1931 Bugatti Type 54 Roadster
FORMERLY THE PROPERTY OF ZDENEK POHL, AND UWE HUCKE
1991 PEBBLE BEACH CONCOURS D’ELEGANCE FIRST IN CLASS WINNING
THE TYPE 54 was introduced in 1931. Its engine was that of a Type 50 tourer. The car was outfitted with two carburetors and a supercharger, giving it even more power. However, the lifespan of the model was short; racing rules concerning car weight changed in 1934, at which point the Type 54 no longer met the weight limitations of the day.
This car began life as Chassis 54201, the very first Type 54 delivered to a client, Prince Lobkowicz, an experienced Bugatti race car driver from what is now the Czech Republic. During one of his first outings in the car in April 1932, at the Grand Prix de l’Avus on Berlin’s Avusrennen track, the Prince crashed and died. His friend and fellow race car driver Zdenek Pohl inherited what was left of the car. He commissioned O. Uhlík, a small coachbuilder based in Prague, to build a roadster for grand touring; the remnants of the original Type 54 were integrated into this new body. This O. Uhlík body was removed in the early 1970s by then owner Peter Hampton and replaced with a race car body so that the car could continue to participate in competitions. California car dealer Skip Berg later discovered the Type 54’s O. Uhlík roadster body and placed it on a Type 54 assembled by Uwe Hucke. The Bugatti Owners Club gave the resulting car a new designation of Chassis BC-70. It is one of the most beautiful examples of period open coachwork from a Bugatti to have survived to the present day.
Coachbuilder: O. Uhlik (second body)
Chassis No. BC-70
Production No. First of 10 Type 54s
Engine No. 1
Inline Eight-Cylinder Engine
300 BHP At 4,500 RPM
4,972 CC Supercharged
Double Overhead Camshaft
3-Speed Manual Gearbox
Live Axles With Semi-Elliptical Front Leaf Springs And Reversed Quarter-Elliptical Rear Leaf Springs
4-Wheel Cable-Operated Drum Brakes