Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Bugatti from the Lake - 1925 Bugatti Type 22 Brescia €370,000

The local mythology surrounding the Bugatti in Lake Maggiore was well known. The 1925 Bugatti Type 22 Brescia Roadster used to belong to Grand Prix driver René Dreyfus, who lost it in a drunken poker game to Swiss playboy Adalbert Bodé in Paris in 1934; Bodé left for home with his new machine, but was unable to pay its import duties when he was stopped at the Swiss border. Bodé walked away, leaving Swiss officials to dispose of his prize. Officials chose to roll it into the lake; its eventual resting spot was 173 feet below the surface of the water where it stayed for almost 75 years.
It wasn't until the summer of 1967, when deep-diving technology was able to overcome the 29 fathoms of water pressure, that the Bugatti tale ceased to be a myth; a local diving club was able to see it for the first time. For more than four decades, amateur divers plunged the depths of the lake to catch a glimpse.
A crowd of thousands witnessed the long-sunk Type 22 emerge from Lake Maggiore on July 12, 2009. The half of the car that retains its body and tires rested in the silt at the bottom of the lake for decades; the remainder, exposed to the lake, fared less well. It sold for €370,000 at the Bonhams auction at Retromobile in Paris in January 2010.

The Type 13 was the first true Bugatti car. Production of the Type 13 and later Types 15, 17, 22, and 23, began with the company's founding in 1910 and lasted through 1920 with 435 examples produced. The Bugatti from the Lake resides at the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California.