Vintage Postbag - A Brescia Bugatti in South Africa, March 1964

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Sir,

Further to your article – “A Chat with H. G. Munton” – in the December issue, I enclose two photographs of a Brescia Bugatti, which I believe is the car mentioned. The one picture shows, I understand, “Frosty” Lancaster in the car at Brooklands. The second shows the car when in Africa, with my late father, W. A. F. (“Billy”) Mills, at the wheel. You will note that the car has registration plates, NK 173, these being the letters for the Richmond, Natal, district. The radiator cowling had also been removed, I should imagine in the interests of cooling. Mr. Lancaster farmed in the Umkomaas Valley, which is one of the hottest and most remote parts of Natal. Mr. Lancaster and my uncle farmed adjacent farms and were married to sisters. The road to the farms is still anything but good and in wet weather is often impassable. There are several drifts to be crossed and the road is only wide enough for one car on some of the sections. At the time when Mr. Lancaster had the Bugatti, I should imagine the roads were considerably worse. There is still about 12 miles of this farm road.

There are several stories of how “Frosty” drove the Bugatti home at night with his farm manager holding a torch and keeping a lookout for stray cows. He was later persuaded that such practices were somewhat foolhardy and my father, who owned a garage in Pietermaritzburg, disposed of the car for him.

D. A. B. MILLS, B.SC.(ENG.)(RAND),A.M.S.A.I.C.E.

Cape, South Africa.