Close this search box.

Weekly Motor Fix: Bob Turnbull’s beautiful million-dollar Bugatti

28 July, 2015


Any car that flashes the famous bright-red Bugatti badge can usually command a certain level of respect, admiration, and price tag. The late Bob Turnbull’s 1934 Bugatti Gangloff Roadster takes this idea and runs with it to very lofty heights.

Based on the same Type 57 platform as another Bugatti recently imported to the country by Hamilton collector Tom Andrews, which we featured earlier in 2015, Bob’s Gangloff-bodied roadster is a true one of a kind vehicle. Purchased in 1958 for the grand sum of £475.12s.6d, the Bugatti is now insured for a jaw-dropping $1 million.

After his death in 2012, Bob entrusted the Bugatti — as well as his other two classic vehicles; a 1907 Sizaire et Naudin, and a 1904 Humber Humberette — to his close friend Pete Brabant. Instructed by Bob to finish restoring the roadster, Pete did just that, and the car was completed by February 2015. The car now finds itself up for sale, with its proceeds to go to Bob’s own charitable trust, of which Pete is a trustee.

Bob was known for keeping to himself and dodging the limelight — a feat most difficult for someone who owned such an amazing vehicle. But those times spent alone helped massage and nurture Bob’s incredible knowledge of engineering and attention to detail — and that knowledge is clearly visible as you look over his immaculate roadster.

It’s not surprising that Bob wasn’t big on technology, which makes it all the more ironic that his Bugatti is being featured online on The Motorhood. We hope that whoever does purchase the big Bugatti can appreciate it as much as Bob did.

Travelling companion

It’s easy to see why the Morris Minor Traveller was one of the best-loved variants of the Morris Minor. Introduced in 1953, it was equipped with the same independent torsion bar front suspension, drum brakes, and rack and pinion steering as its saloon sibling but, with their foldable rear seat increasing versatility, many Travellers were used as trade vehicles, says Derek Goddard. Derek and Gail Goddard, the owners of this superbly restored example, have run Morris Minors since before they were married in 1974.
“Our honeymoon vehicle was a blue Morris Minor van — it was a rust bucket,” says Derek.

Super Leicht Gullwing

It’s fair to say that nothing much in the classic Mercedes world gets past Mercedes-Benz Club stalwart Garry Boyce so it wasn’t surprising to learn that around 15 years ago he had sniffed out an extremely rare 300SL lightweight Gullwing as well as a 1958 300SL Roadster hiding away in the Waikato. The cars were not for sale but Garry eventually managed to persuade the owner to allow him and his restoration team to take a look at the Roadster. They discovered a very distressed but largely unmolested car. The car was so original that the body had never been off the chassis, meaning most of the parts and fittings were still present and correct, as they had been fitted by the factory.