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Peter Giddings Racing

1928 Bugatti Type 37A/R - BC086

The Bugatti Type 37 was introduced in 1926 and was produced until 1930.

In 1925, the Grand Prix formula was reduced from 2 liters to 1.5 liters, rendering Bugatti's Type 35 ineligible. So, in 1926 Ettore Bugatti decided to replace his highly successful 1.5 litre Brescia racer with a new car based on the existing eight cylinder Type 35 racing chassis. Although the new Type 37's Grand Prix body resembled that of the Type 35, it was given rather smaller brake drums, wire wheels and a more slender radiator. Its four cylinder 12-valve engine was available in both supercharged and naturally-aspirated forms. Nimble and relatively cheap to maintain in racing trim, the Type 37 was a popular and successful racing car through the latter part of the 1920's.

The Bugatti Type 37A added a Roots-type supercharger, magneto ignition, and offered aluminum-spoked Bugatti wheels with integral brake drums as an option instead of the standard wire-spoke wheels. With its free revving single overhead cam valve train, the Type 37A produces over 90 bhp and can rev to over 5000 rpm. The Bugatti Type 37A was very successful in voiturette racing and, due to its light weight, in the hands of the right drivers it could keep up pretty well with the 2 liter Type 35s. Fitted with cycle fenders, the Bugatti Type 37A ran in all the great road races, the Mille Miglia, the Targa Florio, and Le Mans.

Of approximately 290 Type 37 Bugattis produced, 67 were the supercharged version. The four-cylinder inline engine has a bore of 69 mm and stroke of 100 mm, giving a displacement of 1496 cc. The single overhead camshaft operates three valves per cylinder, two inlet valves and one exhaust valve. The camshaft is driven by bevel gears at the front of the engine. The crankshaft runs in five plain bearings and the connecting rods are also plain bearings, differing from some of the Bugatti Grand Prix engines that used roller bearings.The Roots-type supercharger is fed by a single carburetor, either a Zenith or Solex.

A wet multi-plate clutch drives the four-speed manual transmission. The live axle rear is suspended by quarter-elliptic leaf springs and normally has a ratio of 3.86 (14/54 teeth). The solid front axle is suspended by semi-elliptic leaf springs. Cable operated drum brakes are used all around. The Type 37A is noted for its great handling and smooth braking. The wheelbase is 94.5 inches, with a track of 47.25 inches. Weight is about 700 kg, a bit over 1500 pounds. Top speed of the Type 37A is over 150 kph, near 100 mph.

This car was allocated the number BC086 by the Bugatti Owner's Club in 1994. Gene Cesari, owner of car from about 2013 until 2017, described the car "as an exceptional example with attention to the smallest detail." The frame is is an exact copy of the original and was made in the late 1970's by Gavin Sala in Australia. The engine uses the lower crankcase 15 ex-37104 and the rest of the engine of 94 ex-43169. Martin Tuck had the car assembled and began actively using it in 1982. The car was subsequently owned by several noted Bugatti enthusiasists.

At the 10th American Bugatti Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park in September, with guest driver Don Racine, the car finished in an amazing second place following another Type 37 running on methanol, which greatly increases horsepower in the non ABC races, with Bugatti specialist and ABC board member, Jim Stranberg, taking on the duties in the ABC races.

 

Engine

The clean and classic look of the Bugatti Type 37A engine.

Side View of BC086

Side view of Bugatti T37A/R BC086.

Front of BC086

Front view of Bugatti T37A/R BC086.

Rear of BC086

Rear view of Bugatti T37A/R BC086.

BC086 engine

Engine of Bugatti T37A/R BC086 during assembly of the car.

Lime Rock 2018

Jim Stranberg drives Peter's Bugatti T37A in the U.S. Bugatti GP at Lime Rock, September 2018. Photo by Ed Hyman.