1911 Bugatti Type 19 Bebe Concept

The Bebe was Ettore Bugatti’s conceptual design that was not intended for the Bugatti name, more for a larger manufacturer. The car itself was kept a bare minimum with no wasted space or weight. As usual, the car was made with the highest level of Bugatti craftsmanship and materials.

Peugeot bought the car from Bugatti in 1911 and made small changes to the design. With a revised grille, Peugeot was able to sell the car with little revisions to the Bugatti drivetrain. Over 3000 Peugeot BBs were sold which makes this car the best selling Bugatti design ever. With production so high for the period, the BB could be aptly titled the ‘European Model T’.

While this little Bugatti seems insignificant, it played an important role for the Bugatti marquee during its early stages. The Bebe may actually be the first car that was made in the Molsheim workshops. Surprisingly, it possibly precedes the Bugatti marque itself, as exact dates on the construction and design are unknown.

Of particular note is the rear suspension which featured reversed quarter-Elliptic springs. This was the first time a car had such a suspension which was adopted by many Bugatti models thereafter.

1911 Bugatti Type 19 Bebe Concept

Specs & Performance

engine Inline-4
position Front Longitudinal
aspiration Natural
valvetrain 2 Side Valves per Cyl
displacement 855 cc / 52.2 in³
bore 55 mm / 2.17 in
stroke 90 mm / 3.54 in
power 7.5 kw / 10.1 bhp
specific output 11.81 bhp per litre
bhp/weight bhp per tonne
body / frame Steel on Steel Frame
driven wheels RWD
front brakes None
f brake size mm / in
rear brakes Drums
r brake size mm / in
f suspension None
r suspension Reversed Quarter-Elliptic Springs
wheelbase 2100 mm / 82.7 in
transmission 2-Speed Manual w/Cone Clutch
gear ratios :1
top speed ~59.5 kph / 37.0 mph