Editor: Jaap Horst
The Best is, maybe as everybody had expected, the T35! This is maybe because I included all variations, some of the 15 voters had a very distinguished affection either for the T35B or the T35!
Like David Woodhouse who gives four points to the T35 because this is to him still the car that defines the term "racing car" for him, but not to the T35B because the broader radiator spoils the line.
"I can't seem to get together a list of 5 cars, because I cannot get beyond the T35, which as far as I'm concerned is BUGATTI. Second to that for me is the T52, because it is a baby T35" George Davidson
"Any time I'll go for a 35B GP car. Not to drive in nostalgic races in particular, but to take out in the mountains here behind Monaco. That's when you can relish its real sound, reflected by the mountains and its precise agility on this type of roads. One could in all secrecy redo the La Turbie hillclimb." Roy Hulsbergen
"Lightness, simply brilliant!" Helio de Oliveira
"The original piece of functional art - motion at its most beautiful" Michael Gans
Second comes the T55, and very deserved as well! It is one of the best ways to turn a racing car (T51) into a roadster.
"The perfect synthesis of speed and beauty" Michael Gans
"One of the great sportscars: All the right performance features and stunningly beautiful" David Woodhouse
"Fast, extremely elegant and the last Grand Prix car to receive a road-going treatment with real success" Stefano Pasini
"The ultimate sports car" Karl Hansell
"The reference in pre-war sportscar styling" Otakar Kopecky
Third comes, of course, the Atlantic. Since I saw one in real I am more impressed than ever by her beauty!
"Has any so extreme design ever been so classically beautiful? And so brutal? And at the same time had an engine to match the exterior's both beauty and brutallity" Jacob Munkhammar
"Type 57s and sc are to me the most breathtakingly beautiful roadgoing cars ever. I like the Atlantic best since I saw one on the cover of Ken Purdy's book "Kings of the road" in the early 50's" David Woodhouse
"The 1st supercar... 50 years ahead of its time!"Helio de Oliveira
"Alltime favourite: for the technique and the lines " Andreas Rutishauser
" A thing of unsurpassed beauty, and if Mercedes and Auto Union ruled the Grand Prix tracks in those years, their road cars were eclipsed by this extraordinary supercar." Stefano Pasini
There is a real gap after the first 3, and I find this not surprising, because the T35, T55 and the Atlantic stand for everything Bugatti is!
Fourth, and maybe surprising is the EB110! Some of the voters despise the Italian supercars, while others think they were very much built in the spirit of the original Molsheim cars.
Guy Mangiamele expresses this as follows:" The EB110SS is a car which I love dearly despite its many faults. It was a courageous car, in the way that all Bugattis were courageous, and so seemed to be quite deserving of the Bugatti name. It was the only Bugatti that I ever had the pleasure to drive, but in my imagination I saw Bugattis of the past as having, in some way, a very similar personality. Even the way the company rather fell apart, despite the amazing talent and enthusiasm that worked there, was an amazing coincidence"
"This is the ultimate supercar. McLaren F1? That's a race, not a road car!" Helio de Oliveira
"(am I allowed to choose this?)... I drooled over this car at Le Mans a few years ago. Unfortunately Jules Boullion trashed it with about half an hour to go...!" William Mearns
Against the EB110:
"The modern Italian variety for some inexplicit reason carrying a EB badge is so badly and approximately made that Ettore would turn in his grave, if ever he set eyes on it. (And I don't even mention Jean). Just look at the welding!" Roy Hulsbergen
Fifth is the Atalante, (on the long chassis) found to be one of the most elegant of the cars that left the Molsheim factory.
"The most elegant car of its era!" Helio de Oliveira
" An extremely pure shape, elegant with its unique two-tone paint scheme" Otakar Kopecky
In the list below one can see the exact standings for each type. Every voter could give a maximum of five votes, the first received 5 points, the second 4 etc. I also printed the number of votes per Type, this doesn't change the order much though! What I find surprising is the diversity in types mentioned, and especially that there are 5 types that got 5 points from only one voter!! This indicates that Bugattistes are very much individualists. Another thing that surprises me is the few points that the Royale got with only 11th place.
Below the list are some of the arguments given, why the voters choose the types, what they think special about them.
Without these voters I would not have been able to make this inquiry to a success. Therefore I want to thank them all very much! Karl Hansell was chosen from the voters, he will receive a Bugatti Poster Book.
And my own votes? I did not include them here, because I already saw some of the results, and so could have influenced this (for example by giving 5 points to the T55 and none to the T35!). The three first did occur in my list though, naturally! Number four and five? I would have included the Autorail, because this is one more prove of Ettore's ingenuity of making a financial failure like the Royale into a great money-maker. The way the first one was built with the effort of the entire factory, including racing personnel! And the succes it had, in being until the 70's the fastest train in Europe and one of the best braking ones. Renowned train builders ridiculed Ettore for using drum brakes, which were not usual in trains. Their laughs changed into tears though when they saw how rapid the Autorail could come to a stand-stil!
The fifth (that I may have put in first place) is the Brescia. She really made the Bugatti name great, and was built in high numbers (for Bugatti standards).
Type Points No.Votes 1 T35 (And Variations) 28 8 2 T55 25 8 3 Atlantic 22 6 4 EB110 13 4 5 T57 Atalante 10 3 6 T59 9 3 7 T43 8 4 8 T251 7 2 9 T45 6 2 10 T37 6 2 11 Royale 6 2 12 T52 6 2 13 Roland Garros 5 2 14 T57 Gangloff coupe 5 1 15 T73A 5 1 16 T10 (Le Mans Racer) 5 1 17 T51 5 1 18 T50 Profilee 5 1 19 T59/50B 4 1 20 EB112 4 1 21 T56 3 1 22 T57s 3 1 23 T41 Napoleon 3 1 24 T57S45 3 1 25 Brescia 2 2 26 T57 Shah of Iran 2 1 27 100P Airplane 2 1 28 T41 Esders 1 1 29 T50 Saoutchik (1950) 1 1
T59 "The best GP Bugatti" Karl Hansell
"Classic Lines in ultimate form. Absoluteley Gorgeous!" William Mearns
T43 "Go shopping with it, or racing!" Andreas Rutishauser
"The first real supercar. Commute on Friday, Race (and win) on the weekend. What other car can do the same with such poise?" Michael Gans
T251" Perfect Design! " Helio de Oliveira
T45 "The Bugatti Hot Rod!" Karl Hansell
"With a utterly brutal U16 engine!" Jacob Munkhammar
T37(A) Given 3 points by David Woodhouse for being like the T35 and because its four cylinder plain bearing engine is not so expensive to maintain.
"All the looks of the 35, but none of the fuss; four cylinders, plain bearings and 90mph" John Rudd
T52 "it's so cute. And Ettore gave it a type number, on equal level with his other cars." Jacob Munkhammar
Roland Garros "Big and powerful: Oh yes, we can build power in the old fashioned way: If you want grunt, we'll give you grunt." John Rudd
T57 Gangloff coupe "More classical than a "Monsieur Jean" design, but its shape is perfectly balanced, with clean aerodynamic lines. I was flabbergasted when I discovered it at Bagatelle 1990, but unfortunately I've never seen it again." Otakar Kopecky
T10 (Le Mans Racer) "the Lobster: Dainty, pretty, fast and nimble. The car that first declared - Bugatti is here and very, very special." John Rudd
T51 ""Unbeatable" speed, looks, sound and racing history" Michael Gans
T50 Profilee "Very fast, incredible beautiful, a rare beast of unrivalled allure" Stefano Pasini
T59/50B "The only single-seater GP car. In its earlier incarnations, a lovely beast. Not at all reliable, unfortunately..." William Mearns
T56 "Just a great Idea, very unusual" Andreas Rutishauser
T41 Napoleon "I choose the Royale coupe de Ville "Napoleon" by Jean Bugatti (chassis 41100) for its wonderfully beautiful lines and for managing to be so graceful and light, despite its huge size. The grandest achievement in the history of luxury automobiles. When I "met" it the first time I could not help but just stand, look, and ponder about its amazing front fenders. They are five meters long, one piece, sheet metal. Each. And still perfectly follow the beautiful lines Jean designed them to have. (Foot note: The Royale has the longest wheelbase, and one of the largest engines of any production car, ever.)" Jacob Munkhammar
T57S45 "A complete turkey of a racing car, but was it stunning or what?" William Mearns
Brescia "Vintage minimalist rapid motoring at its finest. To this day I have never handled a sweeter gearbox. The Brescia puts a smile on your face that remains until replaced by a look of terror when the brakes are needed." David Woodhouse
T57 Shah of Iran Oh, what lines. Steals the show from the Atlantic / Atalante!" Michael Gans
T50 Saoutchik (1950) One of the very rare beautiful postwar bodied Bugattis. It's surprising when you compare it to other postwar Saoutchik bodies, generally with heavy lines and tons of chrome. (It was not designed by Saoutchik though! JJH) "This Bugatti is elegant, with a slight Jaguar flavour, and that's not a shortcoming!" Otakar Kopecky