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Bugatti International Rallye 2004

8/11/2004

The International Bugatti Rally, which is organized in turns every year by the Bugatti clubs worldwide, took place in England this year. The English Club was eager to take up the challenge to set up this years Rally, as the oldest Bugatti club in the world – and the second oldest ?single marque car club? for that matter – the Bugatti Owners Club (BOC), celebrated a very special anniversary: it?s 75th anniversary.
No less then 130 Bugattis and their crews came to the Cotswolds from the 20th to 26th of June in order to honour the marque in style. The Rally route led through some of the most beautiful parts of the Midlands including Bath, Blenheim Palace and the attractive architecture of Cheltenham.
Highlight of the Rally was certainly the Wednesday. The whole day was spent at the Prescott Hillclimb, home of the BOC and the Bugatti Trust. The famous hillclimb was open the whole day for untimed runs up the track. Especially for this occasion Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. had taken their Royale to Prescott.
It was 46 years that a Bugatti Royale had climbed the Hill for the last time. Quite a lot of people present could still remember this event with fond memories. It was discussed at great length, whether the Type 41 would manage to master the Pardon hairpin without reversing. Well, the Royale and Malcolm Gentry who took the car up no less then 12 times went round in one go brilliantly.
The actual record holder at Prescott on a Bugatti, Charles Dean, who was a passenger in one of the runs up the hill, stated that the car went round Pardon Hairpin probably even quicker then his own Type 51 race car, because the Royale has so much torque and does not have to change back into a lower gear. Last but not least Charles Dean improved his own record that weekend on the short course. The 3,5 ton Royale, even with 5 people on board, mastered the track in roughly 70 seconds.