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Peebles, 16th – Pitlochry, 22nd of June

Well over 80 years ago, back in 1929 the Bugatti Owners Club (BOC) was formed by three enthusiasts in London just a few years after the first Bugatti was delivered to the island. It is not a big surprise that the small and nimble cars with the horseshoe- shaped radiator became very popular in the country of the sportsmen with countless club racing events, hill climbs and timed trials and just like the also very active members of the Bentley Divers Club those of the BOC used their cars extensively over the decades. The BOC even owns an own hill climb circuit with the Prescott Hill serving as base for many club activities but also as head quarter.

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But certainly Great Britain was not the only country apart from France were Bugatti were regularly used by their owners and so the idea of a transregional gathering finally came to life with the first International Bugatti Meeting in 1963 attracting more than 60 cars from all over Europe and a few from America and even from South Africa to the Prescott head quarter. Over ten days the entrants explored the British countryside to end at Goodwood and the big success of the premiere led to an annual event being one of the highlights in the Bugatti calendar. In the following years rallies were organized by various national Bugatti Clubs with the last meetings in Italy, Austria, Spain and the Netherlands but for the 50th anniversary this year's meeting was back in the UK, in Scotland to be more concrete.

On Sunday the 16th of June almost 100 cars from all over the world arrived at the Hydro Hotel in Peebles, just a few miles south of Edinburgh. Being a long way from central Europe many of the participants used the ferry to Newcastle and after the drive up to the Scottish Borders a whole group of Belgium, Dutch and German entrants were welcomed by the already arrived British teams. As most of the entrants are regulars to the International Meeting it was a big reunion and the first stories from the last years adventures were exchanged even before the cars were unloaded from the trailers and lined-up in front of the hotel accompanied by the traditional strains of the bagpipe, the Scottish national instrument. Some of the owners have brought a new acquisition but most of the cars were well known from the previous years, a colourful mix from small Grand Prix models and some touring cars from the T40, T46 or T57 series.

A few cars have to be mentioned, for example the T55 with the typical Jean Bugatti roadster design. This particular car (55208) was entered in Le Mans in 1934 driven by Zehender before it got its present body (from another T55) to be used on the road after the war. The car ended in the collection of the late Bill Serri before it went to the Mas du Clos Collection of Pierre Bardinon and was just bought prior to the International Meeting by Peter Mullin as latest addition to his fabulous collection of French classics in Oxnard (California) making this car a very good example for the word “provenance”.

Another interesting car was the Bugatti T57S (C) Atalante that was sold as “barn find” back in 2009 at the Bonhams Auction in Paris after spending more than 5 decades in the same ownership. It was first owned by Lord Howe who was one of the first presidents of the BOC and who is known being a true gentlemen driver in those days including a Le Mans victory with Tim Birkin in 1931. The story of this particular car (57502) is rather unusual as most of the Bugatti were used throughout their live and never taken off the road, in a time long before the classic car community became an industry of its own this resulted in a lot of interchanges of parts between different cars to keep them running. Some say a matching numbers car was never used properly in time and today the range of cars spreads from complete original to reconstruction including a varying amount of genuine parts. Thanks to the records of the different club registers most of the car histories are well known and some of these rebuild cars are even listed with a BOC chassis number. As many of these cars are very well done they are welcomed as well in the rally to take the small road under their wheels.

The first leg on Monday was a tour to the south-east along the Scottish Borders to Abbotsford. Being the shortest of the following stages the warm-up for the week was a relaxing 100 miles drive through the rich green landscape of south Scotland on narrow country roads free of traffic, the ideal playground for the vintage cars, especially the more sportive ones. A first challenge was the way up the steep hill of Talla Linn passing the Talla Reservoir but all the cars mastered that road to be rewarded with a spectacular view on the lake followed by a first coffee break by the St.Mary´s Loch before the lunch at Abbotsford House in Melrose. The cars were parked on a field next to their predecessors with a single HP behind the tent were the buffet lunch was served. Although most of the day was overcast the weather was much better than the predicted weather forecast and it went even better the following days leaving a few participants “disappointed” about the un-typical Scottish weather with sunny spots on all the following days.

The evening was spent with a dinner at the hotel but several entrants could be seen in various pubs and restaurants in the centre of Peebles as not all of them were happy with the dinner at the reception the day before. Some might say that the British kitchen is not famous for good food but even a few years ago in Tuscany some avoided the official dinners showing that a warm kitchen for more than 200 people is always a problem no matter where you are.

Whereas the first day was a rather short trip the second days morning already had 100 miles of country roads to explore on the way south-east through the Scottish Border region. This area looks back to a long history of battles between Scotland and England, unfortunately just a few remains from that period were seen along the deserted roads. At Carter Bar the border was passed with a great view over the region, after the drive through the Northumberland National Park coffee was served on a first stop at the Otterburn Castle Hotel in perfect sunshine. Being also the southernmost point of the day the journey led north-east to the Alnwick Castle for lunch. Alnwick Castle is built after the Norman Conquest and dates back to the 12th century, today the castle features a splendid garden remodelled after an usage as acreage during WWII and restored main buildings. The castle was the location in various films including several Robin Hood movies but became more known as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series. Today the castle and the gardens are a very busy touristic attraction. The way back to Peeble was the last drive though this area before the move the following day and led though several rape fields and along the river Tweed that marks the border between Scotland and England here.

As mentioned before the Wednesday was the day of the move to a new hotel. After two days in the south of Scotland the next day's should be spent in the Scottish Highlands in an area that corresponds more the view of the foreign visitors of this country. The day started early in the morning with a convoy to the Scottish capitol Edinburgh to visit the historic town centre. The cars were parked on various locations on the Royal Mile, the heart of the old town connecting the Holyrood House and new Parliament Building with the Edinburgh Castle on top of the hill. Several cars found their spot just in front of St.Giles Cathedral, some Grand Prix cars were parked directly on the High Street that is closed for cars after a busy delivery morning, the rest was parked next to Holyrood House. The crews had a day off to explore the city, do some shopping in a variety of souvenir, Kilt and Whiskey shops along the touristic mile or visit the castle. Few might have taken the hill down at the Holyrood Park as the long and weary climb rewarded with a spectacular view over the old town, the Holyrood House, the Parliament and even to the harbour in a distance. It was also easy to see why not all Scots are pleased with the new parliament built by the Spanish architect Enric Miralles that contrasts the Queens palace on the other side of the road and looks a little bit foreign in the historic surrounding.

After the visit to Edinburgh the Bugatti were driven up to Pitlochry to the Atholl Palace Hotel as base for the next days and the excursions into the highlands. Not all of the participants were happy about the change of the hotel especially when travelling with the trailer as these had to be picked up after the Edinburgh visit giving some extra miles that evening. But this was just a small price to pay for the great landscape of the highlands on the next days.

First on Thursday morning the cars passed the House of Bruar, a famous shopping centre for all things Scottish and took the motorway north to get into the highlands. After leaving the motorway the landscape was still mostly rich green pastures and dreamy forest roads and we passed the ruins of an old English military barrack in the heart of Scotland. Lunch was served in a private lodge of the size of no less than 146 sq km. As the cars arrived very early because of the motorway passage the crews had the opportunities to try some fishing and hunting near the house and in the surrounding park. After leaving the lodge the landscape soon became rougher passing some plateaus and glens with very little vegetation, about the surrounding one expects when thinking of Scotland, this was also the highest point of the tour with an attitude of about 2000 ft. The afternoon stop was at the Balmoral Castle, the royal castle in the highlands and their summer retreat. The cars were lined up in front of the castle during the visit and made a great addition to those who came to visit the estate.

The last day of the International Meeting was leading around some of the local Lochs, the Scottish name for lake. Scotland was numerous of them and no less than three of them are close to Pitlochry. Unfortunately the program was changed between the print of the program and the final road book as to loop around Loch Rannoch was once in the afternoon on the first version and in the morning at the second, this resulted in several cars not driving this part at all. Together with an alternative road choice in the afternoon several of the cars were not seen the whole day except for the lunch stop at the MacDonald Rannoch Hotel at the east side of Loch Rannoch as the cars arrived from all different directions for the final stop of the week. As the day ended with a gala dinner the crews were not intended to arrive late at the hotel so this was a rather short day again. On the way back most of the drivers took the way over the House of Bruar to do buy some souvenirs for the beloved at home, just a few took the shorter way along Loch Tummel to visit the Queens View, a viewpoint overlooking the Loch and the surrounding mountains.

Arrived at the hotel most of the owners were busy loading the cars for the journey home the next day and prepare for the gala dinner but still a few had the time to take a beer in front of the hotel and recapture the impressions of the last days. One could see that the Bugatti family is a very close one with some old friendships from numerous meetings and new ones from the last five days. Impressive is the cooperativeness, in case of a breakdown at least five cars stop immediately to get the car fixed with combined force. As most of the owners are familiar with the technique of their cars most problems could be solved roadside and soon the cars are back on their way. This is very refreshing to see when comparing to the big rallies like the Tour Auto or Mille Miglia where most drivers have their own mechanic with them, as some oily hands and a bought beer in the evening are good for the spirit. Just in case the IBM is also accompanied by professional mechanics from Gentry Restoration who changes a broken piston ring already on the first day on the parking lot.

On Saturday they all left in different directions but many of them might be back next year when the IBM is held in New Zealand. Certainly the far distance and the shipping cost might be a problem but it is also a very good chance to visit a new continent with some like-minded. The British meeting will be certainly held in good memories as this was almost as good as it gets with great landscape, very pleasant roads without lot of traffic, something that is rarely found in central Europe. The good weather was a nice addition and it almost seemed that Ettore was holding his hands over the meeting as the expected rain set in just on Saturday morning after Breakfast on the way to the airport.

We have uploaded a gallery showing the days in chronological order rather than sorted by car this time to give an impression of the meeting and the different locations. All participating cars could be seen at least once on the road driving during the five days in one of the galleries. Those who took part might find this a nice souvenir of a great time, all the others hopefully just enjoy the great cars in a great scenery.

Report & Images ... Peter Singhof www.ClassicCarPhotography.de


International Bugatti Meeting Scotland (2013-06-25)
001 Bugatti T35B s/n BC135 Dillon/Royer (AUS)
002 Bugatti T57C Stelvio s/n 57661 Longes/Longes (AUS)
003 Bugatti T49 Cabriolet Chiattone s/n 49248 Shellard/Chen (AUS)
004 Bugatti T50T Cabriolet Weinberger Rep. s/n BC139 Huebner/Huebner (A)
005 Bugatti T22 Brescia s/n 1068 Baele/Herman (B)
006 Bugatti T57S(C) Atalante s/n 57502 Fabri/Lechat (B)
007 Bugatti T44 Torpedo Cattelan s/n 44746 Hanegreefs/Beeckman (B)
008 Bugatti T49 Coupe Uhlik s/n 49274 Hardy/Morettin (B)
009 Bugatti T43 Grand Sport s/n 43219 Jacqmard (B)
010 Bugatti T35B s/n 4924-R Leyssens/Rubenschuh (B)
011 Bugatti T37 Sport s/n 37246 Mahy/van Loo (B)
012 Bugatti T44 Roadster s/n 44333 Meeus/Meulemans (B)
013 Bugatti T44 s/n 441085 Follows/Follows (CAN)
014 Bugatti T37 Sport s/n 37155 Koux/Greisen (DK)
015 Bugatti T37 Sport s/n 37124 Benoit-Latour/Benoit-Latour (F)
016 Bugatti T43 Grand Sport s/n 43171 Chambon/Chambon (F)
017 Bugatti T35/38A s/n 4240-R de Waele/de Waele (F)
018 Bugatti T30A Torpedo s/n 4444 Dubrulle/Dubrulle (F)
019 Bugatti T40 Roadster s/n 40699 Elchinger/Elchinger (F)
020 Bugatti T40 s/n BC174 Friedli/Chevriet (F)
021 Bugatti T44 Cabriolet Reuflet s/n 441074 Jaillon/Jaillon (F)
022 Bugatti T44 Novo/Caudron (F)
023 Bugatti T49 Roadster Nyffeler s/n 49555 Porez/Porez (F)
024 Bugatti T38 Torpedo Lavocat&Marsaud s/n 38221 Dimbath/Dimbath (D)
025 Bugatti T43 Grand Sport s/n 43211 Kreyer/Sievert (D)
026 Bugatti T37 Sport s/n 37310 Reinold/Rodriguez (D)
027 Bugatti T43 Grand Sport s/n 43192 Roeser/Roeser (D)
028 Bugatti T35C Grand Prix s/n 4928/4696 Rothlauf/Rothlauf (D)
029 Bugatti T40 Grand Sport s/n 40671 von Ritter/von Ritter (D)
030 Bugatti T35 Grand Prix s/n 4777 Casella/Casella (I)
031 Bugatti T43 Grand Sport s/n 43230 du Gan/du Gan (USA)
032 Bugatti T13 Brescia s/n 950 Majno/Majno (I)
033 Bugatti T23 Torpedo Jarvis s/n 2559 Pecori Giraldi/Pecori Giraldi (I)
034 Bugatti T37A Sport s/n 37276 Procovio (I)
036 Bugatti T13 Namiki/Namiki (J)
037 Bugatti T37A/51 s/n 37366 Takemoto/Takemoto (J)
038 Bugatti T35 s/n 4421-R Feltes/Hilger (LUX)
039 Bugatti T49 Cabriolet Gangloff s/n 49563 Kaufmann/Kaufmann-Engel (LUX)
040 Bugatti T37 Sport s/n 37122 Blokhuis/Blokhuis (NL)
041 Bugatti T57C Stelvio Gangloff s/n 57679 Braam Ruben/Dessart (NL)
042 Bugatti T44 s/n 44266 Jansen/Tucker (NL)
043 Bugatti T35B/R s/n BC136 Klopper/Klopper-Kes (NL)
044 Bugatti T44 Cabriolet s/n 44694 Klopper/Klopper (NL)
045 Bugatti T40 Grand Sport s/n BC064 Legger/Legger (NL)
046 Bugatti T57 Stelvio s/n 57257 Martens/Martens (NL)
048 Bugatti T43 Grand Sport R s/n BC129 Scholtens/Wolff (NL)
049 Bugatti T38 Cabriolet Figoni s/n 38345 Slijpen/Kohlen (NL)
050 Bugatti T37 Sport s/n 37256 Sontrop/Sontrop (NL)
051 Bugatti T38/44 Roadster Grad Sport s/n 38101 van Egmond/van Egmond (NL)
052 Bugatti T55 R Super Sport s/n BC092 Rogers/Rogers (NZ)
053 Bugatti T57 Cabriolet Graber s/n 57483 van Deventer/van Deventer (NZ)
054 Bugatti T57 Cabriolet Graber s/n 57394 van Deventer/van Deventer-Woessink (NZ)
055 Bugatti T35C s/n 4918 Bystrom/Bystrom (S)
056 Bugatti T43/44 s/n 441119/43291 Soderberg/Soderberg (S)
057 Bugatti T57 Ventoux s/n 57581 Capra/Thomas (CH)
058 Bugatti T43 Grand Sport s/n 43164 Grell/Grell (CH)
059 Bugatti T43 Grand Sport s/n 43160 Huet/Huet (CH)
060 Bugatti T44 Jaunin/Williams (CH)
061 Bugatti T49 Grand Sport s/n 49277 Koenig/Koenig (CH)
062 Bugatti T37A s/n 37221 Meier/Batouskova (CH)
063 Bugatti T37 Sport s/n 37130 Raess/Raess (CH)
064 Bugatti T37 Sport s/n 37295 Perego/Perego (CH)
065 Bugatti T51 s/n BC096 Bullock/Bullock (GB)
066 Bugatti T49 s/n 49241/44922 Chadwick/Chadwick (GB)
067 Bugatti T43 s/n 43214 Conway/Conway (GB)
068 Bugatti T46 Roadster Ottin s/n 46501 de Ferranti/de Ferranti (GB)
069 Bugatti T57 C Stelvio Gangloff s/n 57824 Dutton/Coyne (GB)
070 Bugatti T39 GP s/n 4604 Hands (GB)
071 Bugatti T37 s/n 37147 Hitchman/Hitchman (GB)
072 Bugatti T49 DHC by Neuss s/n 49428 Housego- Woolgar/Housego-Woolgar (GB)
073 Bugatti T43A Roadster s/n 43295 Kain/Kain (GB)
074 Bugatti T49 Roadster s/n 49542 Knight/Knight (GB)
075 Bugatti T37A* Lambourn/Lambourn (GB)
076 Bugatti T57 Cabriolet James Young s/n 57391 Marks/Marks (GB)
077 Bugatti T51 s/n 51156 Marks/Marks (GB)
078 Bugatti T59 s/n BC059 Marks/Marks (GB)
080 Bugatti T38/44 Grand Sport s/n BC 019 McNab/McNab (GB)
082 Bugatti T37 s/n 37143 Missen/Missen (GB)
083 Bugatti T30 Roadster s/n 4315 Missen (GB)
084 Bugatti T37 s/n 37225 Missen (GB)
085 Bugatti T43 Grand Sport s/n 43239 Preston/Treutlein (GB)
086 Bugatti T37A Sport s/n 37282 Trevelyan/Trevelyan (GB)
087 Bugatti T23 s/n 2804 Trevelyan (GB)
089 Bugatti T37A s/n BC150 Whitaker (GB)
090 Bugatti T44 Grand Sport s/n 44790 Wilson/Wilson (GB)
093 Bugatti T13 Brescia s/n BC004 Bird (USA)
094 Bugatti T57 s/n 57508 Cleary/Cleary (USA)
095 Bugatti T35B s/n 4955 Davidson/Willis (USA)
096 Bugatti T23 Brescia s/n 2243 Greene/Greene (USA)
097 Bugatti T57S Hull/Hull (USA)
098 Bugatti T40 Grand Sport s/n 40793 Mize/King (USA)
099 Bugatti T55 s/n 55208 Mullin/Mullin (USA)
100 Bugatti T37 Sport s/n 37144 Rheault/Rheault (USA)
102 Bugatti T40A Roadster s/n 40837 Stranberg/Stranberg (USA)
103 Bugatti T49 Cabriolet Pritchard&Demollin s/n 49229 Voboril/Voboril (USA)

List compiled with the help of Christian Anicet