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A Bugatti Type 22 Brescia that lay at the bottom of an Italian lake for 70 years has sold at an auction in Paris for £228,000.

The 1925 Bugatti was estimated to sell for between 70,000 and 90,000 euros, but had attracted a lot of pre-sale publicity after it was salvaged from the bottom of Lake Maggiore in July 2009.

The winning bidder was a European collector representing the Peter Mullin Collection in California, where he intends to display the Bugatti in its current state. The second, unsuccessful bidder had intended to restore the car to its former glory.
It's not certain how the car ended up at the bottom of the lake, but the evidence points towards it being dumped there to avoid paying import taxes. The story goes that Polish architect, Marco Schmuklerski, was being chased by the authorities for the import duty on the car, so he attached it to a chain and dumped it in the water. The chain eventually corroded, leaving the Bugatti at the bottom of the lake.

The car was discovered in 1967 by the local sub aqua club, when it became a popular location for divers. The proceeds of the sale will be donated to the Damiano Tamagi foundation – a charity set up in honour of a member of the diving club who was murdered in 2008.