Bugatti Type-54 Grand Prix Chassis 54201 2006 Goodwood Revival

Bugatti Type-54 Grand Prix. Chassis 54201. 2006 Goodwood Revival, by Wouter Melissen -

The Type 54 Grand Prix car emerged in 1931, fitted with a twin overhead-cam 4.9 liter eight cylinder engine delivering 300 hp (223 kW). Four or five were built.

Dubbed the Type 54, it was available with a variety of displacements with an optional Supercharger. This was a nimble machine perfectly suited to the more technical tracks.

To cope with all this power a special reinforced three-speed gearbox was installed, instead of the commonly used four speed box. The chassis and suspension were of the typical Bugatti design with a ladder frame suspended by live axles front and rear. The wheel mounted drums were operated by cables.

The first two Type 54's debuted at Monza, where one managed to secure a promising third position. They managed to score a win at Avus in 1933, but the car's troubled career came to a dramatic finale with a fatal crash in the 1933 Monza Grand Prix.

After their active career at least two Type 54's were equipped with two seater roadster bodies for road use. Another one was subject to several modifications and raced for many more years, it qualified on pole for the 1950 Watkins Glen Grand Prix. The Type 54 chassis also formed the basis for the beautiful Type 55 road cars.

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