By the end of the 1920s both Jean and Ettore Bugatti were convinced that the now aging Type 35s needed more power. They were impressed by the performance of the Miller front wheel drive racing car and Jean wanted to get his hands on one to find out what made them so quick. In exchange for three Type 43 Bugattis they got two Millers. The Bugattis dismanteled the engine and made close copies of the head and block for their own cars. This engine was installed in an improved Type 35 chassis and the combination was dubbed Type 51.
In various forms the Type 51s scored successes in the early 1930s until the much larger engined Alfa Romeos and Maseratis took over. The Type 51 was available in both 2 litre and 2.3 litre form, the Type 51A had a smaller engine at 1.5 litre.
The featured example is pictured competing in the pre-1940 class of the 2003 Nürburgring Old Timer Grand Prix.