• Jul 14, 2009
The Bugatti Type 13 – Ettore Bugatti's first automobile to speak of – was a revolutionary design for its time and went on to claim innumerable race victories and put the fledgling company on the map until the outbreak of the First World War put everything on hold in Europe. When the war was over, Europe began the task of rebuilding itself and racing resumed.

Bugatti was back in business, and so was the Type 13. In 1921, Bugatti redesigned the engine with one of the first four-valve heads in the industry and fielded a team at the Brescia Grand Prix, where it swept the competition by claiming first, second, third and fourth places. A public looking for something to celebrate was enamored, so Bugatti gave the Type 13 the Brescia nameplate and began selling customer versions.

Four years later, a Swiss dealer placed an order for three Bugatti Brescias, and while the first two were paid up in full, the third customer somehow failed to pay the applicable duties to import the car and it was subsequently abandoned in Lake Maggiore in northern Italy along the Swiss border. There it sank deeper and deeper for decades before being discovered by divers in the 1960's.

Since then, the Brescia remained a sunken treasure until this past Sunday when a diving crew raised the long-lost Bugatti out of the lake. The car had been sitting on the lake bed for so long that once brought back onto dry land, one of the tires burst with a startling bang. The car will now undergo a full restoration and will be auctioned off to benefit the Damiano Tamagni Foundation, which works to prevent youth violence. Thanks for the tip, Andrés!

[Source: Bazonline.ch | Photo: BugattiPage.com]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 20 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Interesting story.

      I'm usually all for tackling the hard project, but water does terrible, terrible things to automobiles. This will probably be more like "lets re-create every part of this car using this sunken mess as a guide, then salvage the engine block and framerails and call it restored!"

      I wish whomever is attempting it much luck. Take lots of build pics!
        • 5 Years Ago
        I´m sorry, but restoring a car that is around 80 years submerged is about as simple as sending a man to mars... using only a toolbox, fireworks, a crane and a Chevy... a 1980´s Chevy.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Looks like that will buff right out.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I doubt it will be restored! I believe it will be re-fabricated piece by piece. Maybe, MAYBE 10% of what's there could COULD be salvaged!

        IMO that means it will be a clone and have little or no value once completed! Maybe a little more than a kit car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      They tossed it in a lake because of unpaid customs duties ?
      Nice going ...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well the story is a bit different. The car wasn't pushed in the lake by the customs' authorities for unpaid bills. And it wasn't one of three cars ordered by a Swiss importer at the factory.
      The car was delivered new in Nancy, France, 11 april 1925. In the thierties, a french architect was driving it for three years in Switzerland, on french number plates. He never paid any import duties. When he left Switzerland, he gave the car to a family in the Canton Ticino (that's where the lake is situated). The didn't like the gift very much, apparently they didn't want to pay the import taxes which were certainly due, so they wanted to get rid of the car. Solution: chuck it in the lake.That was in 1937.
      The city of Ascona is planning to buy the car and keep it in its "as found" condition as a museum piece.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Okay I have been restoring cars for over 15 years professionally. I took a break in that time period and worked with the conservation company that did the conservation work on the Titanic. (I now do auto restoration work for a museum.) I might be a good fit for this job, but then again I don't envey them one bit. It is however amazing how much an artifact is preserved underwater.

      I hope to see it when it is done.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow, I feel sorry for the people restoring this thing... it's going to be the biggest pain in the butt ever... I bet the feeling they get when it's complete is unbeatable though. Talk about accomplishment!
      • 5 Years Ago
      tony lol a car scar huh for pulling out cars from lakes ? yeap i guess the Democrats would have to spend more tax payers money to undo the wrong doings of the banks, lol assuming any thing like this would happen, but i would not put that sort of thing past any of these crooked banks if the GOP was in charge
      that has back most of the GOP. your right we would have to have a car scar to undo the banks mistakes. lol of cause this is all what ifs but then again when you look at the banks records for the dumb things they have done while under the GOP watch then i guess it really could happen !
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sounds like an automotive version of the P-38 "Glacier Girl" project.

      http://p38assn.org/glacier-girl.htm

      It will still be a very interesting project and a very unique automobile when finished.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I was thinking the same thing!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Not much to save...maybe the VIN tag. Type 13s are not worth this much work.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Yeah, it seems like it'd be easier to build another one from scratch."

      That's exactly what will happen. The only thing 'original' on the restored car will be the serial #...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Maybe Jay Leno should bid on it after it is restored and put up for sale. Would make a nice addition to his amazing collection.
      • 5 Years Ago
      At least it sounds like it was a freshwater lake, rather than an ocean. The first is a hard job, while the second would have just been gone by now.
      -N
      • 5 Years Ago
      "a full restoration"

      a nice detailing, maybe replace that tire and it'll be good as new!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, it seems like it'd be easier to build another one from scratch.
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