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Teal Brake Drum Project

1st April 2016

If like me, you take your Teal to Classic Car Shows you will hear the same questions again and again. Among the most common is “Why does your car have disc brakes?”

My answer is that although Ettore Bugatti is quoted as saying that “he made his cars to go not stop” modern traffic is such that good brakes are now essential.

Type 35 Bugatti’s were fitted with large diameter drum brakes cast into the wheel, but were cable operated so were good in their day but not by 21st century standards.

Some Teal owners have managed to overcome the problem of having disc brakes by hiding their discs inside false drums. Our Secretary Andy Dutton, and club member Jeff Turner have such an arrangement on their Teals.

The drum is fixed to the wire wheel hub and covers the disc brakes at the front with a back plate attached to the front hub to hide the view across the front of the car. The rear drum brakes are hidden in a similar way and a ring is added to the existing back plate to match the diameter of the false drums.

The advantage of this system is that the drum is attached to the wire wheel and that there is no adjustment needed if changing to the spare or swopping the wheels round on the car.

Members have looked into having cast drums made that fit onto the axle hubs but this increases the track of the car and requires 2 sets of 4 holes in each drum, as many Teals are fitted with the 10cwt van rear axle, and this has different bolt centres to that of the front axle.

Andy and I have investigated manufacture of the required components by a process called “Spinning”. This process takes a flat sheet of aluminium and spins it on a large lathe and manipulates the metal over a fixed tool to create the required shape. The design includes “cooling fins” on the edge of the drum to emulate the look of the Bugatti original.

We envisage that the set of parts supplied would be:

1. Five drums (including one for the spare wheel) to fit 18-inch wire wheels. These would be held in place by three captive screws and would require some “anti rattle” silicone between the drum and the inner hub.
2. Two back plates for the front suspension that bolt onto existing bolts and are cut away around the front calliper.
3. Two rear back plates that attach to the existing brake rear plates (4 holes would need to be drilled).
4. All the necessary nuts, bolts and washers in stainless steel to assemble the kit to the car.

In order to proceed we need to manufacture the tool on which the drums are formed and design and prove the back plate details.

If at least 10 club members are willing to order a set of these components a price of £310 per set can be achieved. This price allows for the club to retain the tools for future use if required.

Bill Van Leemputten.

Please email the TOC if you are interested in buying the kit at

Without dummy drums:


With dummy drums:


...and the real thing: