Type 44, Type 49, Type 57, Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport… Step into the history of Bugatti roadsters

Type 44, Type 49, Type 57, Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport… Step into the history of Bugatti roadsters


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Bugatti has always produced road masters. These two-seater cars that let you drive with your hair in the wind are written in the DNA of the Molsheim company, whose founder Ettore Bugatti wanted to make cars that could “easily go from winning racing cars at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. to beautiful coupés and clean road operators”. The whole plan.

The history of Bugatti roadsters is particularly marked by the Type 44, some of which were produced between 1927 and 1930 without doors. The road body on this model is very rare. The car has an eight-cylinder 3.0 engine that develops “about 80 horses”. This is enough to allow you to accelerate up to 145 km / h.

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Type 40 A, light and powerful

Bugatti Type 40A (1930)Photo credit – Bugatti

The following year, in 1930, the luxury car manufacturer released the Type 40 A. Between 40 and 50 examples were produced, most of which were “road works” according to Bugatti. The car sits on a long chassis and is powered by a 1.6 horsepower 50 cylinder block. At that time, it was powerful, and thanks to its weight of 850 kg, Bugatti Type 40 A was able to reach a speed of 130 km / h.

A luxury road with Type 49

Bugatti Type 44 (1927)

Bugatti Type 49 (1930)Photo credit – Bugatti

Also in 1930, Bugatti launched the Type 49, which directly succeeded the Type 44. This road also had an eight-cylinder engine, the displacement of which reached 3.2 liters this time. Power is 90 horses, while the maximum speed is still set at 145 km / h. This model is best known for its silhouette and the most elegant water shapes.

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Very rare and Type 41 Royale

Bugatti Type 44 (1927)

Bugatti Type 41 Royale (1932)Photo credit – Bugatti

In 1932, Bugatti then released two very impressive roadsters. There is especially the Type 41 Royale, offered in six models that are all hand-made. “It’s the biggest, biggest and most powerful car ever built in Molsheim at the time,” boasted the manufacturer. It should be said that the machine measures more than six meters and has a wheel of 4.3 meters. Its tall hood has a 12.8-liter eight-cylinder engine that develops 300 horsepower.

Pure sports car produced in 38 copies

Bugatti Type 44 (1927)

Bugatti Type 55 Roadster (1932)Photo credit – Bugatti

Another roadster sold by Bugatti in 1932 was the Type 55 Roadster. 160 horsepower, eight cylinders, low center of gravity: there is no doubt that it is a sports car hidden behind, again, a luxurious body. 38 copies are produced, bearing some characteristics of Type 51 and Type 54.

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Bugatti encourages builders to modify the Type 57

Bugatti Type 44 (1927)

Bugatti Type 57 SC Corsica Roadster (1938)Photo credit – Bugatti

Two years later, in 1934, Bugatti presented the Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid Gangloff. Designed by an external body builder, the car adopts a stunning body with organic curves, especially at the level of the rear fenders. This rare model was followed in 1938 by the Type 57 SC Corsica Roadster, produced by British coachbuilder Corsica Coachworks. The result is this very low car with a fluid design. “It’s as if it was cast from a single mold”, explains Bugatti. Thanks to its 3.8-liter eight-cylinder engine, the Type 57 SC Corsica Roadster is capable of exceeding 200 kilometers per hour.

Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport, end of the line

Bugatti Type 44 (1927)

Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport (2008)Photo credit – Bugatti

It is 74 years later, after several rebirths, that Bugatti finally presents a new roadster. In 2008, the manufacturer launched the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport, a convertible version of the Veyron. Without its roof, this large car with more than 1,000 horsepower is capable of reaching 360 km / h, against 400 km / h when the cabin is closed. The most powerful variant – Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse – went on sale in 2013.

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Bugatti and roadsters, it’s a long love story. During its history, the luxury car manufacturer has produced many models in this sporty and convertible model. This is the story of Bugatti roadsters, from the Type 44 to the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport.

Quentin Gueroult