Editor: Jaap Horst
Recently I started investigating the Bugatti Patents in a, as I believe, relatively thorough manner. However, as a result of this I am still in the process of putting all patents in categories, looking for connections between patents taken out in different countries and so forth. Luckily, the Internet is very helpfull in this, as many of the patents are readily accessible. Also the world famous Google recently thought that patents could be interesting, so they set up their own search system. Interestingly, this also links forward, while looking at one old Bugatti Patent, to later patents that referred to this Bugatti Patent. This way, it can be seen that some of the Bugatti patents were referred to quite recently indeed (even after 2000!)
Well, all the investigations should, at some future date, result in a book. But, before that, I thought it would be nice to shed some light on some of these patents.
In this case, the patents all are of approximately the same date (1929 - 1930 patent date, the application dates being February 2, 1928 for one, and October 4, 1929 for the other two). The earliest patent was taken for something that was, in those days, something of a novelty. In fact, it is something that is common of most automobiles these days. The later 2 patents were for something that was even than in the latter day of it's use, and very few examples were seen after 1935. In fact, this item has not been seen on a regular automobile anymore for the last 65 years!
What intreagues me, is the way of thinking of Ettore Bugatti, where on the one side he can be way ahead of his time, and on the other side he will stick to old-fashioned solutions, even thinking of improvements on elements that nobody else is using anymore!
Ok, let's go to the patents. As you may have thought already from the pictures, the earlier of the 3 patents is for an electric window winding mechanism. I do not know of any Bugattis with electric windows (do you?), but I do know that almost all cars nowadays so have them.
the other patents are for the detailing on separate trunks, like the leather straps, and a fur covering with all hairs pointing downward, as to enable water to flow quickly from the trunk downward, in order to protect the trunk itself from moisture. Of course, during the 1930's, separate trunks were gradually abandoned and replaced with integral trunks in the bodywork.
FR664334, dated September 2, 1929, is the patent of which the drawing is shown at the right. It is basically simply a motor-driven spindle, with the window attached to the nut, which goes op and down at the push of a button.
An extra feature is shown in Fig. 2 and 3. Two angled disks with balls in between are ment to arrange for a small amount of play, enabling the motor to change direction without load.
FR682794, dated June 2, 1930, is the patent of which the drawing is shown at the top of the article. It is basically for a system of using leather straps to attach the trunk to the car-chassis. Special features are "crowns" to enable the straps to attach over each other.
FR682796, dated June 2, 1930, is the patent of which the drawing is shown above. It is, as described earlier, for a fur-coating for the trunk, where the hairs should point downward to prevent moisture entering the trunk. The corners should be preferably covered with leather, or an other suitable material.
Below, the full text of all 3 patents can be downloaded, in PDF format.
FR664334 Lève-glace à commande électrique
FR682794 Système de fixation de malles, au moyen de courroies pour voitures automobiles ou autres véhicules
FR682794 Malle recouverte de fourrure, pour voiture automobile ou autre véhicule