Introduced in 1922, the Type 30 Bugatti has a special place in motoring history, for it was the first small straight-eight to go into production and the first to use Bugatti’s classic single-overhead-cam engine, one of the most famous automobile power units of all time.
Typical of the time, the Bugatti eight was a long-stroke design of 60x88mm bore/stroke for a capacity of 1,991cc. The three valves per cylinder were operated by single gear-driven overhead camshaft, while the crankshaft was carried in three roller bearings with plain big ends. Breathing via twin Solex carburettors, this jewel-like power unit produced approximately l00bhp at 4,500rpm.
This engine was installed in what was essentially a Brescia type chassis, resulting in a car that was notably fast and powerful for its day, possessing many of the characteristics of the racing Bugattis.
The eight-cylinder engine was very flexible and, once mastered, the Brescia-type gearbox a delight to use. Of some 600-or-so Type 30s produced, fewer than 50 are known to survive today, with original examples possessing known history especially desirable.
Out of the 600-or-so T 30 Bugattis built at the Molsheim factory, only around 50 are thought to survive today. 4409 was delivered when new to Omnia in Munich and has spent all of its life in Germany, and has had few owners.
Prior to WW2 it is thought that the car was owned by an automobile engineer near Dresden. Difficult though it might be to believ, this Bugatti has spent the remainder of its life in the Dresden area.
By the end of the war, the Bugatti was owned by a local stone mason, whose daughter confirmed that her father owned the car and sold it to a colleague, one Mr. Hansbernhard Häsler, in 1947. Already in 1949 the current owner, at that time a young car mechanic, working at the garage of Max & Helmut Päperer of Dresden Bühlau, looked after the car, repaired it with the meagre resources available in the German Democratic Republic (DDR) until 1952; however, by 1953 the car was laid up for the next 30 years.
The present owner never forgot this beloved Bugatti which he had worked on during his youth, and in 1983 he succeeded in purchasing the car from Mr. Häsler, the contract for which may be found in the car’s file.
At that time, the aluminium body of 4409 was still in good condition. After German reunification, when the supply of mechanical parts significantly improved, the long term custodian of 4409 eventually finished the restoration job by the end of the last century.
Today the Bugatti, which still bears its all original body, engine, gearbox (no. 654) and back axle (no. 397) is fully operational and comes with TÜV to 2017 and German historic registration documents.
4409 is offered for sale for the first time in thirty-three years by the man who knows and worked on the car since 1949, a period of sixty-six years, having spent much of his life caring for this vehicle. This is a truly unmissable opportunity and Coys is particularly proud to have been chosen to handle the sale of this important Bugatti.
Vive la marque!