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 Post subject: Revisiting 57473.
PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 3:21 pm 
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Location: Port Elizabeth; South Africa
You in the mood for a rather long and rambling essay on why the impossible should be made possible? You are? Oh good, read on please.

The more I heard about the return of a resurrected 57473 the more cynical I grew. I heard rumours of a fake chassis in the process of receiving a genuine provenance courtesy of a much loved Bugatti historian. Respected Bugattisti the world over turn their backs in disgust. And me too. As Pebble Beach rolled on I was sharpening my keyboard in anticipation of unleashing a torrent of abuse and then. And then .......... It is so #&*$^#@ pretty.

For the longest time I remained content simply to gaze in wonder ; it's exact provenance of no real importance, but recently I find myself growing ever-more curious about what exactly this is not. It cannot legitimately carry the chassis number 57473 ; there simply is not enough left.

However, not all was destroyed in the accident. Some components survive. Few of these were incorporated into M. Berson's creation. Fewer still went into M. Seydoux's ravishingly gorgeous dark burgundy Atlantic. When the latest resurrection was started M. Berson sold all the components he saved, but not utilised in his own recreation (by all accounts that blue car was never quite "right."), on to the new owner. I also heard M. Berson was paid a lot of money to remember things he never knew he remembered. And to this day I have no real idea how much of the Chatard Atlantic is incorporated into the car that would be 57473. Mick Walsh wrote in Classis & Sports Car this car now "carries most of its original body." A photograph I've seen would indicate the car to be all-new. So the car at Pebble may carry some original body panels, or those panels are still in as-found condition ; carefully preserved no doubt. Neither path devoid of merit.

But can the glorious work performed by Paul Russell make any difference to its heritage, its provenance? For the answer to be affirmative I find myself in disagreement with respected - but not really liked, so I hear - Historian Emeritus Doug Nye ; in response to the debacle over a Le Mans Bentley he dismissed the idea that a machine can be a sentient being. Doug says a car cannot have a soul. I'm not so sure, the more complex and complicated a machine becomes the more it develops a personality, take the internet for example - whether or not the damn thing is self-aware remain merely a vaguely terrifying future scenario, but it sure is resistant to censorship innit? Ask the U.S. Supreme Court. And Herman.

Is it really so deep into the realm of the impossible to believe that enough of this car survived the horror of the train to be able to declare : Some of it survive. The Soul of 57473 survive. And roughly 20% of the body panels.

Okay, so not enough to be original, I'll give you that, but enough to own this rather fabulous history I submit. With humilty gloriously absent. Paul Russell is of the philosophy that a component can be restored back to original ; he is therefore the right man tasked with recreating all that was lost so that the bits that survived can have somewhere to belong, see? Not original no. But glorious all the same. Should you find yourself hesitant to agree with me kindly take a look at a few of the photographs on this very site. Now call it a complete fake. It doesn't sound right does it?

I wonder if I would have been so magnanimous if I did not find Mr. Paul Russell's Atlantic even more beautiful than her two gloriously original (gloriously authentic then - better?) sisters. I think this is what a Talbot Teardrop will look like post balls dropped.

Kind Regards
Johan Buchner
Provocateur


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 Post subject: Re: Revisiting 57473.
PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 8:39 pm 
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Posts: 334
Not wishing to have a public argument with you Johan, I have to say that I disagree.


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 Post subject: Re: Revisiting 57473.
PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 9:16 pm 
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Posts: 2285
ATLANTIC
My favourite topic, that could become interesting.
Johan are you back ?


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 Post subject: Re: Revisiting 57473.
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 4:47 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2007 10:39 am
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Location: Port Elizabeth; South Africa
Greg Morgan wrote : "Not wishing to have a public argument with you Johan, I have to say that I disagree."

I find your disagreement most reassuring ; in the back of my mind the warning sign that my infatuation with this creation caused reason to disintegrate into sentimentality kept flickering with the deadly frequency of a migraine. Your point of view bring some much needed objectivity ; and the relief of knowing that I am, in all probability, mistaken.

I yield to your superior judgement Sir ; Us few, Us precious few who believe 57473 to be something other than a complete fake and an imposter of the lowest caste, we are wrong. The car's a fake - just look at it will you?

NOT.

I Remain, Of Course,
Johan

PS. Yes Uwe, for the time being, I'm back. Till I grow weary of computers again. The more technology evolve the more I find sanctuary in books.


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 Post subject: Re: Revisiting 57473.
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 5:03 pm 
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Posts: 642
Hi Johan,
Then this should be a nice book for you :wink: :
viewtopic.php?f=19&t=2229

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 Post subject: Re: Revisiting 57473.
PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 5:43 pm 
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Location: Port Elizabeth; South Africa
Being wrong. I find as I get older I appreciate the cleanliness of a simple mistake. Being slightly wrong, as always, remain a moral quagmire, but getting things totally wrong is liberating. I find.

I fell in love with Paul Russell's creation, one of the few Atlantic recreations that looked totally 'right'. I love the shape and I love that wonderfully understated colour, that brown interior, those painted wires ; usually such a severe finish ruin a car but here it celebrates both the sublime modifications made to the original and the dazzling brilliance of Paul Russell's craftsmen. And it is this love that caused me to fixate on the, "something survive - something is more than nothing" nonsense and in the process completely ignoring the blatantly obvious : Not enough survive.

The original chassis - gone.
The original scuttle - gone.
The original engine - gone.
The original gearbox, prop shaft, differential, rear axle, brake drums and wheels - gone.
The front axle, springs, shocks, brake drums and wheels - gone.
The Atlantic previously known as 57473 - gone.

A few body panels, at most, does not a survivor make. Pity.

Kind Regards
Johan Buchner


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 Post subject: Re: Revisiting 57473.
PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 7:45 pm 
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Posts: 97
Sad thing to say is that given how little of this car truly remains -- there is more there (and at least continious verified history/ownership) then a lot of the Bugatti's that nobody questions their authenticity thereof!

I've known of cars built from less and passed off as "authentic" and that went on to win class at PB and other concours. The great thing about this particular Bugatti (and public disclosure) is they are being honest in what it is today -- it could have just as been as easy to "recreate" as per original and then let historians spend the next 30 years arguing the specifics.

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 Post subject: Re: Revisiting 57473.
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 7:20 am 
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It is also a car for which a lot of marketing is created. I bet it is for sale in 2011.

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 Post subject: Re: Revisiting 57473.
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 1:56 pm 
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Johan Buchner wrote:
Being wrong. I find as I get older I appreciate the cleanliness of a simple mistake. Being slightly wrong, as always, remain a moral quagmire, but getting things totally wrong is liberating. I find.

I fell in love with Paul Russell's creation, one of the few Atlantic recreations that looked totally 'right'. I love the shape and I love that wonderfully understated colour, that brown interior, those painted wires ; usually such a severe finish ruin a car but here it celebrates both the sublime modifications made to the original and the dazzling brilliance of Paul Russell's craftsmen. And it is this love that caused me to fixate on the, "something survive - something is more than nothing" nonsense and in the process completely ignoring the blatantly obvious : Not enough survive.

The original chassis - gone.
The original scuttle - gone.
The original engine - gone.
The original gearbox, prop shaft, differential, rear axle, brake drums and wheels - gone.
The front axle, springs, shocks, brake drums and wheels - gone.
The Atlantic previously known as 57473 - gone.

A few body panels, at most, does not a survivor make. Pity.

Kind Regards
Johan Buchner


In your own body, all parts are continuously being renewed, after a year there are very few atoms left from the year before. Still the soul is the same.

Can this be the case for 57473?

Not literally of course, but the different rebuilders / restorers have been spending so much time with this car, studying it's history etc. that maybe by doing so they put some of the original soul back into the car?

For of course she is a beauty, almost beyond comparison with any other car. And yes, such a car must be feminine (no offence Johan).

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 Post subject: Re: Revisiting 57473.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:16 am 
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Location: Vale Serves, Portugal
Well, for what I've gathered (wich I humbly aknowledge isn't much), all that's left of the original is:

- Part of the left side of the car (from which the paint was duplicated from remains found on the panels);
- Parts of the roof;
- Dashboard;
- Engine cover (which apparently still bears marks of previous repairs);
- Crankcase (around of which was rebuilt the engine, dunno if the remaining parts were taken from the #473 Berson installed in his work);
- 2 or 3 shock absorbers.

The frame was built new and registered as the 57171 and Paul Russel built a new ash frame to sit the remaining body parts (of which I reckon barelly none was used on Berson's "recriation", am I right?).

Well, if this is enough to say it's the same car? No. If it should be discarded for that? No way! Although physically almost nothing of the original remains, I find it more close-to-original than, say, the 57591 Ralph Lauren had horrendously sanitized. At least AFAIK in this model there was the maximum effort to keep it close to the original, exactly the opposite that was done to the 57591. If any car has a soul, the 57473 has it untouched. And Miguel Gonzales and Paul Russel deserve full kudos for it!

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 Post subject: Re: Revisiting 57473.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 6:55 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:12 pm
Posts: 247
Mark !

I fully agree with you. how many beautifull bodies had been destroyed to install one of those dull "grand sport" or "bolster tanks". and what`s about the other numerous creations?all other atlantics, the 57sc derrain roadsder and o on?
lets enjoy the pictures or if someone has the oportunity the car itself.

regards
mike


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 Post subject: Re: Revisiting 57473.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:39 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 12:10 am
Posts: 334
I know where 57453 is....


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 Post subject: Re: Revisiting 57473.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:19 pm 
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Posts: 127
We are on the edge of collective seats...

Sandy


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 Post subject: Re: Revisiting 57473.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:24 pm 
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Secret.


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 Post subject: Re: Revisiting 57473.
PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:50 am 
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Naaahhh, it is in the same place as I said before: In the minds of replica builders. At least until proven otherwise.

In other words: PICS, or it didn't happen.

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