1928 Bugatti Type 40 Grand Sport: raced all over the world
Back in 1928 the Type 40, a four-seater torpedo-shaped coupe – Grand Sport, offered an affordable alternative to the usual expensive Bugatti Grand Prix car. Although an entry level car, the same degree of craftsmanship that went into a Grand Prix was held in the Type 40. And just like the Grand Prix the ‘Grand Sport’ was raced all over the world.
Type 40 Bugatti’s replaced the early Type 13, 22 and 23 models. As with the early Brescia models it replaced, the Type 40 had road exceptional handling, braking and performance. Supporting the Type 40 was a chassis that was similar to the Type 38. The engine was that of the Type 37, an unblown Inline-4 with 5-main bearings and three valves per cylinder (1492 cc). A T40 produces around 70 bhp at 4.500 rpm and is capable of a top speed of 130 kilometers per hour. Only 830 Type 40 cars where built between 1926 and 1933.
This 1928 Type 40 (40643) was restored in the seventies in the United Kingdom using only original parts. It did receive a new aluminium body which was entirely made to factory specifications and drawings. Only recently the owner of this Type 40 discovered the original ‘Molsheim’ sprockets upon opening the gear box for maintenance. It is also one of few Type 40’s to still pump up fuel utilizing the original ‘Autovac ‘ vacuum system; quite the sinecure to operate and maintain with modern day fuels. Its extra large fuel tank suggests the car has been raced in long-distance events like the 24 hours of Le Mans and the Mille Miglia.
The car was imported to Holland in the late nineties by Dutchman Jan Dirk Legger. Nowadays his son Allard Legger enters the Type 40 in racing events across Europe, but in 2019 the car also participated in the sole edition of the Yangtze River Delta Classic rally in China. After a visit to Shanghai and a visit to the Bugatti Chateau in Molsheim Legger will now drive the Bugatti in the ‘Cathedral of Speed’ during the Classic GP Assen.