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The History of the BOC and Prescott


The Early Days

Let us start at the very beginning and with the personalities of the time telling the story of the beginnings of our Club: ‘Our birth occurred on December 18th 1929, when three total strangers met to discuss over a meal the possibilities of starting a Club in order to bring together the particular enthusiasts who own Bugatti cars.’ 

The above was written by the Editor, D.B. Madeley, then living at Kingston-on-Thames, Surrey, in the very first issue of Bugantics in June 1931.

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The Bugatti Owner’s Club was already running hillclimbs on various dusty loose-surfaced courses in the south of England since 1931. It was about 1936 when the committee agreed that the Club really needed to have its own course - the objections of local residents to the existing venues were getting stronger all the time. It seemed that the ‘unique sounds’ of un-silenced Bugatti’s on a summer afternoon, was not what local residents wanted!

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As the first green shoots appeared on the wooded slopes of Prescott hill in the spring of 1938, those responsible for the transformation could, with justification, take pride in what they had accomplished.

For here was the first purpose-built speed event venue to come on stream since the sport on public roads was outlawed some fourteen years before. In a little over four months Prescott had been made ready for action, the result of careful planning, much hard labour and inspired project management. A full season was mapped out with four events organised by the Bugatti Owners’ Club and one by the Vintage Sports Car Club.

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2009 was the seventieth anniversary of a remarkable event in the history of Prescott Speed Hill Climb and the Bugatti Owners’ Club. The meeting held on Sunday, July 30th , 1939 was the first International Meeting to be held at Prescott.

The entry of the French racing driver, Jean Pierre Wimille with the Works’ Bugatti and with Jean Bugatti in attendance, underlined the international status of the event. Wimille, who was the son of a Parisian journalist, had just won the Le Mans 24-hour race for the second time, and was then at the height of his fame as a racing driver. As the programme notes heralded: ‘ It is a grand thing to realize that the Bugatti equipe, including M. Jean Bugatti himself, has come here specially for today’s event, all the way from Molsheim in Alsace, and we wish him a pleasant visit and the best of good luck.’ Both Jean Bugatti and Jean Pierre Wimille were booked in at the Queens Hotel, Cheltenham. 

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