In 1926, Bugatti made a 1.5-liter version of the Type 35 for voiturette racing. Thus, the Type 37 carried on the role of then dated Brecia Type 13. It featured the same identity and engineering with the successful Type 35, but was in much lower performance class with only 60 available bhp. Compared to the Type 35, the 37 was much cheaper to produce and easier to maintain, making it an easier choice for privateers or amateurs.
The Type 37’s engine was essentially half the inline-8 unit used at the time. It was a compact cylinder block, with small water passages, aluminum turned panels and a SOHC, three-valve cylinder heads. This design could rev up to 5000 rpm. Unlike the Grand Prix cars, the Type 37 used plain instead of roller bearings and it had a one-piece crankshaft.
Power output was rated at 60 hp @ 4500 rpm. In 1927, Bugatti released the Type 37A with a Roots-type supercharger that raised power by 20 bhp.
As with the Type 35, the Type 37 shared a low center of gravity, rigid steering and impressive braking. It also had the characteristic reversed quarter-elliptic leaf springs at the rear. Fitted with simple cycle fenders, the Type 37 was entered in all the great road races of the era including Le Mans, the Mille Miglia and the Targa Florio.
Rigid Axle w/ Semi-Elliptic Leaf Springs, Friction Dampers
Live Axle w/In-Swept, Reversed Quarter-Elliptic Leaf Springs, Friction Dampers
700 kg / 1543 lbs
2400 mm / 94.5 in
1200 mm / 47.25 in
1200 mm / 47.25 in
~152.9 kph / 95.0 mph
Auction Sales History
1926 Bugatti Type 37 Grand Prix 37136 – sold for €258,750 Probably participated in the Algerian and Tunisian Grands Prix in the late 1920s and 1930s, and the Oran Grand Prix where it is likely that it was damaged while participating. Specialist Ivan Dutton recreation engine fitted in 2014. New gear set, main-shaft and lay-shaft supplied by Crosthwaite & Gardiner. 12-volt electrics, a new oil pressure gauge, a rebuilt tachometer, an electric fuel pump and an electric cooling fan. (The original vacuum-pump fuel system is still fitted but is non-operational). Auction Source: 2015 Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais