Back in 2009, Andy House, a Houston-based salvaged exotics dealer and owner of a Bugatti Veyron intentionally drove the hypercar into the salt water Gulf Bay lagoon and left the engine running as an insurance fraud. His easy money attempt backfired, which led to prison time and serious financial trouble for the man. Nevertheless, the stunt turned that 2006 Veyron into one of the most famous Molsheim machines in the world. Multiple people have tried to revive the lake-drowned Veyron over the years, but only one has succeeded. We’re talking about Houston Crosta, who has now revealed the complete financial side of rebuilding the flooded 2006 Bugatti Veyron.
A Las Vegas native, Houston describes himself as a self-made man—he is currently the owner of the city’s Royalty Exotic Cars rental specialist, as well as running a restaurant chain called Houston’s Hot Chicken.
As you might’ve already guessed by now, the man is also a car collector, having owned two Veyrons before getting a hold of the salt water flooded example back in 2020.
And, in his latest video, the enthusiast tells us that reviving the 2006 lake-drowned Veyron ended up costing him over $800,000. The clip also involves his perspective on the cars that were recently flooded by Hurricane Ian, even though he mentions the McLaren P1 and the Koenigsegg Regera, but not the Plymouth Superbird and Dodge Charger Daytona. That’s probably because the classic muscle cars’ lack of electronics placing them into a less unfortunate situation—there’s an update on this at the end of the article.
And, thanks to VIN Wiki video below, we know the man had bought the W16, 1,001 hp machine for $400,000. For the record, a good-condition Veyron of the sort normally sells for $1.5 million, even though the price can vary depending on the mileage.
Bugatti’s involvement in the flooded Veyron revival
Thanks in no small part to his rental car business and his social media presence, Houston is known in the community as a Bugatti enthusiasts, which is why people often turn to him in search of spare parts.
Nevertheless, as the man explains, bringing this 2006 Veyron back to life was a different affair: “It took me a lot of time to convince Bugatti to let me rebuild this car,“
For starters, all the electrics and electronics had to be replaced, from the ECU and the body control modules to the wires—the corrosive effect of salt water is a given.
“Everything that was not carbon fiber was replaced,” he says, probably talking about the interior. Of course, this involved sourcing the parts from Bugatti’s Molsheim factory in France and with Houston documenting the whole process, he also talks about signing agreements covering the bits he could film and those that were off limits.
In addition, the parts purchased from the the carmaker reportedly came without any form of warranty—for the record, at least a part of the repair operations seem to have been handled by California-based O’Gara Coach, which is a Bugatti dealer, among other automotive activities.
We’ve already seen Houston Crosta driving the rebuilt Veyron
Back in April, Houston posted a video of him driving the revived Veyron on Instagram, which you’ll find at the bottom of the page. Everything inside the hypercar looks flawless, as it should, while the exterior is now purple (we’re not sure if this is a wrap or new paint).
As you can imagine, recording the process required an enormous amount of footage, which Houston plans to release as a documentary. However, while the aficionado has been approached by “multiple TV networks” on the topic, it’s not clear if he accepted any of the offers or if he’ll be releasing the final edit on YouTube.
The lake-drowned Chiron had to endure a decade of hanging in the air before being revived
Until we enjoy the cinematic fruits of Houston’s labor, we’ll remind you that at least a part of the rough life the Veyron had in between the lake incident and the said collector giving it a new lease on life is mostly covered in the second video below.
Coming from VIN Wiki founder Ed Bolian, the July 2021-released clip talks about how the enthusiast himself and others considered repairing the Bugatti but steered clear of this due to the financial challenge posed by the operation. And you’ll have to be prepared for some wild money figures, plus mechanical details that would’ve made a car lover extremely sad had it not been for Houston bringing the Veyron back to life.
This is probably the most captivating Bugatti story of them all—at least until somebody manages to make sense of the mystery that is the Nazi-fueled disappearance of the Bugatti La Voiture Noire, the late 1930s Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic that borrowed its name to the recent Chiron-based model).
Update: Here’s why Houston’s assessment on Florida not allowing the Hurricane Ian-flooded cars to be rebuilt may not be correct, plus new details on how insurance companies are handling the situation.