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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.

The Jowett Jupiter turns 70

John Ball has always enjoyed tinkering with old boats and cars. He’s old enough to think having gearbox parts on newspaper on the floor of his bedroom, while the relevant car sat waiting on nail boxes, was a normal part of growing up. His passion has always tended towards old British bangers. He reckons he’s fortunate not to have got caught up in the American muscle scene.
John’s love affair with this Jupiter started in December 2015 when, with some time on his hands during a Christchurch trip, he searched online for ‘cars, before 1970 and in Christchurch’.

A passion for classics and customs

In the highly competitive field of New Zealand classic and custom restorations, reputations are won or lost on the ability to maintain consistently high standards of workmanship. A company managing to achieve this is D A Panel beating Ltd, of Rangiora near Christchurch. Is your classic or custom car restoration stalled, or in need of a refresh, or perhaps you are looking for experts to rebuild that recent import project out of Europe or the ‘States?