Bugatti Land Speed Record Project 1937
The Bugatti Trust has some basic information about the proposed record-breaker. The single-seater was to have used three 4.9-litre supercharged Type 50B engines, and power was expected to be about 1000bhp. The drive was taken by a short prop-shaft through a double step-up gearset to a rear-mounted gearbox integral with the rear axle casing.
The chassis would have been enormous: the wheelbase was no less than 5.0m (more than 16ft) with a track width of 2.3m (seven and a half feet). Weight was estimated at between 1800 and 2000 kg.
The Jean Bugatti sketch appears to date from early 1937 and it is thought that it was part of a submission to the French government for funding for three record-breaking projects: the rail world speed record (ultimately raised to 196km/h by the Bugatti Royale-engined railcar); the P100 record attempt aircraft; and the one-kilometre and one-mile public road automobile records. While funding for the aircraft project was forthcoming the French government was not convinced by the "cultural" benefits of the car, causing Jean Bugatti to abandon the idea.