Bugatti Type 29-30, Chassis 4004, at the 2004 Retromobile, WM

Bugatti Type 29-30, Chassis 4004, at the 2004 Retromobile, by Wouter Melissen -

The first few chassis, known was the Bugatti Type 29/30 were prepared for the 1922 racing season. A team of four cars was entered for the French Grand Prix at Strasbourg.

Clothed in an aerodynamic body, the new Bugatti quickly earned the nickname 'Le Cigar'. It was a successful debut with the three surviving examples finishing second, third and fourth behind the winning Fiat.

A single car with a more conventional bodywork was raced to third at Monza. No fewer than five Type 29/30s, equipped with single seater bodies, were entered in the 1923 Indy 500.

Here the bearing problems became painfully obvious and all but one car retired. A radical streamlined version of the Type 30, known as the 'Tank', was constructed for the 1923 French Grand Prix, but it could do no better than 3rd. Bugatti recognised the problems and fixed all of them for the (nine bearing) Type 35, and the rest, so they say, is history.

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