International Bugatti enthusiasts on road trip

Bugatti enthusiasts (from left) Japan Bugatti Club president Kyoto Takemoto, Junko Takemoto and Patrick Friedli, of Burgundy, France, at Chard Farm near Gibbston last night. Photo by Tracey Roxburgh.
Bugatti enthusiasts (from left) Japan Bugatti Club president Kyoto Takemoto, Junko Takemoto and Patrick Friedli, of Burgundy, France, at Chard Farm near Gibbston last night. Photo by Tracey Roxburgh.
Seventy-five Bugatti enthusiasts are touring New Zealand in style, part of the 2014 New Zealand International Bugatti Rally - the first of its kind in New Zealand in 14 years.

Rally organiser Geoff Walls, of Christchurch, said Bugatti owners from around the world were taking part in the rally, which began in Auckland on February 16 and will end in Christchurch on Wednesday.

The group arrived in Queenstown on Wednesday night and last night drove in convoy to Chard Farm, at Gibbston.

Participants had come from as far afield as Japan, Switzerland, Germany, Holland, France, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Their classic cars were shipped to New Zealand ahead of time.

One of the enthusiasts was Japan Bugatti Club president Kyoto Takemoto and his wife Junko, on their first visit to New Zealand.

Mr Takemoto owns a 1925 Bugatti roadster, which does not have a windscreen or doors, windows or a roof.

Bugatti was founded in 1909 by Ettore Bugatti in France, and enjoyed success on European race tracks before it fell on hard times and was sold in the early 1950s.

Various attempts were made to revive the brand before it was bought by Volkswagen in 1998, which went on to produce the Veyron supercar.

New Zealand last won the rights to host the rally in 2000, Mr Walls said.

Rally participants will be in Queenstown until Sunday when they head to Cromwell to visit Highlands Motorsport Park before driving to Mt Cook.