London Classic Car Show Celebrate Bugatti’s Legendary Brescia

Bugatti Brescia
Ernst Friderich victorious in the Type 13- Image: Bugatti Trust

The seventh annual London Classic Car Show will celebrate the historic 1-2-3-4 finish for Bugatti’s iconic Type 13 in the 1921 Brescia Grand Prix at the new outdoor location of Syon Park from 25-27 June.

It was the combination of a light and agile body structure that even in 1911 allowed the Type 13 to finish as runner-up at the French Grand Prix. It wasn’t until after World War I that Bugatti was able to resume production of the Type 13 in 1919; by this time a much more refined vehicle with a new improved four-valve cylinder head for faster and better gas throughput had evolved throughout the downtime. This also made the Type 13 one of the first cars with four-valve technology.

Hugh Conway, chairman of The Bugatti Trust Museum and Study Centre said:
The Bugatti Trust, the centre of research into the history of Bugatti, is delighted to join into the celebration of the centenary of the Bugatti 4-cylinder Type 13’s race victory at Brescia in 1921 in which it took the first four places. It and its longer wheelbase derivative thereafter have been known as ‘The Brescia’ and was one of Ettore Bugatti’s most successful models, 2000 being made in the years to 1926

Bugatti Brescia
Brescias – Image: Bugatti Trust

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Though undeniably diminutive alongside more powerful rivals, aesthetics and design were already important for Bugatti 110 years ago, beautifully conceived with better handling, steering and braking, quickly earning themselves a giant-killing reputation on European racetracks… none more so than in the brand-defining 1921 Brescia Grand Prix.

Staged at the Circuito di Brescia as a major attraction during the historic Italian city’s prestigious annual Speed Week, the race witnessed a quartet of audacious Bugatti Type 13s* routing the opposition when scoring a remarkable 1-2-3-4 clean-sweep. Victory went to Bugatti works driver Ernst Friderich – the pioneering French ace who racked up many of the Type 13s early wins.

Trio of Brescia
A trio of Brescias line-up for the International ‘1500’ Trophy race on the Isle of Man in 1922 – Image Bugatti Trust

Capitalising on this significant international success, all subsequent Type 13s armed with similar multi-valve engines proudly bore the commemorative ‘Brescia’ designation, orders poured in and the immortal Bugatti legend was born.

Nick Upton, Chairman of the Bugatti Owners’ Club:
We will be displaying a real box of chocolates complete with hill climber, rally, the Parisian gentleman and the amateur racer cars. So originality, competition and design will be at the centre of the Bugatti Owners’ Club pavilion

Jaguar E-Type

The London Classic Car Show will also pay homage to the illustrious Jaguar E-type as part of the ‘The Evolution of Design’ theme this year. The car once described by Enzo Ferrari as “the most beautiful car ever made” will celebrate 60 years of success in spectacular fashion at the new outdoor venue in the capital.

One of a few selected cars to ever be exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, it’s tenacious lines and graceful styling make the desirable big cat one of the most iconic silhouettes ever to grace the tarmac. A design that embraces everything that’s British, with Series 1 models representing the model at its purest and most desirable form.

*Introduced in 1910, the Type 13 was Bugatti’s first true production car as well as the basis of upgraded Type 15, 17, 22 and 23 models that followed. Bugatti initially produced the Type 13 with an 8-valve, overhead camshaft, monobloc engine of 4 cylinders of 1327cc. From 1914 the engine had 16 valves (4 per cylinder) eventually increasing the capacity to 1496cc to develop 30bhp and deliver a faster top speed of 78mph. It was the short-wheel-base, 16-valve version Type 13 which competed at Brescia in 1921. This, and the touring longer-wheel-base Types 22 and 23 models, are today known as Brescias.