A virtual magazine for a true passion!

Editor: Jaap Horst

Volume 13, Issue 1b

Riddell's Story

Richard Riddell

Sorry I'm late and without much excitement.

In mid 1967, I was searching for a classic car that would fill the needs of my family, at a maximum price of $3,000.

I noted a Rolls limo, and American limos at about this price. On a Tuesday morning I saw an Advertisement in the LA Times for a 1938 Bugatti coupe de ville in my home town of Laguna Beach. Curiously, since I did not know a damn thing about Bugattis, I took a look.
The owner was startled since he thought that the ad was for the Sunday edition. It was all there with a bit of a shaggy top and left front seat. He took me for a short ride and everything worked.

Since I had no idea what I was doing I called the only guy that I knew well who had a Bugatti, Roger Burschinger, to get some advice. He asked only if it ran, went forward, and went backwards. It did so,I bought it but I couldn't get it home because the fuel pump diaphragm was made from an inner tube and failed.

2 days later I drove it without a care to Bunny Phillips shop. Upon arrival a chance visitor offered me $4,500. I have not looked back. By the way this was one of the 1939 Bugatti show cars in New York and had an all aluminum body. The rest of the story is quite complex but started my down the road to Bugatti malignancy. I ended , for various reasons owning a total of 6 but am sadly down to one (& 52).

What a huge part of my life and the great fortune to experience the Bugatti world.

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