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Thread: Bugatti Type 16 1912-1917

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    Feb 2005

    Bugatti Type 16 1912-1917

    During Bugatti's transition from designer working at Deutz in Cologne to manufacturer in his own right, the 5-liter Type 16 was under construction. As such the Type 16 lends much of characteristics from Deutz, especially in the design of the chassis. For the most part Bugatti concentrated on small-displacement cars in his immediate post-Deutz period at Molsheim, so the very few 5-liter cars produced are something extraordinary.

    The engine design was revolutionary for the period and was basically a prototype for principles that would be used in Bugattis over a decade later. It had a displacement of 5,027 cc with a bore and stroke of 100 by 160 mm. The valvetrain was driven by shaft, actuating two exhaust and a single intake valve via a single overhead camshaft. Unlike other period valvetrains which were typically exposed, the Type 16's was completed enclosed.

    Drive to the rear wheels was handled by a bespoke Bugatti transmission and sent through twin chains. This was very similar to the Deutz design except the rear suspension used reversed quarter-elliptic springs which became a typical Bugatti trait. Also, the Type 16 was the only Molshiem-produced Bugatti to use twin-chain drive.

    Work on the first Type 16 began as early as 1908. The engine was completed and probably used in a Deutz chassis at the 1910 Prince Henry Trial. By 1912, Bugatti launched the model as a proper car and as many as eight five liter engines were made. One of them was used in the famous Black Bess car owned by aviator Roland Garros.

    Chassis & Sales

    471-The first Type 16, it was driven by Ettore Bugatti at Le Mans and the Mont Ventoux hill climb where he placed first in class in fourth overall. In 1914, Bugatti sold it to HRH The Duke of Bavaria who replaced its pointy body with one in a touring style. In this body style it passed through several owners including Swiss motor cycle racer Bruno Martinelli and British Bugatti collector Colonel Giles. When owned by Nigel Arnold-Forster, a replica of the original body was created, but the radiator and hood were retained.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Bugatti Type 16 #2
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    Lack of charisma can be fatal.
    Visca Catalunya!

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