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Peter Giddings Racing

1927 Bugatti Type 35C -frame No. 421, engine No. 18


The Bugatti Type 35, introduced in 1924, was one of the most successful race cars of the twenties. As the rival competition began to catch up to the Bugattis, Ettore Bugatti had to upgrade the Type 35 with a supercharger and the result was the Type 35C. About 50 Type 35C race cars were built from 1926 to 1930.

The Bugatti Type 35C was essentially the same as the Type 35, the same 1991 cc engine with the addition of the Roots type supercharger. The 35C also received a revised braking system and a larger radiator compared to the Type 35. The engine is of monobloc construction with integral head. It features five main bearings all of which are antifriction. The front, rear and center main bearings are double-row roller bearings with inner and outer races. the other two main bearings are rollers running directly on the crankshaft journal with an outer race with its own clamping bolts. Big end bearings are rollers also, each with 17 rollers running on a 45mm crank journal. A common cambox holds the single overhead camshaftwhich runs in bronze bushings. The camshaft opens three valves per cylinder, two intake valves and one exhaust valve. All the valves are positioned dead vertically. The intake valves are 23.5 mm in diameter. The exhaust valve is 35mm diameter and necessitates a recess machined in the side of the commbustion chamber to allow its opening. A removable bronze valve guide allows the exhaust valves to be removed from the cylinder. Carburetion is by a single Zenith 741K carburetor as opposed to the older Type 35 which used either two Solex carburetors or two Zenith carburetors.

The Bugatti Type 35C is noted for its road-holding ability which provides for great driver control and confidence. The roller-bearing engine allowed a higher rev range and the supercharger gave power throughout the rpm range. The 35C proved to be nearly unbeatable for the next few years.

Peter Giddings acquired this Bugatti 35C in late 1986. He raced it at Sears Point (Sonoma) Raceway and in the 1987 re-creation of the Mexican Road Race where he received two trophies: one for participating in the oldest car and one for first in class. The car won two concours at the British Owners Club. Peter subsequently sold the 35C to Carlton Coolidge in 1987.

Peter's 35C had an original Bugatti chassis no. 421. The engine number 18 was an early Bugatti engine with a 20 tube sump. Other components incude rear axle no. 180 (12/54 ratio), supercharger no. 110, cam box no. 150, front axle no. 12, gear box no. 4. The body panels were reconstructed by Peel Engineering in England.


Engine - inline 8 cylinder
Displacement - 1991 cc /121.5 cu in
Bore / stroke - 60 mm x 88 mm, 2.36 in x 3.46 in
Valvetrain - single overhead cam, 3 valves per cylinder
Power - 130 bhp @ 5500 rpm
Weight - 767 kg / 1690 lbs
Transmission - 4-speed manual
Wheelbase - 2400 mm / 94.5 inches
Track - front 49 inches, rear 47 inches
Brakes - mechanical drums, 11.0 inches diameter
Front suspension - rigid axle, semi-elliptic leaf springs, friction dampers
Rear suspension - live axle, reversed quarter-elliptic leaf springs, friction dampers
Top Speed - 190 kph / 120 mph

35C engine


Bugatti 35C

Bugatti Type 35C