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Triple-First for Gentry Restorations in just one week

Triple-First for Gentry Restorations in just one week 

Bugatti specialists Gentry Restorations won three prestigious prizes within a week. The company was asked to provide Concours exhibits for two  major events – The Chateau Impney Hill Climb 8/9th July, Worcestershire and The Bugatti Festival 15/16th July, Cheltenham. For both occasions the company delivered a stunning 1934 Bugatti T57 Atalante – chassis number 57167. The third accolade was for winning a hill climb class at The Bugatti Festival.

An attempt to fully restore the Bugatti T57 Atalante was originally undertaken in Israel. Unfortunately, this had to be aborted because of the lack of Bugatti expertise and access to parts available in that part of the world. Ultimately the vehicle was shipped to the UK and Gentry Restorations was asked to complete the project and finish-off the restoration.

To the delight of the owner, the vehicle was completed at the end of 2016 but apart from participating in the Italian Bugatti Rally in Sardinia, the car has remained in the UK in Gentry Restorations’ dedicated, high-security storage facility.

At the request of the Bugatti Owners’ Club in the UK, the Gentry team was asked to support the Chateau Impney Hill Climb and Bugatti Festival by providing Concours static display vehicles. After obtaining permission from the owner, the T57 was delivered to both events which were held on consecutive weekends.

The judges of the Footman James sponsored Concours display at Chateau Impney were ‘the public’ – the visitors and  participants at the hill climb. The votes were cast by a ballot-box system and weren’t counted until after the event. The following Saturday, Stephen Gentry, joint managing director of Gentry Restorations, arrived at The Bugatti Festival to compete in that hill climb. It was only then he learned that the T57 had won at Chateau Impney. This result really was a surprise. The T57 was one of twenty entries and was competing against a variety of marques and a diverse range of ages. One of them being a new £2.5m Bugatti Chiron supercar, the Gentry team assumed this vehicle would win top prize (for the record it was runner-up).

The Bugatti Festival weekend just got better and better for Stephen. On the Saturday, he enjoyed two hill climb practice runs in a 1926 Bugatti T35B before his two competitive timed runs. His second timed run gave him first place in his class with a time of 52.8 seconds - just 0.8 of a second behind the record for that class of vehicle. It should be noted that 52.8 seconds is a new record for a single camshaft Bugatti in this class.

The following day, Sunday, was a much more relaxing one for Stephen and the icing on the cake came later in the afternoon during the Bugatti Garden Party. In contrast to The Chateau Impney Hill Climb, the judges for this Concours display were selected members of The Bugatti Owners Club. Again, there was a high standard of entries - a mix of marques and ages. Approximately fifty in total and half of them were Bugattis. The results were announced and for the second time within a week the T57 was awarded first prize.

Commenting on these successes Stephen Gentry said; “It’s always a pleasure to support the Bugatti Owners Club and we know how much effort goes into organising exhibits for static displays and competitors for hill climbs. We knew the T57 would attract a lot of interest but we never dreamt it might win both Concours events. This really did come as a surprise. The fact that I performed well with the T35B in the hill climb wasn’t quite so unexpected. Whilst I haven’t competed much this year, I knew the vehicle was performing well and that I was in with a chance. What pleased me more though, was to set a new record for a single camshaft Bugatti in that class. My next target is to set a new, overall record for the class.”

T57 YWG 688Hill Climb TrophyConcours trophy