William I'Anson: "Trading on trust"

Founding his own sales and logistics operation has allowed William I’Anson not only the chance to indulge his passion for ‘Golden Era’ racing cars – but also to extend his reputation as one of the foremost authorities on Grand Prix Bugattis…

“If you’re passionate, you’re there and you’re in the driving overalls yourself, it makes you understand what it’s all about...”

William’s upbringing could hardly have been more relevant to the industry in which he operates. With the family album showing him behind the wheel of a (thankfully stationary) Type 35 at just six months old, he went on to study engineering while splitting his professional commitments between his father’s company (respected Bugatti specialist Tula Engineering) and a well-known auction house. This provided the perfect platform from which to form his own company in 2010, despite a stint as a professional yachtsman in the 90s threatening to divert his interests.

One knowledgable man and his dog

Upon arrival at the site of his beautiful showroom in the picturesque Cotswolds, it’s soon clear where his passions lie today. You’re warmly welcomed not only by the debonair William, but also his faithful Labrador, ‘Brescia’. A tour of the facilities will see you walking among various GP Bugattis, as well as several respectable machines from the 50s and 60s, in both road and race form.

Whether it’s behind the wheel of a Type 35 or an Alfa TZ1, William can often be seen at major classic and vintage racing events. He enthuses: “If you’re passionate, you’re there and you’re in the driving overalls yourself, it makes you understand what it’s all about.”

A walking Bugatti bible

“We’re seeing a lot of people coming from modern cars to the 50s and 60s GT cars," says William, "and from there they start becoming interested in the roots of it all. Once you begin looking at pre-War cars, you can’t help but become sucked into the Bugatti world – in the 1920s in particular, those cars were dominating everything. The driving experience is a completely new challenge too.”

It’s in this field that William can be called upon to share his wealth of expertise. “Many of these cars were put into action as second-hand racing cars even before the War.  As a result, it’s important to have someone by your side with the relevant contacts, knowledge and understanding of each example's history to help you choose the right car for the right event.”

Photos: Joe Breeze

William I'Anson's full list of cars for sale can be found in the Classic Driver Market.