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Bugath 57g - 1935
In 1936, the french grand prix was run under a new sport formula intended to end the dominance of state-backed germans. By limiting engine capacity to 4.5 unsupercharged litres and by requiring that entries run on pump gasoline, the new formula was perfectly suited to the emerging generation of french grands routieres, which included such immortal sportstourers as the delahaye 135, talbot-lago and the bugatti 57s.
Top speed of 130 mph
engine typedrivetrain: Water-cooled, double-overhead-cam, straight-8
displacement 3,257 cc (3.26 l) power rating 220 hp transmission 4-speed manual
chassis: Channel-steel; Front suspension by semielliptic leaf springs; Rear suspension by reversed quarter-elliptic leaf springs; 4-wheel drum brakes; 2,530 lbs.
price: Not marketed commercially
the french gamble paid off. The 1936 french grand prix, run over 80 laps of the montlhery road circuit, was a battle royale among delahaye, talbot and bugatti, with the bugatti driven by wimille and sommer seizing victory. In conformity with the spirit of the new regulations, the bugatti was loosely derived from the production type 57, but with the addition of advanced, streamlined tank bodywork, a design that was a dozen years ahead of its time.
the 57g (a modified version of the 57s sports car) also won the 1936 grand prix de la marne at reims and continued its success in 1937, when
the team of wimille and benoist won the 24 hours of le mans at a record speed of 83.13 mph, establishing a new distance record. Of the three 57g tanks constructed, only one survives but it is the 1936 french grand prix and 1937 le mans winner
The bodywork of the thirties-era bugatti 57g tank would not hare looked dated in the fifties.
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