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Barn FindCar StoriesFeaturedMuseums

Not a Barn Find…It’s a Lake Find!

Today, it seems everyone wants to discover a Barn Find. The desire to find that rare hidden away vehicle that no one has seen for decades. Most of us dream of a forgotten Cobra, Corvette or Hemi. I challenge you to dream a little bigger. How about finding a multi-million dollar car at the bottom of a lake? What would you do?

The Mullin Museum has one of the most unique “finds” I have ever seen.

The badly rusted Lake Find Bugatti with a life size photo as it was found in the bottom of a Swiss lake.

1925 Bugatti Type 22 Brescia Roadster

When new, the Type 22 was lightweight and nimble. It could reach 100 miles per hour! It was a real super car of the day. In 1934 this car was obtained by a young Swiss playboy. He enjoyed racing and professional poker. It is reported that as the result of one of his poker games and 2 bottles of Champagne in Paris he took possession of the Bugatti. Shortly there after he took off for Switzerland with little to no cash in his pockets. When he reached the Swiss Boarder and was unable to pay the mandatory customs tax he was forced to abandon the car.

For unknown reasons after a few years he still had not returned to pay the tax and the authorities were required to destroy the car. It was decided to put the car in a lake and attach a large chain to it. (I bet one of the authorities in charge planned to return some night and pull it out and stuff it in his barn.) Unfortunately, after a few years the chain broke and the car settled 175 feet to the bottom of the lake.

Decades later, in 1967, a local diving club discovered the car and it became a local attraction. Much later it was decided to retrieve the car and sell what remained to raise money for a local charity.

The Type 22 Bugatti sold for $360,000 dollars in 2009 and today rests in a place of importance in the Mullin Museum. In person, it is an intriguing display and one that truly captures the imagine.

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I grew up and lived in Iowa for a good portion of my life before moving to Southern California. After 20+ years we now live outside Nashville Tennessee. I have been into cars since I was old enough to remember. I don't have a brand loyalty although I do prefer American Muscle especially the 1969/1970 NASCAR Aero Cars. (Check out our other web site at www.TalladegaSpoilerRegistry.com site) As long as it has four wheels and an engine I get excited. Few men are lucky enough to be able to share their passion for cars with the woman they love. Fortunately, my wife, Katriana, is also a gear head and many of our activities revolve around the cars. We have a small collection that includes at least one car from each of the Big Three. It includes a Best of Show winner, a survivor, a driver with lots of patina and several others. Katrina prefers all original cars while I like to modify them so we have a few of each. When we aren't playing with cars we are out working with or showing our miniature donkeys. You can see more about that part of our lives at http://www.LegendaryFarms.com.

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One Comment

  1. Anyone interested in a 1969 Dodge Charger.
    Needs a roof skin and rearend e c t.
    Has the engine and transmission.
    Body appears straight perfect for a restoration.
    If interested send me an email.

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