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Bugatti

Bugatti

France France (1909 - present)
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History

The first and original Bugatti car-building company was opened by Italian ‘genius’ Ettore Bugatti in 1909 in Molsheim, France. Bugatti started out as a performance-car manufacturer and quickly became worldwide renowned for creating extremely luxurious and quite fast automobiles.

Bugatti Type 57T

Bugatti Type 57T

© photo courtesy of: Bugatti

The first Bugatti cars were characterized for the detailed excellence of their engines and their ‘artistic’ body styling, combining arts with mechanics and technology. The brand was also quite successful in many racing events, but at the end of the 1930’s it would suffer a negative turn-around. Ettore’s son Jean Bugatti was killed in a crash in 1939 while testing one of the company’s racing models. In addition to that, the second World War immensely weakened the company, the way it did to many other car brands, especially the most expensive and luxurious ones. Soon, the company’s finances were dramatically sinking and pointing towards a future closure. If that wasn’t enough of a hard time for the company, in 1947 Ettore Bugatti died as well.

Ettore’s other son Roland Bugatti tried to revitalise the company during the 1950’s decade. However, the new Bugatti car that was created didn’t comply with their performance prospects and Bugatti’s automotive production was suspended with no signs of success. Without a happy panorama to be seen anywhere ahead, while still sinking in economic difficulties, the company eventually was sold to automaker Hispano-SuizaHispano SuizaHispano SuizaSpain, 1898 > 19507 models
39 photos
in the 1960’s and just kept on fabricating aircraft components.

A French engine manufacturer, Snecma, entered the scene and took over Bugatti’s administration in 1968. After having purchased Messier as well, Snecma merged the two companies in 1977, resulting on the Messier-Bugatti. Then, in 1987, an Italian businessman, Romano Artioli, bought the rights to the Bugatti tradename and established the Bugatti Automobili firm, resurrecting the brand’s car production. Bugati Automobili was placed in Campogalliano, near Modena, Italy, contrary to the previous France-based Bugatti company. Immediately, the designers of the prestigious LamborghiniLamborghiniLamborghiniItaly, 1963 > present31 models
1428 photos
19 videos
models MiuraMiuraLamborghini MiuraItaly, 1966 > 19725 versions
61 photos
1 video
and CountachCountachLamborghini CountachItaly, 1971 > 19899 versions
78 photos
1 video
, Paolo Stanzani and Marcello Gandinni, started working on a project that would give a new live to the brand.

Romano Artioli’s management, however, was never very fortunate and, in addition to his deficient financial control, he decided for Bugatti to buy the LotusLotusLotusUnited Kingdom, 1952 > present68 models
938 photos
7 videos
automaker from General MotorsGMGMUnited States of America, 1998 > present8 models
240 photos
in 1993, a time when the Lotus brand was in a negative phase of its life. As one could easily predict, the company closed operations in 1995. Its former subsidiary Lotus was acquired by Malaysian carmaker ProtonProtonProtonMalaysia, 1983 > present9 models
41 photos
.

The Bugatti name was ultimately resurrected by the Volkswagen GroupVolkswagenVolkswagenGermany, 1938 > present95 models
9580 photos
31 videos
, which bought the rights to build Bugatti-badged cars in 1998. Succeeding to the legendary high-performance cars company is now established the Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S., which has been moved back to its ‘birth town’, Molsheim, France, and is now officially held by Volkswagen France.



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Logo

Bugatti logo

Bugatti logo

© photo courtesy of: Bugatti

 

Bugatti’s pearl-framed oval logo has been badging all of the brand’s cars since 1909. The symbol is adorned by 60 pearls alongside the oval shape and has the stylised initials of the company’s founder, Ettore Bugatti, in the centre, with the word “Bugatti” simply yet elegantly written underneath them.

The pearly logo transpires elegance, exclusiveness and uniqueness of character, which one can relate to Bugatti’s own independent and luxurious character.



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Motorsport

Bugatti Type 35

Bugatti Type 35

© photo courtesy of: Bugatti

Bugatti cars were extremely successful in racing, with many thousands of victories in just a few decades. The little Bugatti Type 10 swept the top four positions at its first race. The 1924 Bugatti Type 35Type 35Bugatti Type 35France, 1924 > 19295 versions
14 photos
is probably the most successful racing car of all time with more than 2 thousand victories counted.

Bugatti cars won the Targa Florio for five consecutive year between 1925 and 1929. The Italian carmaker also achieved great success in early Grand Prix motor racing, winning the first ever Monaco Grand Prix, which took place in 1929.

Race driver Jean-Pierre Wimille took the title for the 24 hours of Le Mans twice: in 1937 with Robert Benoist and in 1939 with Pierre Veyron. Bugatti’s racing success at Le Mans culminated at the event’s 1939 season when Jean-Pierre Wimille and Pierre Veyron won the race with just one car and very little resources.



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