A rally featuring 26 valuable vintage Bugatti sports cars from all around the world passed through Wellington on its way to the South Island today.
The exotic French-built cars, many of which were built 80 or 90 years ago, came from as far as the US, Japan and Europe for the two week tour which started in Auckland on February 16 and finishes in Christchurch on March 4.
Mary Roger of Auckland, who helped organise the North Island leg of the tour with her husband Lionel, said the event had been a lot of fun.
This had been helped by the great weather as they drive down to Wellington taking in Waitomo, Rotorua, Taupo, the Chateau and Whanganui.The Rogers have three Bugattis on the rally - a 1924 Brescia racing car, a 1933 Type 55 roadster and a 1929 Type 44 drop top cabriolet. Two of them were being driven by their daughter Kate and son, Harry.
The Rogers, who have a fourth Bugatti at home, have been collecting the cars for about 10 years, since Mr Rogers saw and bought the then unrestored Type 44 in Warkworth in 2002.
Mr Rogers who made a fortune developing the Navman GPS navigation system said Bugattis were literally ''art on wheels.''
''The engineering in them, the body styles - they were just cars of their time that were way ahead of their time.
The Brescia, which has a 1500cc engine, is exceedingly nimble and very fast - it could do 140kph.
''What appeals as much as the cars is the people who own them. They are wonderful people with a common passion. You could imagine a lot of these cars could be put in a museum and never driven, but we are a bunch of enthusiasts who like to drive the cars and keep them going.
''We don't like to talk about the cost of them too much but the cars that are here would range from $500,000 to $5 million.
- The Dominion Post
What do you make of the proposed conference centre/hotel for Wellington?Related story: Convention centre to get OK