2015-06-26 11:21:18


Bugatti was a car manufacturer founded in Molsheim, France (Germany at the time) in 1909 as a producer of high powered automobiles.

Company founder Ettore Bugatti, an Italian-born, has been described as an eccentric genius. Citation needed Bugatti is legendary for producing some of the most exclusive cars in the world, as well as some of the fastest.

On 5th May 2010, auction house Gooding & Company announced that it had sold the "unparalleled" 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic for an undisclosed value up to $30m. It is today the most expensive car in the world.


History of Bugatti

Bugatti was founded in 1909 in the town of Molsheim located in the Alsace. The company was known both for the level of detail of its engineering in its automobiles. Designs were especially influenced by the artistic leanings of Ettore Bugatti and his family.

In 1910, the Motor magazine published the very first article about Ettore Bugatti’s automobile company written by the English journalist W. F. Bradley:

“Those who judge the value of an automobile by its outer appearance and the quality of its surface, will most probably not be tempted to buy a Bugatti … The fact of the matter is, that the price to be paid for a Bugatti is considerably higher than for any other car of the same category. The reason for this is that this production represents an entirely new class by itself.”

First automobile

In 1901, Bugatti created his first automobile with the help of the Gulinelli brothers. He introduced it in Milan at the International Exhibition. The French Automobile Club presented him with the T2 prize for the vehicle's construction.

In January 1910, the first machines for Bugatti's plant were delivered. Five cars were built that year. All five sold.

The same year, Bugatti's assistant, Ernest Fredrich drove Bugatti automobiles in races. This was the beginning of the legendary success for Bugatti cars on the racing circuit.

‘The Royale’

Bugatti's cars were as much works of art as they were mechanical creations. Among Ettore Bugatti’s goals was to build the most luxurious car ever made. His dream was realised in 1926, when the Royale debuted.

It had a 12.7-liter engine with 300 hp. Sadly, the Royale came onto the market just as the world plummeted into the Great Depression. Only three Royales were sold and Bugatti was in dire financial straits.

Ettore Bugatti planned to build twenty-five of these cars, and sell them to royalty. But even European royalty was not buying such things during the Great Depression, and Bugatti was able to sell only three of the six made.

Today the Bugatti Royale is both one of the largest and rarest cars in the world.

With the coming of war in 1914, Ettore Bugatti buried three racing cars under the cellar of his home, gathered his family, and fled to Italy.

Notable sales

On 5th May 2010, auction house Gooding & Company announced that it had sold the "unparalleled" 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic for an undisclosed value up to $30m. The car was previously sold for $59,000 back in 1971. Chassis #57374’s provenance includes being formerly part of the world-renowned Williamson Bugatti Collection, and having won 'Best in Show' at the 2003 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.

In February 2011 the Bugatti Type 51 Grand Prix owned by the late Chairman of the Bugatti Owner’s Club, Fitzroy John Somerset (the fifth Baron Raglan) was sold by Bonham’s in Paris for €943,000

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