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Homepage Archives Open in new window Index (04/2009) Headlines (02/2009) Headlines (06/2009)   Vol. 43 April 2009 
Treasure In The Headlines
As seen in the April 2009 edition of W&ET Magazine


It was the equivalent of finding an old Picasso or an unknown Beatles tape hidden away in your uncle's attic.

Relatives of Dr. Harold Carr found an extremely rare 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante-a Holy Grail for car collectors- as they were going through his belongings after his death.

The dusty two-seater, unused since 1960, didn't look like much in the garage in Gosforth, near Newcastle in northern England.

But only 17 were ever made, and when it's cleaned up and auctioned in Paris, experts believe it will fetch anywhere from $4.3 to $8.7 million.

Bugatti once represented the height of motoring achievement. The supercar was so ahead of its time it could go up to 130 mph when most other cars topped out about 50 mph.

This particular car is even more valuable because it was originally owned by Earl Howe, a prominent British race car driver, and because its original equipment is intact, so it can be restored without replacement parts.

"It has all the finest attributes any connoisseur collector could ever seek, in one of the ultimate road-going sports cars from the golden era of the 1930s," said James Knight, head of the international motoring department at Bonhams, which will auction the car.

Knight and a small number of Bugatti enthusiasts knew of Carr's proudest possession, but not the eight relatives who inherited Carr's estate.

The orthopedic surgeon, who died at age 89, was described by relatives as an eccentric hoarder who never threw anything out. He also left behind an Aston Martin, which was sold, and a Jaguar sports car that was scrapped because it was in such poor condition.

The Bugatti marque is famed for its speed and handling and was a frequent race winner in the 1920s and 1930s. The 57S Atalante was one of its most successful models, each one made by hand with unique details.

The company founded in 1909 by Ettore Bugatti collapsed in the 1940s after a long string of racing victories.

The rights to the legendary Bugatti name were purchased in 1998 by Volkswagen, which has built the Bugatti Veyron, one of the world's fastest and most expensive cars.

From The Associated Press, submitted by Cheryl Fealy, Las Vegas, NV, and Jeff Kehl, Avon, MN.


A group of divers says it has found the wreckage of a schooner that collided with a steamship and sank in 1903 near Block Island.

Mark Munro, of Griswold, CT, said his Sound Underwater Survey group and the Baccala Wreck Divers began looking for the remains of the Jennie R. Dubois in 2002, searching a few times a year in an area that eventually stretched to 17 square miles.

The group positively identified the shipwreck in September 2007, but kept it a secret until recently so more research could be done and others interested in the ship couldn't claim the find, Munro said.

It was discovered about six miles southeast of Block Island, in federal waters, he said.

"We were pretty elated," Munro said. "It was one of those projects that you were starting to wonder if you were really going to solve the mystery of what happened."

The 2,227-ton, five-masted schooner, which was launched only 19 months before the collision, was named after the wife of Edward C. Dubois, a Rhode Island Supreme Court justice who owned stock in the company that built the ship, Holmes Shipbuilding Co., of Mystic.

Munro said the vessel, which cost $100,000 to build, was the largest ever built on Connecticut's Mystic River. Jennie Dubois christened the vessel with a bottle of wine on Feb. 11, 1902, in a ceremony that attracted 6,000 people, Munro said.

The Jennie R. Dubois went down on Sept. 5, 1903, after colliding with the steamship Schoenfels in dense fog about seven miles southeast of Block Island. All 11 men aboard were rescued, Munro said.

A lot of people had looked for the wreckage over the years. Munro said it was difficult to find because the Army Corps of Engineers blasted the wreckage with dynamite in 1903 so it would not be a hazard to other ships.

"They were looking for something that would look like a schooner," Munro said. "In this case, it was not what you would typically see at the bottom. It was spread out."

Munro and his fellow divers were able to identify the shipwreck by its anchors, size and location, he said. They researched local newspapers, examined the national archives in Washington, looked at Mystic Seaport records and talked with Block Island residents.

Members of Sound Underwater Survey and the Baccala Wreck Divers plan to present their findings at the Mystic Yachting Center on the 107th anniversary of the Jennie R. Dubois' launch.

From The Providence Journal, submitted by Bill Ladd, W. Warwick, RI.


In the world of mummies, there has been some question of who was the daddy of King Tut.

King Tutankhamun, the "boy king" who took the throne around 1300 BC, was uncovered in 1922. Now Zahi Hawass, chief of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, says he has discovered a missing part of a broken limestone block in a storeroom at the village of el Ashmunein, 150 miles south of Cairo, that identifies Tut as the son of King Akhenaten. It also suggests Tut was married to his own half sister, Ankhesenpaaton.

Emily Teeter of the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute said it wasn't unusual for half siblings to marry.

Kings could have as many wives as they wish. Some of the wives were gifts from rulers of other countries creating "political marriages," Teeter said.

From The Chicago Sun Times, submitted by Bob Bolek, Hometown, IL.

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