by Nancy Chayne and Rosemarijn Atalante Veenenbos
The wonderful thing about sharing the history of special cars via CHB is that it might result in solving a mystery, or you get the exact answer you were looking for. It was a most pleasant surprise when I received a mail concerning the Buickatti and not just from someone… The daughter of Charles Chayne himself! Nancy Chayne was so kind to tell me more about the Buickatti since our story had ended with a mystery: “What remains a mystery to me is why Bunny didn’t convert…”
So let’s find out from Nancy’s letter why the Buickatti didn’t loose its special nickname:
Following up on your blog post on the “Buickatti”, I’m Charles Chayne’s daughter, Nancy. You wrote “what remains a mystery to me is why Bunny didn’t convert…”
Well, I have this only anecdotally, but what I clearly remember is that my Dad sold the car to Bunny (for just Dad’s original purchase cost) specifically because Phillips had the correct original Bugatti engine.
But, his wife Lucille did get to enjoy it, and enjoyed the performance of the Buick aluminum V-8, plus the radio and AC amenities. Bunny called up Dad and said “Do you MIND if I don’t convert it back? Lucille is really enjoying it as it is!” Naturally Dad said “Yes” and was suitably flattered.
And so it was precisely how you well-describe the impressive “Buickatti” performance that Mr. and Mrs. Phillips preferred to enjoy in their remaining years, and that’s why it went to auction with the Buick engine still installed.
Hope that helps flesh out the fine narrative you posted. Thanks for putting this in e-history.
The photos below show the 57S at my Dad’s final residence in Pebble Beach in 1964, with the California MYT848 plates. – Nancy
What a fine sequel to the story about the Buickatti.