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 Post subject: "Leon Duray" (George Stewart) and USA Bugatti's
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 3:47 am 
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"Leon Duray" (George Stewart) and USA Bugatti's

One always hears the story of "Leon Duray" and his two Miller 91 front-wheel-drive's that while in Europe set international speed records (for engine displacement of 1500cc supercharged) of 143mph over one kilometer and 139mph over five kilometers. After they broke at the 1929 Italian Grand Prix, they were exchanged with Ettore Bugatti for (three Bugatti Type43's? or) two Type 43 Bugatti's, a Type 38 (chassis only -- later Murphy bodied and now with Jay Leno) plus cash.

(no need to discuss the Miller/Bugatti overhead camshaft development that resulted please!)

One of the Type 43's "Grand Sports" was loaned via Duray a few months later to Phillip Chancellor (Los Angeles, CA) who had commissioned Miller (later Schofield) to build him a sportscar and was later crashed. (Bunny Phillips story)

"Leon Duray" was really George Stewart (4/1894-5/1956). Known for racing in eight Indy 500's and numerous other racing events at the time.

Now comes the questions:

1) What was the original deal for the Miller 91's? Three Type 43's or two Type 43's plus the Type 38 chassis (Murphy bodied w/Leno)
2) Has the chassis #'s been identified for these cars? (The Type 38 is easy if it was one)
3) Coachwork (supposedly "Super sports") and is there pictures identifying?
4) Where are the vehicles today?

Also:

5) Leon Duray was also involved in bringing sn#43264 (link: http://www.bugattibuilder.com/wiki/index.php?title=43264
) to the USA and its subsequent sale to Harold McHugh of Philadelphia. Later it was rebodied by the Derham Body Company. (background: http://www.coachbuilt.com/bui/d/derham/derham.htm) Is there any additional photographs of this car anywhere besides the one side profile?

6) What other Bugatti's did Leon Durah import into the USA at the time for resale or racing?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 8:39 am 
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Re question 5

In the Type 43 register there is an 11 page chapter about the Derham bodied car. Lots of historic and colored pictures and full description of it's history.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 8:40 am 
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Read this topic : http://forums.autosport.com/showthread. ... ost3293875

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:31 pm 
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To my mind, 43266 was replaced by 43277, and no Type 38


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 4:29 pm 
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Sandy Leith says 43266. Conway says 43277. Which tells truth?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2008 7:27 pm 
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bugatti69 wrote:
Sandy Leith says 43266. Conway says 43277. Which tells truth?

That's the question…


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 Post subject: Leon Duray T43's
PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 7:09 pm 
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The general consensus seems to be that the Duray T43's were chassis nos. 43264, 43266 and 43267. The first two were Weymann cabriolets and 43267 was a T43A Jen Bugatti roadster.
43264 was rebodied as the Derham coupe. It is the sole survivor, the chassis frame, radiator, bulkhead and front axle having recently been sold to the UK while the Derham body has gone to a California hot rod shop.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 11:21 pm 
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Per the Derham coupe, I contacted the Gilmore Museum with the Derham archives on file -- it was quite extensive at one point with billing sheets and also photographs per delivery. Unfortunately the file for this particular car is empty -- seems collectors/researchers pilfered the file of everything over the years instead of copying/returning the information. Too bad as it is quite an interesting automobile to be honest.

I'll continue looking though...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 5:43 pm 
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The following is the result of some research I did for a fellow historian and being a fairly lazy sort of fellow, I simply adapted it slightly for this post. A lot of the information is allready stated in this thread, but seeing I've allready done the research, here goes :

Herewith all the available details on the 3 Leon Duray cars, as well as 43277/eng.157 delivered to Leon Duray (same name, but actually a French racing driver, living in Paris.) 27/08/1929. In Magnum Conway mistakenly identify the original owner as Leon Duray USA, but in the 2004 edition of Grand Prix Bugatti he correctly identify the three American Duray cars as well as 43277 being delivered to Leon Duray, Paris. This car is today in the Schlumf collection. As an interesting aside, I am fairly sure this car is wrongly identified in WIKI as 43198 (colour photo).

The first of the 3 American Duray cars 43264/eng.124 is today owned by the O'Brian Family Trust and as can be seen in WIKI is the car that Derham rebodied as a fastback coupe. Du Gan says that frame 122 fitted to this car, is the same number as that claimed by 43300/eng.122 (Quite an original car, the frame number has been over stamped, the assembly number being 25S) Du Gan offers no explanation for this anomaly. 43264 was delivered to Leon Duray on 14/05/1929

Number 2 is 43266/eng.117 delivered to Duray on 6/06/1929 was originally bodied as a 2-seat convertible by an unknown coachbuilder. Almost nothing is known of this car, although Magnum does claim it exists today in the USA, Grand Prix does not list it as a survivor and Du Gan has the following :
"Once owned by Owen Thompson and Dr. Nicholson.
Little is known of its fate. The sump ended up with Philips and was installed in a T38 Chassis Nr. 38191, however it was then erroneously re-titled as a T43 and sold to Bob Seiffert as such. The sump was subsequently removed and has been acquired by Jay Leno (We may hear more of it later. Ed) Chassis 38191 was then completed to T43 specifications and later sold to the U.K."

This car is not mentioned in WIKI and I have found no reference to a frame number.

The third and final Duray car, 43267/eng.134 (no delivery date recorded) is the one with the intriguing double identity. Originally a standard T43A Jean Bugatti designed Roadster, Magnum claims it is today in the Schlumf Collection, Grand Prix does not list it as a survivor and Du Gan deals with both the identities. First the Schlumf car, numbered as follows : 43A267 It is a standard 43A roadster which Du Gan claims looks substantially different from the car delivered to Duray, although to be frank, the only difference I can see is the addition of a front apron covering the dumb-irons.

The other claimant to this identity is the car that became known as the Black Bastard. Again I quote from Du Gan :

"From The Bugatti Register and Data book, Conway, 1962.
Was known previously as the 'Black Bastard' around New York with an imitation GP body. Previously a Roadster and later to have been acquired by the General Motors Styling Institute. Very little is known of its fate, but the close proximity to Ray Jones' "Bugatti/Mercedes Chop Shop" in Bloomfield Hills leads one to ominous conclusions as did Sandy Leith.* It is doubtful that we will ever know its fate.** Leith advises that the front axle (number 136) is in a T54 made up by Jones; Cambox is in T35 4855. These parts and probably others sold to Jones thru Harry Dumville, at that time with GM."

* Pur Sang Vol 32/2
** Photographs Pur Sang Vol 39/1 p58 and Vol 32/1 p24-27

The claim that this car is 43267 is substantiated by a reproduction of an invoice either to or from a George C Rand from Long Island New York listing the rebuilding from Roadster to imitation Grand Prix, however, the engine number quoted on said invoice is the same as the chassis number - 43267. In Pur Sang Vol.39/1 p18-24 in an article about the Zumbach Motor Repair Company, by George Stein, this transformation is described

Kind Regards
Johan Buchner


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 Post subject: Re: "Leon Duray" (George Stewart) and USA Bugatti's
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:55 am 
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from: http://theoldmotor.com/?p=67226

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 Post subject: Re: "Leon Duray" (George Stewart) and USA Bugatti's
PostPosted: Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:36 am 
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see : http://www.bugattiregister.com/wiki/ind ... itle=43264


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