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In the summer of 1938, the married couple Alex and Wilhelmien Paul, then childless, decided to go on holiday with their Bugatti type 37 racer (without compressor). This Bugatti had just participated for the second time in the 'Grand prix des Frontières' in Chimay (in the south of Belgium) at Whitsun that year. The Pauls chose a beautiful route through France.

Their main luggage was a small semi-circular case which fitted exactly in the space behind the driverís headrest.

They departed on the 2nd of August from their home in Brussels, where they arrived back again on the 28th of August.

French flag

In 1996 their son, Jacques Paul, saw the diary of his parentís unique and historical holiday in the Bugatti. He decided to retrace the route himself. Sixty years later, together with his still sprightly and healthy mother, they are setting off in a Bugatti to drive the same "tour de France".

During this nostalgic trip, his mother Wilhelmien Paul also hopes to celebrate her 85e birthday!

Jacques and his mother will be accompanied on this historic trip by various friends and other Bugatti owners, but everyone is welcome to join them and also drive part of the route.

The diary of the original 1938 tour is being published in a limited edition. A 60 year old diary makes fascinating reading, especially when it reports a journey through France in a Bugatti. The daily tribulations, breakdowns on the way, the grip of rising fascism and communism etcetera. The diary produced contains three languages (Dutch, French and English) and costs 25 Euro's (exclusive postage). You can order it by e-mail:

It is now 5 years ago this trip is made. We will celebrate the 90th birthday of Wilhelmien again in Annecy. With at least 15-20 family members. The trip will start from Arnhem (NL) the 2nd of August and the first stop will be Molsheim (night of 2,3 august). Thereafter we will visit Poligny (3 august), Lanslebourg (4 august), through Val d'IsŤre and Bourg St. Maurice (5 august) and back to Sevrier (Annecy) (6 august) where we hope to have Mothers birthday the 7th. It is likely that the Bugatti will be used to travel in open air. Meanwhile a new book is prepared with all the happenings from the last trip. A full color 190 pages book, with text and a lot of photos. Again in the same three languages. For travel information, please contact See above.

Map of the route