For the last sale of the year on November 24, Historics is offering what it describes as a ‘Reformation’ Bugatti Type 35. This is effectively a new car, built up from genuine Bugatti components. It lacks the race provenance of an original racer, but is a faithful representation of the real thing.
The owner is a respected Bugatti specialist, and the car is quite possibly more valuable than the sum of its all-original Bugatti parts. It has a Gino Hoskins chassis frame with an original T49 engine. New crankshaft, rods, pistons and all white metal elements are coupled with a T51 pedal shaft, an original clutch and rear axle centre cases, brakes and classic Bugatti aluminium wheels/Swiss Englebert tyres.
The front axle is a T35B/T51 unit; the instrument panel is also an original, with fully functioning parts. The lower section was purchased from an original, but broken up Type 35B - and the vehicle has spent some time on various circuits and hillclimbs.
Should you be in the market for a Bugatti Type 35, you’ll be searching for one of less than a hundred made. Type 35s took the Grand Prix World Championship in 1926, won 351 races and set 47 records in the previous two years, and it’s this amazing history that makes original T35s so sought after.
Those with bomb-proof history sell for millions. Six years ago, a proper example sold for .6m at Gooding's Pebble Beach Auction, but they are rarely on the open market for long.
Replicas are no longer the domain of kit-car manufacturers. Built with care and pride, using original parts, they now fetch prices previously unheard of. Genuine cars may not be an option for enthusiasts with shallower pockets, but cars like Historics Type 35 can offer a slice of Ettore Bugatti’s handiwork for around £200k.