18/5/1899 - 10/9/1954
Record updated 09-Feb-23
Sometimes listed as René Bouchard though more commonly Roger-André Bouchard or "RAB", was born in Saint-Séverin, Charente, France in 1899.
Rab was a well known figure in the local pre-war automotive scene. He was born on May 18, 1899 on the borders of the Dordogne and the Charente in Saint-Séverin. From an early age he was interested in cars and engineering so it was no surprise when he went to work for his uncle Merlaud who owned the Citroën dealership in Périgueux, located where the offices of Crédit Lyonnais are now situated. When his Uncle died in 1926, Rab left the garage and started his own one at Périgueux Place Francheville dealing with Berliet and Bugatti cars. He became the regional service center for Bugatti from 1928 to 1939. He was beginning to make a name for himself in local competitions and his business was also going well selling Bugattis not just in Périgord and Ribéracois, but throughout the whole of France. Amédée Gordini, Ettore Bugatti and Luigi Chinetti whould often visit him in Ribéracois. Local enthusiasts used to meet up in Vanxains, where his wife's family lived, and he help start a local annual hill climb there, the Course de Cote, which is still going! The local in Vanxains at the time remember that Rab taking them to races in the region, and going for rides in his Bugatti 35s. He was very handy on the hills taking wins at Monbazillac, Rampinsolle and Vanxains. But his attention On the final day of the 1954 Tour de France (The motor race...of course) between Saint-Martin-du-Var and Nice, Bouchard crashed into a lorry near the village of Saint-Laurent-du-Var, very close to the finish. He was driving an Austin-Healey 100 with his co-driver Mrs. Paulette Morel
Bouchard was killed instantly and his co-driver, Mrs Morel sustained serious injuries and died in a hospital in Nice shortly later.