Burgos, 5th - 11th June 2011
Every year the Bugatti community comes together for the
International Bugatti Meeting that is organized by one of the
national Bugatti Clubs. Two years ago the Italian event agency
2fast4you organized the centenary meeting for the Italian Bugatti
Club to set up a new standard for the coming meetings. In 2010
the meeting was organized by the Austrian Bugatti Club, a
meeting that suffered from heavy rain and severe weather to throw
over most of the organization. Unfortunately the small
organization crew was not able to compensate for that as a
professional might have been making clear that a meeting for up
to 100 cars is a task that is not easy to handle.
In 2011 the Swedish Club was on turn but the small Club passed
on when realizing the same problems. So the presidents of the
national clubs entrusted once more 2fast4you to do the 2011
event but with the premise to do it outside of Italy, so the agency
have chosen the region of Burgos to do the first ever International
Bugatti Meeting in Spain.
Burgos is the capitol of the region Castile and Leon situated
north-west of Madrid. The region is a high plateau surrounded by
mountain ranges and the rolling landscape that is an ideal place
to play with the prewar cars.
Burgos itself was founded 850 A.D. as a fortification in the war
against the Moors and its cathedral is part of the UNESCO World
Cultural Heritage. When walking from the Cathedral through the
old city gate the bridge over the river Burgos points directly to the
Museum of human evolution, in front of the museum was the parc
fermé that served as the base for the coming trips into the region.
89 Bugattis found their way to the meeting on Sunday at the day
of the arrival, 3 cars were replaced for different reasons by a
BMW, a Jaguar and an Ivicta. The line-up consisted of several
Brescias, either in T13 and T22 form, many GP cars of the type
35 and 37, a T46 and a T49 plus several T57s.
The evening started with the welcome dinner where old friendships
could be renewed with friends you meet every year.
Monday saw the first tour to the west with a first stop at the small
village of Santa Maria del Campo with its twisty roads through the
old town to the place in front of the church. Many of the touring
cars followed the advice to drive around the village as they might
have become problems at the small turns between the old walls.
After another stop for an aperitif at the church of San Martin the
convoy headed for lunch at Carrion de los Condes that was served
nearby the old and very impressive cloistered courtyard. The way
back to Bugos was finally a race against the rain as the sky
became very dark behind the cars and unfortunately the weather
was faster as the last cars arrived in rain at Burgos.
Tuesday the road went south-east to the Reserva Nacional de
Sierra de la Demanda with a first stop at Santo Domingo de Silos
with a visit of the monastery. For some reasons several cars
arrived quite late as they ran out of fuel as there was no petrol
station along the road, but as the daily trips are all around 250 km
a fill-up in the morning should have brought you through the day.
The weather that day was mainly gray but stayed dry most of the
day. After passing some small canyons the lunch was taken by
the Casa de la Madera, an impressive building entirely build with
the local materials: stone and wood. The modern design was a
nice backround for the Bugattis standing in front of it. On the way
back to Burgos some of the participants had a spontaneous
coffee break in a small village where they parked on the main
place in front of the bar.
Wednesday was the smallest trip with about 188 km in total and
just one stop for lunch at Santa Casilda. The church is located on
a small hill that is just accessible by a narrow road where the
cars where parked in a row. Lunch was a typical paella. Along the
road many ruins, a few lavender fields, canyons and small villages
gave many photo opportunities and one could often see the
passenger to use small pocket cameras during the ride. This is
mainly possible due to the system of signs at every crossroad put
up by the forerunners so that everyone easily can find his way
even without studying the map or a road book leaving enough time
to enjoy the landscape.
The reason for the early return that day was the visit to the
cathedral and the museum of human evolution in Burgos where
several guides explained the history in tours in different
languages. As most of the participants are petrol heads it was no
surprise that the Bugatti T13 Brescia of Franco Majno drew most
of the attention and not few of them had the opinion that this
might be a peak of the human evolution. The day ended with a
reception on the top floor of the museum.
Thursday morning was the first day with the sun out and so the
rain jackets could stay in the trunk. The journey led to the south
to Penafiel. For some reasons this was the part of the rallye were
the only two incidents happened. First american collector Peter
Mullin came of the road when the steering locked for unknown
reasons after a left turn leaving the car in the roadside ditch.
Fortunately the car was not fast at that moment so the impact
was lenient with minor damages to the rear wing but both driver
and passenger left unhurt. Being a meeting amongst friends
rather than a rallye it was no question that all the cars coming by
stopped to get the car back on the road. After the car was pulled
out of the ditch with joined forces a closer examination showed
that the car could be driven the rest of the day under own power
but a small fear stayed that the problem might reappear so the
car stayed in the hotel parking lot the next day.
Just a few miles further a T37 was hit on a crossroad by a modern
car bending the steering arm and cracking the steering box, but
again nobody was hurt but the Bugatti had to be put on the trailer
and has to be repaired in the next weeks.
After the two moments of shock the convoy reached on of the
best locations during the days, the ancient bullfighting arena of
Penafiel. The cars were parked on the square surrounded by the
houses that served as stands during the fights. The participants
were transferred to the castle on top of the city were they visited
the vine museum whereas the cars could be admired by the
The next stop was for lunch at Penaranda de Duero, the square
the cars were parked was surrounded by half-timber houses and
the church. After an extensive break the cars headed back for
Burgos were the day was finalized with the Parmigiani dinner. The
Swiss watchmaker is known for high quality watches and has an
own example for the Bugatti name. As a gift the most sportive
driver of the week was given a watch and it was not a surprise
that this was Jürgen Ernst. The German collector has a foible for
very sportive and rare sports cars and he was running well in front
with his T45/47 type 16-cylinder during the whole meeting.
Friday was the last day of the meeting and unfortunately the
weather did not stay as good as the day before. In the morning
the tour led over hills were the visibility was reduced to several
meters. After the visit of the winery Lopez de Herendia Vina
Tondonia the lunch was taken at the Hotel Marques de Riscal.
The modern building of the main house was designed by
Canadian architect Frank Gehry who also designed the famous
Guggenheim-Museum in Bilbao. This was also the right location
for the final group photo before the cars headed back to Burgos
for the last time.
The evening saw the farewell dinner with an open bar downstairs
so many of the participants had a very short night when the cars
were loaded early in the morning for the way back.
So when looking back to this week in Spain it is easy to say that
the meeting was as well organized as one could expect due to
the previous experiences with 2fast4you. The region of Burgos is
well worth a visit with a lot of different locations, soft lines of hills
and some harsh rocks. Unfortunately the weather was not what
one would expect for the beginning of June in Spain making it
obvious that this is not a small factor for the impression of an
event, but this is the only thing that is not plannable in advance.
The next meetings in 2012 and 2013 will be held by the national
clubs of the Netherlands and Scotland so one could expect a
total different character for these rallyes. The Dutch event will be
at the border triangle at Vaals and the tour will lead to Belgium
and Germany as well. The Scottish meeting should be in the
Highlands what might become very spectacular as well. What is
sure is the fact that most of this years participants will be back
then and they certainly will have good memories of this years
meeting when they meet again at the welcome dinner 2012.
Text&images: Peter Singhof
Chassis-Numbers compiled by bugatti69 for