Ettore Bugatti Death Anniversary: The Legacy of the Famed Car-Maker
The first race car ever designed by Bugatti was built in 1903 and was a chain-driven car that was an upgraded version of the Gulinelli model.
Ettore Bugatti. (Twitter/Bugatti)
While displaced from his home in Alsace by World War I, Ettore Bugatti designed a successful motorized railcar dubbed the Autorail Bugatti, and won a government contract to construct an airplane, the Model 100. Notably, Ettore Bugatti is credited with having turned engineering into a form of art and strived for perfection on all levels like no one else.
The first race car ever designed by Bugatti was built in 1903 and was a chain-driven car that was an upgraded version of the Gulinelli model, with a 12.9-litre displacement and a chassis with a tubular frame.
Bugatti’s legacy can be best seen in the number of Grand Prix it won. It would win the first ever Monaco Grand Prx in 1929, but its racing success was best highlighted with driver Jean-Pierre Wimille winning the 24 hours of Le Mans twice (in 1937 with Robert Benoist and 1939 with Pierre Veyron).
Furthermore, the Bugatti Type 10 swept the top four position at its first race, while the 1924 Bugatti Type 35 is considered to be one of the most successful racing cars ever. Notably, Buggatis were victorious at the Taga Florio for five straight years from 1925 to 1929. Most recently, the modern marque revival Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. named the 1999 Bugatti 18/3 Chiron concept car in honour of Louis Chiron, who held the most podiums in Bugatti Cars.
Ettore Bugatti's legacy further found voice in his creation of a racer airplane, the Bugatti 100P, which was created to beat the Germans in the Deutsch de la Meurthe prize, but never flew and a successful motorised railcar, the Autorail Bugatti.
In 1963, the company was purchased by an aviation company to make parts.
Bugatti Automobili S.p.A. went bankrupt in 1995and in 1998 Volkswagen got the Bugatti brand rights. After which in 2008, the Bugatti Veyron was released in 2008. The car with chassis #1 sold for USD 3.2 million.
Following takeover by Volkswagen, the Bugatti Veyron, in 2010, set the record as the world’s fastest sports car with speeds reaching 431.072 km/hour.
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