About Bugatti Club Australia
About the Club
Membership is open to all Bugatti owners, past owners and enthusiasts of the marque. Our membership spans a spectrum of ages, occupations and interests, bringing a wide range of skills to the Club. BCA activities include the biennial ‘GABR’ (Great Australian Bugatti Run) and smaller events held in Victoria and NSW. We actively encourage enthusiastic use of Bugattis in vintage motor sport and non-competitive meetings, held in Australia and overseas. Our high-quality, colour magazine, The Bugatti Bulletin, is mailed to all BCA members and selected overseas Bugatti Clubs.
A Short History
In the 1920s and 1930s, when Bugattis were being actively used in contemporary motor sport, Bugattistes enjoyed an exceptional camaraderie, possibly arising from the idiosyncrasies of their cars. This spirit continued after World War Two when Bugattis featured prominently in vintage car racing, an activity that started in Victoria during the early 1950s. Around that time, a new generation of Bugatti owners appeared and they were more attuned to driving their cars in club events. In the early sixties, Cameron Macmillan, who owned a Type 57, decided to form a loose association of Australian owners. After requesting details of their Australian membership from the Bugatti Owners Club in England, he wrote to a dozen or so local owners. In response, he received the names of additional owners from several Bugattistes including Bob King (Victoria), Cyril Poole (Western Australia), Bob Burnett-Read (South Australia), Geoff Hine (Tasmania) and ‘PG’ Woodhouse (Queensland).
A combined list was created and published in early 1964. Cam Macmillan then arranged meetings of owners to discuss a possible association. Following them, a letter, dated July 5 1965, announced the formation of the Australian Bugatti Register. By the end of the year, the Register contained 29 members who collectively owned 38 Bugattis. The first Newsletter, the Register Bulletin, was produced in 1966, the year that also saw the first of the Great Australia Bugatti Runs, held at Wagga Wagga, NSW. It was a rousing success, with 10 Bugattis present, comprising Types 22, 23, 37 (2), 39, 40, 44 (2), 57 and 57C.
In 1974 Bob King compiled a self-published register of Bugattis in Australia and New Zealand, past or present, and this was expanded into a full-size, coffee table book, Bugattis in Australasia, published by Turton and Armstrong in 1992. It listed about 125 cars. In December 1991, the Club was incorporated as Bugatti Club Australia Inc.
BCA has enjoyed an unbroken succession of enthusiastic office-holders who have done everything possible to ensure the spirit of Ettore Bugatti continues to prosper. Cameron Macmillan produced the early Newsletters and organised the early GABRs. Then Bob King, who had joined the fledgling association, took over as General Registrar and Newsletter editor in the late 1960s on his return from a working stint overseas.
In 2005 Bob King led the team that organised Australia’s only International Bugatti Meeting, which many overseas entrants later described as one of the best Bugatti rallies ever. When Bob retired as Chairman in 2005, long-time member Des Dillon was elected President.
In its 40-year history, BCA has grown from a handful of enthusiasts into a vibrant, well-managed, 120-strong organisation whose activities are noted throughout the Bugatti world. BCA is also highly regarded throughout the Australian vintage car movement.
Acknowledging their exceptional service, BCA has made Cam Macmillan, Bob King and Neil Barter (who served as Treasurer for nearly 40 years) Life Members of the club. In addition OBE (Order of Bugatti Ettore) medals have been awarded to several members and there long suffering wives, including Stuart Anderson, Neil Barter, Lorraine Jarrett, Bob King, Mary Murdoch, Margaret Puttman and John Shellard.
Vive La Marque