19 February 2010

1925 Bugatti From The Bottom Of A Lake

One of the most remarkable stories of automotive history closed another fascinating chapter at the third annual Bonhams RĂ©tromobile sale on January 23 when the legendary Lake Maggiore 1925 Bugatti Type 22 Brescia fetched EUR 260,500. The car was purchased by a European enthusiast representing the Peter Mullin Collection in California, where the car will become a museum exhibit in its present unrestored condition. The car was raised from the floor of Lake Maggiore in Northern Italy last July, where it had been more than 50 meters below the surface, for over 70 years.

The story of the majestic two-seater began in April 1925 when it was delivered new to an architect living in Nancy, France. Three years later, the owner moved to Switzerland, taking his Bugatti with him, but he failed to pay the import duty on the car. On leaving Switzerland, the Frenchman left the car to his Swiss hosts in Tessin. In 1937 its new owners, fearing that they may be fined for failing to pay the hefty import duty, dumped the car in the lake. It hence became one of those urban legends. Some believed it to be true, that such a car had been dumped in the lake, but most did not.

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