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The Bugatti in the Lake

bugatti painting The Bugatti in the Lake

By Lara Rodgers

Gremillion & Co. Fine Art will loan painting by German artist Eric Peters, that was inspired by the mystique of “The Bugatti In The Lake” to Keels and Wheels, May 3-5 at the Lakewood Yacht Club. Keels and Wheels, started by Bob and Judy Fuller 24 years ago, is the largest classic car and vintage wooden boat show in the country and has raised close to $2 million benefitting Today’s Harbor For Children.

Mr. Fuller, chairman of the event, is close personal friends with Peter Mullin, owner of the legendary historic Bugatti that rested at the bottom of Lake Maggiore for 75 years. The car was allegedly lost in a poker game in Paris by famous Champion Grand Prix driver, René Dreyfus to Swiss playboy poker player Adabert Bodé. Authorities seized the car at the Italian-Swiss border for lack of proper documentation and fees. Their policy was to destroy the car once the fine surpassed its value. The decision was made to lower the Bugatti into the lake.

Decades passed and it became only a romantic mythical legend for many years until it was discovered by divers in 1967. A local dive club resurrected the car in 2009 to honor the son of one of the dive club members who had been brutally beaten by a local youth gang and died from injuries caused by the incident. The car was auctioned off to raise money to benefit a local charity against youth violence. Peter Mullins, owner of Mullins Bugatti Museum in Oxnard, California won the car in the auction. Mr. Mullin has participated in Keels and Wheels for 10 years, exhibiting several of his prized Bugatti motor cars. This year he will feature his 1931 Type 49 Bugatti.

Erik Peters, a renowned German artist, was captivated by the enigma and romance of the story of the Bugatti In The Lake and was inspired to create the painting. Mr. Peters felt passionately that the Bugatti belonged in the lake. His luminous painting creates the illusion of the Bugatti being lowered back into the depths of lake. Light streams down through the rippled water as the car is lowered back to its resting place 173 feet below the surface on the salty floor of the lake. The paper hybrid canvas appears to replicate the rusted metal on the car.

Gremillion & Co. Fine Art is providing the artwork, supported by Bay Area Houston Magazine, to be on display at the Keels and Wheels event. The 7’ x 11’ work of art captures this mysterious, romantic experience of the Bugatti Type 22 Brescia Roadster, resurrected from the bottom of the lake. Houstonians, Bay Area residents and all who wish to attend will be able to experience the legend of the Bugatti In The Lake. Experts will be on hand to walk people through the experience and answer questions. The event will be held May 3-5 at the Lakewood Yacht Club in Seabrook, Texas.

Tickets to Keels and Wheels and this magical mythical experience can be purchased online at Keels-Wheels.com. The Eric Peters painting will be revealed in a special brief presentation in the ballroom of the yacht club on all three days at 1:00 pm. The Bugatti In The Lake is available for purchase during the event and a portion of the proceeds will benefit Today’s Harbor For Children.

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