Bugatti

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Bugatti

Founded by Ettore Bugatti, a gifted engineer who had manufactured his own 4 cylinder engine by the age of 20. The Milanese Bugatti would work for an array of leading European manufacturers, including Benz, before starting the manufacture of his own cars in France. His first car was a design carried over from his time at Benz, and it was not long before Bugatti's began to win races, such as Ernst Freidrich winning his class (and outright second place) in the 1911 French GP when driving a 1.4 liter Type 13.

The heyday for Bugatti was between 1925 and 1930, when the Type 35 2 liter race car dominated the circuits of Europe. The following year the more powerful twin overhead cam Type 51 won at Monaco, Montlhery, Spa, tunis, Morocco and Czechoslovakia. Over the next two years it would record similar successes until it was eclipsed by the more powerful Alfa Romeo's and Maserati's which, in turn, were put in the shade by the mighty Mercedes and Auto Unions of Germany.

Bugatti decided to build the mammoth 'Royale' saloon the in 1926, a fuel guzzling monster that came just in time for the Great Depression. The Royale chassis morphed into preambulating boudoirs at the hands of coachbuilders, who often fitted the beast with silks, leathers and rare woods. During the depression Bugatti diversified, building high-speed rail cars, aircraft and boats. Bugatti’s son Jean would take over car production at the Molsheim facility, but would be tragically killed test driving a race special.

Ettore moved to Bordeaux during the war, and teaming with son Roland manufactured the 1.5 liter Type 73. Ettore would pass in 1947, and the company struggle on for a time until being bought out by Hispano-Suiza. The only vehicle of note following Ettore's death was the abortive Type 251 of 1956. The Molsheim factory, in Strasbourg, then went on to manufacture locomotives.

Also see: Lost Marques Bugatti.
Bugatti Type 35  

Bugatti Type 35

1924 - 1931
The Type 35 provided stellar performance, was blessed with an extraordinary chassis and had a wonderful weight distribution perhaps only bettered by later mid-engined vehicles. More >>
Bugatti Royale  

Bugatti Royale

1932 - 1939
By 1932 Bugatti were already famous for making the best sports cars in the world, however the Royale has become one of the most memorable sports-luxury cars in history! More >>
Bugatti 57SC Atlantic  

Bugatti 57SC Atlantic

1936 - 1938
How lucky the world was when Ettore Bugatti decided to build and sell passenger cars rather than solely racing cars. How unlucky that after 2 years only 17 were to be constructed. More >>
Bugatti EB110

Bugatti EB110

1992 - 1994
Bugatti ended its car making shortly after the death of Ettore Bugatti in 1947 - right? Wrong! The legendary name was to grace another fine motor vehicle in 1987 when Italian tycoon Romano Artioli purchased the Bugatti marque and built a modernised factory in Modena - home to other great marques such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and De Tomaso. More >>
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