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Bugatti Type-32 - Tank, at the Musee National de l'Automobile

Bugatti Type-32 - The Tank, at the Musee National de l'Automobile by Wouter Melissen - Ultimatecarpage.com

The Bugatti Type 32, commonly called the Tank de Tours, was a streamlined racing car built in 1923. Four examples were made, each with a 2.0 L (1991 cc/121 in³) straight-8 engine based on that in the Type 30.

"The Tank" finished third in the ACF Grand Prix that year. This was the first Bugatti to be fitted with roller-bearing big ends in order to improve the bottom-end reliability (Bugatti was rather later than most manufacturers in the incorporation of a fully pressurised oil system, preferring a splash "spit and hope" delivery method).

The Type 32 also broke new ground (for a racing Bug) by using a three-speed and reverse transaxle unit, the exceptionally short wheelbase and long straight-8 engine making a conventional gearbox difficult to accommodate. It also heralded an embryonic hydraulic front brake actuation.

Another tank-bodied Bugatti racer, the 1936 Type 57G, was much more successful.

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