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 Post subject: BRADLEY, W.F.
PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:10 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2008 5:17 pm
Posts: 348
BRADLEY, William Fletcher. The Continental Correspondent of “The Autocar” in the twenties and thirties. He was a Yorkshireman who had raced cycles prior to settling on the continent of Europe around the turn of the century working as a general journalist sending reports to a variety of British newspapers.

He witnesssed the early years of aviation and motoring and befriended most of the manufacturers and competitors. He was almost certainly the only journalist to cover Blériot's 1909 Channel crossing and the 1959 re-enactment. He was the author of several books, some of which exhibit a rather cavalier approach to the truth, including a biography of Ettore (who was a close friend) written in 1926 and published in London in 1948. In 1936 he was the co-author with George Eyston of "Speed on Salt" about record attempts at the Utah Salt flats in America. His history of the Targa Florio has a large Bugatti content and for many years was the definitive book about this event.

He thoroughly tested the type 43 for “The Autocar” in 1929 (an excellent picture of him at the wheel of this car may be seen on the "bugattibuilder" website). His closeness to the Bugatti family is illustrated by the photograph of him with Ettore watching a young Roland at the wheel of his type 52. He maintained his contact with Molsheim after Ettore’s death and, in 1952, wrote an account of a visit to the factory where he was shown the type 102 project for a 1500cc sports car.

An excellent photograph of him with Nazarro, who he considered to be the best of the early racing drivers, appears in the Vintage Sports Car Club Bulletin 212/36. In later life he was a resident of Roquebrune, France.

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