- A product of the legendary Ettore Bugatti.
- It has a custom body by Graber, a famous Swiss coachbuilder.
- It’s a modest design for a remarkable marque known for luxury and beauty.
Ettore Bugatti was considered first an artist and then a mechanical genius and engineer. His dream was to build the world’s best luxury car – instead his small racing and sports cars are among the most famous in the world.
Bugatti production began in 1910 with only 10 cars, followed by 75 in 1911. The company enjoyed steady growth and a successful racing career up until the breakout of World War I, when Molsheim fell under German control. Bugatti and his family spent the War in Paris where he worked on the design of aircraft engines.
Bugatti returned to Molsheim after the War to resume his success in automobile manufacturing and racing. In 1930 Bugatti made the decision to go into railcar production, with the first railcar going into service on the Paris-Deauville run in 1933. This was a very opportune time for Bugatti since sales of his cars were badly hit by the Depression, followed by a serious workers strike in 1936.
The Type 40 offered a new touring chassis for the 4-cylinder Type 37 engine that was shorter and lighter than the frame on the 8-cylinder Type 38. It had the traditional handling of a Bugatti with good steering, excellent brakes and overall comfort. Production of the Type 40 ended in 1930 and then only 50 of the Type 40As were produced. Its main feature was the American style, 2-seat roadster body made by Jean Bugatti at Molsheim. This Type 40A features a unique one-of-a-kind custom body by Graber in Switzerland in April 1932 and is believed to have been ordered by a Swiss customer. It was owned by a Swiss farmer from 1939 to 1951 and was left sitting in a ditch on his land. The car changed hands several times before its donation to the museum.