This is the Fourth in a series of small bitesize bits of info on interesting cars found at the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu in the Beautiful New Forest National Park. All photos were taken by me and my potato unless otherwise referenced. Now we have that out of the way, sit back and relax children it’s story time.
Today’s Automobile is the fabulous Bugatti Type 15 this example being built in 1910. The Type 15 followed the Type 13 which was Bugatti’s first production car. The biggest difference between the different models at the time was predominantly length of wheelbase with the Type 13 being 2 metres, while the Type 15 was 2.4 metre and these were followed by a 2.55 metre Type 17.
This particular example is the second oldest surviving Bugatti and the oldest in Britain and was reported to have been owned by Madame Bugatti herself originally, at that time it is believed that it was fitted with a saloon body coachbuilt by Wiederkehr of Colmar. Powered by a 1,327cc SOHC engine with 8 valves the little Bugatti produce 15hp which enough to propel it to near 60 MPH.
Following it’s tenure with the Bugatti family it spent time serving on the Western front during World War One, Somehow surviving the war it was imported to Britain in 1920.
After it’s arrival in Britain the car was converted from a saloon to the two seat sports tourer you see here. Powered by a 1,327cc SOHC engine with 8 valves the little Bugatti produce 15hp which enough to propel it to near 60 MPH. I couldn’t find much else on it after it arrived but curiously this car is owned by the British Government where it was taken in lieu of inheritance tax.
This early Bugatti sure has led an interesting and storied life and I am happy to have been able to see that beautiful engine up close, I recommend a visit to Beaulieu if ever you the chance.