The excitement that a Bugatti racing car possesses, which can also safely be described as erotic, won Ettore a fantastic clientele. Besides the production team, private owners contributed just as much to increasing the fame and cult status of the marque.
The epitome of a private Bugatti driver was a man such as Cenek Junek, a banker from Prague who had practically everything: money, lifestyle, enthusiasm, racing talent � and his wife Elisabeth, who was even surpassed him on the race track. "The world had never seen the like before," wrote Mercedes racing team manager Alfred Neubauer in his memoirs about "that petite, courageous woman" at the Targa Florio in 1928. She overtook all the men: Alberto Divo, Giuseppe Campari, Tazio Nuvolari and several other well-known drivers. Sadly, the miracle did not reach completion. While still in the lead, Elisabeth Junek's car suffered brake problems and was overtaken by Divo. With her visibility impaired by the cloud of dust billowing out behind Divo's car, she drove over a stone and damaged a wheel.
She finished the race in fifth place, but this did nothing to detract from the legend. Elisabeth Junek was acclaimed exuberantly all over Europe, and her return to Prague was celebrated proudly in independent Czechoslovakia. But Elisabeth Junek remained an "amateur" and faithfully at the side of her husband. When Cenek Junek was killed in a race at the N�rburgring the career of Elisabeth Junek also came to an end.