Experiments & details
This Greenwich Concours wrap-up involves Étore Bugatti, who experimented with all types of materials to make his racers lighter, and thereby faster.
Very few know the story of the Type 35 de Laine. Crafted from an ages-old material, it had never before been used for any type of machine, let alone a racing car. In testing, the de Laine was incredibly fast, and could seemingly bend around turns and stretch out to a comfortable lead on any straightaway.
So excited was he to enter the de Laine in its first competition, Étore stayed up all night just admiring his new creation. As the night wore on, Étore dozed off with the de Laine sitting outside the shop. The sound of rain tapping on the tin shop roof startled Étore. He woke up, and to his horror, the de Laine was now half its original size!
Jacques Berger, who supplied Étore with the de Laine’s secret material, was not surprised.
“I told him ‘never race in the rain’. But you know Étore: a visionary, but a bit hard headed.”
“My wife even commented ‘tell Étore the whole thing is a baaaad idea’. She’s a real joker, you know?”
Disgusted, Étore abandoned his concept and it is said that he never ate mutton again.
Article and photo by Nick Puccia