JEAN BUGATTI died 70 years ago today.
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Author:  GCL-Wales [ Tue Aug 11, 2009 2:24 am ]
Post subject:  JEAN BUGATTI died 70 years ago today.

BUGATTI, Gianoberto Maria Carlo (Jean).

Ettore’s first son was born on the 14th or 15th January, 1909 at Mülheim-on-Rhine, near Cologne, where Ettore was designing for Deutz.

His first name honoured Count Gulinelli who had supported Ettore in the building of his first automobile in 1900. “Maria” was his mother’s second name and “Carlo” his grand-father’s first name. (As a child he was known as “Titi” however in Alsace the Italian name “Gianoberto” became the French equivalent “Jean”.

He benefitted from only a limited amount of formal education during the WW1 in Milan and Paris and after the return of his family to Alsace in 1919 he was soon spending most of his time in and around the factory. He became an apprentice in 1921, aged twelve and on its completion he was sent to a “lycée” in Strasbourg. He is said to have spoken excellent French and Alsacian. He was 15 in 1924 and accompanied the family to Lyon for the debut of the type 35. In February 1927 he was given his own car, a type 40 with chassis no. 40307. He had considerable natural talent as a designer, an engineer and a driver. These talents were nurtured by Costantini who ran the racing team and took the young Jean under his wing. As a teenager he had an increasing influence on various in-house body designs and by his 21st birthday he was directing the adoption of the Miller-derived twin camshaft cylinder head applied first to the type 50, then the type 51.

By 1932, when Ettore was spending most of his time in Paris embroiled in the Railcar project, Jean became the de facto head at Molsheim and he took overall responsibility for the design of the all-new type 57 and also did much of the testing of new racing and touring models.

He was an Anglophile with many friends in the UK and in 1932 he ran at Shelsley Walsh with the four wheel drive type 53 and, after his practice accident, with a borrowed type 55 (55211). He visited the UK, which was probably the best foreign market for Bugattis, at least seven times. At the time of his first UK visit he was accompanied by a Mexican night-club singer Reva (Riva? Eva?*) Reyes who was appearing at the Schéhérazade in Paris. He is said to have become engaged to her but the romance did not last. (Prince Bertil of Sweden later recalled a night spent in a Paris night club followed by an early morning race down the Champs Elysées in central Paris). He visited the UK again in 1933 to compete at the BOC event held on the 21st October held at Lewes. He is said to have found it difficult to engage first gear but nevertheless recorded a time of 24.1 seconds compared to the class-winning time of Bachelier at 23.3 seconds. A note in the March, 1936, edition of “Bugantics” records a recent visit, the first for a long time, and says that he would be visiting the country again in a few weeks’ time.

With Ettore spending more and more time in Paris, Jean took over as the head of the Molshiem plant. After the industrial unrest in 1935 Ettore rarely visited Molsheim and when he did it was on a Sunday when the factory was closed. It was Jean who instigated a completely new design of racing engine, confusingly known as the type 50B, possibly because he did not have the authority to initiate the new type number which the design deserved. In July 1937, Jean was attempting to deliver a type 57S45 to Montlhéry in time for official practice for the Grand Prix de l’A.C.F. when he “grazed a cyclist and knocked the man off the seat of his bicycle” and in December, 1938 he had been involved in a fatal accident to a cyclist he knocked down at Lingholsheim on the road between Molsheim and Strasbourg which resulted in him losing his licence for a month. Speed appeared to have been the main cause.

In 1939 Jean visited the UK twice. He attended the ninth BOC Dinner and Dance on 10th February, 1939 and announced a gift to the club of a type 51. Later in the year he accompanied Wimille to Prescott with the type 50B-engined single-seater which managed second FTD with a run of 46.69 seconds.

The parental dictat which prevented him racing did not apply to testing and he was killed in his 31st year in an accident involving a drunk cyclist on 11th August 1939 at the wheel of the 57C which had won at Le Mans earlier that year. The car was being prepared for the forthcoming Grand Prix at La Baule and was being driven flat-out in semi-darkness on a public highway. His death marked the beginning of the end for the Bugatti dynasty.

Author:  Scuderia CC [ Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: JEAN BUGATTI died 70 years ago today.

JEAN BUGATTI 1909 - 1939

Gallerie : ... 005344290/

Author:  gerrit [ Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: JEAN BUGATTI died 70 years ago today.

A moment to stand quiet and splendid photograph `s.

Author:  Scuderia CC [ Wed Sep 09, 2009 10:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: JEAN BUGATTI died 70 years ago today.

The Rock of The Eclipse :

On the sixthieth anniversary of the death of Jean Bugatti, August 11, 1999, also the day of the total eclipse of the sun that passed over Northern Alsace, the Enthousiaste Bugatti placed a stone marking the exact spot of the accident. They called this the rock of the eclipse, celebrating the elcipse of Jean at a moment when, by coincidence, the sun went dark shortly after noon.

Exact location : ... rent=5,0,0


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