Paris

7 February 2018

1925 Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix

  • Chassis no. 4394

Without Reserve

Documents: French Certificat d’Immatriculation


  • Offered from 28 years of long-term enthusiast ownership
  • Eligible for the Mille Miglia, Goodwood, Monaco and numerous VSCC and club events
  • Mechanically prepared by Laurent Rondoni’s famous Ventoux Moteurs
  • Accompanied by inspection reports from David Sewell and Pierre-Yves Laugier


The Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix is without a shadow of a doubt one of the most iconic, eligible and rewarding pre-war race cars. The story of 4394 begins in November 1924 when this very early Type 35 was completed and invoiced for delivery to Lord Rocksavage, the future Lord Cholmondeley, on 3 January 1925; it was delivered to Lord Rocksavage’s home in Cannes and was photographed there with Lady Sybil Cholmondeley. This car was subsequently driven at the Surbiton Motor Club’s meeting at Brooklands on 23 April 1927 by Dorothy Campbell, wife of Sir Malcolm, placing 4th in the Junior Short Handicap.

In the late 1980s, a Bugatti identified as 4394 emerged in the hands of UK Bugatti restorer Keith Butti, apparently having been uncovered in a Kent scrap yard. After a restoration, the current owner acquired the car in 1990 through Dan Margulies.

Despite the beautiful patina of 4394, the origins of certain components of this early Bugatti have been a subject of debate. Formerly believed to possess an original chassis, advancements in the understanding of early Type 35s have called this into question, and it is now believed to be a replacement, as detailed in a full report by Pierre-Yves Laugier. Parts identified as original are the front axle, shock absorbers, radiator and a portion of the bodywork is original and genuine; these have also been independently identified as original by David Sewell.

The engine was built for the car by Laurent Rondoni, with a Brineton crankshaft and connecting rods, correct Solex 35DH side-draft carburettors and a Scintilla magneto mated to gearbox number 29. The rear axle is numbered 21 and is thought to be a correct Type 30 axle. The car displays distinguishing features of the ventilator panels and Brescia handbrake in keeping with the appearance of 4394 in period.

Today, 4394 presents as a Bugatti with great character thanks to its wonderful patina. Highly eligible for events such as Goodwood, the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique and the Mille Miglia, as well as numerous Bugatti and VSCC rallies, this Type 35 has been carefully maintained by the finest specialist in France, Ventoux Moteurs, and is sure to be a rewarding acquisition for a new owner seeking the joys of vintage competition machinery at its finest.





• Depuis 28 ans entre les mains d'un collectionneur passionné
• Éligible aux Mille Miglia, à Goodwood, à Monaco et à de nombreux évènements de clubs et du VSCC
• Préparation mécanique par Laurent Rondoni, de Ventoux Moteurs
• Accompagnée de rapports d'inspection de David Sewell et Pierre-Yves Laugier

La Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix est sans aucun doute une des voitures de course d'avant-guerre les plus emblématiques et les plus gratifiantes, en plus d'être acceptée dans d'innombrables évènements. L'histoire de 4394 commence en novembre 1924 quand cette Type 35, parmi les premières produites, est sortie d'usine. Elle a été facturée le 3 janvier 1925 à Lord Rocksavage, futur Lord Cholmondeley, et livrée à Cannes, où elle a été photographiée avec Lady Sybil Cholmondeley. Cette voiture a été ensuite utilisée le 23 avril 1927 au meeting du Surbiton Motor Club, à Brooklands, où elle était pilotée par Dorothy Campbell, épouse de Sir Malcolm, terminant quatrième dans la course "Junior Short Handicap".

A la fin des années 1980, une Bugatti identifiée comme étant 4394 est apparue entre les mains de Keith Butti, restaurateur de Bugatti en Angleterre, apparemment découverte dans une casse, dans le Kent. Après une restauration, l'actuel propriétaire a acheté la voiture en 1990 par l'intermédiaire de Dan Margulies.

Malgré la superbe patine de 4394, l'origine de certains composants de cette Bugatti a fait l'objet de controverses. Elle a d'abord été considérée comme équipée d'un châssis authentique, mais des progrès effectués dans la compréhension des premières Type 35 ont remis cette affirmation en question, et il semble aujourd'hui qu'il s'agisse d'un châssis de remplacement, comme le précise un rapport complet de Pierre-Yves Laugier. Les pièces identifiées comme étant d'origine sont l'essieu avant, les amortisseurs, la calandre et une partie de la carrosserie est d'origine et authentique ; ces pièces ont été également identifiées de façon indépendante comme authentiques par David Sewell.

Le moteur a été fabriqué pour la voiture par Laurent Rondoni, avec un vilebrequin et des bielles Brineton, des carburateurs Solex 35DH horizontaux corrects et une magnéto Scintilla reliée à la boîte de vitesses numéro 29. Le pont arrière porte le numéro 21 et il semble s'agir d'un pont correct de Type 30. La voiture présente des panneaux de ventilation latéraux et un frein à main de Brescia, conforme à l'apparence de 4394 à l'époque.

Aujourd'hui, 4394 se présente comme une Bugatti à forte personnalité, grâce à sa patine magnifique. Parfaitement éligible à Goodwood, au Grand Prix de Monaco Historique et aux Mille Miglia, ainsi que dans de nombreux rallyes Bugatti et du VSCC, cette Type 35 a été soigneusement entretenue par le meilleur spécialiste français, Ventoux Moteurs, et elle constituera à coup sûr une acquisition gratifiante pour un nouveau propriétaire cherchant les joies d'une machine de compétition historique du meilleur niveau.

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