STREAMLINED COACHWORK ON A BUGATTI. NOVEL YET PRACTICAL LINES OF A CUSTOM-BUILT BODY ON THE SUPER-SPORTS 3.3 LITRE CHASSIS
Buying a chassis and having one’s own design of coachwork installed on it is a
fascinating business. Colonel G. M. Giles, the president of the Bugatti Owners Club, has just recently purchased one of the new high-compression sports ” 3.3’s,” the first of its type to be brought into this country, and as a result of his experience with no less than 10 earlier cars from the same factory has evolved a body design at once striking, well streamlined and eminently suited for fast touring. As will be seen, the principal novelty of the lines lies in the exceptionally long bonnet, the faired wings and the sloping tail. The bonnet runs back and takes in half of what would normally be the scuttle. Neat louvres to the design of Jean Bugatti are a feature ; they are coupled together and opened by means
of levers under the bonnet. 1 he front wings are quite wide, with ample clearance round the wheels, and the interior of the cut-away sectiOn is curved so as to afford good protection when the wheels are locked over. The side lamps are neatly disposed of in the front part of the wings. The headlamps occupy their usual posItion, but when not required the lenses are protected by very smart hemispherical chrom ium-plated covers. The front wings are supported by tubular stays in front and double oval struts at their rear ends. The rear wings are of a type seen in increasing numbers nowadays, with panels which can be removed when a tyre has to be changed. The sloping rear panel
is more unusual, in view of the number of things stowed beneath it. Apart from the 16-gallon petrol tank there are two spare wheels, bulky formed objects which proved difficult to accommodate, a spare petrol tank holding eight gallons, a Jackall hydraulic jack for the rear axle, which is somewhat boxed in by the enclosing coachwork, a ,normal type of jack for the front wheels, wheel hammer and finally the car’s tool-kit neatly ar
ranged in two fitted trays. In addition there is the hood frame, which swings up from behind the front seat, and the fabric covering which is glazed with celluloid at its front end, just behind the a
stays which clamp on to the V-shaped wind screen. The car is finished in Bugatti blue with dull silver mouldings on the bonnet. The body is upholstered in dark brown leather and the seat frames are built up from steel tubing. To form the seat itself a multitude of small spiral springs run horizontally across each frame. The springs. are then covered with padding and leather upholstery, and the whole forms a light
weight hammock seat which is restful without being unsteady. Another advantage of these metal-framed seats is that the back passengers can sit close up to the front and have plenty of leg-room.
Owing to the length of the extended bonnet and scuttle, it has been found necessary to fit a remote-control gearlever, positively the only one ever known on a Bugatti we should think. Another interesting point is the under-tray which gives the underside of the car a particularly neat appearance, and which should. also add a few m.p.h. to the all-out speed. With the exception of the Bugatti seats. the whole of the bodywork panelling and( upholstery was carried out by Messrs. E. Bertelli of Feltham, Middlesex, and a. handsome job it is. In common with most members of the Bugatti Owners Club, Colonel Giles takes the greatest pride irs, his cars, and the new ” 3.3 ” positively sparkled in the sunlight. Apart from being a most desirable car for use on the road, the Bugatti has a special interest just now as being of the same type as the three cars to be driven. next month in the Ulster T.T. All the chassis characteristics, including the wheel-base, which is 10 feet, remain the same, but the sports chassis have a higher compression-ratio in the region of r to 1, and a back-axle ratio of 3.9, instead of 4.2, to 1. The factory claims a power output of 148 horsepower, which is remarkably high, for a 3,300 c.c. unsuperchargcd engine. The chassis-weight i9 25 cwt. and the weight of the car under review is about 32 cwt. It is not yet known what type of body will be fitted to the cars to be (Continued at foot of next page)
-driven by Earl Howe and the Hon. Brian Lewis, but probably it will be a lightweight affair with a sloping tail rather cn the lines of the racing ” 105 ” Talbots. We rode for a short distance in Col. ‘,Giles’ car and were impressed by its comfort and quiet-running. Even with the raised compression the engine will run on No. 1 petrol, though naturally a proportion of benzol in the fuel is advis able. The all-constant-mesh gear-box is pleasant to use and the car is quiet flexible on top gear. When we tried it the Car was not fully run in, and the speed was being kept down to 85-90 m.p.h., but when everything is free, Colonel Giles a maximum in the neighbourhood
115 m.p.h. The Sports 3.3 Bugatti is important an addition to the ranks of high-class sports car, as was the supercharged ” 2.3 ” of or three years ago, with all the refined which modern traffic conmake desirable.