Tag Archives: Type 39A

Campbell’s Supercharged Short Stroke – Bugatti Type 39A #4810

There are said to be more than one way to skin a cat and using this philosophy Ettoire Bugatti devised more than one way to build a motor to meet the 1.5 litre / 91.5 cui Voiturette regulations for Grand Prix cars in 1926.

Last week I looked at a Type 37A featuring a motor with a 4 cylinder motor while today’s featured type 39A has an 8 cylinder motor of similar swept volume which was achieved by using a short stroke crankshaft in a motor originally designed to be of 2 litre / 122 cui capacity.

Bugatti Type 39A, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

Today’s featured car chassis #4810 was built for British Speed King Malcolm Campbell, later Sir, of Bluebird fame who bought this car in 1926 to compete in the inaugural British Grand Prix run at Brooklands.

Campbell was worried the original alloy wheels would not be up to withstanding the pounding of the remorseless Brooklands, broken, concrete track and so had wire wheels fitted.

Bugatti Type 39A, Hillsborough Concours d'Elegance

Driving #4810 solo Campbell came home second splitting two Delages, 10 mins behind the winners Robert Sénéchal and Louis Wagner.

Jules Goux driving a Type 39A won both the 1926 French Grand Prix and 1926 European Grand Prix run at San Sebastián in Spain while later in 1926 Louis Charavel driving a Type 39A became the first man since Jules Goux, driving a Ballot in 1921, to win the Italian Grand Prix in a non Italian car and clinch the 1926 World Manufacturers Championship for Bugatti.

In 1927 Malcolm Campbell won the Grand Prix de Boulogne driving #4810.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing these photographs of #4810 seen at Hillsborough Concours d’Elegance in 2011.

Thanks for joining me on this “Campbell’s Supercharged Short Stroke” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I shall be revisiting Oulton Park for the 2014 Gold Cup meeting. Don’t forget to come back now !