"Cordon Rouge"

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Sir,

By implication at least, you incorrectly state that “Cordon Rouge” had a plain bearing engine which gives me the opportunity to reply to your gentle chiding in the September issue. A summary of the relevant facts about the 16-valve cars will explain about these bearings.

Until Spring 1923 the steering box was separate from the crankcase; thereafter it was integral with it.

After the race at Brescia which gave the 16-valve cars their name the works produced amongst the sixteen hundred odd separate steering box, standard, plain-bearing cars about 40 cars with two ball-bearing mains, as well as other sporting attachments (the front main remained plain throughout). There were some of each of the three chassis lengths, and “Cordon Rouge” was one of these. Only three are known to survive.

From Spring 1923 onwards all cars had ball-bearing mains, regardless of whether they were fitted with other sports attachments such as twin magnetos. “Cordon Bleu” was such a car.

So although “Cordon Rouge” was an early car it was one of the few with ball-bearing mains. It also seems commonly believed that the sports versions were all short chassis Type 13s, whereas both early and late type cars had the sports versions made in all three chassis lengths,i.e., Types 13, 22 and 23.

Regarding my car, which was never intended to be a replica anyway, despite the commentators, if any of your readers are able to help me with its history, such as who installed the late engine and when, I shall be most grateful-1921 chassis No. 1210, 1925 engine No. 2385.

Harvington Mike Raahauge

[How nice that Mr. Raahauge took our “gentle chiding” so sportingly! We note that his Bugatti isn’t intended to be a “Cordon Rouge” replica and he seems to have been conned over this by certain sections of the motor press, the hill-climb commentators and by Mumm’s who would have done better to have kept mum. Which is not to say that their overall interest in and support for vrntage racing isn’t much appreciated–especially by the winners!—ED.]