Back to the Beginning
Bugatti started in 1909, founded by Italian Ettore Bugatti who was known as an artist as well as a constructor. Bugatti cars were known for their elegant designs, high performance and endurance in racing events.
In 1919, after the First World War, Ettore was able to acquire a stand at 15th Paris motor show where he showcased three light cars, all of which were fitted with an overhead camshaft 4-cylinder engine. The three cars consisted of the Type 13, a car with a body designed can constructed by the Bugatti company themselves, a Type 22 and a Type 23 with wheelbases of 2,250 and 2,400 mm.
Road of Success
Bugatti cars were successful in racing, entering the Grand Prix arena with a big hit as it crossed the finish ahead of all other participants at the first ever Monaco Grand Prix. The 24 hours of Le Man was also a witness to the power of Bugatti winning twice, in 1937 and in 1939. These racing victories helped to solidify the credibility of Bugatti cars as one of the best luxury sports car in the world.
Among the many powerful yet elegant Bugatti cars, several models stand out. Some of these are the Type 35 Grand Prix whose over 2,000 wins have made it the most successful racing car of all time and the Bugatti Type 10 that holds the record of sweeping the top four positions in its first race. Not too far behind are the Type 55 sports car, the Type 57 Atlantic, and the Type 41 Royale.
End of Ettore Bugatti Line
After the success of Bugatti cars and designing a successful motorized railcar known as the Autorail, the Bugatti family was struck with tragedy when Ettore’s son, Jean Bugatti died in 1939. He died while testing a Type 57 tank-bodied Bugatti race car. Without a son to carry on the Bugatti legacy, it experienced financial difficulties and released one last model in 1950. It closed down after manufacturing over 8,000 cars.
The most prominent models of Bugatti cars designed during the time of Ettore and his son’s leadership were the Prototypes composed of Types 2, 5, 10, 36, 45/47, 56, 64, and 73C. These were manufactured at various years from 1900 to 1947. For the race car models, the most prominent were Types 13, 15, 17, and 22. All of these cars all were manufactured during 1919-1914. This was followed by Type 16, 29, 32, 35/35A/35B/35T/35C/37/39, 52, 57G, 50B, 53, 51/51A/54GP/59, and 251.
Aside from prototypes and race cars, Bugatti also manufactured models for non-racing customers. The road models of Bugatti were the Type 13, 18, 23, 41, 55, 101, and 252.
When Volkswagen acquired the rights to produce cars under the Bugatti marque in 1998, it also saw rebirth of Bugatti cars as Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. It would later be recognized for continuing the legacy of the previous Bugatti cars with its high performance luxury automobiles and also as a subsidiary company by Volkswagen AG.
By 2000, the company acquired the 1856 Château Saint Jean which was originally Ettore Bugatti’s guest house. It was refurbished and renovated to serve as the company’s headquarters.
The company produced and manufactured the Bugatti Veyron. Its Super Sport version is considered as the fastest street-legal car in the world with a maximum speed of 431.072 km/h. The original model has a maximum speed of 408.46km/h. The Bugatti Veyron was named as the car of the Decade (200-2009) in the BBC program Top Gear. It also won Top Gear’s Best Car Driven All Year Award in 2005.
Bugatti is still manufacturing luxury cars of different variants and models to satisfy their loyal customers and continuing the legacy that Ettore started back in 1909.