Bugatti 16.4 Veyron

Bugatti 16.4 Veyron

Postby wixwacing » Wed 16 Feb, 2011 4:24 pm

Bugatti 16.4 Veyron


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By Phil Wicks


Bugatti is a name, which for me has always conjured up thoughts of motoring excellence, both on and off the track. The most memorable of his products on the track being the type 35’s and 59’s. While the Royale created a new level of luxury in a performance vehicle off the track. But like most success stories, it hadn’t happened overnight and for the most part was a long time coming.


Bugatti.com



The model in question is a model of what was officially the fastest production car in the world. Capable of speeds in excess of 260 mph (420 kph) and with a million dollar price tag, it is small wonder that the closest we may ever come to one is on a TV motoring show. The Bugatti name has had a chequered career too. The original company being formed by Ettore Bugatti back in the distant past.







Ettore Bugatti had formal training in engineering, albeit bicycle and tricycles, and at a time when motor engineering was in its infancy, Ettore took some aftermarket motors from De Dion and soon had a functional motor tricycle. But his own cars were still sometime off. At this time he was living in Milan and spent earlier years working for employers who appreciated his talents. In 1902 the family moved to Paris, and while still a young person, he took up a post with De Dietrich as head of technical management. This was the start of a colourful career which eventually saw him form his own company.



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Bugatti’s success was in the main attributable to building and selling competitive and successful cars. His formula was simple, build them light and speed would follow. He revolutionised the production techniques of racing cars which until now had been huge and cumbersome race versions often of road going models, with massive engines sometimes as big as ten litres and more. By the mid twenties, the Bugatti brand was making some of the motor racing establishment look up and take notice.



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All of this could not be done by Ettore himself. To get this far it was necessary to build a reliable team around him, which included those responsible for achieving the results on the track. Two drivers where responsible in part for his success, Louis Chiron, and Pierre Veyron. Between them they consorted to win major motorsport through the twenties and thirties. The war brought the companies car building activities to an end and an attempt to start up again after the war saw the company fail and its various parts sold off to interested parties.



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A member of the Bugatti family attempted a revival of the name in the Bugatti T251 but this too came to nothing and the name changed hands several times before it was finally acquired by the VW-Audi group in 1998. Since then VW-Audi have waved a magic wand on the name and the by product has been a range of cars second to none. One of the tributes VW-Audi have paid to EB’s company is the naming of two models after their historic drivers, Chiron and Veyron.



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It is my view that this model also does the marque justice. Regular visitors to this site will know of my fondness of AUTOarts products, and the challenges I take head on in setting them up for the track. That won’t be happening in this case as the model isn’t mine, but it doesn’t stop me making educated assessments of the pro’s and con’s of this model. Outside, the model is very nice. AUTOart as a diecast manufacturer of many years standing have not missed a trick with this one and when viewed from every angle it looks good.



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The colour too is a mild metalflake. Not too chunky as to look unreal and not so fine as not to distinguish it. After a couple of minutes look over, there are no paint blemishes either, and the classy bits like photo etched grilles etc just add to the model. The anodised parts are excellent, separate door handles stand out, silvered door mirrors too, the minute detail on the front grille is convincing, and the wheels…….. the wheels are excellent. A twenty first century retro version of the original Type 35 wheels unless I am mistaken.



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The rear of the car is just great too and although externally a relatively sparse model as far as features go, its captivating feature is the engine detail and finish. I’m sure AUTOart didn’t need to go to this extreme, but they have, and it has paid off.



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Inside, a precise and well finished drivers tray has just about everything, and it is visible from the outside! Fine switch detail on the door handles and armrests. An anodised centre console and, hard to see, full dash detail under the all covering binnacle!!



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Before we go too far, I will point out that this is a road going version. In the old days, you would get a road going version minus the driver. In this case not only do we get a driver in slacks and shirt, but we also get his female companion! I must admit though that the modelling standard for these two is quite basic. I would of at least expected them to be wearing fashion befitting their status as Veyron owners!!



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Underneath there are no new innovations. They have discontinued the old style guide and contacts as found on the Lambos and have continued with a proper guide and lead wires as we have seen on the M3.



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The traction magnet (which is a strong one) is a screw on type, giving plenty of scope to shim it down if needs be. You will need to make your own shims though! Tyres are scale as expected and unless you were just going to do a few casual laps at home, they would need to be replaced with something with a bit more meat on them.



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Inside the model are no surprises either, but this model isn’t about performance so I think we can forgive AA for that. Front and rear lights, which work well, are fixed up well out of the way of the drive train and the body is detached by disconnecting the mini plug in the light supply wires.



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I suspect AA’s reason for using the gears that they do is that possibly they don’t expect anybody seriously to race them?? The pinions are of the ‘through valley’ type which so often let down Scalextric in the early days. The crown gears too aren’t very reassuring either and as it happens are the two piece type which let me down on my Hummer!



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As expected, the tyres and wheels are different diameters, front to rear. The anomaly is that the final drive ratios are the same?? Therefore, the rear wheels, being larger, will tend to cover more distance than the fronts and in trying, will tend to ‘snowplough’ the front of the model. If you intend to race this it might well be necessary to even up the rolling distance of the model's front and rear axles by changing the ratio at one end or the other.



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The guide is average dimensions and has good braid on it. Front to back and sideplay is average but the brass axle bearings are a good fit on the axles. AA have devised some sort of clips over the bearing saddles probably to stop the bearings coming out, but they are a loose fit and if in your wildest dreams you were going to put one of these on the track in earnest, I would be inclined to maybe put a spot of superglue on each one. One other thing too. If you are going to race this or any model, don’t forget to lube it fully while the body is off.



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Finally, there are four body mounting posts. There is not much opportunity to run the body loose as the screws are so short, so it might be an idea to source some longer screws for this type of use. Also, the body posts fit into each other limiting body movement even if the screws are loose. But this is fixable. The chassis slides freely in and out of the body but you do need to remove it from the front first and replace it back first.



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So that’s about it. As a model you can do a few laps with and admire, or as a shelf queen, this model is excellent. As a potential contender, then, unless you are racing on huge tracks with sweeping bends, I suggest you thing again. The chassis is good but average and the tyres and gears would need to be reassessed, and once done you will still have a model which may not dominate. I have raced against one of these a year or so ago, and the local racer who prepared and raced it gave me a good run for the money, so you can get them to work, at a price.


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I don’t have anything which is immediately suitable in my MJK tyre box, but MJK do make tyres for four of the AUTOart models. The Porsche Carrera GT, the Countach, the Miura and the Nissan 350Z. One of these may possibly fit.



There are some models you can buy that have fabulous scale bodies, but in the manufacturers pursuit to make it competitive they will compromise on essential detail like wheel and tyre size. To me, scale models need to be scale….in all departments. If you are going to make a model of a classic motorcar, there is nothing more disappointing than ending up with an average model. It doesn’t carry the aura of the real thing and unless you are totally soulless, it will niggle. This model isn’t one of those. I suspect that it adheres religiously to scale…even at the cost of performance. So buy this one for the collection, and buy something else to race.


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Many thanks to Slotcar Legends and Q32 member Rhys (methomann6868) for the opportunity to review this beautiful model
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When I'm not racing slotcars,
I'm out in the back yard, burning food!!

When I win, it's because of my talent, not my car or my controller!
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