Bugatti Type 32 “Tank” Celebrates 100 Years
Marking its centenary, Bugatti commemorates the Type 32 “Tank,” an iconic racing car that embodies the golden age of the automaker.
The Tank acquired its name due to its distinctive and unconventional shape, setting it apart from the sleek appearance of other Bugatti cars of the prewar era. Its exposed rivets and bolts further added to its unique character. Despite being likened to slow-moving military vehicles, the Tank’s design drew inspiration from the wings of airplanes, aiming to enhance aerodynamic performance, as revealed by Bugatti.
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Derived from the Type 30 as its foundation, Bugatti incorporated the car’s 2.0-liter inline-8 engine into the Tank, generating approximately 88 horsepower and propelling the rear wheels through a 3-speed manual transmission. However, adjustments were made to the wheelbase and track width to accommodate the innovative body shape.
Beyond its striking appearance, the Tank boasted mechanical innovations for its time, including an underslung chassis and front hydraulic brakes. Bugatti produced four of these cars, alongside a prototype.
Bugatti Type 32
On July 2, 1923, the Tank made its racing debut at the French Grand Prix, hosted in Tours within the beautiful Loire Valley. Bugatti entered all four production cars into the race, which consisted of completing 35 laps on a 14.1-mile circuit composed of public roads. The highest-ranking Tank driver was Ernest Friderich from France, securing a remarkable third place. Completing the race in seven hours and 22.4 seconds, he achieved an average speed of just under 70 mph.
The 1923 French Grand Prix remained the sole race for the Type 32, as Bugatti swiftly redirected its focus towards the development of the Type 35. Nonetheless, the Tank’s legacy endured with the Bugatti Type 57G, triumphantly conquering the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1937 and the 1936 French Grand Prix. However, that narrative deserves to be explored on another occasion.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Bugatti Type 32 Tank
What is Bugatti Type 32 “Tank”?
The Bugatti Type 32 “Tank” is a race car produced by Bugatti in the early 1920s. It is known for its distinctive design inspired by airplane wings and its exceptional performance on the race track.
What was the inspiration behind the design of Bugatti Type 32 “Tank”?
The design of the Bugatti Type 32 “Tank” was inspired by airplane wings. Bugatti aimed to improve the car’s aerodynamic performance, which led to its unique and unconventional shape.
How powerful was the Bugatti Type 32 “Tank”?
The Bugatti Type 32 “Tank” was equipped with a 2.0-liter inline-8 engine that produced around 88 horsepower. This power was transmitted to the rear wheels through a 3-speed manual transmission, providing impressive performance for its time.
How many Bugatti Type 32 “Tank” cars were produced?
Bugatti produced a total of four production cars of the Type 32 “Tank,” in addition to a prototype. These limited production numbers contribute to the car’s rarity and historical significance.
Did the Bugatti Type 32 “Tank” participate in any races?
Yes, the Bugatti Type 32 “Tank” made its racing debut at the 1923 French Grand Prix. Bugatti entered all four production cars in the race, with the highest-placed Tank driver finishing in third position.
What was the legacy of the Bugatti Type 32 “Tank”?
While the Bugatti Type 32 “Tank” had only one race appearance, it left a lasting impact. The Tank’s nickname lived on with the Bugatti Type 57G, which achieved notable victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the French Grand Prix, cementing the Tank’s place in racing history.
More about Bugatti Type 32 Tank
- Bugatti Type 32 “Tank” – Wikipedia
- Bugatti Celebrates 100th Anniversary of the Type 32 “Tank” – Bugatti Newsroom
- Bugatti Type 32 “Tank” at the French Grand Prix – The Henry Ford
- Bugatti Type 32 “Tank” – Supercars.net
- Bugatti Type 57G – Wikipedia
- 24 Hours of Le Mans – Official Website