by Nancy Chayne and Rosemarijn Atalante Veenenbos

We have already seen some wonderful pix of the 57S that once belonged to Charles Chayne. His daughter Nancy was so kind to send another great photo with her Dad behind the wheel of a Bugatti Type 23 Torpedo from 1921. This was chassis n°. 1253, originally with a 16-valve engine, n° 850, later on converted to a V8 engine, but this time from a Ford.

Sadly this is the only way we can admire this T23, because it is said that the car was scrapped during the WW2 scrap drives. Only the radiator and cambox survive.

Luckily Nancy can tell us a bit more about this great historic photo:

This is CAC’s first Bugatti he had during the 7 years when he was teaching Mechanical Engineering at MIT. It is shown in the photo below. It looks like something in the Type 13-23 range, but I have no record of a “Type” designation. The number 1253 is the only identification shown on the license registration.

I believe that it stayed in Boston – either at MIT or sold locally – when we moved to the Midwest, long before GM came into the picture. I know he did not put a V8 into it – they weren’t around at that time – and I can’t say that anyone else did. 

Forensic investigation is challenging and I appreciate your efforts to complete each story. Just thought I’d straighten what I can 🙂 – NCM

What a beautiful tool we have nowadays with internet, which makes it so easy to trace almost every Bugatti you want to know more about. Is it true about the V8 Ford engine? We will probably never know for sure… Let’s keep on sharing the histories of the cars we cherish, even the ones that were destroyed and now live on in petrol heaven, no doubt joined by their former owners.