Jay Leno Drives The Oldest Running Bugatti
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Jay Leno Drives The Oldest Running Bugatti

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Most of us would love to arrive in the latest Bugatti Chiron, but some enthusiasts are happy in a pre-owned model. Taking that notion to the extreme, Jay Leno came across a 1913 Bugatti Type 22 at the local Cars & Coffee show.

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It takes a dedicated owner to keep such an antique on the road. It is probably worth a small fortune, and it even sports most of the original running gear. Ettore Bugatti was a genius and an artist in every sense. One of the first overhead cam engines had a cam-driven oil pump and lightweight valvetrain that could rev to 5,000. This was unheard of until decades later, as most cars would detonate at 2,000 rpm. Bugatti is a French company, but before WWI, their headquarters in Molsheim was part of the German Empire. What once was old is new again, as Bugatti has been owned by VW since ’98.

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Driving a car like this can be just as distracting as modern vehicles because the driver must constantly adjust the carburetor, ignition advance, and fuel pump priming while also double-clutching the transmission and staying a mile behind the car in front of you. In a testament to the rugged design, only a few thousands of an inch were needed to bring the motor back to new condition. It makes us wonder what cars from today will be around in 105 years. Tell us the oldest car you have driven in the comments below and stay with us for all your updates from Jay Leno’s Garage.

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