What Happened to the $1 Million Car That Drove Into Galveston Bay?
November 11, 2009
That was the day when two guys driving down Interstate 45 near Galveston caught sight of what they thought was a Lamborghini driving down the frontage road. That's something you don't see every day, so one of them started shooting a video of the sportscar.
Within a few seconds, the vehicle (which was actually a Bugatti Veyron) veered toward the right and into the shallow waters of marshland running adjacent to the road.
The man driving the vehicle was not seriously injured, but the $1 million vehicle was halfway submerged in corrosive salt water.
What The Heck Happened?
The man behind the wheel of the Bugatti was identified as Andy House of Lufkin, Texas. According to a story in USA Today, the exotic car salvage yard owner had originally claimed that he was distracted by a pelican which led to him crashing the car into Gulf Bay. However, the video of the crash proved otherwise and House would eventually plead guilty to insurance fraud.
What Ever Happened to That Bugatti?
From 2009-2019, the damaged Bugatti went through quite a whirlwind of ownerships and liens and enthusiasts who thought they could restore the high-dollar sportscar to its original glory. Those hopes were dashed when it became apparent just how much money it would cost to bring a saltwater-infested supercar back to life.
In 2019, the 'flooded Bugatti' appeared on the market with a $300,000 price tag. This greatly reduced price caught the attention of many exotic car dealers and restorers. It definitely caught the attention of Ed Bolian, founder and CEO of VINwiki.
Bolian was highly interested in the vehicle, but he knew that the repairs would be cost-prohibitive. So, he decided to pass on purchasing the Bugatti. The video below is a little long but gives a great narrative of the vehicle from the crash through nearly present day.
The video mentions Houston Crosta who recently purchased the vehicle. Crosta's extensive knowledge of Bugattis and access to parts made him the right person for the buy.
It has been and continues to be a very expensive venture, but he actually got the car driveable for the first time in over a dozen years as he took to the streets of Las Vegas. (as shown in the video below)
There are still a few cosmetic touch-ups and other minor repairs planned, but it looks like the grand reveal should happen sometime in mid-August. Then, finally, after nearly 14 years, the hypercar that crashed into a bay in Galveston, will once again be racing down the roadway.
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