1925 Bugatti Type 13

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1925
  • Car type 
    Other
  • Lot number 
    17
  • Drive 
    LHD
  • Condition 
    Used
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Other

Description

French title
Engine number 1028

- In the same family since 1953
- A barn find, in poignant original condition
- One of fewer than ten surviving models
- Short chassis (2m), twin magnetos
- No reserve
- One of 25 Type 13 twin magneto models delivered new in France.

The 16-valve sports and racing Bugattis
The first '16-Valve' cars were built from 1920 to 1923, with their chassis numbered from 900 to 1611. Among these cars, a few rare racing models stand out. We went through the factory sales records and were able to identify some 30 Type 13 racing models, as well as 20 Type 22 and Type 23 racing models. The majority of those cars are the first true "Brescias" fitted with a ball bearings engine. Only four or five are thought to remain in existence: chassis numbers 1318-1323-1398-1528 and 1573 (this list may be incomplete). From 1923-25 the new 'Brescia' model went into industrial production, bearing the chassis numbers 1612 to 2906. All these cars now had their steering box integrated into the crankcase.
In the midst of this list of more than 1200 cars, a handful of 'Type 13 twin magneto' models stand out. Not all of them were racing models, as some received two-seater sports bodywork with wings, freely imagined by the coachbuilders. Some Type 22 and 23 cars, both sports and racing versions, were also equipped with twin magnetos, but these fall outside the scope of this study.
The Bugatti sales ledgers provide us with information on approximately 22 twin magneto Type 13's, and seven single magneto cars in 1923. In 1924, only 19 'Type 13 twin magneto' models were built, and 40 or so in 1925. A careful examination of the works records suggests that, for the first series (900-1611), of the 50 racing models, the majority were sold to amateur French racing drivers.
As regards the 'Brescia's' of the 1612-2906 series, more than half of the twin magneto Type 13's were delivered to Italy. Cars sold new in France were much less common: just two in 1923, fewer than 10 in 1924 and scarcely 20 in 1925. Out of a total production of 80 'Type 13 twin magneto' cars, 25 of them in France, no more than ten survive today, with the chassis numbers 1631-1775-1987-2072-2111-2275-2282-2365-2368 and 2628 (this list may be incomplete).
Among the cars delivered in Paris was a small series of nine cars, consigned to the dealership at 116, avenue des Champs-Elys�es at the beginning of 1925, followed by three cars in July and finally four of the last 'Type 13 twin magneto' models in August/September. Chassis number 2628 was part of this final series, comprising chassis 2627 to 2630. It was delivered to the Parisian dealership on 26 August 1925, together with chassis number 2627. The Paris registration assigned to chassis number 2628 bore the number 7242 U 7. This licence plate dates from 1925 or, at the latest, 1926. The Bugatti was delivered as a chassis in Paris, to be fitted with bodywork in the workshop of Maron, Pot et Cie in Levallois-Perret. In 1925, several coachbuilders specialised in fitting bodywork onto '16-Valve' and 'Brescia' Bugatti chassis. Lavocat and Marsaud had already built two-seater sports bodies for the first Type 13 'Brescia's' in 1921 and would continue until 1926. The 'Carrosserie Profil�e', which was linked financially to Bugatti, was not left out, whilst Maron-Pot et Cie offered sports models in similar style. Only Figoni had apparently yet to body any short chassis 'Brescia's'.

A tale from Burgundy
In 1931, the little Type 13 Sport which we are presenting for sale left the capital to discover and settle in Burgundy. On 23 June 1931, it was registered in the C�te d'Or d�partement with the number 5072 DU 1, and became the property of Lucien Meriel of the avenue Thiers in Beaune. He kept the car for six years and sold it, on 22 April 1937, to a gentleman named Jean Barolet, whose address was recorded as "Air base 102 at Ouges", near Longvic. This base was home to several observation and fighter wings during the 1930's. One of his close relatives recalls that Barolet, who was born in 1909, was a member of the ground staff on the base. He retired to southern France, but is buried in the little village of Saint Romain, 60 kilometres from Dijon.

No doubt hidden by Barolet from the covetous eyes of the enemy during the war, the little Bugatti showed up again at the very beginning of the 1950's, in the hands of an enthusiast in Burgundy. Jean Terrillon, a landowner in the little village of Oigny, was descended from a bourgeois family which had lived in the district since the Revolution. His widow, Louise Terrillon, bought the first of four Bugattis in the family, second-hand in 1919. It was a Type 22, chassis number 580, which was delivered to Neuilly in December 1913 and bodied by Chauvet at rue Fozillau in Levallois. Louise gave the 'little blue car' to her son, Jean, and it was only sold in the 1980's, to a certain Henri Lalanne. Jean Terrillon (1892-1972) managed the family's farms in the area and was fascinated by the thoroughbreds from Molsheim. He would buy three more of them to keep his mother's little 8-valve company. A Bugatti Type 38 Gaston Grummer from May 1927, acquired around 1930, and a Type 49 four-door saloon from November 1930, certainly with bodywork by Visse and Haff, purchased after the war, would soon enter the garage in the abbey, before he bought the 'Type 13 twin magneto' around 1953. After Jean Terrillon's death in 1972, the two 'big Bugattis' were sold in November 1976, at a public auction at the Salon des Arts et M�tiers on the avenue d'I�na in Paris, through Christian Huet and - already! - on behalf of the Loudmer-Poulain auction house. The family kept only the Type 13. As they recollect, it had been serviced at the Bugatti works in 1966. The car was transported by lorry to Molsheim and, when the work was complete, Jean Terrillon's son set off for Burgundy at the wheel of the 'Brescia'. Its bodywork had been built by L. Maron-Pot et Cie, whose workshop was located at 160, rue de la R�volte in Levallois-Perret, as the small brass plate on the side of the body reminds us.
This coachbuilder from the twenties was also responsible for several other fine bodies on 16-valve Bugatti chassis, including that on Type 23 chassis number 2519, which was sold recently at auction. The lines of the car were originally intended to follow those in the photo of an identical model which illustrates this text. Lavocat and Marsaud also seem to have been inspired by these rare short chassis Type 13's. There is no reason to doubt that the body on chassis number 2628 is original, dating from 1925. Only the wings covering the wheels were added later, and may easily be removed.
An inspection of the car takes us back to that day in 1966 when it was put away in the garage of the abbey in Oigny, after its service at the works, and gradually forgotten until its owner's death six years later. The brass chassis plate '2628 U 10' on the bulkhead is original. On its left rear lug, the engine bears the production number 2628, while the engine number, 1018, may be found on the cam carriers. The engine is equipped with a dual ignition coil and a bronze Zenith carburettor. The gearbox is stamped with a number in the same series, namely 1114. The axle is engraved 12X45, number 20. There are brakes on the front axle. The radiator is of the final type, without an indentation for the starting handle. The plaque of the coachbuilder, Maron-Pot et Cie, is located above the running board on the passenger side. The body and the hood are the work of the coachbuilder.

There can be no doubt that this is the last 'Type 13 twin magneto' to be found in Bugatti circles. Preserved intact, with no changes to its original state other than its wings from the 1930's, it is a perfect example of one of the first Bugatti Sport models, developed directly from racing!
An all-round performer, this true 'Brescia', in the best sense of the term, heir to the victories of 1921, asks only to make its return and show what the magician of Molsheim can do.