This bodacious Bugatti is a 1929 type 43/44 Cabriolet that was a part of the 2016 Art of the Concours event held at the Kansas City Art Institute in Kansas City Missouri.
The Bugatti Type 43 began life as a racecar and had a makeover with one of the first coaches designed by Joseph Figoni and an upgraded Type 44 engine. The Bugatti Type 44 was introduced in late 1927. It was fitted with a three-liter, 80 horsepower eight-cylinder engine and served as a replacement for the two-liter 38. The Type 44 sold in great numbers and would become Bugatti’s most popular and successful touring car. Between 1927 and 1930, there were 1095 examples produced.
The engine was a departure from traditional Bugatti practices, which were to form the engine from two blocks of four-cylinders. The Type 44 still had two block but they were separated on the aluminum crankcase by the shaft, and bevel-gear drives for the camshaft and engine auxiliaries. This two-piece crankshaft was given a total of nine main bearings. Instead of using roller bearings, Bugatti used poured plain bearings, which is ideal for this medium-speed touring application. Additionally, the plain bearings were less expensive and they were much quieter than rollers. The early Type 44 engines were given jet lubrication. This was later changed to full-pressure lubrication of the main bearings.
The frame was new but continued Bugatti’s use of live-axles and leaf-spring layout for the suspension. There was a four-speed transmission which was separated from the engine.
Depending on the coachwork, the Bugatti Type 44’s were capable of speeds in excess of 80 mph, and could maintain a comfortable cruising speed of 65 mph all day.
Sources: Mullin Automotive Museum and Conceptcarz David Vaughan
Tagged: , 1929 , 29 , Bugatti , 43/44 , Cabriolet , Sports Car , Racecar , Racing , Italian , Antique , Touring Car , Kansas CIty , MIssouri , Art of the Concours , Kansas City Art Institute , Grand Sport , Vintage , Historic , Classic