Classics, passion for the past

1931 Bugatti Type 51 By Pur Sang

$ 225000

Body Convertible
Fuel type Petrol
Transmission Manual
Exterior Color Blue
Interior Color Brown
Upholstery Leather
Steering Rhd
VIN # 510B0
The Type 51 is one of Bugatti’s most recognizable race cars and the spiritual successor to the dominant Type 35. While visually identical to the Type 35, the Type 51 housed a supercharged DOHC 2.3L straight-8 engine that put out 160 hp. Today, these 1930s legends are as rare as they are technologically impressive, with only 40 examples ever built by Bugatti.

With these original examples being practically unobtainium for many enthusiasts, Pur Sang of Argentina stepped up to offer an identical experience for a fraction of the price. Offered alongside other replicas like an Alfa Romeo Monza, the Pur Sang Type 51 is hand-built by hundreds of artisans in Argentina and offers the same thrill of the original with modern components and techniques like modern tires and seals implemented for safety. According to Pur Sang, each Type 51 is built using the same design and material specifications that the Bugatti factory used. This is not merely a replica, this is a bolt-for-bolt reproduction of Ettore’s racing machine that is practically indistinguishable, especially when you’re behind the wheel.

This particular example, Chassis # 510B0, was purchased new from Pur Sang by its current and only owner in September of 2008. Under the hood lives a 2.3L Supercharged Dual Overhead Cam Straight 8 engine which is virtually indistinguishable from the real thing both mechanically and in the experience it provides. Since purchase, it has always been serviced and maintained by High Mountain Classics, a Bugatti and pre-war automotive specialist shop in Fort Collins, CO. It has undergone numerous, multi-thousand dollar services and modifications at that shop throughout the years.

The car underwent a refresh beginning in October of 2009 where all of the suspension and steering components, fuel system, and brake system were removed before being cleaned, greased, and plated as needed. Reassembly began in late October and continued into early November of 2009 with the fuel tank, shocks, cross member, and electric fuel pump all being properly reinstalled alongside the remaining motor mounting bolts, headlamps, and steering wheel. Rounding out the refresh was a set of brand new tires and race tubes. The whole refresh took a few months and cost several thousand dollars in total.

The engine was detailed in January of 2010 before being strapped to a dyno and calibrated at Engle Automotive. The car’s fire extinguisher was moved to a more accessible location in January of 2011 and the Ki-gas pump had some of its fittings fixed to remedy a fuel leak. The water pump was modified three years later in 2014 as oil was making its way into the car’s water supply and the old fuel lines were replaced since they showed signs of cracking.

The most recent service record from August of 2017 shows that the Type 51 received a comprehensive inspection which yielded the need for a tune-up and tightening of several nuts and bolts. Some seals and gaskets were also changed including those around the fuel filler, windscreen, and shift lever. The starter cable was rerouted inside the cockpit, the supercharger oil reservoir tank had some of its solder joints redone to fix a leak, and a Brooklands passenger windscreen was installed.

As it sits, this Pur Sang Type 51 is one of the best opportunities to jump headfirst into the world of pre-war cars currently available on the market. With a distinguished pedigree and a spotless service record, it’s the perfect ride to take to select on and off track events, whether they be rallies or the green lawn of a concours. Most of all, it’s an opportunity to experience one of Ettore’s masterpieces, even if it doesn’t hail directly from Molsheim. Upon purchase, the new owner will receive copies of the original purchase documents as well as copies of the numerous pages of maintenance performed.