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This 1930 Bugatti Could do Only 20 Miles Per Hour

The Type 56

Never mind that the Bugatti Veyron and Bugatti Chiron have on two occasions, broken the world record for the fastest accelerating car in this 21st century.

Ettore Bugatti himself, the company’s founder, once owned this little car known as the ‘Type 56’ which he built himself, and which couldn’t clock more than 20 miles per hour.

The car was capable of carrying only two or three people.

This all-electric vehicle, powered by a motor on top of the rear axle and batteries under the seat, was built out of an old race car, for home use on the big compound of Bugatti’s estate.

The rear of the Type 56 with its electric motor

And the car might have served its purpose very well. Some people have observed that the car’s low speed (maximum 17 to 20 miles per hour) and its very short length would make it easy for turning in a small radius, staying on pavements and squeezing through narrow pavements and passages.

The Type 56 was also quite silent due to its use of electricity; the only little sound it made was from the tyres as the car moved on the ground.

Although Ettore Bugatti just made the car for personal use at home, in a stroke of luck, a few visitors to his estate saw the car and started asking if they could own one.

But that was all, just a few people. Bugatti’s plans to make the car commercially available did not really take off and in the end, less than 10 were built. But that is a big factor in the value of these cars today. Only a few exist in the world today (about five) so they have a value of many millions of dollars.

So this open car with four gear levels which looks like a horse-drawn carriage, with its steering like the steer of a canoe, is worth more than the most expensive car that readily comes to your mind.


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