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Bugattis on the farm

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This New York Times Article  on the Bugattis tells of their rescue from a farm in southern Illinois some fifty years ago. Its a great story – one of how an eccentric farmer and an eccentric industrialist met over the group purchase of some 30 Bugattis. Imagine them, in the barns on dirt floors. Needless to say, this was not a transaction done in haste – these two men took some time to find some common ground. The story is told again just the other day in the New York Times, and with all due respect, is repeated below.

For those of you with long memories, there is the story of how Shakespeare and his Aurelia B20. He bought a wrecked B24 Spider out of Indianapolis, and tried to upgrade his green two-tone B20 with a supposedly hotter motor (thus a B20 with a spider motor in it).

The B20 was for sale at Bill Knauz’s in the Chicago area, in the early 1980’s (where I last saw it) and was sold out east again about 5 years ago. It had an original leather interior as mentioned on this site (see photos under History).

The chronicler of this Bugatti event was  Bob Shaw, known to us in the Chicago area – a very nice guy and a man who has been active in the car world for some time.

This story is told in greater detail in Automobile Quarterly, vol 34 no 3, which also has a history of  De Virgilio and the Lancia V-6.


Written by Geoff

May 22, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Posted in Aurelia

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