1986 Bugatti Type 35B Replica

Estimate: £14,000 - £18,000


・Great condition
・Fun and useable in vintage style
・Simple VW mechanics
・Needs nothing, with plenty of amusing extras.

The Background

“Among racing cars it is the 1924 Type 35 Bugatti which tops the list of beautiful cars of the period. Some would say it's the most beautiful racing car of all time.” - Autocar magazine.

For those who yearn for Bugatti-style motoring yet cannot afford the astronomical expense, a replica is the obvious solution and for many years the classic Type 35 has inspired the construction of numerous lookalikes, some using a mixture of components from other Bugattis, others, like the this one, being entirely of non-Bugatti origin. 

The History

The Type 35 continues to be a favourite among manufacturers of kit cars, and this lovely right-hand drive replica is based on 1972 Volkswagen 1300 Beetle components and retains the donor car's L registration, and is shown as first registered for the road in 1986.

Thought to have been built during the early 1980s, possibly by Replicars of Faversham, Kent this particularly well sorted example is based on 1972 VW Beetle underpinnings.  It sports a 1300cc engine and 4 speed manual gearbox.  Recently taken in part exchange, having been part of a collection of interesting cars, it was exercised regularly by its last owner who purchased the car in 2016.  

The Paperwork

The history folder mainly consists of paperwork from the early 2000s onwards, with 8 old MOTs on file.  The earliest is from 2002 where the Type 35 had covered 3,206 miles.  Ten years later in 2012 it had covered a further 3,500 miles, and the last MOT on file from 2018 shows a mileage of 9,470.  Currently it has covered just less than 12,000 miles, so we can see over the past few years it has enjoyed regular use, averaging about 800 miles a year.  There are a few older invoices showing regular maintenance, but it appears that no recent mechanical or restoration work has been necessary.  Although MOT exempt, the Vendor says that should bidding reach the Reserve he will put the Type 35 through a new MOT for the purchaser’s peace of mind.

The Interior

The 2 seater interior is nicely put together, with black leather look vinyl seats and black carpet.  Both seats are fitted with inertia reel 3 point seatbelts.  There is a full set of instrumentation, mainly by Smiths, with a large speedometer and rev counter mounted directly in front of the driver.  The dash itself is maple wood veneer effect and shows no peeling.  The little black bag hanging from the dash in the photographs contains the key for the centre caps that allows the spoked wheel covers to be removed.  

The period looking four spoke steering  wheel is rope wrapped for superior grip, and is nicely worn. Behind the cockpit is a leather roll which is empty but could possibly be used for tools, (or an emergency bottle of Gin?)  There is also a vintage brass fire extinguisher mounted behind the roll (perhaps for dispensing tonic?).  There is a large rope secured with Velcro tabs which we think would be strong enough to provide assistance to any stranded HGVs you might happen upon!  As the VW power is at the rear there is the added benefit of a good sized luggage locker under the bonnet, where the battery is also located.  A 50/50 zipped tonneau cover clips into place to provide some weather protection, along with separate aero screens for the driver and passenger. Thoughtfully the driver’s side is mounted higher up to provide better protection.

The Exterior

The exterior of the Type 35 is in excellent condition; the red paintwork shines well and shows very little in the way of stone chips and wear.  Being mostly made of fibreglass it is, of course, immune to corrosion.  There are plenty of nice touches that make the Type 35 very appealing.  Up front there is a fully loaded badge bar with some interesting and rare badges including the AA, Veteran Motorists, RAF Association, Institute of Advanced Motorists, Licenced Trade Automobile Club and the Royal British Legion.  Flanking the badge bar are a pair of tri-bar 5 inch headlights, and indicators mounted on the cycle wings.   The imposing Bugatti style radiator is nicely polished and is topped with a vintage temperature tell-tale gauge.  There is also a crank handle, although we think it unlikely it is connected to the engine!

The highly visible front suspension and steering rack are clean and tidy and add to the vintage car look. The tyres, including the spare, are all matching Nexens showing very little wear.

The Mechanics

Mechanically the Type 35 is in fine fettle.  The vendor reports that it drives extremely well, far better than most of its kind.  There are no major rattles, no annoying squeaks from the suspension showing that it was well built and has been well maintained ever since. Everything opens and shuts like it should.  The large rear engine cover opens easily, revealing a properly sorted 1300 Beetle engine with plenty of new parts.  There are no visible stains or drips.  In such a lightweight car the 1300 provides plenty of power, easily enough for an exciting ride! 

The Appeal

This Type 35 is a great example of how a well built and presented kit can provide the look and sensation of a million pound car without the expense.  With excellent original build quality, attention to detail, and good maintenance it is possible to have the champagne driving experience on a lemonade budget!  Excellent fun!

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1972
  • Make Volkswagen
  • Model Bugatti Type 35b Replica
  • Colour Red
  • Odometer 11,943 Miles
  • Engine size 1300
  • Location Kent
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
23 bids
  • th•••• £13,500 21/06/21
  • el•••• £13,250 21/06/21
  • th•••• £13,000 21/06/21
  • el•••• £12,750 21/06/21
  • Je•••• £12,500 21/06/21
  • th•••• £12,250 21/06/21
  • Je•••• £12,000 17/06/21
  • al•••• £9,250 17/06/21
  • fu•••• £8,000 16/06/21
  • GR•••• £7,600 16/06/21

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