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We’re celebrating the Bugatti Type 35 on the 100th anniversary tour

Hailed as one of the most important race cars of all times, the Bugatti Type 35 is celebrating it’s 100th birthday this year. And who could be better to join the anniversary tour from Molsheim to Lyon than our photo reporter and grand prix Bugatti enthusiast Rémi Dargegen?

Praised for its beauty, technical ingenuity and driving brilliance, the Bugatti Type 35 is considered to be one of the most successful race cars of all times. During its era, Ettore Bugatti’s masterpiece secured more than 2,500 race victories. So it comes as no surprise that the 100th birthday of Ettore Bugatti’s era-defining creation is celebrated by the brand’s disciples at various events and occasions in 2024. The highlight of the anniversary year, though, must be the road rallye organized by the Club Bugatti France. 

Starting in Molsheim on Tuesday, the participants in their 49 classic Bugattis – including 23 Type 35s and 12 other grand prix cars like the Type 37 and 51 – follow in the tyre tracks of the iconic car’s success story all across France before arriving in Lyon on Saturday, celebrating another centenary – the 100th birthday of the Grand Prix de Lyon 1924 where the Bugatti Type 35 made a first appearance. Even the original works car that took part in the grand prix, carrying the number 13, is present. 

On the first day, the participants joined for at Chateau Saint-Jean, the historical home, family mansion and head offices of the Bugatti brand in Molsheim. “This is where it all began, so it was a very emotional moment”, reports Rémi Dargegen, who follows the tour for Classic Driver. “Seeing all the cars align in the morning light in front of the chateau, then start their engines and leave their home with a roar this morning was truly a sight and sound to behold. I feel blessed to be able to join this tour as a co-driver of one of the best, Bugatti Type 35 in existence. It’s highly original, all matching numbers, still retaining its original naturally aspirated engine and body plus an amazing patina.” Having been built in 1925 as one of the early cars, it still has the Grand Prix de Lyon body, making it the perfect car for this double anniversary tour. 

Following an amazing selection of scenic country roads through Alsace and the Vosges mountains, the road book led the pack towards Mulhouse for a stopover at the Musée National de l’Automobile and the famous Schlumpf Collection headlined by a Bugatti Royale. “The only thing I have to admit: It is very challenging to take pictures while driving in a 99 year old grand prix Bugatti”, laughts Rémi. “It’s moving and jumping all the time, so it’s not easy. Still I tried to take some shots and I hope it will be okay – it’s certainly worth the experience. And I already have a feeling that this will be one of the best weeks of my life.” Follow us on Instagram for updates from the Bugatti Type 35 anniversary tour - we’ll certainly keep you posted from the road.

Photos: Rémi Dargegen for Classic Driver

You can find a fine selection of classic and modern Bugattis for sale in the Classic Driver Market.