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A rare Bugatti car was plucked from lake after 70 years. It fetched $376K at auction and the new owner is going to put it on display rather than restoring it.


The rare 1925 touring Bugatti was pushed into the water by a frustrated tax official in 1936 after the owner abandoned it in Switzerland without paying the appropriate import tax.




Because the value of the car was less than the money owed, the customs officer was duty bound to destroy it - and decided to push it into Lake Maggiore.

Then, in 1967, the car was re-discovered by a diver, Ugo Pillon, who was curious to find out if there was any truth to the story.

He found the Bugatti lying on its side over 160ft below the surface and from then on members of the local diving club regularly visited it.

It was brought back up to the surface in July of last year by the club to raise money to fund a charity which addresses juvenile violence. It was founded after a fellow diver died after being beaten up by three youths.

The 1925 touring Type 22 Bugatti was built in Brescia in Italy and was first registered in Nancy, France. A small brass plate found on the car bears the name 'George Nielly, 48 Rue Nollet, Paris'. It was registered in his name in 1930.

The car had four cylinders, a 1.5 litre engine and could reach almost 100 miles an hour. It was a two-seater with no roof and was very light.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)

A diver by the car which was found in the lake in 1967, 30 years after it was dumped there by customs officials. Amazingly, there was still air in the tyres (below)



Later versions of the car were made in France, but this was known as a Brescia Bugatti, after the Italian town where it was manufactured.

As to who owned it in Ascona, Switzerland, it has not been determined, however, auctioneers Bonhams believe the most likely candidate is Marco (Max) Schmuklerski, a Zurich-born architect of Polish descent.
He is known to have worked there for three years, designing a number of buildings, before returning to Zurich.

It is possible he acquired the car while studying architecture at the famous Beaux Arts school in Paris where he may have met George Nielly. But Mr Schmuklerski brought it back to Switzerland without paying import duties.

Another theory is that he bought the car from a French tourist or client in Ascona. Whatever the case, the car always kept its French plates and import duties were never paid.
Mr Schmuklerski is believed to have left the car behind when he left Ascona and it then remained stored in a builder's yard.

But customs officials became aware of the car's existence and insisted on the import duties being paid. By this time the duties could well have amounted to more than the value of the well-used car which was 11 years old.




In the case of non-payment, the car had to be destroyed and the easiest way to do so was to tip it into the nearby lake.

But should it ever be needed to be recovered a heavy chain was attached. However this finally corroded away and the car fell to the lakebed at a depth of 160ft.

Incredibly, when it was retrieved last summer, there was still air in the tyres and traces of the original Bugatti blue on its bodywork.

It's believed that 20 per cent of the vehicle is salvageable and collectors and museums are said to be keen to buy it.
 

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That is really cool.... But I don't understand why this fred wouldn't be of interest to women.
 

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If the thing had a back seat there might be a certain kind of fish stains on it.
 

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I feel more comfortable in this thread then the other! I go with restore, but 20% leaves them alot to do, but how cool would it be if they got it done.
 

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Nice find - if they've got 20%, and a good idae of what it should look like complete (Or even another to work off) they can at least create a replica, if not hunt around and find parts to restore the rest from.
Nothing's impossible with these older cars, there's stacks of them quietly sitting in sheds or rusting away somewhere.

For my contribution to a Man Thread though, is a pair of cars, but a bit newer (And definetly capable of moving quicker) than the ol' Bug.

Nissan Skyline

Toyota Supra

Enjoy!
 
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