VISIT OF THE PATRON” AND M. JEAN BUGATTI. THE annual dinner of the Bugatti Owners’ Club, which was held at Grosvenor House on December 16th, was a tremendous success and Showed clearly that the advent of utility motoring has in no way quenched the enthusiasm of sporting car owners. The Presence of M. Ettore Bugatti and his son completed the picture. and as one of the speakers said, one felt that without acquiring one of the famous cars, one had not experienced the full thrill of motor
ing. The speeches were few and to the point. After ” The King” Lord Howe, President of the Club, expressed its gratitude and Pleasure at the visit of M. Bugatti and his son and the enthusiasm which was felt in this country for the cars which bore his name. M. Bugatti in reply said that as he did not speak English, he was unable to understand the kind things that were being said about him, but that he and all the drivers associated with Nfolsheim wished to put on record their admiration for Lord Howe as a sportsman and as the most skilful amateur driver in the racing world. As far as motoring was concerned, he felt much safer behind a team of horses, but was delighted with the enthusiasm shown in this country,
which was much greater than in France, in spite of its numerous clubs and race meetings. M. Jean Bugatti followed up his father’s speech in English, and made humorous reference to his accident with the four-wheel-drive car at Shelsley this year, where, as he said, he ” broke it very fast.”
M. Bugatti then presented the numerous awards given on the result of the Club’s trials and other events, the Victor Ludorum Cup, given by the Patron himself, being won by Mr. L. G. Bachelier. A suggested addition to the Club’s activities next year was a Club run to Molsheim, where M. Jean undertook to organise a hill-climb on the famous Bugatti practise course in the Vosges Mountains.
After dinner we were able to have a chat with M. Bugatti, and learnt that the new 2.8 litre racing cars were well on the way, and would be tested next month. He is also producing another type of car quite unlike anything yet seen, but it was too early to get more details. The 4.9 will only be produced as a touring car, but the four-wheel-drive chassis is being continued for hill-climbs and so forth. M, Bugatti’s interest in rate-horses is well-known, but I learnt for the first time that furniture designing is also one
of his hobbies. Our next door neighbour had visited Molsheim this year and was getting some very ingenious garden seats which were made of wood but were unusually comfortable. The factory is now experimenting with rail-motor coaches, and tests of these by the P.L.M. are taking place in the near future.
Lord Howe was in excellent form and was looking forward to an interesting racing season. He is driving an Alfa at Le Mans, Spa, and Ulster, in the first two with Sir Henry Birkin, and of course is taking the team of Magnettes to Italy. Beyond the fact that he is driving the world’s finest racing car in Grand Prix events, we got no clue as to his plans, hut perhaps we may hazard a guess that this means a monoposto Alfa. He was very keen that the 1,500 c.c. class in the Manx races should be for blown as well as unblown cars, so as to give other foreigners a chance to show what they could do, and lie intends entering the Delage if eligible in the smaller race.
Another Del age is to be seen in the Island too, this one being driven by Oliver Bertram. This is a two-litre car, and reputed to be the one with which Benoist won the French Grand Prix in 1925.