About eight years ago, I was the editor at Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car, and I met up with the owner of a 1931 Bugatti T-37 at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, Massachusetts to photograph his car. It ended up being the subject of a feature story in the magazine. The lead photo ended up being the subject of a painting by BestRide.com’s Interactive Designer, Kurt Hanss. The painting is going to be part of the Montachusett Area Art Exhibit in Leominster, Massachusetts this coming weekend.
The car belongs to Sandy Leith, who is the registrar of the American Bugatti Club. The car had been missing from the registry of Bugattis in America, and Leith doggedly tracked it down. It had gone underground around 1940, and finally reemerged in 1993. After years of negotiation, Leith purchased it in 1998.
The car is doubly interesting due to its original history. In the pre-war ARCA (American Racing Car Association) the car competed, but without its original Bugatti engine. Instead, it was replaced with a Ford Model B engine in 1935. The original Bugatti engine ended up powering one of the Northeast’s dominant Midget racers until the dual overhead cam Offenhauser came into widespread racing use in 1940.
I took the photo at the top of the hill at Larz Anderson Park — a beautiful piece of real estate that overlooks the city of Boston — on a near perfect early fall day, with the sun on the verge of setting.
Digging through some old photos for something to post up on Facebook, I came across the original photo of the Bugatti and posted it. BestRide.com’s Interactive Designer Kurt Hanss saw the photo and decided to paint it for an upcoming art show in Leominster, Massachusetts.
The painting is 36 x 48 and it was shockingly impressive when it showed up here at our drab offices on a Monday morning.
Kurt’s vintage car and truck paintings are pretty incredible. He has a particular fascination with trucks that have been left to sit for extended periods of time.
For more information on the show where the painting will appear this weekend, visit the Leominster Art Association’s event page. The painting is on exhibit April 24 through April 26. Consult the page for exhibit hours.