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ETTORE BUGATTI, Le Patron, died in 1947, the same year that Road and Track published its first issue. In November 1953, the magazine was six years old when it chose to devote 13 of its 48 pages to a celebration of the Bugatti marque.
Here, I collect some Bugatti images from that time capsule, with comments gleaned from the text—including a particularly curious letter to the editor.
The magazine’s “Correspondence” section contained an item titled “Anyone Seen the Banner?” The letter was from a U.S. Army Major who wrote, “Because of the widespread circulation of your fine magazine among sports car fans, your aid is respectfully requested in the location of a banner which formerly belonged to The United German Automobile Club of Nurnberg, Germany, and which was taken as a souvenir by an unknown soldier in April of 1945.” The war in Europe ended on May 8, 1945.
“The banner, the only one of its kind in existence, is forty-eight years old and is of great sentimental value to the club of its origin. It is understandable that the club members wish to recover it, if possible, and any information leading to its recovery will be gratefully received.”
The Major continued, “Material: heavy silk. Size: Approximately 50 inches by 60 inches. One side is blue with a gold winged figure. The other side is white with blue stripes and has a red and gold colored crest in the center of the field. The initials A.D.A.C. appear below the crest.”
Today, almost 63 years later, where do you suppose this banner resides?
The Type 35 Bugatti was one of the world’s most successful race cars in the late 1920s and 1930s. In one of the articles, Technical Editor John R. Bond noted, “While Ettore’s engine designs may be open to serious questions in light of modern scientific knowledge, the typical Bugatti chassis exhibits distinction and intuition best expressed by the saying ‘what looks right, is right.’ ”
Time capsules can be very satisfying. ds
© Dennis Simanaitis, SimanaitisSays.com, 2016