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Back Again

With a $350,000 Supercar, the Legendary Italian Automobile Company Bugatti Has Returned to the Car Market
Michael Knepper
From the Print Edition:
Ron Perelman, Spring 95

(continued from page 1)

The Bugattis and hundreds of other collectible cars were kept in a private museum on the mill grounds in the Alsace town of Mulhouse (pronounced: Mul-looz). The pair was soon in financial trouble, in part because of the investment in the museum but also due to a drop in the woolen market and spiraling wages. They went bankrupt, refusing to sell any of the collection to stay in business.

The brothers sent their four factories into receivership, and all workers were fired. In the predawn of March 7, 1977, a group of workers broke into the museum to protest their sacking and found a sight only a privileged few had seen: the Schlumpf collection.

There were more than 400 cars of virtually every type ever sold in Europe. And there were Bugattis by the score--120 on the floor of the museum, which was the size of three football fields, and 150 squirreled away in various workshops. And there were two Royales.

Today, the Schlumpf collection is owned by the state and open to the public.

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