…in this case from the dreaded process of “restoration”: this 1925 Bugatti Brescia Type 22, which sold recently at Bonhams, had sat on the bottom of Lake Maggiore in Switzerland for 73 years. As the story goes:
The car was built in 1925 and registered originally to an owner in Nancy, France, then later sold to and registered by a Parisian owner. Eventually, Bonhams speculates, it wound up in the hands of a Swiss architect of Polish descent who reportedly never paid the import duties on the car. The local authorities in Ascona, where the car was stored in 1936, demanded either that the overdue monies be paid or the car destroyed — and so it was dumped in the lake, where it was eventually discovered by a diver in 1967. In 2009 that the vintage Bugatti — or what was left of it — was recovered by members of the local diving club.
The American underbidder had intended to restore it… Luckily the winner wanted to keep it as it is and paid €260,500 for the privilege. Meanwhile, in better shape, and for a better price ($30m plus), there’s always the Atlantic.