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Old 04-13-2012, 05:19 PM
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Isadora Duncan - killed by a Bugatti?

I was asked on another non-automotive forum (where I am kind of the car guy) what kind of car that Isadora Duncan was killed in.

The story goes that she had a long flowing scarf and it got caught in the spokes of one rear wheel and either broke her neck or strangled her.

I replied that I thought it was a Bugatti 35 - but then realized that I had no proof as soon as I had posted it.

Does anybody know?

And, (if it is not too morbid) - does the car still exist, and do we know where it is?
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by James_Woods View Post
I was asked on another non-automotive forum (where I am kind of the car guy) what kind of car that Isadora Duncan was killed in.

The story goes that she had a long flowing scarf and it got caught in the spokes of one rear wheel and either broke her neck or strangled her.

I replied that I thought it was a Bugatti 35 - but then realized that I had no proof as soon as I had posted it.

Does anybody know?

And, (if it is not too morbid) - does the car still exist, and do we know where it is?
Sort of....according to Wikipedia:

On the night of September 14, 1927, Duncan was a passenger in the Amilcar[9] automobile of a handsome French-Italian mechanic Benoît Falchetto, whom she had nicknamed "Buggatti" (sic).
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by 4REphotographer View Post
Sort of....according to Wikipedia:

On the night of September 14, 1927, Duncan was a passenger in the Amilcar[9] automobile of a handsome French-Italian mechanic Benoît Falchetto, whom she had nicknamed "Buggatti" (sic).
Fascinating - then if it was after midnight, she died on the birthday of Ettore Bugatti himself.

And, her boyfriend was nicknamed "Buggatti".

This explains the urban legend that it was a Bugatti, I guess.
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Old 04-14-2012, 09:53 PM
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found this on buagtti's website

http://www.bugatti.com/en/tradition/...-a-dancer.html
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Old 04-14-2012, 11:32 PM
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When driving in a Bugatti, no capes either!

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  #6  
Old 04-16-2012, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James_Woods View Post
I was asked on another non-automotive forum (where I am kind of the car guy) what kind of car that Isadora Duncan was killed in.

The story goes that she had a long flowing scarf and it got caught in the spokes of one rear wheel and either broke her neck or strangled her.

I replied that I thought it was a Bugatti 35 - but then realized that I had no proof as soon as I had posted it.

Does anybody know?

And, (if it is not too morbid) - does the car still exist, and do we know where it is?

There are some that are convinced the car was an Amilcar CGSs. A very French and similar car to a Bugatti but the likelihood is that this is what the car was. The two cars look very similar and competed against each other in period. I own one but can't for the life of me figure out how to post a photo to this site.
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by beachmk4 View Post
There are some that are convinced the car was an Amilcar CGSs. A very French and similar car to a Bugatti but the likelihood is that this is what the car was. The two cars look very similar and competed against each other in period. I own one but can't for the life of me figure out how to post a photo to this site.
when you "post reply", then look below at "additional options", under that click "manage attachments".....a window will open, and you can attach pictures from your computer, once you click "upload" wait until the file shows in the window as loaded, then click "close window" ...that should do it
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:57 PM
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O.K. let's give it a try.

A 1927 Amilcar CGSs. I was invited to Amelia this year, here's a look.
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:00 PM
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Hooray! It worked. Now a shot with my celebrity judge, Bob Varsha at Amelia in March. Oh, I'm the little, fat guy (as if you didn't know!)
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  #10  
Old 04-18-2012, 01:36 AM
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very nice car, and something not seen often, kudos!
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Old 04-18-2012, 12:58 PM
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Thank you very much!

Yes, in general shape (except for the grille) it DOES look a lot like a type 35.
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:21 PM
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Here is an image from the "Isadora" motion picture (1968) with Vanessa Redgrave in the title role.

Seems like there must have been an official inquest into her death, and if there was a record of this inquest, it should state specifically what kind of a car was involved.
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  #13  
Old 04-18-2012, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Miltonian View Post
Here is an image from the "Isadora" motion picture (1968) with Vanessa Redgrave in the title role.

Seems like there must have been an official inquest into her death, and if there was a record of this inquest, it should state specifically what kind of a car was involved.
Maybe that is what got me stuck on the idea that it was a Bugatti...
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Old 04-18-2012, 06:53 PM
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Believe it or not, the official inquest didn't even make mention of the DRIVER's name!!! They saw the obvious and that was that! Things were a lot different then I guess.

Think what would happen today if you showed up with a dead movie star (Angelia Jolie for instance) in your car. What do you think would happen??? The book deal alone would be astronomical!
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Old 04-18-2012, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by beachmk4 View Post
O.K. let's give it a try.

A 1927 Amilcar CGSs. I was invited to Amelia this year, here's a look.
Fabulous car. Thanks!
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  #16  
Old 04-18-2012, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by garnet View Post
here's the content of this link, off the official Bugatti website....just to muddy the waters

Quote:
The death of the beautiful dancer Isadora Duncan is one of the many legends surrounding the Bugatti name.

American-born Duncan was not only among the most prominent dancers of her time, but is to this day regarded as the progenitor of modern dance. It was mainly in Europe that she developed her idiosyncratic style of dance, the ex-pat shocking her audience with barefoot interpretations of great ballet classics and with costumes that exposed her arms and legs. Openly rebelling against bourgeois conventions, non-conformist Duncan supported women’s emancipation and other feminist causes.

Her notorious death is not exactly a pet topic for Bugatti historians. Some Bugattistas even go so far as to question whether the fateful car in which the dancer met her demise was in fact a Bugatti – maybe it was an Amilcar. Yet this latter version is certainly false, since Isadora Duncan’s ardour was reserved for a single brand of automobile: Bugatti.

As legend has it, she desired to buy one but could not afford it. At this time, most of her bills were being settled by wealthy benefactors, including her former lover Paris Singer, heir to the sewing-machine empire. Then the dancer met a young auto mechanic who sold Bugatti cars and she asked him if he would join her for a test drive in what was either the Bugatti Type 35 or 37. It is possible that her interest in the young man went beyond a mere spin in the automobile – despite her being 50 years of age and thus considerably older than her escort. According to oral tradition, her last words were: “Farewell, my friends, I am off to glory!” As the car drove off, she threw a long silk scarf around her neck, which entangled in one of the car’s open-spoked wheels. The heavy embroidered silk pulled instantly taut and snapped the dancer’s neck. This misfortune took place in Nice on September 14, 1927. In 1968 a motion picture portraying the life of the legendary dancer featured Vanessa Redgrave in the title role. Redgrave, who trained six months for Isadora, won the award for Best Actress at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival.
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:48 AM
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Well, well. Very interesting, Garnet.
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  #18  
Old 04-20-2012, 02:57 AM
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Originally Posted by garnet View Post
here's the content of this link, off the official Bugatti website....just to muddy the waters
That is one Freak Accident.
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Old 04-20-2012, 07:16 PM
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I heard it was an Aston
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  #20  
Old 04-20-2012, 08:43 PM
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I heard it was an Aston
You just ruined this thread, Mr. SmartyPants.
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