The Belgian Grand Prix 1935
Explore the extraordinary detail of our Bugatti Type 59 model at 1:8 scale in our new video. Development of this edition necessitated over 5000 hours and replicates the car exactly as raced by Jean-Pierre Wimille in the Belgian Grand Prix on the 14th of July 1935 at Spa-Francorchamps. Wimille qualified fourth and made a fantastic start flying into second position on the opening lap, but the French hope for victory suffered an early retirement after just seven laps due to engine issues.
To create the Type 59, we used our supremely accurate digital scanning on chassis 59122, kindly allowed by its current owner Ralph Lauren, and, with the cooperation of Bugatti's automotive historian Julius Kruta, developed this stunningly detailed and precise replica at scale.
The ultimate expression of the Bugatti Grand Prix car, the Type 59 was a testament to Ettore and Jean Bugatti’s extraordinarily creative engineering talents. In an era when the art of race car design was arguably superseded by the science, the Type 59 remained competitive despite its continued use of ‘old-fashioned’ mechanics. Though often defeated by its more modern government-funded rivals, its long, low and slender bodywork, have earned it a very special place in Grand Prix history. The Type 59 remains Bugatti’s last successful Grand Prix racer.
Today, Type 59s are prized collector items and have estimated values in excess of £10 million. Just seven cars were built in Grand Prix configuration, of which four raced for the Bugatti works team and all have survived to this day. Current owners include Ralph Lauren and the industrial designer Marc Newson. One former Grand Prix chassis, converted to a sports car configuration back in the 1930s, sold at auction for £9.5 million in 2020.