Tag Archives: Nick

Automobiles, Planes, Trains and a Giraffe – The Bugatti Trust

On our way back from Mallory Park, Tim and I dropped by the Bugatti Trust which is housed next to the site of the Prescott Speed Hill Climb venue.

Bugatti Trust, Prescott

The Trust’s raison d’etre is to encourage research into Bugatti’s works, by experts and novices alike, an aim facilitated by a large archive of photographs, drawings, letters and articles accumulated by the father of the Trusts current chairman Hugh Conway.

 Bugatti King Aero engine

The trust also houses a fascinating collection of Bugatti artifacts including this vertical 16 Bugatti King Aero engine designed by Ettore in 1916 and further modified for production by Charles King at Duesenberg Motors. This 500 hp 24.3 litre / 1482 cui leviathan featured two pairs of four cylinder blocks mounted side by side with two crankshafts geared to a central propellor shaft.

Bugatti T35,

A small rotating selection of top quality cars is on loan to the Trust from Bugatti Owners Club members, this T35, which was built up from an assortment of pieces from a variety of T35’s, belongs to the well known drummer Nicholas Berkeley Mason who’s vehicles have featured in previous GALPOT blogs. Apparently, like all of his other vehicles, this car can be hired for film, television, and the media from Ten Tenth’s.

Bugatti T37A, Bugatti Trust

T37A, chassis #37282, on loan from Charles Trevelyan, was delivered to Omnia-Kraftfahrzeug-Handels GmbH of Munich in September 1927 for 48,930 FF.

Bugatti T37A, Bugatti Trust

Details in this photo of the T37A’s 1496 cc / 91 cui motor include the camshaft drive, top left at the rear of the motor, which is connected to both the dash board mounted magneto and the revolution counter which is driven by the pulley and rubber belt that can be seen on the left of the photograph.

The supercharger, lubricated by a drip feed, for the 4 cylinder motor can be seen beneath the vertical copper coiled pipe, the carburettor that mixes the air and fuel is mounted beneath the supercharger.

Bugatti T38, Bugatti Trust

Contemporary to both the racing T35 and T37 is this T38 2 litre / 122 cui 8 cylinder touring car, unfortunately I did not get any clear shots of the detachable trunk at the back but it is a real work of art the finish of which I have only seen a copy of on The Pet MINI.

Bugatti Record Car, Bugatti Trust

Rising to the challenge of beating Mercedes Benz and Auto Union Jean Bugatti sketched out the vehicle seen here with no less than three supercharged straight 8 motors with which to attack the speed record for vehicles driven on public roads in 1935. His still born car would have had around 1000 hp and should have been capable of around 250 mph.

Below the speed record vehicle is a model of Ettore Bugatti’s successful motorised railcar.

Bugatti T59 Wheel, Bugatti Trust

I am not entirely sure what the thinking was behind the T59 piano wire wheels first seen in 1933, it seems the wire spokes handled the cornering loads while the teeth of the outer wheel rim meshed with the teeth of the brake drum to transmit the power from the drive shaft to the tyres. How this was advantageous over the regular alloy wheels Bugatti had used up until this date I am not sure.

Rembrandt Bugatti,  Bugatti Trust

While most of the Bugatti Trust collection focuses of Ettore and Jean’s work there are some interesting pieces of work by other Bugatti family members including this sculpted giraffe by Ettore’s brother, Rembrandt Bugatti.

I really can’t recommend a visit to the Bugatti Trust highly enough and can’t wait to go back with a raft of new questions for the friendly and helpful members of the trust who make a visit such a delight.

Hope you have enjoyed this Bugatti Trust edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you will join me again for Ferrari Friday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Patina with well travelled history – Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Super Sport, #0312961

My thanks to every one at the Alfabb forum who made today’s post on this 1929 Alfa Romeo possible.

The 6C 1750 was in production from 1929 to 1933 with 369 examples built. The Super Sport came in normally aspirated 64 hp or supercharged 85 hp variants.

The 1929 chassis number #0312961 seen here was originally supplied as a double overhead cam normally aspirated model, after it was successfully used in competition it was returned to the Alfa Romeo factory in 1932 and upgraded with a supercharger and replacement crank case.

The body is unusual for the type having an ash frame with steel panels rather than the steel frame with aluminium panels preferred by Zagato.

After it’s initial foray in competition this vehicles adventures continued with a fire department in Ivera, Aosta near Turin. Somewhere around 1939 the vehicle turned up in Eritrea, then an Italian colony where many other vintage Alfa Romeo’s including this one are known to have been used for racing, there is a possibility that during one race #0312961 may have been in collision with a donkey while leading a handicap race in Asmara, Eritrea in 1943.

In 1947 the car was acquired by a British Captain serving with the victorious occupying forces in the former Italian African colony and he imported it to the UK in 1950.

After several more changes of ownership being painted blue, then red again and an engine rebuild the car was sold to an American in Zurich in 1959 who returned with #03122961 to Ohio in 1962. The car was sold to it’s present owner Nick Benwell in 2009 who then set about completing a rebuild that had started in Ohio in the 1960’s.

Nick is a great fan of original patina and as can be seen he has left the bodywork more or less as he found it. With the restoration complete Nick took his car on a 2,100 mile round trip to the Alfa Centenary celebrations last year where the car was waved past 400 other Alfa’s and honoured with being the first to pass through the Arese Factory gates as the oldest vehicle present.

My thanks to everyone at Alfabb.com ‘Help Identifying Vintage Alfa’s at Prescott ?’ thread who provided clues as to which car KYR 564 is including, Odin, Orouge and Duncan Macnab who kindly showed me a copy of Simon Moore’s excellent 2 part feature on this vehicle which appeared in ‘The Automobile‘ August 2010.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s journey across 5 countries on three continents and that you will join me for a look at an Alfa Romeo Giulia Super. Don’t forget to come back now !