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Bug infestation at Hemmings!

Published in blog.hemmings.com

A lineup of prewar Bugattis is nothing short of breathtaking.

“Gotta love Bugatti owners–they drive ’em.” Ask just about anyone even on the fringes of the scene, and that’s the comment you’ll hear about owners of Molsheim’s beloved sports cars. We here at Hemmings had an opportunity to see that firsthand on September 4, when the American Bugatti Club’s International Bugatti Tour stopped by on its way from the U.S. Bugatti Gran Prix at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut to Saratoga Springs, New York.

We noticed Swiss Army rucksacks are a popular accessory on these vintage cars with limited luggage capacity.

A beautiful selection of Bugs from the Teens to the 1940s took over our lot, filled up at our station, and discharged their occupants to enjoy our museum. We naturally rushed out, cameras in hand, to document the occasion and try to drool discretely on the pavement instead of directly on the vintage tin.

The variety of coachwork on Bugattis is always stimulating.

What really strikes you, when you get over the initial star-struck feeling of being in the presence of a high-end ’30s sports car, is how small and jewel-like Bugattis are. Their proportions are along the lines of a Ford Model T or Model A (indeed, the best modern traditional hot rods really mimic Bugattis), but their execution is more like a fine watch than a tractor. One can see why Ettore Bugatti referred to the somewhat-more-brutal Bentleys as “the world’s fastest trucks,” and can’t help but wonder how he would feel about the nothing-exceeds-like-excess 1,001-hp, 4,300-pound Veyron.

We think we had this one as a Hot Wheels as a kid.

Because the driving bug has these folks so tightly in its clutches, we didn’t manage to pin down many of them to talk in our hurry to document the crowd. They seemed like friendly folk, though, so if they pass through your way, be sure to chat them up. We only know the identity of one of these cars, the 1932 Type 55 (the only one in existence, according to the gentleman we spoke with–presumably this refers to the coachwork), so you may want to treat this as an all-Bugatti car spotting: What do you see here?

This 1932 Type 55 was said to be one of a kind.