The ex-Jack Lemon Burton and Ken Hutchinson
1926 BUGATTI TYPE 37 GRAND PRIX TWO SEATER
Registration No. UF 2314
Chassis No. 37226
Engine No. 125
Blue with blue leather interior
Engine: four cylinder in-line, single overhead camshaft three valves per cylinder, 69mm by 100mm, 1,496cc, 70bhp at 4,200rpm, twin Solex carburetors; Gearbox: four speed with outside change; Suspension: half elliptic leaf springs to beam front axle, reversed quarter elliptics to live rear axle, friction dampers; Brakes: mechanical operated four wheel drum. Right hand drive.
Ettore Bugatti was one of the most remarkable manufacturers in the history of the automobile, particularly when one considers that he had no formal technical or engineering training. He had the rare gift of an instinctive knowledge of what was right and the capability to organise others to produce his designs and ideas.
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. The new Type 37's Grand Prix body was identical to that of the type 35, the only external difference being the use of wire wheels. Its four cylinder 12-valve engine was similar to earlier Bugatti designs; utilising one exhaust and two inlet valves but the crankshaft was a new departure with five plain bearings and circular webs without balance weight. 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 1920s, especially in the hands of privateers. It was used all over the world in voiturette events and it is documented that Jack Fielding even induced a Type 37 to lap Brooklands at 107mph in 1930.
Chassis No. 37226 was delivered to the London Brixton Road agent, Malcolm Campbell on November 23rd 1926 with a batch of three other Type 37s. It was registered UF 2314 for road use by a Mr Moore of Brighton on 12th July 1927.
In 1929 Jack Lemon Burton, a founder member of the Bugatti Owners Club and well known Bugatti personality in the UK, purchased the car for £200. It was his second Bugatti following an early racing Brescia. Jack Lemon Burton's first competitive event in the car was the 1931 Bugatti Owners Club hillclimb at Chalfont St. Peter and driving with a little too much enthusiasm, he bounced off a small tree thus providing a famous Bugatti image (as illustrated). He was later to claim that on occasion he was able to reach the magic 100mph barrier in the car.
The next owner was the famous racing driver Ken Hutchinson, arguably known best for racing an Alfa Romeo P3. Whilst in his ownership the most notable result for UF 2314 was at Donington in 1933 when he set a new 10-lap class record in the car (by this stage the car had acquired the 19 inch wheels and aero screen it still wears today). It was next purchased by John Ching, then post war by J.H. Pratt, who won the Bugatti race at Silverstone two years running in 1950 and 1951. Various illustrations from this period survive on file, showing some pre war upgrades, such as the fitment of twin carburetors and Scintilla Magneto ignition, both of which no doubt contributed to the car's performance. The next owner was W. Berry, and then in the late 1950s it was bought by Philip Mann who competed the car successfully in V.S.C.C. events. In 1964 it was sold to Joseph Murcott who did not use it extensively and when he passed away in 1985 the car was inherited by his son Alan. A few years later the car was overhauled and thoroughly checked over by Bugatti specialist Ivan Dutton and receipts on file document this rebuild which retained all the original parts. In 1995 it was sold to John Gurney who lightly used the Bugatti both on the road and in competition. In 2001 it was sold to the current owner who has kept UF 2314 well maintained and used it for both mild competition and continental touring.
Very few Grand Prix Type 37 Bugattis have survived so well and this highly authentic example has both an interesting continuous ownership record and a very well documented restoration. To this day the car remains remarkably original in all respects, retaining its original chassis, engine, front and rear axles, gearbox and coachwork. There are very few Grand Prix Bugattis which retain such a high proportion of their original components and therefore this must rank amongst the most desirable of its type.
Highly eligible for a host of vintage events, UF 2314 is presented in race/road ready condition and by the date of sale a fresh MOT will accompany the car. In addition a spare block, the original gearbox-cover (changed to accept a starter motor) and full touring equipment including cycle wings, full width windscreen and tonneau cover accompany this lot.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the first car race at Donington and with its proud association with the venue UF 2314 could make a welcome return to the celebrations on June 21st/22nd.