Bugatti Owners Club
The Bugatti Owners’ Club is an international motoring club based in the United Kingdom. Owning a Bugatti is not necessary for membership, and the club welcomes all classic car enthusiasts. It is based at the Prescott Estate in Gloucestershire which it purchased in 1937 and converted into the Prescott Speed Hill Climb course, featuring a 1127 yard course rising over 200 feet.
The club organises regular race meetings along with events and shows celebrating international cars and motorcycles, and is home to the Bugatti Trust Museum which details the history of the Bugatti company through photographs, models, diagrams, mechanical components and complete cars. It also publishes a quarterly magazine entitled ‘Bugantics’ with news and articles on Bugatti cars past and present.
The first issue of the ‘Bugantics’ magazine, dated June 1931, describes the beginnings of the Bugatti Owners’ Club:
‘Our birth occurred on December 18th 1929, when three total strangers met to discuss over a meal the possibilities of starting a Club in order to bring together the particular enthusiasts who own Bugatti cars.’
In 1937, after several years and a growing number of members the club purchased the Prescott Estate and began to process of converting the muddy, rutted drive into a hill climb racing track. The first rally was an informal meet on Sunday April 10, 1938, but this proved so successful the first meet featuring invited clubs took place on May 15 of that year and they have continued to this day.
In 1939 Ettore Bugatti himself donated a Bugatti Type 51 to the club, along with a number of trophies with are still competed for. He was one of only three patrons of the club; the others being the notable racing driver and Bugatti enthusiast Francis Curzon (5th Earl Howe) and the late Fitzroy John Somerset, 5th Baron Raglan.
The Club organises several events each year, including the Prescott Bike Festival, the British and Midland Championships Weekend, the Midsummer Speed Fest and the British Championships Weekend.
The club currently has around 1,750 members worldwide, including 500 from overseas.
The club’s current Chairman is Sir John Venables-Llewelyn, who assists in the running of the club along with its Secretary Maggie Webster and the club’s General Manager Ian Patton.
In the press
A Bugatti Type 51 Grand Prix which once belonged to the Club’s former Chairman and Patron Fitzroy John Somerset, 5th Baron Raglan was recently sold in a high-profile auction by Bonham’s.