A virtual magazine for a true passion!

Editor: Jaap Horst

Volume 12, Issue 2

Some Watkins Glen - Bugattis

Joe Coyle

The photographs were taken by Joe at Vintage Cup at Watkins Glen NY, Sep 7, 2007. His comment:

I do not know if you are acquainted with the Watkins Glen Vintage Cup week, first weekend after Labor Day in the U.S. It has a featured marque each year. The marque this year was BMW! I expected 507s and things. There is a special day in the town as opposed to at the track which is up on a hilltop. The town is at the south end of Seneca Lake- a glacial excavation, one of the NY Finger Lakes, in a fairly deep valley and a really beautiful setting in those last hot days of summer.

I usually just go for the afternoon and evening of the Friday in-town event which bills itself of a "Grand Prix Reenactment"- a reference to the first races held in the village in the late 1940s.
As evening comes on, the guys from up at the track traditionally bring the cars competing in the weekend racing events down into town. These are the participants in the Reenactment which gets under way just before dusk. I always enjoy that immensely. And then the crowd in town, building all day, peaks and fills the main drag- Franklin Street - to overflowing. The cars appear almost suddenly, parked along both curbs for about a quarter mile. And the melee begins. Having the average car nut get this close to museum pieces in this setting is a rare event indeed, and I was near the Glen Park when they arrived.

A friend and I worked our way through the mob, and as we got to the first car in line I was shocked to see a Bugatti! Now, I live in upstate NY- kind of a rube, and I had only seen my first about 4 years ago at the event, and it was in the early stages of restoration- practically a rolling chassis. A couple of years ago, another one appeared- I think a type 35, and it was in really good condition.

So now, back in 2007, I see the first car in line, and I told my friend about those two other sightings, and what a thrill it was to see one. He said "Isn't that another one behind it? I looked and it was! I was getting a little excited. Then he noted that there was a string of them- 7 in all, and I was in shock. Then he said "If that cranks you, I'm afraid to tell you that there is another string on the other side of the road."

So then I went nuts taking pictures. Good light, a 4 megapixil camera and a huge crowd to manage while I tried to get shots. Lightning in a bottle. I don't ever expect to see this again here. I think 16 in all.
BMW weekend, my elbow. I never did see anything rarer than a 2002 cabriolet(!) among the BMWs.

The opening picture is of a recreation of a T59/50B two-seater sport, of which the original is at the Schlumpf museum in Mulhouse

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