A while back, my friend Erik and I went to Lime Rock Park for their Historic Day Festival. This event takes place over Labor Day weekend, and features racing, a car show, and more racing. We decided to go on a Saturday, when the Historic Festival car show would be held.

Every year, Lime Rock Park selects a specific vehicle marque to be featured at the car show. This year, was Bugatti.

We weren’t sure what to expect. We expected a small turnout and crowds of pompous elites. But this simply was not the case.

Not only was this the largest collective gathering of vintage Bugattis in one place, but we met and befriended a few Bugatti owners who were delighted to educate enthusiasts on old school Bugatti.

The entrance to the car show started at one corner of the track, and the Bugatti section of the show was near the Sam Posey Straight. When we finally entered the Bugatti lineup, we noticed all the cars had significant front camber.

Confused, we looked around to see if there was anyone talking about it, or working on a car. We then found Gene, along with his wife, cleaning up the car for presentation.

We asked Gene if he could tell us anything about the front camber on the car. Erik and I had no idea who we were asking, and unbeknownst to us, we couldn’t have asked a better person at the whole event.

Gene not only owned this Bugatti him and his wife were cleaning, but various other ones at the show in the past. His father and himself worked on them for many years and were deeply passionate about them. Gene was a goldmine of information.

Ettore Bugatti had designed these cars in a certain way. Rather than designing the cars for turn in performance, he felt it was most important to design the car to handle best coming out of a turn. He felt the way to optimize it for this was with positive front camber.

Additionally, Bugattis were designed as 4 cylinder cars. While they also made straight 8s, the straight 8s are simply two 4 cylinders, connected together. The heart of every 8 cylinder Bugatti is actually an inline 4. Who would have guessed that?

Amongst the lineup was the magnesium bodied Bugatti, known as the 1935 Bugatti Aerolithe, and one Bugatti (Type 37A) that was painted with a just an ordinary paint brush – this Bugatti is the one with the highest mileage, touring both North America and Europe with every opportunity the owner has. If there’s one way to thrash on a Bugatti, it’s that way.

If I gathered anything from this show, it’s that Bugatti owners are totally different than one would suspect. And it’s really reassuring to have found that out.

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