Ettore sighting
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Author:  William Kelsey [ Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:29 am ]
Post subject:  Ettore sighting

Okay, I know what you must be thinking....Ettore hanging around with Elvis and Diana and some grainy long lense photo to "prove it". Well, not quite.

I watched an old movie from 1932 with James Cagney entitled, "And the Crowd Roared". It was about an alcoholic automobile racer trying to enter and win the Indy 500. In the movie, there were several Miller Specials and also some Type-35's or T-51's. In one scene, there was a shot of the Bugatti area along pit row and for just a second or so, it looked like Ettore standing next to one of the cars. I usually record these sort of things just in case I want to review some of them or if I fall asleep. I didn't in this case.

Author:  GCL-Wales [ Wed Jun 17, 2009 12:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Ettore sighting

Tonight Norbert Steinhauser is addressing members of The Bugatti Trust. If I'd been allowed to attend It would have been interesting to ask Norbert to confirm that Ettore never travelled outside of the European heartland (France, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Italy,Switzerland, etc). Perhaps Stuart will be there to ask for us ?

Author:  William Kelsey [ Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Ettore sighting

I should have pointed out the source of my curiosity -- that I never knew of Ettore ever coming to America.

Author:  J.J.Horst [ Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Ettore sighting

He probably would have, if his transatlantic high-speed ship would have been completed!

I never heard any info that Ettore ever went outside Europe. Friderich of course spent a while in the US, supervising the build of the Bugatti - US model aero-engine.

Author:  Johan Buchner [ Thu Jun 18, 2009 12:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ettore sighting

Hi William, long time no hear. It is quite possible that the director cast an Ettore look-alike to add some authenticity. I know Ettore rarely travelled, once or twice to Milan and didn't he take the Coupe Napoleon to London once to address the B.O.C? It was at the Dorchester Hotel I believe.

It has always mystified me why Ettore never went to the USA, after all he gained a very profitable aero-engine contract from America and he allowed himself to be greatly "inspired" by Harry Miller. Yet he never sought sales-success in the USA, a very lucrative market even during the depression. Certainly Hispano, Isotta and Mercedes Benz, not to mention Rolls Royce, all did very well there.

Kind Regards

Author:  William Kelsey [ Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ettore sighting

Johan, I posted my apology on the thread about my "replica" project for not staying in touch.

As to the extremely brief (just several frames) view of what appears to be Ettore having been cast by a body double, I can only speculate. The pit area looked to be real though. Some of the action shots were phoney as hell using such mechanisms as speeding up the film and so forth. The scenes where James Cagney repeatedly locks wheels and is laughing is certainly way over the top.

Author:  Herman [ Thu Jun 18, 2009 7:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ettore sighting

I guess because the Bugatti company was very hierachic (with only one very strong person on top, Ettore, that is) he had no opportunity or faith to get away from Molsheim more than 1 or perhaps 2 days of travel.

In those days communication was limited, which prevents the general management to be able to be in control when away from their desk.

Less pyramid-shaped companies made it possible for one or 2 execitive officers to leave for a longer period, to develop business elsewhere.

Author:  GCL-Wales [ Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ettore sighting

As I understand it, Ettore left Molsheim to run itself during WW1. I think my wife has ordered Norbert's book for my birthday but it hasn't arrived yet. I assume this period will be dealt with in detail in that book. Have you read it yet Johan ?

Author:  Johan Buchner [ Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Ettore sighting

Oh yes, I have. Now I have an excuse to read it again, thanks. If memory serves correct, Steinhauser give the dates when Ettore sent his family away and when he himself left, but did not comment on them or deliver any kind of judgement. But I do think you are correct about the factory being left to its own devices for a while during WW 1, quite a few cars were completed as late as 1916 I believe. I will read Steinhauser tonight and get back to you.

Strange, its weekend and I am looking forward to reading a book ; I should get out more ...........

Till later then

Author:  J.J.Horst [ Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ettore sighting

Ettore left the Molsheim factory to the director he had appointed only shortly before.

This director kept on running the factory while Ettore was in Italy, and later while he was in Paris working on the aero-engines. He did this quite successfully, even reducing the debts to zero, and making even a bit of profit. Some cars were produced, and other items, it seems to be unknown exactly what, maybe even war products for Germany??

Author:  Johan Buchner [ Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ettore sighting

As you may have gathered I did not touch Steinhauser this weekend, first I went away to visit a friend on his farm, which was nice, and when I got back yesterday I started confusing myself further with 50112 - See Wiki forum.

Procrastination should be added to the list of deadly sins.


Author:  GCL-Wales [ Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Norbert Steinhauser at The Bugatti Trust

Norbert's talk at Prescott last week was shrouded in secrecy. Did anyone on this site attend ? Or know anyone who attended who might write a report ?

Author:  Herman [ Tue Jun 23, 2009 6:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ettore sighting

Stuart was there. He mailed me a few comments:

Few things I remember from the talk last night that may interest you:

1. More description on the crash that killed Pierre de Vizcaya. No dog was mentioned, but it was a daft accident where he was a passenger in an Alfa and the vehicle arrived at a junction in Paris at the same time as a taxi. There followed a bit of "after you", "no after you", "no after...." which resulted in confusion and a crash whereby Pierre fell from the Alfa that was travelling at a very low speed and hit his head on the edge of the pavement. This killed him.

2. A question was asked about Bugatti financial records (by Barrie Price...see he is OK Johan!!). Well most appear to have been destroyed c1991. What is known (remember to put this in to the context of phones being novel and no Internet) is that EB was always cashflow poor. He had a number of accounts across Europe and developed a strategy of grooming bankers in two distinct and geographically distant areas of Europe to ensure he had access to funds. However, it appears he just kept digging a bigger financial hole for himself. By all accounts he was lucky to survive financially. NS told a great story about the cylinder blocks (as an example) being produced by a number of different manufacturers for no other reason than when EB was "on stop" with on, he could get supplies from another. It was mentioned that if he was running a business now, his practices (especially of mixing his firms money with his own) would have landed him in prison.

3. NS's approach to research was very thorough and he talked seeking out records offices all over the place and sources such as Borgeson and Conway to cross reference all his work.

Author:  J.J.Horst [ Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ettore sighting

Well, by the sound of it, Romano Artioli learned his finances from Ettore!

Author:  GCL-Wales [ Mon Jul 06, 2009 6:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Norbert Steinhauser.

Stuart was indeed a lucky man to be allowed to attend the Norbert Steinhauser talk.

Is it now Bugatti Trust policy not to publicise their events so that they can later produce a DVD to sell at a later date to poeple who couldn't attend ?

From what I have seen of his book so far, NS must rank, with David Sewell, as one of the most meticulous Bugatti historians EVER !

The twenty years or so Norbert took to produce the book compares with the two or three weeks it reportedly took for another Bugatti "expert" to produce a "concise" history of one of the best known Bugatti model.

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