At the end of 1927, Bugatti presented a new 3-litre series eight-cylinder engine. The 3 valves/cylinder (2 intake and 1 exhaust) were operated by an overhead camshaft, which was driven by a king shaft located centrally between the two cylinder blocks. The new development was characterised by more reliable pressure oil lubrication and a crankshaft with 9 plain bearings, which ran more quietly than the previously used roller bearings.
The Type 44 became one of the most successful Bugattis.
The "Automotor Journal" 1928 wrote (in part):
"This new 3-litre, which easily runs 130 km/h with the accelerator not fully depressed, is a splendid machine and a real touring car. The acceleration of the car and the amazing elasticity of the engine are remarkable. In many details, this design is far ahead of vehicles from other companies. This Bugatti is clearly sporty, yet it is smooth and pleasant, the elasticity of its engine being particularly remarkable. The Bugatti is as faultless as it is fast. It is one of the five best, most interesting, most enjoyable, most reliable and altogether most pleasing cars to buy in London at the moment."
The 44 quickly became a sought-after item for custom coachbuilding. The car offered here has the magnificent Fiacre body by Gangloff in Colmar. The design for the Fiacre body shape is attributed to Jean Bugatti. Subject to current knowledge, only 3 cars with this body still exist.
One is in the famous Mullin Collection in California.
As far as the history of the car is concerned, it is known that it was delivered to Gaston Docime in Paris in 1930, that it belonged to the well-known Bugatti collector Uwe Hucke from around the mid-1960s until 1977, and that it was then owned until 2005 by the well-known Bugatti racing driver Helmut Schellenberg, who had the car restored by the restorer Helmut Feierabend in the late 1970s. When it was delivered, the car had a 3-seater cabriolet body. Schellenberg, however, had the car built up with the Fiacre body.
The original engine No. 869 was replaced by the engine with the No. L221. The car has also been in collector's hands since 2005.
The car has rarely been driven since the restoration. An extensive inspection has currently been carried out.
Such an attractive car, which wonderfully reflects the avant-garde period of the 1920s, is rarely on offer.