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The house of Bugatti is known for producing some of the fastest, most exclusive cars of all time. Iconoclastic founder Ettore Bugatti was born to a family of sculptors and architects in Milan. Rather than follow in his famous father’s footsteps, Bugatti brought the family aesthetic to designing engines and racing vehicles. By 1900, when he was 19, Ettore had already built his first car, and went on to work as a designer for a series of European automobile manufacturers. In 1907, while working for Deutz in Cologne, he built a small car with a four-cylinder, eight-valve 1208 cc engine and shaft drive in his basement apartment on his days off. The “Pur Sang” - or Pure Blood - would become the prototype for the cars Bugatti was to build when he resigned from Deutz in 1909 to open his own business in an old dye works at Molsheim, in the Alsace region of France
Despite his lack of formal training, Bugatti quickly earned a reputation for advanced engineering, becoming the first manufacturer to design racing cars as an entire concept, rather than treating chassis and body separately. Only five cars were built in the company’s first year, but by 1911, Bugatti began its domination of Grand Prix racing, winning the first ever Monaco Grand Prix.
What drew Jay to this supercharged 1928 Type 37A, was the fact that it has actual grand prix provenance, having been driven on the tracks of Europe by one of its former owners, LeMans victor Pierre Veyron. Race car driver, Bugatti engineer and hero of the French Resistance, Veyron's legacy lives on today in Bugatti's latest offering. This particular 37A was also the third Bugatti on the Registry of the American Bugatti Club, from whose former president, Robert Dunlap, Jay acquired it. Still capable of upwards of 120 mph, the car features a supercharged 1.5 liter 1500cc 4-cylinder engine, which revs to over 5000 rpm. Although it's not quite as fast as Bugatti's 8-cylinder track champs, it can still hold its own against them, and the engine's more durable. Jay's only made a few non-invasive updates - like an engine fan with water catch tank, and a modern alternator which runs off the drive shaft - to keep it roadworthy. Although it's tricky to get into, low to the ground and exposed to the elements, According to Jay, there's no modern car that offers the pure excitement of raw emotional driving like his 1928 Type 37A.