"Australian Bugatti Register"

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“Australian Bugatti Register”. Compiled by Bob King. 87 pp. 9 3/4 in. x 12 1/2 in. (Australian Bugatti Register, 38, Martin Street, Elwood, Australia. £6.40, postage included).

This large-page, soft-cover register should be of great interest to serious followers of the make-Bugatti, constituting as it does an extension of the very complete Register put out by Hugh Conway of our own Bugatti OC. It is arranged like all such registers, with engine, chassis and Registration numbers, name of present owner, and copious notes about each car, together with a chronological account of past owners, where known. The cars are arranged by types, from 16-valve to Type 57C, and the 148 photographs will, I am told, be new to English readers. Apart from pictures of individual Bugattis, there is a fascinating one of the Authorised Service Station for Bugatti Cars in Melbourne (they were also fluid-flywheel specialists, and outside their premises stand an American sedan and a Lancia Lambda saloon, while a Type 44( ?) Bugatti emerges from the workshops).

The book is also illustrated by big reproductions of Bugatti cars and engines by Bob Shepherd, who draws them so clearly and accurately and who was responsible for a fine picture of a Type 55 Bugatti sent to me by the VSCC of Australia after the war, as an appreciation for MOTOR SPORT having outlasted the period of hostilities, and which has a place of honour on my walls. There are also dimensioned chassis drawings of different Bugatti types, and the cover picture shows a biplane racing a GP Bugatti.

It is nice to find some old friends among the cars in this informative Register, such as Bob King’s own Type 35, which was the first Type 35 to run at Brooklands in the hands of Lt. Comdr. Glen Kidston and was afterwards raced there by T. V. G. Selby. It now has a 1938 RI twin-cam Anzani engine but is to be properly restored with aluminium-spoke wheels and beaded-edge tyres as the correct bits are acquired. Then there is the ex-LMB Type 37, which was the Cholmondeley-Tapper car that Leslie Ballamy converted to i.f.s. and, incidentally, persuaded the great Dick Seaman to drive (for only a few laps!) in a Mountain race at the Track, as I well remember; this one is also awaiting restoration. The ex-Arthur Baron Bugatti Special that I wrote up in Bugantics when it was a new car is also there. Incidentally, the postage to England accounts for £1.40 of the cost of the book and only about 400 copies are available.

W.B.