Original Inspiration For Chop Top American Hot Rods?

This spring after, Harald von Langsdorff and I competed in the Baden Classic rally we went to visit the Schlumpf Collection at the National Automobile Museum in Mulhouse, France.  This is a spectacular museum.  There are 400 cars on exhibit and another 120 on reserve. A further 20 cars are on loan to other museums around the world.  The Schlumpf collection is usually associated Bugatti cars as there are 123 cars Bugatti on display, but there are also many other famous car makers represented. There are a great number of French cars from manufacturers that I had never heard of.  Many of these early French cars are small or compact cars from manufacturers who have long disappeared.

The story of the Schlumpf collection is very long and very interesting with sporting, financial, and political aspects.  Someday I will present a summary of the interesting and often sad story behind this collection.

In the vast collection of Bugatti cars I found two cars that perhaps were an inspiration to American hot rodders who often chopped the roof of the Fords of the early 1930s.  I have included some pictures of these two Bugatti coupes.

I don’t know the Bugatti models well enough to know the model numbers of these two cars that I have shown in this post.  If anyone can help identify the models, then it would be appreciated.

Note the low profile of the roof line.  I can just imagine an American hot rodder looking at pictures of these Bugatti cars, liking the profile, and then taking the cutting torch to the 1932 Ford roof line in oder to reproduce this look.

These Bugatti coupes look like they placed a coupe body on a Type 35 race car.  Note the piece of equipment below the famous Bugatti front grille.  It looks like it might be a supercharger.  In addition to good looks, I expect that these cars were good performers as well.  I regret that I did not make some notes about this car when I saw it in France.

The Schlumpf collection at Mullhouse, France really requires a great deal of time to look at.  Harald and I were only able to spend a couple of hours there, but to do it right, then you would need a full day.  But what ever time you can spend there, it will be time well spent.

If you have any comments or questions about this post, or can help to identify these Bugatti cars, then leave a comment below or you can send me a private email message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net

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