Bu­gatti that Bob re­built is stay­ing in NZ

Central Otago Mirror - - MOTORING - ROB MAETZIG

Bob’s ex­tremely rare vin­tage Bu­gatti road­ster has been sold - but it will re­main in New Zealand for all to see.

The 1934 Type 57 Gan­gloff, which spent the past 50 years in the tiny South Is­land vil­lage of Ophir in Cen­tral Otago be­ing re­stored by reclu­sive me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer, the late Bob Turn­bull, has been pur­chased for an undis­closed multi-mil­lion dol­lar sum by Auck­land busi­ness­man Steve Lock­wood.

Now the money earned from the sale will be used by a trust Turn­bull es­tab­lished be­fore he died in 2012, the Bob Turn­bull Char­i­ta­ble Trust, to help po­ten­tial en­gi­neer­ing stu­dents and to carry out char­i­ta­ble work.

And the Bu­gatti will be of­fered for dis­play around prom­i­nent New Zealand car mu­se­ums so that all Ki­wis can learn about this unique ve­hi­cle and the story be­hind it.

"New Zealand is a young coun­try, and we all have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to pre­serve our his­tory for our fu­ture gen­er­a­tions," says Lock­wood.

This sale was man­aged by Waimak Clas­sic Cars, a clas­sic car spe­cial­ists com­pany based in Ran­giora, North Can­ter­bury.

Bob’s Bu­gatti Type 57 rates as one of rarest and most valu­able vin­tage cars in New Zealand. Its lines were cre­ated by the French com­pany’s founder Et­tore Bu­gatti’s son, Jean, and the coach­work was by the fa­mous firm of Gan­gloff.

The 1934 car was the first road­ster by Gan­gloff, the only one pro­duced that year, and it gen­er­ated great in­ter­est at the Paris Mo­tor Show. The fol­low­ing year this same car was en­tered for the Cannes Con­cours d’El­e­gance and won the ti­tle "Grand Prix des Road­sters".

Dur­ing its time in France the car was owned by two prom­i­nent en­trepreneurs and ul­ti­mately an Aus­trian aris­to­crat, be­fore be­ing shipped to New Zealand in 1956.

Bob Turn­bull then pur­chased the ve­hi­cle in 1958 and trans­ported it to Ophir - pop­u­la­tion 50 - where it has been for the past 50 years.

Turn­bull is now recog­nised as one of New Zealand’s most tal­ented en­gi­neers whose abil­i­ties are com­pared with the late John Brit­ten who was best known for his rad­i­cal mo­tor­cy­cle de­signs. A reclu­sive man, Turn­bull is cred­ited with de­vel­op­ing a key ele­ment in jet propul­sion units in the fa­mous Hamil­ton Jet boats now used world­wide.

Since his death, Turn­bull’s Bu­gatti has un­der­gone a groundup restora­tion and has been re­stored to what is be­lieved to be its orig­i­nal colours of pearl with bur­gundy trim and car­pet and pale tan up­hol­stery. Restora­tion was com­pleted in Fe­bru­ary 2015.

The fully-re­stored 1934 Type 57 Bu­gatti Gan­gloff road­ster, just sold to an Auck­land busi­ness­man.

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