From 1927 to 1930, Bugatti produced the Type 44 as a mid-size car built to the same high standards as their race cars. Thus, it became the firm’s most common model with over 1100 examples sold.
It was built around an inline-8 engine that was similar the Type 35’s with two engine blocks of four cylinders each. Displacing nearly three liters, it produced an ample 80 bhp which was flexible enough to propel any variety of aluminum or steel bodies. Furthermore, it was designed to run quietly and without vibration. As an example, the engine was balanced enough to reach 4,500 rpm.
Chassis details were similar to the other Bugatti models sold concurrently. Semi-elliptic leaf springs were used upfront with reversed quarter-elliptic springs were in the rear. Upgrades from the Type 38 included new shock absorbers, a wet multi-plate clutch and a DeWandre-Repusseau servo for the cable-operated brakes.
Many of the French coachbuilders designed bodies for the Type 44 including Weymann, Kellner and James Young. After 1930, Bugatti upgraded the model to the Type 49 and offered the 5-litre Type 46 as a more luxurious model.
The car offered here, chassis number 441008 with engine number 743, was built in April 1929, and it was originally delivered with a cabriolet body, ordered by Bugatti from favoured coachbuilders Gangloff. In 1969 the owner began a restoration who had respected British coachbuilders, Wilkinson’s, craft a new body to the exact specifications of an original factory Grand Sport, installed along with a “new old stock Bugatti Molsheim” cam box. The car then passed through the hands of Dr Marcel Perlman, with whom it participated in many shows in the United States, eventually into the ownership of the present French owner. Auction Source: 2013 Villa d’Erba Auction by RM