For The Bugatti Trust Summer Exhibition
May 25th to September 23rd 2019
’Jean Bugatti and Jean-Pierre Wimille – Prescott 80 years ago’
with cars, engines, films, photographs, correspondence, patents and more…
Legendary racing driver Jean-Pierre Wimille getting the Type 59/50B in position for a practice run at Prescott hill climb, July 1939, under the watchful eyes of Robert ‘Le Grand Robert’ Aumaître, lead works mechanic (Photo © The Bugatti Trust).
We are delighted that the Works 59/50B Wimille Bugatti will make its historic return to Prescott 80 years on as one of the main exhibits of our Summer exhibition. The car is on loan from the Cité de L’Automobile – National Museum – SCHLUMPF Collection. MULHOUSE (France) and will remain at The Bugatti Trust until September.
History: In July 1939 Jean Bugatti accepted the invitation to compete at the first Bugatti Owners’ Club International hill climb meeting and brought the Works monoposto Type 59 fitted with 8-cylinder supercharged 4.7 litre type 50B engine for his works driver Jean-Pierre Wimille to drive. He was accompanied by his two mechanics Robert Aumaître and Lucien Wurmser. It had without doubt the most powerful engine built by the factory and was fitted with twin rear wheels specially for the event.
Raymond Mays, ERA achieved 46.14 secs to take first place. Wimille in his first run on the unfamiliar course achieved 47.50 secs, improving it to 46.69 secs on his second run to take second place.
After the event Jean Bugatti wrote to apologise for bringing an unsuitably large car for the hill and promised the next year to bring one of his new 1-litre cars. This, of course, was not to be. Except for its single outing in 1945 in the hands of Wimille at the Coupe des Prisonniers in the Bois de Boulogne in Paris, the 59/50B was not to be raced again.
It was retained by the factory until acquired by the Schlumpf brothers for their museum and is now part of the Cité de l’Automobile – National Museum – Schlumpf Collection, the museum located in Mulhouse, France and housing the brothers’ collection. The car has remained untouched and unrestored since then and is of exceptional historic significance.
Jean-Pierre Wimille relaxing post test drive with the twin-rear wheels mounted onto the Type 59/50B clearly visible. (Photo © The Bugatti Trust).
The Bugatti Owners’ Club 90th Anniversary: The presence of the world-famous Works 59/50B Bugatti will be an important part of the Bugatti Owners’ Club 90th anniversary celebrations this year which will start on the weekend of 25-26 May, with the club’s popular annual French themed event ‘La Vie en Bleu’. The Bugatti Owners’ Club based at Prescott Hill Climb, Cheltenham is the oldest Club for the marque in the world, founded in 1929.
Bugatti Trust Opening Times: March-October, Monday to Friday and November-February, Monday to Thursday. Opening hours: 10am–4pm. Admission charge applies, accompanied children free of charge. Free admission to Bugatti Trust members.