I know a fellow named Budd Blume here in Oaxaca, and we had lunch a few days ago. Budd is an old-fashioned car nut who has built, owned, raced, and been otherwise involved with some of the world’s most interesting cars. I mentioned that I had just done a post on the new Bugatti Galibier sedan, and so he started talking Bugatti lore.
Turns out a guy named Bob Shaw whom Budd knew in Chicago owned a Type 57 engine and chassis back in the late 1950s and wanted to have a body built for it. Well, the story gets somewhat complicated, and Budd lost track of things until he recently found (on the Internet) that indeed the car had gotten built and was an absolutely unique jewel, to the point of getting blessed by the Bugatti Trust with a legitimate historical production chassis number.
It seems that Bob Shaw’s early project got finally taken over by Ron Kellogg (blue shirt in photo), who financed and finished the car. Instead of telling the story in detail, let me refer you to two more complete accounts. The illustrated history of the car’s development and the people involved is here. More photos and closeups are here.
It is a classic tale—not of automotive discovery and restoration (CG readers may recall last year’s unearthing of a Type 57 hidden for years in an old British garage)—but of creating an authentic Bugatti through the efforts of a group of very talented designers and constructors. Enjoy the photos of that extraordinary process.
For those of you who may not know, Bugatti is one of the world’s historically most significant automakers. Ettore Bugatti began making cars in 1901, founded his own company in 1909, and created some of the most successful and beautiful racing and road cars the world has seen. Bugattis have won more races than any other company, to this day. The fascinating story of Ettore and his grand success has been told many times. A folksy but accurate version is here; a more detailed and detached version here.
Just out of curiosity, how many of you are generally unfamiliar with Bugatti (or recognize the name only)? Please leave us a comment.