An original 1925 Bugatti Brescia Type 22 Roadster, submerged in a lake for over 70 years, is expected to fetch at least €70,000 when it hits the auction block later this month. The car had been in Switzerland's Lake Maggiore since 1936 following an argument between the car's owner and a government official.
Roughly 20% of the car is reusable, including the aluminum, brass, rubber, and wood used in its original assembly. The car suffered more damage on its right-hand side due to its position in the lake. Evidence of early tuning work shows a car with "a simple racing body lacking electrics," two-piece valances under the bonnet, and flared rear mudguards. The car's identity was tracked through its chassis number, 2461, engine number, 879, and gearbox number, 964. It carries a Chausson radiator, Zenith carburetor, and a twin ignition from SEV.
Proceeds from the car's auction will benifit the Fondazione Damiano Tamagni charity, which works to reduce levels of violent crimes amongst juveniles. The foundation was named for Damiano Tamagni, a young man killed in February 2008 after being severely beaten by three others in Locarno, Switzerland. Tamagni was a member of a diving club which frequently toured the car underwater. His father Maurizio is still a member of the club, and worked with them to rescue the vehicle.
The last owner of the car is believed to be Marco Schmuklerski, an architect who's buildings are still dotted around the country. Rumors in Switzerland suggest that an official, upset that import taxes were never paid on the car, demanded the car´s destruction. The official´s underlings complied by dumping the car in the water, where it was forgotten until 1967 when a local diver found the car half-buried on the lakebed.
As a group the diving club worked to surface the car, an event witnessed by Bugatti Club Suisse members last July. Estimates suggest the auction value of the car could top €90,000. The vehicle could potentially be restored, or it could be prepared as a display piece.