Bugatti Type 32 nicknamed “Tank” was a streamlined racing car built in 1923. The Type 32 was one of the first cars to introduce the concept of aerodynamics to motor racing. It lended much of is chassis and engine characteristics from the Type 30 road car. Both cars shared the same inline-8 engine having a two litre capacity. The car only took part in a single race – the 1923 French Grand Prix. Four T32 cars were built and all four were entered by Usines Bugatti for the Grand Prix race at Tours. The drivers were Ernest Friderich, Prince de Cystria, Pierre Marco, and Pierre de Vizcaya. The race was won by Henry Segrave in Sunbeam, and the best “Tank” by Friderich took the third place. In September that year one of the “Tanks” (chassis driven by Friederich at Tours) was bought by Czech young banker and racing driver Vincenc “Čeněk” Junek. Junek was an amateur driver and is known mostly as a husband of Eliska Junkova (Elisabeth Junek), who became one of the best lady racing drivers in 1920s. Cenek and Eliska married in 1922, the same year when Cenek achieved his first racing victory winning the Zbraslav-Jíloviště hill climb. The new Bugatti T32 became a family car used sometimes in hill climb racing. In September 1923 the T32 still in original blue color but with new registration plate was raced by Junek in Prague hill climb with Eliska as a riding mechanic. Then the car was repainted in yellow and in October the couple raced the yellow T32 in other hill climb event near Prague. Junek returned their car to Molsheim in April 1924 to exchange it with the new model, Bugatti Type 35. Eliska begut her racing career as a driver in 1926. That year she was runner up in the Klausenpass hill climb in Switzerland. In 1927 she competed for the first time in Targa Florio driving Bugatti T35B with her husband as accompanying mechanic. Junkova retired in 1927 when the steering gear broke, however in 1928 Eliska with Cenek as riding mechanic finished a credible 5th. In 1927 Junkova won the two-litre sports car class of the German Grand Prix at the new Nürburgring circuit and became the first woman to win a Grand Prix event. Cenek also continued to start in hill climbs and in June 1928 he won his last race, Knovíz-Olšany climb, in new Bugatti T35C. In July Cenek and Eliska shared the driving in the German Grand Prix (that year run as a sports-car race). On the fifth lap, having just changed places with Eliska, Vincenc was rushing to make up lost time after a tyre change. He went wide at the Breitscheid corner, hitting a rock and rolling. Although thrown out of the car, he collapsed and died soon after from a serious head injury. His wife gave up racing immediately. Eliska Junkova, the Queen of the Steering Wheel, is regarded as one of the greatest female drivers in Grand Prix motor racing history. The scale model of the Junek’s yellow T32 is produced by Brumm in 500 pcs. limited edition.
|Vincenc Junek / Eliska Junkova|