That Stork to which you refer in the May issue of Motor Sport is also the mascot of the Bucciali, the biggest front-wheel-drive car yet.
The designer, Captain Paul-Albert Bucciali, Officier de la Legion d’Honneur, Croix de Guerre (Citation de l’Armee), was a First World War fighter ace who, with the rank of Brevet Major, commanded the 2eme Regiment d’aviation chasseur at Strasbourg in 1918 and 1919, having been temporarily grounded as the result of wounds. The storks symbolise the departments of Alsace and Lorraine which were lost to the Germans in the war of 1870 and again in 1940 which is why they were a favoured symbol of pilots in the Escadrilles Lorraine and Nienman-Normandie in the Second World War) because the stork always returns home to roost.
Captain Bucciali recalls that his Corsican accent and name caused some amusement to the inhabitants of Strasbourg until he reminded them that Rouget de I’Ile, who composed La Marseillaise at Strasbourg in 1792, was also a Meridional.
After serving ass pilot with the Aeropostale he was grounded by a medical board who decided that, as a result of five wounds, he was held together by “pins and thread”, so he joined his brother in producing rather dull light car called the Buc,
When proprietary parts ran short, Captain Buceiali designed his great FWD Bucciali for the luxury market using at first a four-litre Lyoming engine, then twinning them and, still dissatisfied. by the combination of refinement and silence that he sought, designing his own 7.5-litre twin overhead camshaft engine. Fewer than twenty cars were produced and the final version cost £8,000 per chassis in the depressed Thirties. The firm went into liquidation and Captain Bueciali turned to designing weapons of war. Today this octogenarian lives in semi-retirement within the shadow of the Eiffel Tower because it is a feat of engineering that gives him constant pleasure.
Chiswick, W4. FRANCIS FYTTON