1926 Bugatti Type 38 (Restoration Project)  Chassis no. 38195 Engine no. (Was 87)

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Lot 250
1926 Bugatti Type 38 (Restoration Project)
Registration no. Not Registered Chassis no. 38195 Engine no. (Was 87)

Sold for AU$ 110,400 (US$ 76,937) inc. premium
1926 Bugatti Type 38 (Restoration Project)
Coachwork by Compton of Hillingdon Heath Ltd.

Registration no. Not Registered
Chassis no. 38195
Engine no. (Was 87)
Introduced in 1926, the Bugatti Type 38 was conceived as a replacement for the Type 30 that had been in production since 1922. The Type 30 Bugatti has a special place in motoring history, for it was the first small 'straight-eight' to go into production and the first to use Bugatti's classic single-overhead-cam engine, one of the most famous automobile power units of all time. Typical of the time, the Bugatti 'eight' was a 'long-stroke' design of 60x88mm bore/stroke for a capacity of 1,991cc. The three valves per cylinder were operated by single gear-driven overhead camshaft, while the crankshaft was carried in three roller bearings with plain big ends. Breathing via twin Solex carburettors, this jewel-like power unit produced approximately l00bhp at 4,500rpm. This engine was installed in what was essentially a Brescia type chassis, resulting in a car that was notably fast and powerful for its day, possessing many of the characteristics of the racing Bugattis.
The successor Type 38 benefited from many of the lessons learnt from the competition Type 35s and incorporated a number of design changes including a new four-speed gearbox, new horseshoe radiator, longer wheelbase and wider track. A blown version, the Type 38A, followed in 1927. The 1,991cc straight-eight engine retained the same basic architecture as the Type 30's but developed 140bhp and featured a combined starter/dynamo 'dynamotor' mounted on the crankshaft nose, which replaced its predecessor's belt-driven dynamo. Cable-operated drum brakes acted on all four wire-spoked wheels while the suspension system followed standard Molsheim practice. In total Bugatti produced 385 Type 38s (including 39 Type 38As).
In the 1920s a handful of Type 38s found their way via the London Bugatti agent to Australia, the earliest of these (by chassis number) being '38195', which was bodied as an open tourer by Compton of Hillingdon Heath, Middlesex. Renowned Bugatti historian Bob King thoroughly researched the car for his 1992 book, Bugattis in Australasia, discovering that it was first owned by a Dr Feather, of Roma, Queesland. By the late 1930s '38195' was owned by Fred Laing, in whose ownership it was photographed on the banks of the Tweed River circa 1945. Its next owner was Ben Free, of Darling Downs, who replaced the engine with a Chevrolet unit and sold the original (to Jack Jeffery), which then passed via Dr John Newton to the owner of '38290'. '38195' was sold to the current owners in the 1960s.
By this time the Bugatti had fallen into disrepair and it remains in dismantled condition today, although most major components (other than the engine) survive intact and are included in the sale. Bonhams' is proud to offer this Type 38 restoration project, which must be one of the last truly affordable, genuine, eight-cylinder Bugatti touring cars.
A list of the major components that make up the lot is available from the motoring department upon request.
No reserve.
1926 Bugatti Type 38 (Restoration Project)  Chassis no. 38195 Engine no. (Was 87)
1926 Bugatti Type 38 (Restoration Project)  Chassis no. 38195 Engine no. (Was 87)
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