“Les Légendes de Bugatti”: Ettore Bugatti
The Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse is epitomized once again
This is the finale to the ultra-exclusive “Les Légendes de Bugatti” six part release. This eminent array is a limited edition collector’s series composed of automotive masterworks that will eventually find their way into museums. A mere three cars per release makes them extremely rare and extremely collectible.
The Ettore Bugatti Edition as with the previous five releases, is crafted in the exemplary Bugatti hand-crafted heritage. This elite collection epitomize the men who laid the foundation for today’s Bugatti. Ettore Bugatti was a visionary who thought in terms of “pur sang” or thoroughbred…while he created vehicles of distinction that were years beyond their time.
Ettore Arco Isidoro Bugatti (1881-1947) was the founder and proprietor of “Automobiles E. Bugatti.” The company is renowned for some of the fastest…most luxurious, not to mention technically advanced roadcars of the day. His exceptional engineering led to success in early Grand Prix motor racing. A Bugatti was driven to victory in the first Monaco Grand Prix.
Ettore Bugatti is one of the most significant figures of the automotive industry for the entire 20th century. He synthesized his family’s rich artistic heritage with his technical foresight to create a design language that shaped the brand making it unmistakable. “Art, Forme, Technique” define this approach. His ideas and vehicles set the foundation for a brand of distinction. He established this distinction and now remains as the most valuable supercars in the world. His demand was that an automobile be a perfect balance of technology and aesthetics.
The Type 13 went into production in 1909 right after Ettore leased workspace at a factory in Molsheim founding his own company. The Type 13 grew in production year by year. The lightweight designs of the 1920s such as the Type 13 “Brescia,” and Type 35 which was one of the most successful race cars in motorsport history with 2,000 victories and podium finishes. The Type 35 was introduced in 1925. It won 412 races during the first nine months of its existence. It was during the years of production of these two famous models that earned esteem for the brand. These were the automobiles people associated the Bugatti brand with.
Ettore Bugatti’s creations were ahead of their time in design and engineering and remain highly valued collectibles. The Type 41 Royale was the most powerful and luxurious car for its day. It not only epitomized Bugatti but served as the inspiration for the final release in the “Les Légendes de Bugatti” six part series. Production of the Type 57 SC Atlantic began in 1934. This was one of the best-selling touring cars of which had a body designed by Ettore’s son Jean. The Type 57 SC Atlantic is a milestone vehicle.
Once again, the formidable Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse became a blank canvas for the final automotive masterwork. It is rated as the fastest production roadster ever built. Its prodigious power comes from the indomitable 8-litre W16 engine that produces 1,200 hp @ 6,400 rpm packing the prolific punch with an astounding 1,500 Nm of peak torque @ 3,000-5,000 rpm. It redlines @ 6,500 rpm.
The engine’s performance is optimized with four turbochargers, intercooler, and variable valve timing. The engine is mated to a 7-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox with manual shift mode. Longitudinal acceleration is rated as 0-60 mph in 2.3 seconds, 0-100 mph in 5 seconds with a top speed of 254 mph (263 mph without governor). It does the ¼ mile @ 149 mph in a spine-tingling 9.8 seconds!
Ettore Bugatti dreamed of designing and building the most powerful and luxurious production car in the world. His dream came true in 1926 with the acclaimed Type 41 Royale. Only six of the original goal of 25 vehicles were built and are still in existence. Some have been rebodied many times. The Type 41 is a grand vehicle of imposing stature. Its overall length exceeds 21 feet. It rides upon a long 169.3” wheelbase. This luxury behemoth is one of the largest automobiles ever built. The cast “Roue Royale” wheels are a massive 24” in diameter.
The Type 41 was built from 1927 until 1933. The car was in a league all by itself in terms of performance, size, comfort, quality, and elegance. The luxury behemoth weighs in at 6,600 pounds. The production version of the Type 41 Royale was equipped with a 12.7 litre engine with three valves per cylinder. Ettore Bugatti’s intent was to sell to various royal families and heads of state.
Its aluminium gearbox was attached to the rear axle while the clutch is attached to the chassis to reduce noise entering the interior. All Royales are custom-bodied bespoke works of art. The car’s base price was $30,000…just as the world went into the Great Depression.
Chassis # 41.111, the Royale Coupe deVille Binder was owned by a French politician. It had been rebodied by French coachbuilder Henri Binder. It had previously been bodied as an avant-garde two-seater with an open body and no headlamps. It was known as the Royale Esders Roadster. This body style was designed by Ettore’s eldest son Jean. It was built for the French clothing manufacturer Armand Esders. As of 1999, Volkswagen AG owns the Type 41 Royale. It was purchased for $20 Million USD. Currently the automobile is used for the brand’s promotional purposes traveling to museums and car shows.
The “Ettore Bugatti” is based upon the 1932 Type 41 Royale with chassis #41.111. It’s finished in a unique finish called “Yin-yang.” Bugatti is the only auto manufacturer to master the polished clear-coated aluminium finishes on production vehicles. This hand-polished aluminium is used for the entire front end, side panels, bonnet, mirror bases and housings, exterior door handles, corners of bumpers, wings, doors, and the regions behind them called “medallions.”
The rear uses a stunning theme of dark blue exposed carbon. It is augmented by a platinum “EB” and famous horseshoe logo. Its wheels are based upon one of the most famous wheel rim designs in automotive history. The polished diamond-cut wheel rims were specially designed for the “Ettore Bugatti.” The eight-spoke wheel was created by Ettore Bugatti who wanted to create a lightweight wheel for his racing cars, like the Type 35. Ettore Bugatti was among the first in the industry to develop the aluminium wheel. The “Ettore Bugatti” Edition features the unique rim design with the name “Ettore Bugatti.”
Two types of leather grace the cabin of the “Ettore Bugatti.” Calf’s skin leather in a natural brown is used throughout. The parts of the cabin that come in contact by touch are jacketed in exclusive natural cordovan leather. These areas include the steering wheel rim, gear shift lever, door handles, console armrest, door handle recesses, door trim, and roof module. Bugatti uses a special leather tanning process that takes around six months to accomplish. It is particularly durable and luxurious to the touch. The center console sports the “Les Légendes de Bugatti” nomenclature with a relief of the dancing elephant. The door sill plates bear the portrait and signature of Ettore Bugatti.
Platinum accents the cabin
Ettore Bugatti’s dream is still alive and quite well today. Thanks to the VW Group who in 1999 purchased the brand that had been on hiatus since the early 1960s. They went to work on the formidable Veyron 16.4 and the foundation for a successful continuation of the brand were laid.
The dancing elephant logo was designed by Ettore’s brother Rembrandt
Ettore Bugatti and the heritage of the brand are epitomized with this very special finale to the “Les Légendes de Bugatti” six part series. The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse is once again a blank canvas for which another potentially priceless example of contemporary automotive art is born. Its potent 1,200 hp 8-litre W16 engine moves this elite roadster with aplomb. Ettore Bugatti would be proud of today’s Veyron, it is a classic example of a thoroughbred…the enigma he intended for all Bugattis. Ettore Bugatti is one of the most significant figures in the automotive industry for the 20th century. The Bugatti legend continues…
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