From CHB’s mystery correspondent
THE UGLY DUCKLING REBORN
Remember Artcurial’s auction in Paris on the Champs-Elysées last year June 22, and the formidable price paid for the Ugly Duckling, the barn find 1925 T13 Brescia Bugatti with sporting body by Maron-Pot et Cie? See HERE.
Sold for 834,400 EUR, chassis 2628 reappeared at Retromobile in fine fettle, as if reborn after a swift restoration. Fortunately its new owner has kept some of the original patina, although its colors have changed to match its patinated appearance. And of course he has removed those horrible bulbous fenders, which made the car look shorter than it actually is. It now goes through life ‘bare wheeled’ and looks great.
ALFA 2900B REMINISCENCES
It was in the early 1970s, when I used to rush at the beginning of each month from Delft to a particular bookshop in The Hague to buy my copy of that illustrious magazine MOTOR SPORT.
As soon as I had it I would quickly page through, in my car, to look at Bill Boddy’s Veteran-Edwardian-Vintage section, especially his V-E-V Miscellany, and then the Classified Advertisement Section and those great ads from the London dealers like Dan Margulies, Frank Dale and Stepsons, Hexagon of Highgate, Robbins of Putney…… and, of course, Coys of Kensignton.
And in the country, David Scott-Moncrieff & Son of Leek, Brian Classic near Manchester, and Colin Crabbe’s Antique Automobiles in Peterborough.
Whenever I was in London I had to go to Queen’s Gate Place Mews to visit the dealers there and admire their stock of always fascinating cars.
One day, there was a most intriguing small private ad in the Classified Ads of Motor Sport. I can still clearly remember today how it caught my eye and kept me contemplating for quite some time. An Englishman, living in the south of France, had placed an ad to sell his Morris Bullnose, nothing special about that, and …. his Alfa 8C 2900B Berlinetta!!! What I strange combination. The price for the two was ridiculously low, although far too high for my very limited student budget.
Some time later a student friend from Delft told me that his father had been the lucky buyer. Of course the seller had received numerous responses, all trying to pilfer the car from him for the announced price, or preferably even less. My friend’s dad was the only one among them who immediately said to the seller that there must have been a mistake in the printing and that he was prepared to pay the true price, which bought him this treasure. And thus chassis 412024 came to the Netherlands in 1976, where it still resides today, in the same family ownership.