The thirteenth book in the highly regarded ‘Great Cars’ series tells the story of the Bugatti Type 50 and of one chassis in particular – chassis 50177. This car led the famous Le Mans endurance race on its opening season in 1931, until its sister car crashed heavily at high speed and it was withdrawn for safety reasons. This is just one of the many fascinating tales included in the book.|
Thrilling race reports of all four Le Mans races in which Type 50s took part tell a story of promise, unfulfilled, while driver biographies, illustrated with fine period photography, reveal both the glamour and the danger of life in the fast lane in the 1930s. The book documents 50177’s post-war journey across the Atlantic with Le Mans hero Luigi Chinetti and reveals how it came into the hands of passionate collector, Miles Coverdale, who uncovered much of its curious and captivating history.
- Setting the scene: explaining the economically perilous world of 1931, the genius of Ettore and Jean Bugatti, the bloodline of large-capacity Bugatti engines, and the Type 46 from which the Type 50 was derived.
- The Type 50: an in-depth exploration of the car’s design and development, including the Miller inspiration behind its twin-cam engine, and detailed description of its technical features and coachwork.
- The 1931 Le Mans 24 Hours: the full story of this significant race and how the Bugatti Type 50s fared; they proved to be fast but during the early stages there were four tyre failures, the last bringing disaster.
- Three more Le Mans visits: Type 50s in the races of 1933, 1934 and 1935 – stories of promise unfulfilled.
- Later life: the fascinating post-war life of 50177 is revealed, focusing on the passionate 23-year ownership of Miles Coverdale in America.
Expert research: the co-authors, well-known in the Bugatti world for their knowledge and enthusiasm, present a wealth of fresh information and illustration in this fine book.
Mark Morris works as an independent Bugatti researcher and consultant and he is Honorary Registrar of the Bugatti Owners’ Club. His Bugatti enthusiasm was kindled by a family friend who competed pre-war with Grand Prix examples of the marque, Types 37 and 35C, and his knowledge of motoring literature was nurtured by the late Peter Richley, who amassed an unrivalled motoring library. He lives with his wife and two children in the Midlands, UK.
Julius Kruta is a freelance historian and automotive adviser. He became infected with the Bugatti virus at Prescott in England in the early 1980s and in 1994 he started a company specialising in hand-built Bugatti models. After graduating in 2000 with a thesis about Bugatti, he began his career at Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S in marketing and in 2003 became ‘Head of Tradition’, a position he held until summer 2018. He is the author or co-author of five books on the marque and has been a regular Concours d’Elegance judge at Pebble Beach in America and the most important events in Europe. He lives with his wife and two children in Baden-Württemberg, Germany.
This is really a book which is worth the money, not just the story of the one chassis, but also a review of Bugatti and Le Mans history, as well as quite a few things about the Type 50, including some rather unknown drawings of special touring versions of this 5-litre Bugatti.
A pity they called the T69 a T72, Both authors should have known better!