As announced on CHB the BCN (Bugatti Club Netherlands) held its autumn rally this past weekend and it was MAGNIFICENT! So sit back and relax, here is the full report of this very enjoyable long BCN weekend. I call this a rally, but in fact it isn’t an official rally with strict rules to get from A to B in a certain time… it is more a relaxed tour, but you know those Bugatti people…!
On Friday my dad (who is a long time BCN member) and I left with our black beauty, the 1950 Delahaye 135MS cabriolet Chapron (of course not on a trailer!). The adventure started right away as everything went wrong that could go wrong…
To make a long story short, the first part of our 250 km long journey took us 2 hours, which usually only takes 20 minutes! It seems that our St. Christopher isn’t very helpful, perhaps because we aren’t catholic and don’t go to church. It seems to be more like a little devil ; ) You might wonder why we join the Bugatti club rallies with a Delahaye? Well my dad, who has been a member for 40+ years, still hasn’t got to the point of buying a Bugatti, but he is most welcome with each of his gorgeous Delahayes, which every one loves! For sure that Bugatti will come one day and of course only a genuine one will do : )
After an entire afternoon of driving in rush hour traffic from the far west to the far east of the country we finally arrived in De Lutte at the fine and idyllic hotel Bloemenbeek, which is a big manor. As you might know patrol heads, especially ‘classic heads’ always have lots to talk about, so it was a very cozy and interesting evening with a delicious dinner.
The first day of action was Saturday and we set off at 9.30 am to enjoy some of the beautiful landscape of the Dutch region of Twente and Germany. The roadbook left no uncertainties for getting to the breaks for coffee etc. My dad drove with his trusted navigator and I like to tease them by calling them Sterling Moss and Denis Jenkinson. I had the honor to be invited to navigate in my dream car… an ATALANTE! A scoop, because it was the fist time that this Atalante met Atalante (my second name). The whole day I had the privilege to be with one of the best known experts of Bugatti history in his Atalante. How cool is that, being able to chat about the most interesting cars with an authority in such a iconic car as the Atalante, which bears a great history with it itself!
I never really got the time to do much navigation so here is another scoop: never blindly follow the others! Even in the BCN some navigators make mistakes, simply because many are always racing against each other. But I think that is one of the best things about the whole day, because it makes it more adventurous! While driving and talking, I gained some great ideas for more articles plus one other great thing that will be mentioned this week, a surprise!
After a long and GREAT day we went back to out manor where a very tasty 5 course dinner was prepared for all the heroes of the day ; ) During the dinner a speech was held by the organizers, who I want to compliment for their great work! In the speech I was also mentioned with CHB since I will also make a report for the BCN Journal. I felt honored that I am allowed to do this! After dinner the bar stayed open for us until the early hours of Sunday to chat even more about our mutual great passion.
The last day, sadly, always only lasts until lunch. We left the hotel at 10.00 am to see more of the great surroundings, but of course most of all the put that Bugatti accelerator down! This is what I really love about this club, no nonsense, no car to just look at and kick tires, but most of all to drive them and have fun with the Bugattis. After all this and passing other cars is what these great race monsters are made for!
On Sunday I joined a family of dad and 3 sons who don’t like to go slow in their T57 Stelvio and T40 Grand Sport. The nickname of the T57 is ‘the BEAST’ and I can confirm that it is indeed a BEAST! That sound of its 8 cylinder engine, WOW very beasty! A beautiful original car as we like to see it. Over the entire trip to the next stop we had Stirling and Jenkinson behind us and in front of us, doing the navigating, the T40, called ‘Red Sien’. As you see, quite a few Bugattis have a nickname, another one is called ‘the gardenhouse’.
After coffee I changed from car again and this time I joined another young Bugattist in his dad’s Brescia. This ride was great fun too, giving even more the real Bugatti experience with the wind thru yr hair and passing other cars! The roads we drove during the rally are truly home to those cars and so the Bugattis themselves enjoyed this weekend as well, as of course also our Delahaye!
After lunch SADLY the rally came to an end, and everyone took off to load their cars on their trailers. But before that there was another surprise… When I came out of the restaurant as one of the last, there was no sign anymore of my dad and the Delahaye… My dad had simply left me behind where we all had lunch in the glass house. Although it was a very nice place, I wanted to leave and there were some very kind rescuers in their Bentley 4 1/2 litre who brought me back. This was a magnificent end to this great weekend! What a great car that Bentley is, with incredible adventurous owners, they have travelled around the world with this Bentley!
I have to admit that it was more than 5 years since I joined the BCN for the frist time. I noticed this past weekend again that the BCN is for me a club that can’t be beaten by any other. This weekend attracted no fewer than 31 Bugattis and more than 80 members. And the BCN, unlike many other (single marque) clubs, has been very successful in continuing the virus to next generations. The third generation is now clearly involved and being prepared to take over at a later point in time. One truly big family with many young people… fantastic! I met lots of fantastic people with ‘classic petrol’ in their blood and I am very grateful for that!
Next time I hope to join the BCN spring 2016 rally in my very own ‘poor man’s Bugatti’ : ) More about this soon! VIVE LA MARQUE! : )
But first there is the Vintage Revival Zandvoort, organized by the Dutch Vintage & Sports Car Club at the race circuit at Zandvoort, in combination with the British Race Festival… I am really looking forward to that!
See more pics of the BCN autumn rally and also soon Zandvoort on CHB Instagram!
Written by Rosemarijn Atalante Veenenbos