1931 Bugatti Type 51 Re-creation by Pur Sang  Chassis no. 539BO

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Lot 613
1931 Bugatti Type 51 Re-creation by Pur Sang
Registration no. not registered Chassis no. 539BO

Sold for £ 124,700 (US$ 169,405) inc. premium
1931 Bugatti Type 51 Re-creation by Pur Sang
Registration no. not registered
Chassis no. 539BO
• Built by the acknowledged leaders in the field
• Ordered in 2013
• Original documentation available
• Specifications and User Manual on file

'From now on the Type 51 was to be the finest racing car so far put into the amateur racing driver's hands, the most sought after and desirable of the Grand Prix Bugatti models...' - Hugh Conway, Grand Prix Bugatti.

By the early 1930s Ettore Bugatti had established an unrivalled reputation for building cars with outstanding performance on both road and track, the world's greatest racing drivers enjoying countless successes aboard the Molsheim factory's products and often choosing them for their everyday transport. The principal building block of this success was the legendary Type 35, arguably the quintessential Vintage-era sports car, which made its debut in August 1924 at the Grand Prix de l'ACF at Lyon-Givors. The Type 35's 1,991cc straight-eight engine was derived from that of the Type 30 but incorporated five roller/ball main bearings instead of three together with an improved lubrication system. In line with Bugatti's established practice, each cylinder's three valves were actuated by a single overhead camshaft. This state-of-the-art engine went into a conventional chassis with leaf springs at the front and quarter elliptics at the rear, and which boasted a novel hollow front axle and alloy wheels.

The Type 35's debut gave little indication of what was to come, as the factory team of five cars was plagued by tyre troubles and could achieve no better than 7th place at the finish. Despite this debacle the Type 35 in its various forms would go on to become arguably the most successful racing car of all time, commencing with winning the inaugural World Championship for Manufacturers in 1926 and securing countless victories for privateers.

The final incarnation of this exceptional design arrived in 1931 in the form of the Type 51. Only 40 examples of the Type 51/51A were manufactured at Bugatti's Molsheim factory during the 1930s, of which as many as a dozen used - from new - stockpiled Type 35-series chassis frames, there being hardly any substantial difference between the 35 and 51 frame designs. The Type 51 is historically significant as the first Grand Prix Bugatti to use a twin-overhead-camshaft engine. Power output of this more efficient and better-breathing two-valves-per-cylinder design was quoted as some 160bhp, as much as 30 horsepower more than the standard 35B. Apart from the engine changes, plus relocating the magneto to the left side of the dash, twin fuel filler caps and well-base, cast-aluminium wheels with fixed rims, the Type 51 was virtually identical to the earlier Type 35B.

During the Depression years of the 1930s, these neat, quick and nimble Bugattis won time and again both at Grand Prix and lesser levels, often in the face of larger and much more powerful opposition. And after the Type 51's day had passed, its magnificent 2.3-litre supercharged engine continued in production for the 'Super Sport' version - the sports-touring Type 55.

One of the most celebrated and most elegant of all post-Vintage competition cars, the Type 51 Bugatti was not only a supremely capable and competitive Grand Prix car but also - when fitted with mudguards, lights and road equipment - a splendid sporting machine for all-round use. A true supercar of its era, the Type 51 is today one of the most desirable and expensive cars in the world, always assuming you can find a genuine one for sale.

For those who yearn for Bugatti-style motoring yet cannot afford the associated expense, a re-creation is the obvious solution and for many years the classic Type 35 and its derivatives have inspired the construction of numerous copies. Pur Sang of Argentina needs no introduction to those familiar with the world of Bugattis, the firm's re-creations being universally admired for their authenticity and quality of execution. This beautiful and highly detailed re-creation represents the Grand Prix Bugatti in its ultimate form: the 2.3-litre supercharged Type 51 of 1931.

According to its makers, 'the Type 51 manufactured by Pur Sang Argentina SA has been produced using original factory specifications, both in design and material. There are several aspects which have been improved and modified based on modern automotive technology. The application of forged pistons, plain bearings and modern oil seals which make the engine, gearbox, and back axle oil tight have helped increase performance while reducing maintenance. The frame is hand formed in the same fashion it was originally built.'

Ordered by Robert in 2013, this Type 51 replica has the following mechanical specifications: plain-bearing crankshaft; modified firing order; modern oil filter; electric starter; thermostatically controlled electric radiator fan; alternator and battery concealed beneath seat; electric fuel pump concealed behind seat; Ki-gas pump and hand-operated fuel pump on dashboard; and a hand-operated oil pump on the passenger side.

The body is finished in Bugatti blue paint with weathered finish, while the interior is trimmed in used brown leather. Leather is also used for the sill guards and gearbox guards. Other noteworthy features include a radiator stone guard; Marchal headlamps; Scintilla tail lights (with integral brake light); and a weathered treatment to the aluminium dashboard/firewall surfaces. Accompanying documentation consists of the purchase agreement, sales invoice and shipping paperwork, and the car also comes with a User Manual.
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1931 Bugatti Type 51 Re-creation by Pur Sang  Chassis no. 539BO
1931 Bugatti Type 51 Re-creation by Pur Sang  Chassis no. 539BO
1931 Bugatti Type 51 Re-creation by Pur Sang  Chassis no. 539BO
1931 Bugatti Type 51 Re-creation by Pur Sang  Chassis no. 539BO
1931 Bugatti Type 51 Re-creation by Pur Sang  Chassis no. 539BO
1931 Bugatti Type 51 Re-creation by Pur Sang  Chassis no. 539BO
1931 Bugatti Type 51 Re-creation by Pur Sang  Chassis no. 539BO
1931 Bugatti Type 51 Re-creation by Pur Sang  Chassis no. 539BO
1931 Bugatti Type 51 Re-creation by Pur Sang  Chassis no. 539BO
1931 Bugatti Type 51 Re-creation by Pur Sang  Chassis no. 539BO
1931 Bugatti Type 51 Re-creation by Pur Sang  Chassis no. 539BO
1931 Bugatti Type 51 Re-creation by Pur Sang  Chassis no. 539BO
1931 Bugatti Type 51 Re-creation by Pur Sang  Chassis no. 539BO
1931 Bugatti Type 51 Re-creation by Pur Sang  Chassis no. 539BO
1931 Bugatti Type 51 Re-creation by Pur Sang  Chassis no. 539BO
1931 Bugatti Type 51 Re-creation by Pur Sang  Chassis no. 539BO
1931 Bugatti Type 51 Re-creation by Pur Sang  Chassis no. 539BO
1931 Bugatti Type 51 Re-creation by Pur Sang  Chassis no. 539BO
1931 Bugatti Type 51 Re-creation by Pur Sang  Chassis no. 539BO
1931 Bugatti Type 51 Re-creation by Pur Sang  Chassis no. 539BO
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25% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £10,000 up to and including £450,000;
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