Bonhams Sale 18191 - Automobiles d'Exception á Rétromobile, 23 Jan 2010 Rétromobile Salon, Porte de Versailles, Paris
One of the most celebrated of all Bugattis, having lain submerged beneath the waters of Lake Maggiore in Switzerland for more than 70 years.
The story going around Ascona is that Marco Schmuklerski left in 1936, leaving behind the Bugatti, which was stored in the yard of a local building contractor, Barra. Its owner at this time is not known, but the local customs officers knew of the car's existence and insisted on payment of the import duties owed. At that point these duties may have amounted to more than the value of the Bugatti, which was 11 years old and well used. In the case of non-payment of the duties, the car had to be destroyed and the simplest way to do so was to tip it into the nearby lake. To facilitate its recovery the Bugatti was attached to a heavy chain, but when this finally corroded away the car fell to the lakebed at a depth of 53 metres.