Where has the year gone, I canít believe that we are getting ready for the Goodwood festival and watching the rain fall on Wimbledon already. I suppose some of it is not doing proper Motorsport ads, with the attendant pressure of meeting the print deadline, I really have to apologise but we thought it was worth trying to use the ads to sell cars. However, despite having good cars at reasonable prices, they all sold by word of mouth. I suppose the Type 44 we have just got will be the same. This is a lovely car ready to rally and with a complete history all for £110K.
Speaking of rallies the first half of the year disappeared in preparing for a hugely successful Monaco, (apologies for that ad as well), needing some r&r immediately after the historic GP I went off to Tuscany for the International Bugatti rally near Sienna. In fact our Monaco ad was done on the phone and fax from there, (I suppose it nearly worked). Anyway 90 odd Bugattis and 200 odd people took over a converted 14th century monastery for a week and enjoyed the sensory delights of dramatic scenery combined with regional foods and wines.
There was a lovely cross section of cars from early eight valves to an EB110! Yes really, I wonder if the owner would feel equally at home at a VW owners club meeting. VW pulled out their Royale, for static display of course, if it was Bugattiís practical joke, as is rumoured, he would love the fact itís still fooling the suits seven decades later. The cars that actually made the name were treated to wonderful scenery, on twisty narrow roads, that unfortunately left the drivers precious little time for sightseeing. A couple of times the roads were just unsuitable but we all coped, even Black Bess, Bugattiís first supercar 1912, but five litres of thump does work on steep inclines, even if only having rear brakes and beaded edge tyres makes the descents interesting.
The new Veyron also made a fleeting (static) appearance, I used to think that building a new 35B in 12 months was a long lead time but having seen the major manufacturers perform Iím not so sure anymore.
VSCC Cadwell came up next and this was great, especially as Lenís Riley ELF won the Melville, and Charles in the 51 won the Williams. The Riley with the big Ford engine is really an effective PVT special, using pre war technology pre-selector gearbox etc, not a rose joint or Sierra gearbox in sight. The type 51 is flying now but the lack of limited slip diff has had an effect on lap times and, with no Julian or Venables, the Williams was a one horse race. Every Bugatti in the field was a client of ours so the race shop had a good weekend.
Mallory next but I will be on the Bugatti next generation rally. All the young members of the club enjoying a light hearted weekend in their parents Bugattis, parents feelings go unrecorded, finishing up at the Prescott garden party. My fatherís record on the hill has now gone to Charles after he refitted the limited slip diff, and despite leaving the road shaved some tenths off. Perhaps I can persuade my dad to have another go but I think he may just leave it to me.
Our Bugatti memorabilia and enthusiast shop idea has resurfaced and looks likely to be up and running for Christmas, Iíll keep you posted and it will form a mail order section of our web site. Web site? Yes I gave in to pressure in the end (thanks Andrea, Mike and Louise) and www.duttonbugatti.co.uk is now open for viewing. Itís a work in progress and any comments are welcome even if only to prove that the web is frequented by the odd real person as opposed to the real odd person. I hope the shop will be useful for the numerous organised Club visits (round table, car club, WI etc) we host here through the year, as people like to take away a little momento.
These visits can be arranged with a new addition to our staff Helen Walker (sorry Len) my PA, with nearly twenty employees she should help me find time to keep doing the things Iím good at, she has always been far too organised perhaps the middle way will be perfect.†††
Until next time cheers