Saturday, March 18, 2017

the early Bugatti racing rim on the type 35 of 1925, or the type 51 of the 1930s

The type 35 was the first car with alloy rims, and the early rims had 32 bolts, the later ones had 24,

the 8 spokes were dull cast aluminum, not shined at the factory. They seem to be designed for some lateral movement resistance, but by being cast, they were porous and broke sometimes

They were refined in the next decade or so, and later in the type 51 they had ribs added to the inner surface of the spokes.

Supercar Classics magazine says they were probably the best rim until 1950, stonger, stiffer, rounder, and lighter
What you probably never heard of is Ettore's design had a innovative 2nd aspect, the brake drum was removed with the wheel in the pit stop, and not just the tire, but the brake pads were also rapidly replaced with new, and unlike other racers, Ettore Bugatti had the brake pads machined to fit the brake drums at the factory, before the race, and so they were matched, interchangeable, and nearly perfect when slapped together quickly during racing pit stops.

That's thinking ahead.

Most people don't know of Ettore's great patent office patronage, I read he might have been the most common signatore of patents. He is mentioned as having studied the other tire and rim patents, and due to the rapid evolution of design and engineering, it makes sense, and he was one of the run flat tire patent applications. The first run flat was patented in 1904, and they were constantly improved until Goodyear had an engineer make a breakthrough in 1947.

Bugatti built the Type 35 between 1924 and 1930, 96 left the factory and they’re now considered amongst the most collectible of the early models.

The Type 35B Bugatti's had a very glorious racing career, one that captured 412 racing victories. It was a dominant force in international competition from 1924 through 1929 and one of the most respected vehicles from the Ettore Bugatti legacy.

Founder Ettore Bugatti and son Jean were pleased with the performance and success of the Type 35. Because there is always room for improvement, the duo decided in the 1920s that it could use more power. Interested in the Miller front wheel drive racers, they traded three Bugatti Type 35 cars for two Miller cars and went to work. The result was the Bugatti Type 51, visually similar to the 35 with increased power and other tweaks inspired by the Miller cars.

By the time they worked out the type 59, they decided to change the rim from the flat cast, to wire, and they didn't go with a wire spoke like you'll be familiar with, Borrani for example, they went with piano wire instead.

Just 40 examples of the Type 51 and Type 51A Bugatti race cars were produced in the 1930s.

above is an estate sale find that is getting flipped for $8500

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