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14-8-2010

Ard and Arnoud op de Weegh congratulated Michel Dovaz with his 82th birthday by phone. It was a very plesend and interesting conversation. Michel Dovaz told Ard and Arnoud that he had seen an article about a Bugatti T43  in Retroviseur. In this story was written that this Bugatti T43 was owned by himself. Michel was very frustrated because the fact that there are wrong facts told in this article. In 1975 there was stolen a Bugatti T43 from Michel Dovaz, this was the only T43 Dovaz had owned. This must be the stolen car.....Or is the story written by people who don't have any knowledge about this car?

If you want to read the story in Retroviseur please look at the following link:

23-11-2010

The connection between Bugatti #43186 and the stolen car of Michel Dovaz #43158

In august we had on his birthday in August a small talk with Michel Dovaz. Michel told us, that there had been an article in Rétroviseur 258 of summer 2010 about his T43. Michel told us, that there were mistakes in the story. For example the chassis number wasn’t right. We didn’t pay much attention to the story at that time and just advised Mr. Dovaz to contact the magazine for a rectification.

Then, just a week ago, Kees Jansen asked us about the same Dovaz car, the #43158. He wanted to know if this car was the only T43 that Michel had owned. We answered, that this car was indeed the only T43, the one that was stolen on the 17th of February 1975 from a garage in Paris. Then Kees mailed us the article of Rétroviseur. We were shocked. A bigger part of the article was right, but there were – just as Michel Dovaz had told us a few months ago – some remarkable mistakes. In the article it was clearly stated, that #43186 was a former Dovaz car. Dovaz never had a car with that chassisnumber.

We decided to ask Michel Dovaz. Here some remarkable mistakes in the article:

  • In the article it says, that the chassisnumber of the car was #43186. That is not correct. Michel just owned one T43. #43158.
  • In the article it says, that the car was in bad shape. This is not correct. The car was in good shape at the garage where it was stolen. It was there for some minor repairs.

On the 15th march 1999 David Sewell had inspected the “43186”. In this report the following facts are written:

  • The chassis is an authentic example of a T43 chassis.
  • “The frame number inside the rear cross-member is made up of three digits, the first two both being deeply stamped ‘8’s whilst the third is a ‘6’ presuming that, as usual, the number is stamped upside down. It is not clear on this evidence alone whether the true number is ‘88’and the ‘6’has for some reason been added later or some attempt has been made in the past to confuse the identity of the true number”(Sewel, 1999)
  • The number ‘86’ was found in no less than five other locations on the car.

According to David Sewell this is not the Bugatti T43 with chassis number #43186, but a T43 with a different number.


The picture above is taken in the garden of Robert Cornière after the theft in 1975.
It is confirmed by Michel Dovaz himself that this picture is taken after the theft. The picture is taken in the garden of Robert Corniere. Michel Dovaz has never been in this garden with his Bugatti T43

 

Above left: In 1999 with the current owner, right: In 2010, now called 43186.

For more pictures of the"#43186" see the following link.

Now it seems that the original chassis from the T43 #43158 is somewhere in the south of France. We know the place as many other Bugattists do. This is confirmed by a reliable Bugattist. On this chassis there is stamped also another chassis number. Dovaz has still his “carte gris” thus in fact the original chassis is still his. And he still has the report of the police of 1975.

It is also confirmed that the Bugatti T43 "43186" now to be auctioned, consists of a couple of parts from the Bugatti from Michel Dovaz.
In the 70’s Dovaz already tried to get parts back from his dismantled car. But he didn’t succeed. It is a shame that this wonderful car is stolen and broken up in pieces.

Thanks to a wonderfull meeting by e-mail this weekend with the following participants, we were able to unravel the history of these Bugattis, coming close to identifying what happened to the stolen Type 43:

  • Jaap Braam Ruben (Fine Automobiles). He gave many advises how to proceed.
  • Kees Jansen (Bugatti Club Netherlands). He did a great job finding out the history of the car.
  • Dick Ploeg
  • Benny Graf
  • Jaap Horst
  • Herman Brouwer
  • Kay Hottendorff
  • Arnoud op de Weegh
  • Ard op de Weegh

The so called #43186 is to be auctioned in Switzerland this weekend. A few days ago it was known as a replica. Now we know that – although mixed of several car – the car is not a replica but an original Molsheim car.

25-11-2010

On this day the current owner has wrote a letter about the "#43186":

Der Verkauf in Toffen des Bugatti 43 Grand Sport 43186 hat hohe Wellen geworfen und eine Reihe von - teilweise selbsternannten - Spezialisten dazu bewogen, unqualifizierte Urteile ohne jegliche Nachfrage und Nachforschung zu fällen und über das Internet und andere Wege viele falsche, teilweise fantastische Geschichten zu verbreiten. Eine dieser Geschichten suggeriert beispielsweise, dass es sich um ein vor 35 Jahren gestohlenes Auto handelt, bei dem die Chassis-Nummer nachträglich verändert wurde. Eine andere besagt, dass das Chassis gefälscht sei. Allerdings stellt keine dieser Geschichten die Originalität der Teile und die Qualität der Restauration in Frage.

Wir möchten mit dieser Mail diese Gerüchte richtigstellen und die korrekte Geschichte des Autos darlegen.

Wie die meisten der automobilen Monumente der Vorkriegszeit genossen die Bugattis während langer Zeit nur geringe Wertschätzung. Viele Autos wurden von ihren Besitzern vernachlässigt, verschwanden oder wurden demontiert, wobei die Teile manchmal verschlungene Wege genommen haben. Das ist auch bei diesem Auto der Fall.

In den fünfziger Jahren befand sich 43186 zusammen mit vielen anderen Bugattis in der Pariser Bugatti-Vertretung Docime. Docime hatte diese Autos bei sich, um über ein Teilelager zu verfügen und die noch aktiven Bugatti-Fahrer bedienen zu können und auch um einige der Autos wieder aufzubauen, da die Oldtimer-Passion in diesem Moment gerade am aufkeimen war. Viele Amateure – einige davon sind heute noch am Leben – begannen damals, Bugattis zu restaurieren und so wieder auf die Strasse zu bringen, um diese Zeugen der Vergangenheit am Leben zu erhalten.

In den sechziger Jahren hat Robert Cornière eine grosse Menge (mehrere Tonnen) an Bugatti-Teilen gekauft. Diese Teile kamen aus den Lagerbeständen der Garagen Framezelle, Hauswald und der besagten Firma Docime. Ein Grossteil dieser Teile wurde anschliessend von René Giordano in den siebziger Jahren aufgekauft – inklusive das Chassis 43186. René Giordano hat anschliessend versucht, einige Autos mit Teilen aus diesem Stock neu aufzubauen. Wie er in einem Brief an David Sewell 1999 schreibt, waren auch die Nummern 43186 und 43251 darunter. Er hat diese Restaurationen nicht zu Ende gebracht und das Projekt 43186 im Jahr 1999 an Roger Hanauer verkauft. Das Projekt basiert auf einem 43-er Chassis, welches von zahlreichen Spezialisten als Original anerkannt wird. Letzte Zweifel können durch eine metallurgische Analyse aus dem Weg geschafft werden. Was die anderen Teile betrifft, ist es unmöglich festzustellen, ob sie vom 43158, 43186 oder anderen 43-ern stammen. Eines ist aber sicher: es handelt sich um originale Molsheimer Bugatti-Teile, welche aus dem obengenannten Fundus stammen.

Roger Hanauer hat die Restauration weitergetrieben, das unfertige Projekt aus persönlichen Grüden aber im Jahr 2007 an einen schweizer Amateur verkauft. Dieser hat die Restauration ohne Rücksicht auf Kosten zu Ende gebracht und dabei auf strikte Einhaltung der Original-Spezifikationen geachtet, wobei einer der originalsten noch erhaltenen 43-er als Modell diente.

Am Schluss sei noch erwähnt, dass die ganze Aufregung auch etwas Gutes gehabt hat: mehrere gutgesinnte Personen haben uns wertvolle Informationen zur Vergangenheit von Nummer 43186 geliefert, was Licht in gewisse Facetten der Geschichte gebracht hat und schlussendlich die Originalität des Fahrzeugs untermauert hat.

C. Berger, aktueller Besitzer

26-11-2010

Kees Jansen made a PDF file where the true history of Bugatti T43 #43186 and #43158 is written.

To read this file please check the following link.

27-11-2010

The Bugatti T43 "#43186" was offered this day by Oldtimer Galerie Toffen "The swiss auctioneers".

The car isn't sold by this auction. The highest offer for this car was € 754.603,00.