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 Post subject: BUNAU-VARILLA, Etienne.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 11:59 am 
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BUNAU-VARILLA, Étienne. A pioneer aviator, engineer, businessman and inventor who played an important role in the early days of the Bugatti marque. He was born in Paris on the 10th May 1890, the son of the Philippe Bunau-Varilla who was the head engineer of the Panama Canal construction project and the inventor of chlorination processes for the production of drinking water. Etienne was to benefit from many useful contacts in Paris and was the nephew of the owner of the influential “Le Matin” newspaper (who later owned a type 30 fitted with a fold-away soft-top. See "Bugatti Magnum" p.102). Aged nineteen Étienne was rewarded for passing his "Baccalaureate" with a Voisin aeroplane and on 4th November 1909 he was awarded licence number 16 by the Aero Club de France. He had a special interest in areodynamics and, in 1911, with the support of the engineer Marcel Riffard he produced the “Vélo-torpille" bicycle which enabled Marcel Berthet to break world speed records by a considerable margin. At the end of WW1 (in which he is said to have fought with considerable bravery) he continued his involvement with aerodynamic research but also pursued his business interests in Paris with the foundation of The Société de Vente des Automobiles Bugatti with premises at 116 Champs-Elysées. Pierre de Vizcaya fronted the operation which specialised in the more sporting Bugatti models. During this period he owned an early "Lyon Grand Prix" Type 35 (4332 with a factory invoice 21st November, 1924 and a delivery date of 4th December, 1924). A complementary operation was the Garage Marbeuf Automobiles which specialised in the maintenance and repair of Bugattis. Bunau-Varilla became the chairman of this company with the arrangement continuing until 1928 when Bugatti established its own showrooms in the Rue Montaigne thereafter he specialised in the Hispano-Suiza marque. He was a sportsman of considerable talent who captained the French skiing team in the 1939 Olympics. He lived in Paris and was a friend and backer of Ettore. He died on the 12th December 1961. (Picture taken at Le Mans in 1920 shows him at the wheel of Baccoli's type 13 – no. 12. See “L’artisan de Molsheim” Vol.2 p.133).


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 Post subject: Re: BUNAU-VARILLA, Etienne.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:01 pm 
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Location: Bergen NH (NL)
GCL-Wales wrote:
During this period he owned an early "Lyon Grand Prix" Type 35 (4332 with a factory invoice 21st November, 1924 and a delivery date of 4th December, 1924).

I have in my files (don't know the source anymore) that the car was registered by him / on him on 23.11.1924 (5693-RF6). How does that comply with the delivery date? Or is my info wrong?


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 Post subject: Re: BUNAU-VARILLA, Etienne.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2008 5:17 pm
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Car 4332

Memoirs of a Bugatti Hunter page 119 : "Registered 5693 RF 6 on 23 November 1932, Paris."

Note errors on this page : Etienne referred to as owner of "Le Matin" and Marcel Riffard called Riffart.


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 Post subject: Re: BUNAU-VARILLA, Etienne.
PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 1:38 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 4:21 pm
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Location: Bergen NH (NL)
And that's exactly it appears in my database, but with nothing in between sales date and that one....
Overlooked the "1932" :oops:


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