JEC Oxfordshire Enjoyed an Engaging Visit to Ivan Dutton's Bugatti Workshop in November

Continuing the JEC Oxfordshire Region's commitment to rotating around the shire, we returned to the East of the County for another look at a marque other than Jaguar .....

The history of Bugattis (real ones not the rather more recent and 'fake' Veyrons) is very interesting, as interesting as the cars themselves are incredible (let alone their market values). This visit brought both together in an exceptional evening - albeit one that was pretty exceptionally cold too .!

Some 18 Region members braved the cold, localised flooding and workshops that were expected to be chilly but weren't, to see close up pre-war car design and building as well as very busy restoration, fabrication, race preparation and servicing.

Ivan Dutton are well known as restorers of rare and exquisite Bugattis, applying ever rarer engineering skills to the process. They have a well-earned reputation for turning out some wonderfully refurbished cars that attract market values most of us can only dream of being able to afford.

Tim Dutton, the founder's grandson and now head of the business, was a fantastic and engaging host blending Bugattis history, the succession of models developed, their design principles, work undertaken to keep them on the road, the foibles of their owners, the frustrations of applying modern rules to prized historical artefacts and a tour of the storage space to leave the crowd gob-smacked.

Certainly, after a welcoming tea, coffee and biscuit, a tour of the workshop, a peak in the storage sheds and an amusing Q&A session, the attendees - all of whom had had to pre-book - were happy to give our host a round of applause and a collection to go to Charity.

Some then adjourned to a local hostelry for a refreshing drink. Certainly, everyone then headed home saying to themselves "if only....".

And now we can look forward to visiting Studio 434 in February and the Morgan Factory in March. As Oxford is the home of Mini, we probably should go and look at the other end of the scales sometime soon..........