, a Bugatti Type 35 won the race every year from 1925 to 1929. It’s considered “the winningest Bugatti model ever” because of these victories, Hagerty reports.
The Type 35’s legend looms large enough for Bugatti to create a functional small-scale replica, the electric Baby II. And it also inspired Uedelhoven Studios’ latest project.
How Uedelhoven Studios created a modern Bugatti Type 35
If you haven’t heard of Uedelhoven Studios, that’s not surprising, SlashGear reports. However, the firm has an extensive history designing and building concepts for major automakers, including Audi, Rolls-Royce, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW.
Uedelhoven Studios worked with Bugatti in the past, too, helping with the 2009 Galibier concept’s design. It’s unclear if Bugatti was involved with this reimagined Type 35, Autoblog reports. However, Walter de Silva, Volkswagen’s and therefore Bugatti’s head of design, initiated the project in 2015.
Visually, though, the Bugatti Type 35 D, as it’s called, clearly takes after the classic model. It has a horseshoe-shaped chrome grille, exposed suspension, and the characteristic Bugatti light-blue paint. Only instead of aluminum, the body is carbon fiber. Carbon fiber also adorns the cabin, which is laid out similarly to the Chiron.
The Type 35 D has some more classic touches, such as a wood-trimmed steering wheel and gear selector. Plus, what appears to be a mechanical clock. However, it also has a digital gear indicator, modern tires and wheels, and a rear diffuser.
Can you get one?
As of this writing, Uedelhoven Studio’s plans for the Type 35 D are unknown. We don’t even know what kind of powertrain the concept car uses.
If you want a classic Type 35, it’ll be expensive. RM Sotheby’s has auctioned off several in the past for close to half a million dollars. Pur Sang’s hand-built, historically-accurate replicas offer an excellent alternative, but they’re still not exactly inexpensive. One of those costs about $230k, Autoweek reports.
Legends don’t come cheap, after all.
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