The "Gran Premio delle Vetturette" is running. On the Circuito di Montichiari circuit, racing cars race back and forth between the cities of Montichiari and Brescia. Tires screech, dust swirls through the air. 60 laps with 17,3 kilometers each. An enormous burden for man and machine - and a legendary race to this day: Bugatti Type 13 took the first four places in the Voiturette Grand Prix - and cemented the French luxury brand's motorsport expertise. The epithet of the Type 13 to this day: Brescia.
Bugatti Type 13 Brescia
On the occasion of the milestone anniversary, the Bugatti Club Italia organized a special event from September 12th to 16th: 40 historic Bugatti vehicles, including types 13, 22 and 23 from all over the world, celebrated on the beautiful routes around Lake Garda historic victory. The start and finish was always the legendary city of Brescia. The Bugatti Club Italia has kept the history of the famous French luxury brand alive for over 35 years - even before the brand's second era began with the EB 110 and the first modern super sports car was created in 1991.
With the Type 13 "Brescia", Bugatti heralded a trend reversal in motorsport in 1921. The open sports car, the first of its kind, brought the end of large and heavy racing cars just a few years later. Thanks to its light body, superior chassis and powerful engines, the Type 13 outstripped its competitors from 1921 onwards.
Like Ernest Jules Friedrich. The French racing driver and mechanic has been relying on the Type 13 for a long time, winning the famous Le Mans race a year earlier. In the race in the Voiturettes class in Brescia, he drives lap after lap with concentration, circles precisely and quickly around the corners and is the first to reach the finish line - ahead of his team mates Pierre de Vizcaya, Michel Baccoli and Pierre Marco.
Voiturettes are lightweight and agile racing cars. With the Type 13, Bugatti offers just such a vehicle: 490 kilograms, 1,45-liter four-cylinder with initially 40 hp, later 50 hp. The open two-seater travels up to 150 km / h and allows high cornering speeds thanks to its lightweight construction and precise chassis. In the Type 1910, which was built from 13, Ettore Bugatti combined his ideas, continuously refined the technology over the next few years and consistently focused on lightweight construction and high-quality workmanship.
First four-valve engine in a car
From 1914, the engine was given a displacement of 1,35 liters, and from 1919 for the first time a four-valve cylinder head for faster gas exchange. This means that the four-cylinder has an output of 30 hp. For the first time, Bugatti is using white metal for crankshaft bearings and pistons for high revving, as is a gasoline pump and a pump that squirts oil on selected components. An easy-to-shift four-speed gearbox makes frequent gear changes easier for the driver.
From 1921, Bugatti increased the displacement to 1,45 liters, and the later racing car used new ball bearings for the crankshaft, which run even lighter and with less friction. At the same time, Bugatti increased the engine compression ratio and the carburetor throughput and opted for a double magneto ignition with two spark plugs per combustion chamber. The racing engine thus ensures powerful combustion at high speeds of up to 4.500 rpm. Light wire-spoke wheels instead of heavy wooden wheels reduce the unsprung mass and increase agility. In short: The Type 13 is becoming the measure of all things in motorsport. Strong, fast, sinewy. Like a classy thoroughbred, a "Pur Sang".
In the 1920s, Bugatti vehicles won almost every competition they entered. The light, powerful and reliable sports cars from Molsheim are particularly superior when it comes to tough road and hill climbs - and therefore mostly unbeatable.
After the quadruple victory in Brescia, the French manufacturer sells 711 vehicles of the Type 13 "Brescia" with the four-valve head, plus 388 vehicles with engines that have a smoothly rotating crankshaft with ball bearings. All subsequent four-valve vehicles even officially bear the name Brescia in memory of this unique success. Bugatti continued to implement the Type 13 concept with other vehicle lengths, such as the Type 15, Type 17, Type 22 and Type 23. By 1926, the Type 13 was built in Molsheim, and Bugatti sold a total of around 2.000 Type 13 vehicles.
Bugatti Type 35 continues racing success
The employees have been assembling the Type 1925 since 35. It continues Bugatti's successful series. Over the next few years, with over 2.000 victories, it will become the most successful racing car of all time. Including five times in a row between 1925 and 1929 at the Targa Florio in Sicily, one of the toughest races of its time - and with this impressive success story follows in the footsteps of its successful predecessor as it did a few years earlier in Brescia.
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100 years of Type 13 Brescia: Quadruple victory for Bugatti!
Photo credit: Bugatti
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