A virtual magazine for a true passion!

Editor: Jaap Horst

Volume 13, Issue 1b

My Bugatti Story

Frédérick Nakos

Okay….okay…here’s my small story…..

I fell in love with Bugatti in 1968, this was the year where we were all feverishly preparing for our French Baccalaureat in a Montreal college.

I was looking for an MG TD and a good buddy suggested I think about a Morgan instead because TD’s were not being made anymore. I had to listen because his family where quite the collector type. In fact, the very next day he brought a photo of his father’s latest acquisition found in New Brunswick. A type 37 Bugatti !

Well that got me hooked alright…the proportions were exquisite and the motorcycle fenders ,the head lamps…. in fact the whole front end got me drooling. Actually the whole shape. As a budding designer I readily saw that you could not reposition any one item without spoiling the whole effect.

In 1968 and 1969, Type 35 and 37 Bugattis were offered in Road and Track for six or seven thousand dollars. One or two a month, I kid you not. This was still much too high. I ordered a Morgan from Windsor Motors in Ontario for $2900.00 and leather interior was $40.00 more. I cancelled the sale two months later when I found an Mg TD……..don’t say it……

The years passed, the TD was sold and I was being owned by other spirited vehicles; Mini station, Reo Wolverine (!), Austin America, Renault 16…..and my collection of books on all things Bugatti grew. It still does….

I went to Molsheim….did the Meadowbrook concours d’élégance when they celebrated the Bugatti in 1999: plane in Oshkosh, Museum exhibit in Cleveland showing the works of the three generations, and I also was a voluntary guide at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts when they had the “Beauté Mobile” exhibit. 13-14 years ago. I got to live for a couple of months, on week-ends, with Ralph Lauren’s Atlantique and a Type 50 full profilée. Among other incredible cars.

That same year, a bunch of us packed into my first Pontiac Transport Van and we took off for Limerock in Connecticut for the historical races held on Labor day. This was a first for me.

Of course I went like a magnet to the section where the Bugattis were being pampered and I started talking to the lucky owners.

A few years back I had made a few dozen Bugatti bronze belt buckles, sold many to the Cleveland Art Museum for their show, and was flashing it proudly.in the pit. Someone, I later found out that it was a dedicated member of the American Bugatti Club; Mr. Leith asked me how I got to love the Bugatti. I told him the story of the first time that I saw a picture of a Type 37 back, way back in 1968…Ah yes he says, the Beullac type 37, it was restored in Québec….look, see behind the table, next to the lawn chair? There it is !

How I sold the belt buckles to the Cleveland Art Museum gift shop ? Well, I had just parked my car and was walking towards the entrance and was going to cross a quite beautiful young lady when she suddenly pointed at my….but that is another story.

Frédérick Nakos

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