This gorgeous Bugatti Type 35 wheeled it’s way onto Jay Leno’s Garage is actually a replica that was recently built in Argentina by Pur Sang, rather than in 1926 France, as the original. Using the word “replica” or “recreation” normally has an unflattering stigma attached to it, so we hesitate to use the term here before actually defending the subject vehicle, even though the pictures of this car really should speak for themselves. Pur Sang’s replicas are legit. They are so legit, in fact, that Bugatti themselves even recognize the craftsman by building their own Pur Sang limited edition version of the modern Veyron supercar. Furthermore, just the fact that Jay Leno had one on his show should be enough proof because we all know that he would not have some VW Bug-based display of poor taste on it, after all. In any case, it’s apparent that we get a bit defensive around those normally-disrespectful words, but the case has been made, so let’s move on, shall we?…
The finer points of the attached following 16 minute video were too good to leave out, so we have included the footnotes here in text. As the story goes, Pur Sang was restoring an original Type 35 in his shop in Argentina some 30 years ago when he decided that he would take the opportunity to use the car as a template for creating an exact replica of his own.
Since then, he and his shop’s crew of craftsmen have recreated hundreds of copies using the same build process as the original’s. Everything is built in-house, including the tires since no products are allowed to be imported into Argentina, at all.
The finished product normally costs around $250,000 (depending on customer specification), which is usually just the cost of just a Bugatti restoration alone. That figure also represents a figure that is about 10% of the original’s current market value, which is reason alone why it is more and more difficult for owners to justify risking damage to the history of their original vintage classics by driving them much, any longer.
An interesting fact that Jay points out is that back in 1926 Ford’s Model T topped out at about 25 mph, while during the same model year Bugatti built the Type 35 which was capable of over 120. They were the true supercars of their time, built with 8 cylinder, 3 valve, 2.3 liter supercharged 8 cylinders with 4 speed straight cut transmissions, just as Pur Sang’s are recreated today.
The replica car uses a few modern touches, such as a Ford distributor instead of a Magneto (which can be seen in the above photo on the dashboard), an electric fan to keep the engine cool in traffic and a plane rather than roller bearing crank, although it can be ordered in any specification as you would like, right up to and including the later.
You can even choose to use the crank on the front of the radiator if you wish to feel the full effect of the original’s starting procedure, although it is not necessary to start the car. Depending on the firing order of the engine that you prefer, horsepower for the 1600 to 1800 pound lightweight vintage racer is now rated at between 170 to 180 horsepower, rather than the original’s 140.
That horsepower to weight ratio should prove to be more than enough to move you along quite rapidly in this modern day anachronism. Make sure to hit the “play” button that is almost hidden in the middle of the video below:
Find it here at:
Pur Sang’s website:
Bugatti Pur Sang Edition Veyron