Inspiration for the young carhead – Bugatti


Think back to your childhood. You reading this post already shows you are happy to read anything automotive, therefore you are an automanic. Think of generic vintage car sheets, car books, even what you doodled on the walls, I am willing to bet they had a trace of Bugatti about them. And there is a good reason for this.

Ettore Bugatti built his cars with passion, the designs straight from the heart. They were made to look fast, even standing still, and had the power to match their aesthetics. Minor complications, like lack of braking power, were irrelevant, as long as the car could live up to an ideal. An ideal shared by all those passionate about cars, bike, trucks, any formed sheet metal that it would seem bizarre to become attached to.

It’s in our blood, it’s the reason we go to car shows, it’s the reason we spend weekends covered in grease, swearing at a rounded off nut instead of relaxing. I can’t explain why I like anything automotive, but I can enjoy the fact that I do.

Looking at Ettore Bugatti’s creations make me happy too, they take me back to a time before horsepower mattered, when cars could be enjoyed in themselves, and the size of one’s rotors were irrelevant.

Take the time out every once in a while to revel in the automotive world we have created for ourselves, we owe it to our younger self, and we owe it to Ettore. He created a beautiful thing, and it can be summed up in the response he gave to a reporter who criticised the brakes on his cars: ‘Remember, I design my cars to go, not to stop.


If you are feeling the Bugatti love, and have an estimated spare 1.5-1.8m Euros, then head on over to and check out the details for the auction of the featured Bugatti.

Starting life in 1929 as a 21st present for the founding member of the Bugatti Owners’ Club, Jack Lemon Burton, the engine was tuned and the car’s mettle tested out under racing conditions all over Britain.

Subsequently sold to Alan Bainton, the 37A suffered irreparable engine damage at Brooklands in 1935. Bainton’s mechanic fitted the engine from a Type 43, bringing the car up to 35B specifications.

Changing hands again, the little Bugatti ended up in the garage of Lady Grosvenor in 1947, allowing her to set the ladies Bugatti race record at Prescott, an achievement that wasn’t bettered for another 35 years.

The car again changed owners numerous times, ending up ‘across the pond’ where it was raced sporadically, or shown as a museum piece. The 37A/35B’s last motorsport appearance being made in 1977, under the ownership of the Estes family.

In 2007 the machine underwent a full restoration, bringing it back to ‘superb condition’. Now it’s on the block, back in France, allowing one lucky bidder to own a piece of motoring history. And this car looks just as fast standing still, as it does on the track.

Thanks to Bonhams for the image used today.

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