Currently reading: 'Drowned' Bugatti sells for £228k
Bugatti Type 22 smashes auction estimate
Autocar
News
1 min read
29 January 2010

This Bugatti Type 22 has been sold at auction for £228,000 - despite spending the last 70 years under the surface of Lake Maggiore in northern Italy.

The car, which had a 30bhp 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine and an advanced multi-valve cylinder head, was first registered in 1925 in Paris, before being unofficially imported to Switzerland by a young architect.

With the Swiss government demanding import duty and the then out-dated car being all but worthless, the cheapest solution was for the car to be pushed into the lake.

Local divers discovered the wreck in the 1960s, 53 metres below the surface and embalmed in mud.

Last year, a salvage team recovered the Bugatti, revealing one side in much better condition than the other as the lake’s mud had helped to preserve it.

The Bugatti was then auction in the Retromobile Auction, fetching £228,000 - £160,000 more than the highest estimate. The winning bidder plans to display the car in its current condition.

Twitter - follow autocar.co.ukSee all the latest Bugatti reviews, news and video

Advertisement
Advertisement

Find an Autocar review

Join the debate

Comments
15
Add a comment…
Uncle Mellow 30 January 2010

Re: 'Drowned' Bugatti sells for £228k

kcrally wrote:
bit of hammerite, some welding rods, wd40, turtle wax .......

I do think the WD40 will come in handy. It will take a good bit of work to maintain the car in its current condition , now that it is exposed to air. How can the tyres be preserved in their current semi-perished state ?

Harry_Boy 30 January 2010

Re: 'Drowned' Bugatti sells for £228k

tannedbaldhead wrote:
I thought they were refering to this unfortunate example. Looks like Buggattis take to lakes like ducks to water.
Amusing that the 'narrator' thought it was a Lambo...

Brava 30 January 2010

Re: 'Drowned' Bugatti sells for £228k

But then again, there was the 14 litre, straight 8 T41 "Royale'.

Rover P6 3500S wrote:
I wonder what happened to that OTHER drowned Bugatti... Anyone else think that the Veyron should have had its V16 up front, been badged as a Bentley and had a two-door, four-seat body looking like a cross between the Brooklands, the InContinental GT (as I like to call it, having seen a bloke relieving himself over one) and the new Mulsanne? This old Bug has a 30bhp, 1.5litre I4, but weighs bugger all. We needed Bugatti back as a kind of Alsatian Lotus/Caterham-style giant-killer, not as the giant itself. Stick a 1.4 litre TSI into a fly-weight RWD tubular spaceframe chassis, give it 1920s/30s Bugatti-style bodywork and they wouldn't be able to build 'em fast enough. The Bug grille just doesn't lend itself to modern bodywork - you need separate headlights on brackets and whatnot to make it work. The Veyron is hideous, pretty slow on a race-track (Caterhams and a supercharged BMW M3 have, among many others, slain the Veyron on the Nordschleife), gob-smackingly, unjustifiably expensive, and, according to Jeremy Clarkson (who, we all know, is unfailingly reliable as a source of information... ha ha), it's pretty unsatisfying to drive at anything other than the far upper reaches of its rev range on a simply massive stretch of straight road. A Caterham, on the other hand, is a hoot at 40mph on the B4157928 between Chipping Cowdung and Little Snoring - and no, I have nothing against the countryside, I live almost within sniffing distance of my nearest farm.

Find an Autocar car review