19 March 1999
1927 BUGATTI TYPE 37
Chassis No. Replica BC23
French racing blue with brown leather seats
Engine: four cylinder in-line, 1,496cc, single overhead camshaft, three valves per cylinder, five plain main bearings, 70bhp at 4200rpm; Gearbox: four speed with side change; Suspension: half elliptic leaf springs to beam front axle, reversed quarter elliptics to live rear axle, friction dampers; Brakes: mechanical cable. Right hand drive.
In 1926 Ettore Bugatti decided to replace his highly successful 1.5 litre Brescia racer with a new car based on the existing eight cylinder Type 35 racing chassis. Although the new Type 37's Grand Prix body resembled that of the Type 35, it was given rather smaller brake drums, wire wheels and a more slender radiator. Its four cylinder 12-valve engine was available in both supercharged and unsupercharged forms. Nimble and relatively cheap to maintain in racing trim, the Type 37 was a popular and successful racing mount through the second half of the 1920's. It was used all over the world in voiturette events by a wide selection of amateur and professional drivers. Chris Staniland induced a supercharged example to lap Brooklands at 122mph in the 1930's.
This Bugatti Type 37 was commissioned by famed collector and founder of the Sebring 12 Hour endurance race, Mr. Alec Ulmann. In about 1984 Mr. Ulmann commissioned Jack duGan to assemble the Type 37 using a number of Bugatti spares that duGan had collected through the years. Many original factory parts were used including the cambox, crankshaft, a Type 40 crankcase, brakes, some instruments and the bonnet. The front axle is also believed to be genuine. It is reported that the chassis frame was built by the highly regarded German manufacturer, Feierabend. The final assembly work was entrusted to specialist restorer, John Caperton of Louisville, Kentucky. The well-executed finished car has been assigned a Bugatti-Owner's Club serial number of 23.
Mr. Lassiter acquired the Type 37 in 1988 from Mrs. Mary Ullman and it has been carefully maintained since that time. The paint is in good condition with some road use and wear evident by the minor chips and scratches in the wheels and on some portions of the body work. This delightful little car is a wonderful representation of the great Bugatti Grand Prix models.
Contact Client Service
New York +1 212 636 2000
London +44 (0)20 7839 9060
Asia +852 2760 1766
Please note that in our opinion the crank case in this car is a remanufactured item.
A 360-degree view of Expérimentations, a private-selling exhibition in Paris of iconic glassware designs by François Azambourg, alongside a highlights preview of our upcoming auctions
A guide to the quiet life and uncanny paintings of one of India’s foremost modernists, featuring works offered at Christie’s