Friderich, Père et Fille – Bugatti, Nice

Racing Daydreams - Renée Friderich

It’s 24 February 1932 – the event is the Rally Paris-St Raphaël Féminin – the woman is Renée Friderich. She is 20 years-old, and today – as her friend & mentor Hellé Nice sets fastest time – she will lose her life at the wheel of this Delage D8-S.

It was a bad accident, perhaps caused by the difference between the Delage and her usual Bugatti. “Usual” because Renée’s father was the great Ernest Friderich – associate, friend of Ettore Bugatti since 1909. Winner of 1920 Coupe des Voiturettes, the famous 1921 Voiturette race at Brescia, the man who debuted the legendary T35, entrant responsible for Dreyfus’ win at Monaco in 1930

Racing Daydreams - Friderich 1923 GP
Friderich – 1923 Grand Prix de l’ACF
Racing Daydreams - Friderich Bugatti, Nice
Friderich Bugatti – 40 Rue de la Buffa, Nice

Ernest Friderich was the Bugatti agent in Nice, and therefore the go-to on the Côte d’Azur in this remarkable era.

Today, you could pop in to the Bugatti agent beside the Rascasse in Monaco. Back in 1924 you would have gone to 40 Rue de la Buffa, or latterly 21 Rue de Rivoli.

Racing Daydreams - Bugatti, Monaco
Bugatti, Monaco

Visiting 21 Rue de Rivoli, Nice today you will find… a bike shop. Ernest Friderich seems forgotten, and the brand have missed an opportunity to do something special. Perhaps the customer for a new Bugatti in the 21st century just doesn’t care?

Nice was once the epicentre of automotive sport & luxury – legendary brands; created & represented by interesting men, inspired by their daughters.

We dreamers will keep that memory – until the marketing bods realise that it’s a sizzle worth selling.

Racing Daydreams - 21 Rue de Rivoli
21 Rue de Rivoli, Nice – today

About Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

Featured France Grands Prix Ireland Northern Ireland

Observe the Sons of Ulster: Paris-Madrid 1903

County Down, Ireland: September 1916 Responding to deft touch, the Sopwith Strutter prescribes a shallow arc from Carnalea. Barely above the telegraph wires. No conscious check of bearing – instinctively the pilot dips a wing, and there… K and the children are at the homestead. Waves, and kisses blown. Banking right over Helen’s Bay. Swinging […]

Racing Daydreams - Colin Johnston - Ards TT - BBC
Featured Northern Ireland Sports Car Racing

Race to Disaster – The Ards TT

The phone vibrated on my office desk. A glance to see the notification… email… subject line, “TT Film”. Curious, I locked the work laptop and read the message… it was about the Ards TT. Dear Colin, I came across your website in the course of doing some research for a film I am making for the BBC […]

Racing Daydreams - Nice to La Turbie
Featured France Sports Car Racing

Elliott Zborowski – Death on the Corniche

1 April 1903, the motoring greats were set for the literal high-point of Nice Week – the hillclimb from Nice to La Turbie. 1903 was planned and expected to be a huge year for the sport, and Mercédès in particular. There were 12 of their 60hp machines in Nice, including a brand-new one for Count […]