If you see a classic car on Interstate 81 in Pennsylvania this Sunday (6/16/2013), don’t assume it’s a durable Detroit product piloted by an old geezer. It just might be 33-year-old Matt Baran driving his grandfather’s rare 1938 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupe to The Elegance at Hershey, a concours d’elegance car show on the grounds of the historic Hotel Hershey.
Baran is carrying on the family tradition of driving — not trailering — cars to events, even if the car happens to be worth as much as a nice home in the suburbs.
Walter Baran — former head of the state Department of General Services and later a garment manufacturer — purchased what he considered the crown jewel of his collection of nearly 40 antique and classic cars in about 1982. His parents were Polish immigrants, who settled at the turn of the 20th century in Frackville, a small town about 60 miles northeast of Hershey. The affable civic leader, who turns 89 on June 18, still resides with his wife in the area, as do son Tony and grandson Matt (who has two British sports cars of his own).
Update (6/15): We just discovered that the Baran Bugatti chassis number 57585 is just six away from number 57591, the Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic Coupe belonging to Ralph Lauren, which recently took top honors at the exclusive Concorso d’Eleganza in Villa d’Este, Italy. Knowing that the car appearing in Hershey was constructed alongside one of the most valuable cars in the world brings an extra thrill to car enthusiasts.
Walter Baran, shown here in 2007, with his stylish 1938 Bugatti Type 57 Ventoux Coupe.
Bugatti Gallery – Click image to enlarge for slideshow.