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The Bugatti Type 55
was a road-going version of the Type 54 Grand Prix
Grand Prix motor racing has its roots in organised automobile racing that began in France as far back as 1894. It quickly evolved from a simple road race from one town to the next, to endurance tests for car and driver...
car. A roadster
A roadster is a two-seat open car with emphasis on sporty handling and without a fixed roof or side weather protection. Strictly speaking a roadster with wind-up windows is a convertible but as true roadsters are no longer made the distinction is now irrelevant...
, it had a short 108.3 in (2750 mm) wheelbase and light 1800 lb (816 kg) weight.
Power came from the Type 51
The Type 51 series succeeded the famous Type 35 as Bugatti's premier racing car for the 1930s. Unlike the dominant Type 35s of the prior decade, the Type 51 were unable to compete with the government-supported German and Italian offerings.-Type 51:The original Type 51 bowed in 1931...
's 2.3 L (2262 cc/138 in³) straight-8
The straight-eight engine or inline-eight engine is an eight-cylinder internal combustion engine with all eight cylinders mounted in a straight line along the crankcase...
engine. This 2-valve DOHC unit produced 130 hp (96 kW) and could rev to 5000 rpm. A Roots-type supercharger
A supercharger is an air compressor used for forced induction of an internal combustion engine.The greater mass flow-rate provides more oxygen to support combustion than would be available in a naturally aspirated engine, which allows more fuel to be burned and more work to be done per cycle,...
The car's 4-speed manual transmission
A manual transmission, also known as a manual gearbox or standard transmission is a type of transmission used in motor vehicle applications...
came from the Type 49
The early Bugatti 8-cylinder line began with the 1922 Type 30. The same basic design was used for the 1926 Type 38 as well as the Type 40, Type 43, Type 44, and Type 49.-Type 30:...
touring car. 38 examples were produced from 1932 through 1935