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 Post subject: History
PostPosted: Fri May 05, 2017 3:31 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 15, 2006 5:30 pm
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Location: Molsheim - France
Bugatti – Art, Forme, Technique
(May 2017)
1881. Ettore is born in Milan on 15 September. His father, Carlo Bugatti, is a wellknown
furniture designer; his younger brother, Rembrandt, is a famous sculptor.
1897. After finishing school and spending a short time at the Academy of Art in Milan,
Ettore begins working in the foundry at Prinetti & Stucchi, Italy’s leading company in
small-scale engineering, involved primarily in the manufacture of bicycles and sewing
machines. He was fascinated by the technology and mechanics of automobiles, which
were still in their infancy. At the age of just 17, he fitted an engine to a tricycle, which
was used to take part in races. Little by little, he expands his technical and
mathematical knowledge in order to ensure that his ideas are more than simply flights
of imagination. From the beginning, he strives to create what he calls, “Pur Sang,” or
thoroughbred, designs. His high standards in terms of technical design and
performance must always be directly tied to his sense of aesthetics.
1901. At the age of 20, Ettore presents his first vehicle, the Type 2, at an exhibition in
Milan. This vehicle wins the “Coppa Grande” and a special prize by the Automobile Club
de France. The license to build the vehicle, that is equipped with a 12 PS 4-cylinder
engine and is capable of 65 km/h, is sold to the De Dietrich company in Niederbronn in
the Alsace region.
1902. Carlo Bugatti signs a seven-year contract for his son Ettore, who is still under 21,
to allow him to work as a designer at De Dietrich. Ettore moves to the Alsace and the
first De Dietrich Bugattis are built.
1904/05. The partnership with Baron de Dietrich ends. Ettore designs vehicles for the
Strasbourg car dealer Emil Mathis, of which some are built by the “Elsässische
Maschinenbau-Gesellschaft” company in Illkirch.
1907. Ettore marries Barbara Maria Guiseppina Machera Bolzoni and the couple is
going to have two daughters and two sons. Following the conclusion of the partnership
with Mathis, Ettore signs a contract with the Gasmotorenfabrik Deutz in Cologne. He
designs and builds various prototypes in the basement of the house he rents from
Deutz in Cologne-Mülheim.
1909. Ettore’s son, Jean Bugatti, is born in Cologne on 15 January. The family moves to
Molsheim in the Alsace region around Christmas. There, Ettore establishes his own
business in an unused dye factory.
1910. Once the first tool machines have been delivered at the end of January and the
necessary team of professionals is assembled by Ettore’s long-standing assistant,
Friderich, five vehicles are built and quickly sold. In the same year, Friderich begins to
race for Bugatti. Having taken second place in the Gaillon mountain race in October,
Bugatti gradually becomes a serious competitor.
1911. A series of racing victories follows, most notably a sensational second place
finish in the overall placings in the French Grand Prix. By now, 65 employees work in
the factory. In the same year, Bugatti signs a contract with Peugeot for the production
of the Bébé Peugeot, the Bugatti Type 16. In total, 3,000 models of this vehicle are
built, making it the highest production run of any Bugatti design.
1914-1918. Production of the Type 13 in Molsheim comes to a standstill due to the
First World War. Bugatti switches to developing airplane engines for the French and
American governments. After the war, the money for the license contracts is used to
expand production in Molsheim. The factory survives the war in good shape, and
Bugatti’s production program fits perfectly into the France’s dawning Golden Twenties.
1921. All four starting Bugatti Type 13 models take the first four places at the Grand
Premio Voiturette in Brescia. To celebrate this victory, all of Bugatti’s 16-valve engines
will bear the name of the city of Brescia as an additional title.
1922. Bugatti’s first 8-cylinder race car is built. The Type 29/30 has a revolutionary
body in the shape of a cigar and is fitted with hydraulic brakes. This “cigar” takes third
place at the Grand Prix de l’A.C.F. in Strasbourg. Production is increased again in the
same year and the workforce grows to almost 1,000.
1923. At the Grand Prix de l’A.C.F. in Tours, Bugatti causes a sensation with a
revolutionary wing-like body and covered wheels. Known as “the Tank”, the Type 32
features a very short wheelbase and is powered by a redeveloped version of the
previous year’s eight-cylinder engine. With Ernest Friedrich at the wheel, the car took
third place.
1924. The Type 35 debuts and becomes the most successful Bugatti race car, despite
not winning the French Grand Prix in its first race at the Grand Prix de l’A.C.F. For
almost 10 years, the Type 35 dominates the racing scene, amassing more than 2,000
victories. It is not only used as a race car, but also becomes one of the first super
sports cars to enjoy commercial success off the race track.
1926. Even as a young design engineer, Ettore Bugatti dreamt of building the best,
most luxurious and most elegant vehicle of all time. At the time, this was hindered by
World War I. With the racing and sales successes of the Type 35, he was able to
make his dream a reality. He then went on to create the most expensive car of all time
– the Type 41 “Royale.” The 8-cylinder engine has an engine capacity of 12.7 litres
and 300 PS. The radiator mascot is an elephant designed by Rembrandt Bugatti. This
legendary vehicle arrived on the scene along with the Great Depression, and thus only
six “Royales” were built.
1931-1934. Ettore Bugatti's creativity knows no boundaries and after winning the
tender for a new high-speed train in France in 1931, he equips the train with “Royale”
engines. He is now known as the mastermind of today’s TGV. Ettore’s range also
includes the elegant Type 57 touring car. Selling more than 700 vehicles, this model is
said to be his last great success.
1936. Bugatti builds the Type 57SC “Atlantic”, designed by Ettore’s son Jean. With its
unusual proportions and unique riveted spine, it is considered to be the most
impressive car of the pre-war era. Only four models of this vehicle are built; two of
these have survived until the present day in their original condition.
1937. With the first Le Mans victory by Jean Pierre Wimille and Robert Benoist in a
Type 57 G Tank, Bugatti revisits the more successful glory days of the 1920s.
1939. Bugatti wins the “24 Heures du Mans” with only one Type 57 C Tank, driven by
Jean Pierre Wimille and Pierre Veyron. This is hailed as Bugatti’s last great racing
victory. A few weeks later, on 11 August, Ettore’s son and designated successor, Jean,
dies during a test drive in exactly the same car that won at Le Mans. Three weeks later,
World War II breaks out.
1947. After the war, tentative attempts to resume production in Molsheim fail due to
limited funds. On 21 August, Ettore Bugatti dies of pneumonia in a military hospital in
Paris at the age of 66. Under his leadership, a total of approximately 7,900 vehicles were
1950s. Projects conducted under the leadership of Ettore’s son, Roland Bugatti,
experience little success. Although he has many great ideas for new vehicle models,
no truly remarkable cars are actually produced apart from the Type 73, the 101 and
the Type 251 race car.
1963. The Bugatti company and the plant premises are taken over by Hispano Suiza.
From this point on, airplane landing gear and other assemblies are manufactured in
Molsheim. Bugatti continues to produce replacement parts for its customers’ pre-war
vehicles. In 1968, Hispano Suiza is taken over by the Snecma Group and Messier
relocates to the plant premises in Molsheim. Production of airplane parts is integrated
and operations are conducted under the name Messier-Bugatti.
1987. The Italian entrepreneur, Romano Artioli, buys the trademark rights to Bugatti
from Messier-Bugatti and builds a new plant in Campogalliano near Modena for the
purpose of producing a new Bugatti super sports car.
1991. On the occasion of what would have been Ettore Bugatti’s 110th birthday, the
new super sports car, EB 110, is presented in Paris on 15 September.
1995. After building approximately 140 Bugatti EB 110 vehicles, the Bugatti Automobili
S.p.A. company files for bankruptcy. The EB 112 research prototype designed by
Giorgetto Giugiaro (Italdesign) is never put into production.
1998. Volkswagen buys the trademark rights and, at the Paris Motor Show in October,
presents the EB 118: a four-seater, two-door coupé also designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro
(Italdesign). The number “118” stands for “1st research prototype and 18 cylinders”.
1999. The EB 218 research prototype, a four-door saloon, débuts at the Geneva
International Motor Show in March. In September, the mid-engine super sports car EB
18/3 Chiron is presented at the IAA in Frankfurt. Another super sports car is created at
the same time. This vehicle, named the EB 18/4, is introduced five weeks later at the
Tokyo Motor Show 1999.
2001. The advanced prototype of the EB 16/4 Veyron is presented at the IAA in
Frankfurt. Named after racing driver Pierre Veyron and boasting 1,000 PS, eight litres
capacity and four turbochargers, the Veyron 16.4 will also be used as a basis for the
2005 series version of the same name.
2005. Upon completion of the “Atelier” in Molsheim, production of the Veyron begins.
An opening ceremony for the new site is held on 3 September. Production of the
Veyron is limited to 300 models. The construction of a super sports car offering over
1,000 PS and capable of a top speed of more than 400 km/h (248 MPH) fulfils the
Group’s technical specifications. In terms of performance, each of these individual
values supersedes everything previously achieved within the automobile industry.
2006. In April, the first Veyron is delivered.
2007. In June, the 100th Veyron is ordered. The special edition Bugatti Veyron 16.4
“Pur Sang” is presented at the IAA in Frankfurt. Only 24 hours after its world premiere
on the evening before the first press day, all five planned examples have been sold.
2008. At the 78th Geneva International Motor Show, Bugatti and Hermès present the
fruit of their partnership, the Bugatti Veyron Fbg par Hermès. In collaboration with
Hermès artisans, Hermès designer Gabriele Pezzini employs the stylistic resources of
the great Parisian house to lend a refined finish to the Veyron. This special edition
seamlessly combines the technical and aesthetic standards of both Émile Hermès and
Ettore Bugatti.
2008. Bugatti presents the open-top variant of the Veyron, the Grand Sport, at the
Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in the United States. The Grand Sport is limited to
150 units. Chassis number one is sold for 3.2 million US dollars at the Gooding &
Company auction house.
2009. Bugatti celebrates its 100th anniversary in September and takes this opportunity
to present four special editions of the Bugatti Veyron. These vehicles evoke the Type 35
and Bugatti’s famed racing history at the Villa d’Este Concorso d’Eleganza. As tradition
dictates, the four special editions remain true to the “racing colours” of the relevant
countries: blue for France, red for Italy, green for England and white for Germany. The
four models each have a direct predecessor in the form of a Grand Prix Bugatti and four
racing drivers as patrons: Jean-Pierre Wimille for the blue, Achille Varzi for the red,
Malcolm Campbell for the green and Hermann zu Leiningen for the white Veyron.
2010. In July, the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Super Sport sets a new world speed record for
series-production sports cars, clocking up 431.072 km/h (268 MPH). The world record
edition is unveiled to the general public in mid-August at Quail Lodge in Pebble Beach.
2011. In June, the 300th order for the Veyron was announced. The last Veyron is sold to
a European customer and the success story of the super sports car series limited to 300
units and its powerful sibling, the Super Sport, comes to a triumphant conclusion.
2011. At the IAA in Frankfurt, Bugatti presents the Bugatti Grand Sport “L’Or Blanc”,
an automotive masterpiece resulting from a collaboration with the Königliche
Porzellan-Manufaktur (Royal Porcelain Manufactory) in Berlin.
2012. Bugatti unveils the Grand Sport Vitesse, a roadster boasting 1,200 PS, at the
Geneva International Motor Show.
2012. In December, as part of the Rubell Family Collection at the Art Basel at Miami
Beach, Bugatti unveiled the fastest masterpiece in the world – the Bugatti Grand Sport
Venet, created by the French artist Bernar Venet.
2013. In April, the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse achieves a top speed of
408.84 km/h (254 MPH) with an open roof, thus becoming the world’s fastest open-top
series sports car. Now, together with the world record achieved by the Bugatti Veyron
16.4 Super Sport in 2010, Bugatti holds a total of two world records. Created especially
for the record-breaking journey and limited to just eight vehicles, the Vitesse World
Record Car Edition is unveiled to the public a short time later at the Shanghai Motor
2013. During the Monterey Car Week Bugatti debuts the first of its six-part exclusive
Bugatti Legends edition, “Les Légendes de Bugatti”, to commemorate the renowned
names which have played a crucial role in its history and which have helped creating
its mystique. The first Legend is dedicated to a personality who is central to the history
of motor sports and intimately linked to the Bugatti company: Jean-Pierre Wimille, who
garnered two victories for Bugatti at Le Mans. The Bugatti Legend “Jean-Pierre
Wimille” makes its début in the eyes of the world at the US The Quail/Pebble Beach
weekend. The next twelve months will see the launch of six individual Bugatti Legends
based on the Bugatti Grand Sport Vitesse.
2013. Bugatti presents the second vehicle of its exclusive Legends edition as a world
premiere at the 65th International Motor Show in Frankfurt, the Bugatti Grand Sport
Vitesse “Jean Bugatti” to celebrate the oldest son of company founder Ettore Bugatti
and his most famous creation, the Type 57SC Atlantic. Like all other five models in the
Legend series, the “Jean Bugatti” is limited to three vehicles.
2013. At Milan Fashion Week in September, Bugatti launches its new Lifestyle
Collection. Under the headline of “Art, Forme, Technique” there will be an exclusive
collection of apparel and accessories featuring two fashion lines – Ettore Bugatti and
Extreme Performance, complemented by a Tailor Made / Bespoke programme, which
is dedicated exclusively to Bugatti customers. Bugatti plans to set up a retail network
in the world’s major capitals of fashion and luxury, establishing up to 35 exclusive
mono brand boutiques over a period of five years.
2013. The Bugatti Veyron is voted the “Greatest Car of the last 20 years” by BBC’s
Top Gear magazine in September, in a poll of more than 100,000 readers
and the magazine’s editorial team. The Bugatti Veyron topped the list of more than 50
2013. Bugatti presents the third model of its six-part edition “Les Légendes de Bugatti”
at the Dubai International Motor Show in November. This Legends car, which like all
cars in the series is based on the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse, pays homage to
Meo Costantini. Costantini was a close friend of the company’s founder, Ettore
Bugatti. He was the head of Bugatti’s factory race team for many years and was also a
driver, winning the Targa Florio two times in the Bugatti Type 35, one of the most
successful racing cars of all time.
2013. Bugatti sells its 400th Veyron in December. Since the production run of the
Veyron and its variants is limited to just 450 models, this means just 50 more are still
available. The 400th Veyron is a Grand Sport Vitesse and has been bought by a
customer in the Middle East.
2014. At the Geneva motor show Bugatti presents the fourth model of its edition ”Les
Légendes de Bugatti“ (Bugatti Legends) in honour of Rembrandt Bugatti. Rembrandt
was the brother of company founder Ettore Bugatti and one of the most renowned
sculptors of the early 20th century. One of his most significant works is the sculpture of
a dancing elephant. It decorates the radiator of the Bugatti Type 41 Royale and became
the brand’s symbol.
Even before the motor shows ends, all three cars of the Legend Vitesse “Rembrandt
Bugatti“ are sold. As a result all twelve cars of the four Legend models presented so far
are sold.
2014. At the Auto China, taking place in Beijing in April, Bugatti unveils the fifth model
of its Edition „Les Légendes de Bugatti“ (Bugatti Legends). This Bugatti Legends car is
dedicated to the Type 18 „Black Bess“, the fastest sports car of its time, and to its first
owner, French aviation pioneer Roland Garros. The Legends model bears the name
„Black Bess“.
2014. In August, Bugatti celebrates the world première of the Bugatti Legend “Ettore
Bugatti” in Pebble Beach, California. The sixth and final model of the edition „Les
Légendes de Bugatti“ honours Ettore Bugatti, founder and patron of the brand, and is
based on the historical model Type 41 Royale. On the occasion of the successful
completion of the series, Bugatti was showing all six models together for the first and
only time. All 18 vehicles of the edition were sold – even before “Ettore Bugatti” has
been revealed.
2014. In November, Bugatti opens its first Lifestyle Boutique worldwide in London. After
the successful launch of its Lifestyle Collection one year ago, this is the next big step in
the French super car maker’s brand extension strategy.
2015. In February, Bugatti sees one of the most important milestones in its recent
history: Bugatti sells the 450th and final Veyron. So far no other carmaker has managed
to successfully market a product that stands for unique top-class technical performance
and pure luxury in a comparable price/volume range. An unprecedented chapter in
automobile history has reached its climax.
2015. Bugatti presents the final Veyron with chassis number 450 as a world premiere at
the Geneva Motor Show, the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse “La Finale”.
2015. After the successful completion of the Veyron era, Bugatti opens a new chapter
in its corporate development at the 66th Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) which will see its
climax with the presentation of the next Bugatti super sports car. The virtual project
Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo, which was exclusively developed for the PlayStation video
game franchise, is the first step in this journey. With this project the highly exclusive
brand Bugatti makes itself accessible to a large group of people of all generations, its
millions of fans worldwide, to the gamers and high performance aficionados of the car
world. At the same time Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo gives an outlook of the future form
and design language of the brand, which was developed to celebrate the upcoming
important chapter. Especially for the Frankfurt Motor Show Bugatti has turned the
virtual Bugatti Vision Gran Turismo project into a real show car, which will be presented
as a world premiere.
2016. A new era begins. Bugatti is celebrating a world premiere at the 86th Geneva
International Motor Show: the French luxury brand is unveiling the Bugatti Chiron, the
most powerful, fastest, most luxurious and most exclusive production super sports car
in the world. The Chiron is the latest generation of the ultimate super sports car and is a
completely new development. With a power output of 1,500 HP, unprecedented for
production vehicles, an exceptionally high torque value of 1,600 Nm between 2,000 and
6,000 rpm and a wide variety of technical innovations, the Chiron sets new standards in
every respect. The Chiron is therefore very well-positioned to become the next world
speed record holder and reach a maximum speed significantly above the record
currently held by Bugatti. The manufacturer has limited the maximum speed of the new
car to 420 km/h for road use. The Chiron is to be built at the company’s headquarters in
Molsheim. Only 500 of these exceptional cars are to be produced. At the time of the
presentation, advance orders have been received for one third of the total production
2016. In November the series production of the Chiron begins in the Atelier at Bugatti’s
headquarters in Molsheim.
2017. Early March the doors of Bugatti’s “Atelier” opened for the delivery of the first
Chiron customer vehicles to start their journey to their owners in Europe and the Middle
2017. Bugatti is represented in 17 countries by 34 dealerships and thus has a global
presence in regions including Europe, North America as well as in the Middle and

Ce qui a été déjà inventé appartient au passé, seules les innovations sont dignes d'intérêt - Ettore Bugatti

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