A Man Left His Bugatti At The Bottom Of The Lake Because He Didn’t Want To Pay Taxes – It Remained Under The Water For 73 Years


Many people fantasize about having many cars in their garages. The stars often make this dream come true for themselves. Meanwhile, the ordinary people can keep dreaming about having their own car park.

Most of the cars in these personal car parks are in show condition. There is no rust or a bit of dust on the cars. No one wants to have a rusted car in his/her garage. However, you will probably change your mind about owning a rusted car after you read this article completely.

Between 1935 and 2009, a vintage and custom built Bugatti Type 22 Brescia Roadster from 1925 remained at the bottom of the lake called Maggiore. This lake is located on the board of Italy and Switzerland and near France.

The car was sold in 2010 for 360 thousand American dollars. It was in terrible condition and there are no plans for its restoration. It will remain like this.

The Bugatti was originally built in Brescia, Italy. Then, it was registered in Nancy, France. In 1930, the owner was probably George Nielly, who lived on 48 Rue Nollet in Paris. This was discovered from a brass plate which was discovered inside the car when it was removed from the lake.

This car has 4 cylinders and a 1.5 liter engine. It could achieve a speed of nearly 100 miles an hour, which was a huge speed at those times.

At some point in time, the ownership of the car was changed. According to local sayings, it was owned by Rene Dreyfus, a well known grand Prix driver. He lost the car in a drunken poker game in 1934 in Paris.

The car was won by Adalbert Bode, a well know playboy from Switzerland. It is also possible that it was owned by an architect from Zurich, named Max or Marco Schmuklerski, who was originally from Poland.

It is possible that the Bugatti was acquired by Max at that time, who was a student of architecture on the prestigious college Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris.

However, it is not known from who did Max received or bought the car. Max brought the Bugatti in Switzerland and put it into storage. However, he forgot to pay the import duties for the car.

The vehicle was seized by the authorities when they found out that Max imported the car without paying the tax.

It was decided for the car to be destroyed by the authorities because the cost of the import tax duties was higher than the value of the car.

On the other side, the local inhabitants say that Bode was trying to cross the border into Switzerland together with the car, but he did not have enough money to pay the tax duties.

At the time, the car had a very small value, so Bode told the officials to do what they want with the car and he left it in their possession.

No matter how the Bugatti arrived into Switzerland, the officials in this country decided to destroy the car by rolling it into the lake. Then, the car sank to the bottom of the lake and remained there till 2009.

The car was seen again in 1967, when Ugo Pillon, a diver, located the wrecked car. Since then, the car made the lake a popular diving spot for more than 40 years. Finally, in 2009 and group of divers from a local rescue diver club decided to remove the car from the bottom of the lake.

An unpleasant incident happened. Damano Tamgni, a young local man from the area, was attacked and killed in a random act of violence. Three youths beat him so severely that he died from his injuries.

This tragedy led the club to create a nonprofit foundation in this young man’s name in order to stop violence among the youth. The divers club was planning to raise funds for the foundation by selling the rusted Bugatti that they retrieved from the lake.

The removing the car from the water was not an easy task. It took nine months and 30 volunteers helped in the recovery. On the car, there were still blue patches of the original paint. The tires of the car were also inflated.

The car was then prepared for the Bonhams’ auction which was help in Retromobile in Paris. In 2010, an automotive museum from California bought the car for 370,000 dollars.

The enamel radiator badge and the chassis number plate of the Bugatti are missing, but all the other important numbers are still there.

Today, the car is kept in a room with a dim light and the car is a work of art rather than a simple antique car.

This car has a rich history. It changed owners and was a local tourist attraction for many years. Moreover, how it preserved itself under the water, makes it even more unusual and interesting.

Reference: The Vintage News


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