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PEP's Ian Wright reflects on La Vie En Bleu

PEP's Ian Wright reflects on La Vie En Bleu August 11, 2017 by Ian Wright

Not all work……
La Vie En Bleu, held at the wonderful Prescott Motor Racing venue just outside Cheltenham, is an annual pilgrimage for me.  It has progressed over the last few years to include both Italian and French marques, with Saturday given over to the Italian brands and Sunday focussing on all things French. 
As Prescott is the home of the Bugatti Owners Club, it is no surprise that the Sunday is dominated by wonderful vehicles from this historic manufacturer.  What a wonderful surprise this year to see the amazing new Chiron on display and being demonstrated on the hill.  This 1500 horsepower sports car surely defines what is possible, when money is no object!  At a staggering £2.5 million you had better get your orders in quickly as they are only building 500 and 250 are already sold! I am rummaging down the back of my sofa to see if I can find the balance required.
The other car that had me wondering in amazement was the 1911 Fiat Tipo 76S belonging to Duncan Pittaway. This former land speed record car was found in a ditch as a bare chassis in Australia more than 10 years ago.  Recognised by Duncan, he then proceeded to rebuild the car with the help of Fiat in Italy, who supplied one of only two engines ever made for these cars and now competes with it at historical race meetings, including the recent Goodwood 75th Members Meeting.  For the engineers amongst you, 28 litre engine with only four cylinders – no wonder its nickname is the Beast of Turin!  She spits flame from her exhausts and can be heard a county away! In 1911, she set the land speed record of 116mph I believe and the following year went on to try again. However, as the record requires that the car does a two-way run, the return attempt was thwarted by a belligerent Belgium tram driver who refused to close the road for the record to be secured. It is rumoured that the speed was over 130mph, quite something in 1912!

Addicted to cars, particularly classics, I thought I would share my holiday weekend experience with you.

 

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