Monday, 22 December 2008 12:52

Bob King: 1925 Grand Prix Bugatti

Written by  Bob King
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There is no enjoyment in a classic car that sits in a shed, gathering cobwebs. I should know, I have one, but this is because of the tedious process associated with restoring damage to a cylinder bore damaged by a dropped valve in an Hispano Suiza. (Screwed in steel cylinder liners in a 65 year old aluminium cylinder block).However, I do have one I use. I have been the custodian of the ex Glen Kidston 1925 Grand Prix Bugatti, chassis number 4450, since 1963. It was recommissioned with a straight 8 unsupercharged motor over two years leading up to Australia Day, 2008 (26 January), having previously campaigned as the Anzani Bugatti Special. Since then it has had almost constant use and has featured at least three times on this august web site – Phillip Island Cavalcade, February; Historic Winton, May and VSCC Rob Roy, August. It has been driven to all these events and come home unscathed.

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In between these competitive outings it has been regularly campaigned in road events which have included a lap of Tasmania in freezing conditions, and rallies in The Dandenongs and West Gippsland.The piece de resistance has, however, been the crossing of the Nullarbor Plain in November. A number of cars from the East were shipped to Western Australia for the Cyril Poole Memorial Rally in Margaret River. The eponymous Mr Poole was the WA Bugatti agent; he sold one Type 37 and kept a Type 40 for his own use. In the company of a 30/98 Vauxhall and a DISS/DM Delage, the car was driven back to Melbourne. The total mileage was 4,400 km, and to everyone’s surprise (including the owner’s), the car completed the journey with no problems.
Your Classic car might look fine sitting in the shed, so long as you wipe off the cobwebs and blow up the tyres, but to really enjoy it, drive it. It is the best way to travel if you want to feel at one with your environment and it can be guaranteed that there will be no arguments over air-conditioner settings.

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Bob King,  Dec 2008    
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