Belt up and enjoy this 365-day ride as you cruise past the most momentous motoring events in history. Packed with fascinating facts about races, motorists and the history of the mighty engine, this is a must-visit web site for any car enthusiast.
A chronological day-by-day history of Bugatti.
Ettore Bugatti in a Prinetti & Stucchi 3 won the 100 mile (161 km) Verona-Brescia-Mantua-Verona road race in just over 5 hours.
Ettore BugattiShow Article
Ettore Bugatti driving a Prinetti & Stucchi won the 90 km Turin-Pinerolo-Avigliani-Turin road race.
Ettore BugattiShow Article
Ettore Bugatti won the 110 mile (175 km) Padua-Vincenza-Thiene-Bassano-Treviso-Padua road race driving a twin-engined tricycle of his own design.
Ettore BugattiShow Article
Vincenzo Lancia made his racing debut, winning a speed trial at Padua, Italy in a 6-hp Fiat. The winner of the quadricycle class in the Padua-Vicenza-Padua was Ettore Bugatti in what would be his last known racing competition as a driver.Show Article
The first Padova to Bovolenta automobile, voiturette and motorcycle race in Italy began. The first day had a 10-kilometre (6.2 mile) straight race between the cities of Padova and Bovolenta in Italy, followed by a 1-kilometre (0.62 mile) race in Padova the next day. L. Gastè won in a three-wheeler vehicle Soncin (8 mins 2 sec), followed by Ettore Bugatti in a Prinetti & Stucchi quadricycle and Vincenzo Lancia in a Fiat 6HP.Show Article
Ettore Bugatti married Barbara Mascherpa in Milan, Italy.Show Article
Ettore Bugatti signed a formal license agreement with Gasmotorenfabrik Deutz AG of Cologne, Germany to design and produce Deutz cars for a term of five yearsShow Article
Ettore Bugatti resigned as chief designer of Gasmotorenfabrik Deutz AG of Cologne, Germany.Show Article
Ettore Bugatti was issued a German patent for the 'pursang' trademark. Bugatti was a horseman, so he used this term meaning pure-blooded, to represent his cars with their horseshoe shaped radiators. Many vintage Bugattis are considered to be among the most beautiful cars ever built.Show Article
Ettore Bugatti signed a contract with Peugeot to produce his 30th automobile design as the Peugeot Bebe.Show Article
Ettore Bugatti first proposed designing the super car that would eventually emerge as the Bugatti Type 41 Royale. Eventually called the "car of kings," Bugattis were huge hand-crafted luxury cars that were affordable only for Europe's elite. The death of Ettore Bugatti in 1947 proved to be the end for the marque, as the company struggled financially after his death. It released one last model in the 1950s before eventually being purchased for its airplane-parts business. Volkswagen revived the brand in the late 1990s.
Ettore BugattiShow Article
Ettore Bugatti was issued with a French patent for his 'pursang' trademark.Show Article
Rembrandt Bugatti (31), brother of race-car maker Ettore Bugatti, committed suicide. The Bugatti brothers were a talented crew: Carlo Bugatti was a noted furniture designer. Ettore, a self-taught engineer, produced some of the world's most striking early race cars. Rembrandt Bugatti was a sculptor noted for his depictions of wild animals.
Rembrandt BugattiShow Article
Bugatti delivered its first 16-valve car, a Type 13, to a customer in Basel, Switzerland. Bugatti, a Swiss-based luxury car company, was famous for its exquisite, powerful vehicles. In the 1920s and 1930s, the Bugatti car was a symbol of wealth and status, and its cars were equipped with massive racing engines. A bizarre footnote in Bugatti history: the renowned American dancer Isadora Duncan was driving in a 16-valve Bugatti when her trademark long scarf caught in the rear wheel of the vehicle, and she was instantly strangled to death.
Bugatti Type 13 (1920)Show Article
Ernest Fridrich drove a Bugatti to victory in the Coupe International des Voiterettes on the 10.8 mile Circuit Permanent de la Sarthe, in France.Show Article
In a race at Brescia, Italy, Bugatti sensationally routed all opposition and finished in the first four places in their class.Show Article
At the 1921 London Motor Show it was announced that Crossley would commence manufacture of a British Bugatti. Parts for twenty five Type 23 Bescia Bugatti were ordered and 24 were made, the remaining parts being retained for spares. In 1925 the agreement was terminated with no further cars made after the initial batch. Four restored cars and two others survive. Jowett, producers of light cars and commercial vehicles since 1904, exhibited at the show for the first time.
1925 Bugatti Brescia type 23Show Article
The Bugatti Type 30 made its racing debut, with Pierre de Vizcaya and Pierre Marco taking second and third places at the French Grand Prix in Strasbourg.
Bugatti Type 30Show Article
Felice Nazzaro came out of retirement as a driver and took his Fiat 804 to victory in the 8th A.C.F. Grand Prix. The race was held for the first and only time on an 8.3 mile circuit of public roadways around Strasbourg. Nazzaro covered the 60 laps, 498 miles in 6 hours and 17 minutes, for an average of 79.198 mph. Nazzaro finished a bit more than 58 minutes ahead of runner-up Pierre de Vizcaya's Bugatti T30. Nazzaro's win was marred by the death of his nephew Biagio, who died when his Fiat broke an axle and crashed on the final lap. It was the second A.C.F. Grand Prix win for the veteran Nazzaro, having won the 2nd running 15 years earlier in 1907.
Felice Nazzaro at the 1922 French Grand PrixShow Article
The first 24 Hours of Le Mans, organised by the Automobile Club de L’Ouest, began. The race traditionally starts at 4 p.m. on the Saturday and uses mostly normal country roads. Over the years, several purpose-built sections replaced some of the normal roads previously used, including the Porsche Curves, which bypass the former dangerous Maison Blanche section between buildings. The permanent Bugatti Track surrounds the facilities at the start/finish. That first Le Mans was won by French drivers André Lagache and René Léonard in a Chenard et Walcker. British driver Frank Clement and Canadian John Duff finished fourth in a 3-litre Bentley.
24 Hours of Le Mans - 1923Show Article
The Squire Car Manufacturing Company, a British auto manufacturer of the 1930s, based in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire was declared bankrupt. It was founded as Squire Motors Ltd two years earlier by 21-year-old Adrian Squire (1910–1940), formerly of Bentley and MG. Renamed as the Squire Car Manufacturing Company it produced the Squire car, which epitomised the Grand Prix car turned into road car. After Frazer-Nash temporarily cast aside British Anzani, Squire seized the opportunity to use Anzani's R1 100 bhp (75 kW) 1,496 cc twin-cam engine. They were purchased from Anzani with a Squire emblem cast into them. Blown versions were available. Very few were made, but it held a reputation for exceptional top speed and braking. Squire designed and built a fine rigid chassis offered in two lengths for two or four seat versions with attractive bodywork by Vanden Plas. The car was too expensive even with cheaper bodywork from Markham of Reading, and financial difficulties ended production in 1936. A Vanden Plas two seater cost £1,220 which was Bugatti money and even the Markham cost £995. Squire himself went on to join Lagonda and was working for the Bristol Aeroplane Company when killed in an air raid in 1940. Two or possibly three more cars were assembled from left over parts by Valfried Zethrin in 1938 and 1939. There were plans to resume production after the war but the lack of patterns to make the engine made this uneconomical. After the war Val Zethrin pursued a new project, an updated and simplified attempt at the Squire concept, called the Zethrin Rennsport. The reliability and cost of the R1 Anzani engine had always been an issue, and post-war conditions rendered it unthinkable. Through Benjamin Bowden and John Allen's design company, contact was made with Donald Healey, who recommended using a souped up Riley Motor engine, as he had employed in the Healey-Abbott· Suspension and modified frame from the Riley stable provided the back-bone for what was to be an interesting but doomed venture. 180 bhp from the heavily modified engine was forecast, coupled to a fairly advanced body, suggesting that a 135 mph maximum speed was achievable. It seems that this project went little further than a road-going prototype with rudimentary bodywork. Zethrin did not have the technical expertise of Adrian Squire, and failed to ensure sufficient industry interest in what seemed a flight of fancy, in an era of austerity. Lack of funds and backers falling away put paid to the Rennsport becoming available for purchase.
Adrian SquireShow Article
Alfa Romeo, appearing in its first major race outside of Italy, became the first marque to win its initial grand prix event as Giuseppe Campari won the French Grand Prix in Lyon. The Bugatti Type 35 also made its racing debut at this event.Show Article
Count Louis Vorow Zborowski (29), of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang fame, died in wreck during the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. On the death of his mother in 1911, 16-year old Louis instantly became the fourth richest under-21-year-old in the world, with cash of £11 million and real estate in the United States, including 7 acres (2.8 ha) of Manhattan and several blocks on Fifth Avenue, New York. Louis Zborowski raced for Aston Martin at Brooklands and in the 1923 French Grand Prix. He drove a Bugatti in the 1923 Indianapolis 500 and drove an American Miller 122 in the 1923 Italian Grand Prix at Monza. He joined the Mercedes team in 1924. He is best remembered for the cars that he built. Zborowski designed and built four of his own racing cars in the stables at Higham Park, assisted by his engineer and co-driver Captain Clive Gallop, who was later racing engineer to the "Bentley Boys". The first car was powered by a 23,093 cc six-cylinder Maybach aero engine and called "Chitty Bang Bang". A second "Chitty Bang Bang" was powered by 18,8828 cc Benz aero engine. A third car was based on a Mercedes 28/95, but fitted with a 14,778 cc 6-cylinder Mercedes aero engine and was referred to as the White Mercedes. These cars achieved some success at Brooklands. The final car, also built at Higham Park with a huge 27-litre American Liberty aero engine, was called the "Higham Special". After Zborowskis death the "Higham Special" was purchased by J.G. Parry-Thomas to make attempts at breaking the land speed record. Designer/driver Thomas improved the car and christened her "Babs". In April 1926 J.G. Parry-Thomas successfully took the Land Speed Record at over 170 mph at Pendine Sands. Thomas' second attempt on the same location in 1927 turned out fatal. At over 100 mph a rear wheel collapsed, turning over the car and killing the driver.
Louis Zborowski in the driving seat of Chitty Bang Bang 1 at Brooklands.Show Article
Rene Dreyfus made his major racing debut, winning the Falicon Hillclimb (near Nice) in a Bugatti Brecia.Show Article
After an accident involving Francis Giveen's Bugatti at the Kop in Buckinghamshire, the RAC banned hillclimbs on public roads because of difficulties in controlling spectators in places to which the public had the right of access. This was immensely damaging for British motor sport.
A Morgan three-wheeler breasting the summit of Kop Hill in 1925Show Article
Ettore Bugatti registered the slogan Le Pur Sangre Des Automobiles, and the thoroughbred racing horse profile, as French trademarks. The year before, Bugatti had produced the breakthrough sports car, the Bugatti Type 35, the first sports car capable of achieving 100 mph, on which his historic reputation was founded. Equipped with a hollow front axle, cast aluminium wheels, and cable-actuated brakes, the Bugatti 35's lightweight aluminium body panels tapered gracefully in a continuous line from grill to tail. Phenomenally successful, the Type 35 winning over 1,000 races in its time.
Ettore BugattiShow Article
A Bugatti T35 driven by Alessandro Consonno won a Grand Prix held at the Pozzo Circuit in Verona, Italy.
Bugatti T35Show Article
Aymo Maggi driving a Bugatti T35 won the Rome Royal Grand Prix at Valle Giulia.
Bugatti T35Show Article
The second Tripoli Grand Prix held on a circuit just outside Tripoli was won by François Eysermann in a Bugatti T35.Show Article
The first British Grand Prix was held at Brooklands in Surrey, over a distance of 110 laps (287 miles). The full banking wasn’t used for the race and, instead, cars continued straight on at ‘the Fork’ and drove down the finishing straight, on which two chicanes were constructed. Winners at 71.68 mph were Frenchmen Louis Wagner and Robert Sénéchal, sharing a Delage. This car overheated so badly that its drivers changed it during the race, which later became customary. Runner up was Sir Malcolm Campbell in a Bugatti 39A.
Start of the inaugural British Grand Prix - 1926Show Article
Louis Charavel 'Sabipa' in a Bugatti T39A won the Italian Grand Prix run over 60 laps of the 10 km circuit at Monza. It was the final race of the 1926 AIACR World Manufacturers' Championship season, which was won by Bugatti. The World Manufacturers' Championship, also known as Automobile World Championship, was a competition organised by the AIACR between 1925 and 1930. Unlike the modern Formula One points system, the championship awarded fewer points for higher finishes; the champion would be the manufacturer which ended the season on the lowest points score. A manufacturer eligibility was gained by competing in at least two Grands Prix in addition to the mandatory Italian Grand Prix and only score points from its highest-placed car
Louis Charavel alias "Sabipa" with his Bugatti Type 35 C at the Grand Prix de l'A.C.F 1930,Show Article
Emilio Materassi driving Bugatti T35C won the Tripoli Grand Prix.Show Article
The Provence Grand Prix at Miramas, France was won by Louis Chiron in a Bugatti T35B.Show Article
Emilio Materassi, driving a Bugatti T35C won the Targa Florio over 5 laps of the 108 km Medio Madonie circuit.
1927 Targa Florio - Emilio Materassi, Bugatti T35CShow Article
The great Tazio Nuvolari (Bugatti 35) scored his first major win in an automobile race, the Royal Prize of Rome. Mario Lepori and Renato Balestrero (both Bugatti 35C) followed in second and third. Sadly, the race was marred by an accident which killed a spectator and an official.
Tazio NuvolariShow Article
Lucy O'Reilly Schell finished 12th, driving a Bugatti in the Baule Grand Prix in France. She was the first, and only, American woman to drive in a Grand Prix.
Lucy O'Reilly SchellShow Article
Tazio Nuvolari driving a Bugatti T35C won the Tripoli Grand Prix.
Tazio NuvolariShow Article
Louis Chiron in a Bugatti T35C won the Saint Raphael Grand Prix at L’Estérel Plage, in France.
Louis ChironShow Article
Tazio Nuvolari drove a Bugatti 35C to victory in the Grand Prix of Tripoli for his first international auto racing win.
Tazio NuvolariShow Article
Tazio Nuvolari in a Bugatti T35C won the Grand Prix held at the Pozzo Circuit in Italy.
Tazio NuvolariShow Article
Tazio Nuvolari driving a Bugatti T35C won the Pozzo Circuit Grand Prix at Pozzo.
Tazio NuvolariShow Article
Antibes Juan-les-Pins Grand Prix held at Garoupe, was won by Louis Chiron driving a Bugatti T35C.Show Article
Marcel Lehoux driving a Bugatti T35C won the Tunis Grand Prix held at Bardo just outside Tunis.Show Article
Leon Duray drove his Miller 91 Packard Cable Special to a world close-coursed speed record, recording an astonishing top speed of 148.173mph, at the Packard Proving Ground in Utica, Michigan. Two weeks earlier, Duray had posted a record lap of 124mph at the Indy 500, a record that stood for 10 years until the track was banked. From a mere 91 cubic inches or 1500cc, the Miller's supercharged engine produced 230hp while weighing in at a svelte 290 pounds. The front-wheel-drive Miller Special never won an Indy 500, but its 1928-1929 results there prompted track officials to ban supercharged engines from the contest for over a decade. The 91 was engineer Harry Miller's crowning achievement. Today, one of Miller's masterpieces sits in the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian. After the 91s were forced out of Indy, owner Leon Duray took his two Miller cars to Europe and proceeded to set international speed records for cars of similar engine displacement. He drove the 91 at 143mph over one kilometer and 139mph over five kilometers. Ettore Bugatti was so impressed with both the Miller's front-wheel drive and its engine design that he bought the cars form Duray in order to study them. Bugatti's later engines borrowed heavily from Miller's innovations to the designs of the combustion-chamber, port, valve, and head. Miller built only 11 of his front-wheel-drive superchargers, and today they are prized antiques. The two cars that Bugatti purchased were discovered, dusty but intact, by a Danish diplomat in a Bugatti warehouse in France in 1954. Auto historian Griffith Borgeson bought the two cars in 1959 and had them shipped to his home in Los Angeles, the city in which the cars had been built. One of those cars sits in the museum at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Harry Miller was, simply put, a legendary genius in the history of American racing. The technology he pioneered with his Miller 91s is still in use today. Miller went bankrupt in 1929 and all of his assets, including his drawings and designs, were sold at auction. One of his associates, Fred Offenhauser, struggled to purchase enough of the drawings and patent rights to carry on what Miller started. From 1922 to 1965, Miller and Offenhauser engines won all but six Indy 500s.
Leon Duray in the Miller 91 Indy SpecialShow Article
The Mercedes-Benz SS made its racing debut at the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring and occupied the top three places - Halle in an Amilcar and Vinzenz Junek in a Bugatti were killed in accudents during the race.
Mercedes-Benz SSShow Article
Run over 60 laps, the Italian Grand Prix at Monza was won by Louis Chiron driving a Bugatti 37A. It was the 8th Italian Grand Prix. This race was also the VI Grand Prix d'Europe. This race was marred by the death of Emilio Materassi on lap 17, when his car lost control on the main straight at over 120 mph while trying to overtake Giulio Foresti. The car swerved to the left of the track, bounced over a three-metre deep and four-metre wide protection ditch and a fence and crashed into the grandstand, killing him along with 22 spectators. Other sources have stated that 27 spectators were killed overall, but this is unconfirmed. By either estimation this was the worst accident, with respect to the number of lives lost, to occur at a Grand Prix and it is only surpassed by the 1955 Le Mans disaster in the history of motor racing. As a result the Italian Grand Prix was to not be held again until 1931.
Emilio Materassi in a Talbot Darracq 700, Italian Grand Prix of 1928Show Article
Prince Pierre inaugurated the first Monaco Grand Prix, with a lap of honour in a Torpedo Voisin driven by Charles Faroux. It was set up by wealthy cigarette manufacturer, Antony Noghès, who had set up the Automobile Club de Monaco with some of his friends. This offer of a Grand Prix was supported by Prince Louis II, with a prize of 100,000 French francs. Course Director, Louis Chiron was notable by his absence at the starting line, as the young Monegasque had enrolled in the Indy 500. There were 16 cars on the starting grid, positions drawn by lots: 8 Bugattis, 3 Alfa Romeos, 2 Maseratis, 1 Licorne and 1 Mercedes SSK. Williams went on to win the Grand Prix in a green 35B Bugatti in 3 hours, 56 minutes and 11 seconds, with an average speed over 100 laps of 49.83 mph (80.194 km/h). The race was a phenomenal success.
1929 Monaco Grand prixShow Article
The 20th Targa Florio received 29 entries comprising eight Bugattis, four Alfa Romeos, three Maseratis, two each of Fiats and Salmsons. Bugatti with Divo, Minoia, Conelli and Wagner as official drivers, the Alfa Romeo team with Campari, Brilli Peri and Varzi, as well as the Maserati factory with Borzacchini and Ernesto Maserati emerged as the most potent entries. The 19 car field was completed by ten independent drivers without a real chance to win of which Lepori and Bittmann with Bugattis were the most prominent. Minoia and Divo in official Bugattis dominated the race although Borzacchini's Maserati held second and third place until falling behind. The race was then between the faster Bugattis and the factory Alfa Romeos of Brilli Peri and Campari. The exhausting race ended after more than seven hours with Divo victorious ahead of Minoia followed by the Alfas of Brilli Peri and Campari, who were the only other finishers.
Fernando Minoia, Targa Florio 1929. Bugatti T35CShow Article
Three spectators died and many more were injured at the Lückendorf hillclimb, Germany when Ernst Mahla's Bugatti left the road.Show Article
The French Grand Prix (formally, the XXIII Grand Prix de l'Automobile Club de France) held over 37 laps of a 16.34 km (10.15 miles) Le Mans circuit for a total race distance of 604.58 km (375.67 miles), was won by "W. Williams," driving a Bugatti T35B.
William Grover-Williams at the 1929 French Grand PrixShow Article
Jaroslav Horák and his mechanic in Bugatti T35B hit bike rider Edmund Müller during Ecce Homo hillclimb (Czech Republic) practice. All three died.Show Article
Leonard C Baldwin (31), Standard Oil Company of New Jersey sales engineer who had been involved in the production of the Hispano-Suiza and Bugatti aero engines during World War I, was killed in an automotive accident.Show Article
Hellé Nice, driving a Bugatti T35C, set a Montlhery track record by averaging 123.057 mph over 10 kilometres.Show Article
Cadillac introduced its first V-16-powered car at the New York Auto Show, less than three months after the stock market crash. It was made from two 45-degree V-8s, totalling 452 cubic inches (4.9 litres) and conservatively rated 165-185 horsepower. With it, Cadillac instantly catapulted itself to the head of the luxury class in one brilliant stroke. Until then, only Bugatti had produced a 16-cylinder engine, and it was accomplished by bolting two 8-cylinder inline engines together, which was an innovation that was originally intended for aircraft use. Cadillac’s V-16 was the first true 16-cylinder engine to be built from scratch. Furthermore, Cadillac’s V-16 was the first automotive engine ever to be “styled,” as all of the wiring was hidden and the engine compartment was dressed up with plenty of gleaming, polished aluminum, porcelain, and a pair of beautiful valve covers with brushed aluminum ridged surfaces that featured the Cadillac emblem.
Cadillac V-16Show Article
René Dreyfus driving a Bugatti T35B won the Monaco Grand Prix at Monte Carlo. All six finishers at the Monaco Grand Prix were driving Bugattis.Show Article
Jean de Maleplane in a Bugatti T35C won the Oran Grand Prix held at Arcole, France.Show Article
The 21st Targa Florio received entries from the entire French Bugatti équipe, to fight against factory teams from Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Officine Mecchaniche, plus many independents, totaling 17 cars at the start. The race developed not only into a duel between Alfa Romeo and Bugatti but more into a gigantic battle between two men: Varzi and Chiron. After almost seven tortuous hours through the mountainous Madonie, it ended with a narrow, well earned victory for Varzi, less than two minutes ahead of Chiron. When only 23 seconds behind on the last lap, Chiron broke two of his Bugatti's wheels and had to cope with a very sick mechanic. In his awesome drive, Varzi had lost the single spare wheel of his Alfa Romeo, sprung a fuel leak, and near the end the back of his car caught fire. The Italian survived all these difficulties in probably his most outstanding drive ever. By breaking the existing records, he ended Bugatti's 5-year string of victories. Conelli, Campari, Nuvolari, Divo, Williams and Morandi drove near the front but were clearly in a lesser rank than the two leading contenders. Maserati, D'Ippolito, Minoia, Borzacchini and Bittmann all survived the over seven-hour ordeal, while Maggi, Balestero, Arcangeli, Divo and Ruggeri retired.
At the sixth Rome Grand Prix there were five Alfa Romeos, four Maseratis, four Bugattis, one Talbot and one Mercedes-Benz. From the 15 cars at the start, 10 were still racing at the end. It began with a battle between Arcangeli in the new 2500 Maserati and Chiron's Bugatti. After the Frenchman retired on lap three, Varzi with the Alfa Romeo took over the chase, only to retire after a few laps. That left Nuvolari with the second works Alfa Romeo to go after Arcangeli, taking the lead from him on lap seven. The battle between Nuvolari and Arcangeli kept the crowd on their toes, and lasted until lap 16, when the Alfa's engine lost power. Chiron, who had taken over Bouriat's Bugatti on lap five, had to overcome a 55 seconds deficit to the leader, which Chiron reduced consistently and eventually caught up with the leading Arcangeli. During the last two laps, the battle between the two kept the large crowd in great suspense. Chiron briefly took the lead on the last lap but Arcangeli fought back and won by 1.8 seconds in front of the cheering crowd. The German von Morgen (Bugatti) finished third, ahead of Biondetti (Talbot), Campari (Alfa Romeo), Caflisch (Mercedes-Benz), Tadini (Alfa Romeo) and Renzi (Bugatti) in eighth place. Nuvolari retired, as did Fagioli who held third place for many laps.Show Article
Held over 40 laps of the 14.914 km Spa-Francorchamps circuit for a total race distance of 596.560 km, the Belgian Grand Prix was won by Louis Chiron driving a Bugatti T35B.
Louis Chiron winning the 1930 Belgian Grand Prix.Show Article
Philippe Etancelin, driving a Bugatti Type 35C, won the French Grand Prix at Pau.Show Article
The first Czechoslovakian Grand Prix run over the 18 mile Masaryk Circuit at Brno. The winning Bugatti T35B was shared by Hermann zu Leiningen and Heinrich-Joachim von Morgen (62.78 mph).
Brno Circuit - 1930sShow Article
The Tunis Grand Prix, held on a street circuit at Le Bardo, was won by Achille Varzi in Bugatti T51.Show Article
Louis Chiron driving a Bugatti T51 won the Monaco Grand Prix. With 16 Bugattis in a field of 23 cars, the event was close to being a single-make race. Among the 16 were four factory-team Type 51s driven by the Monegasque Louis Chiron, the Italian Achille Varzi and the French Albert Divo and Guy Bouriat. The real challenge came from the Maserati 8C 2500's driven by Rene Dreyfus, the Italian Luigi Fagioli and Clemente Bondietti. Rudolf Caracciola with his huge Mercedes SSKL (Super Sport Short Light-Weight) was uncompetitive as his larger car performed poorly around the tight Monaco track. The race was between the blue cars from Molsheim and the red ones from Modena. When the start flag dropped it was Rene Dreyfus in his red Maserati who led into St. Devote, only to be passed by 'Williams' on the hill to the Casino, but his lead was short lived as the Brit was sidelined by a broken valve spring, and his race was over. Achille Varzi and Caracciola started closing on Dreyfus and Varzi managed to overtake the Frenchman on the 7th lap. Caracciola struggled with a slipping clutch that gave in on lap 53. Starting slowly, Louis Chiron eventually displayed his talents; gaining back ground with a new lap record time. He caught up with all his opponents and left them behind. Chiron, a native of Monaco, finished the race some 5 minutes ahead of Luigi Fagioli. Jean Bugatti couldn't control his joy and jumped over the parapet of the bleachers and fell into Louis Chiron's arms. For the Monegasque, this Monaco Grand Prix victory really confirmed his reputation.
Monaco Grand Prix - 1931Show Article
René Dreyfus was the only foreigner in the 22nd Targo Florio where just 13 cars arrived at the start. The Alfa Romeo factory entered five drivers the Maserati works just three and only one potent Bugatti was present, Varzi's personal car. Four independents with Alfa Romeos, a Bugatti and a Salmson filled the remaining places. On a dry road, Varzi immediately established a strong lead, which he sustained for three laps while the five Alfa team cars relentlessly hounded him. The Maseratis of Fagioli and Biondetti ended in the ditch early on, whereas Dreyfus' racecar was retired after ¾ race in hopeless position. Rain had started on lap two and after three laps torrential downpours turned some of the mountain roads into mud pools, resulting in the downfall of the grand prix racers like Varzi. Most cars of the Alfa Romeo team had front fenders fitted before the race to keep the splashing mud away from drivers, faces and goggles. It ended as a great success for Alfa Romeo who for the first time this year were victorious at one of the major races. Nuvolari and Borzacchini finished in the first two places, followed by the disenchanted Varzi in third place, car and driver almost unrecognizably covered in mud.Show Article
The Casablanca Grand Prix was held over fifty five laps of a four-mile circuit through the streets of Casablanca formed this event, which in the previous year had been run over a single circuit of 450 miles covering the south of Morocco. With the Sultan as spectator, the cars were off at 2:30 p.m. on May 17. Count Czaikowski prooved victorious on a Bugatti, his average speed being 85.6 m.p.h. Etancelin was second and de Maleplane was third, both driving Bugatti cars. The winner made a record lap of 2 mins. 50 secs.
The ninth Gran Premio d'Italia was run to the 10-Hour international formula and was part of the 1931 European Championship. From 25 entries of the best European drivers, 14 took the start with eight classified after ten hours. Due to the length of the race, a second driver had to be nominated to each car. Nuvolari with the 12-cylinder Alfa-Romeo retired early, while in fourth place. The Varzi/Chiron Bugatti had been the early leader but expired due to rear axle failure. The Lehoux/Etancelin Bugatti, for three hours in third place, retired with a broken connecting rod. Campari with reassigned Nuvolari won for the factory with the new 2300 straight-8 Alfa Romeo. Minoia/Borzacchini in another works Alfa of the same type came second, Divo/Bouriat in a factory Bugatti third and independent Wimille/Gaupillat fourth, both in twin-cam Bugattis. Ivanowski/Stoffel finished in fifth place with a Mercedes-Benz SSK, next were 1500 cc class winners Pirola/Lurani (Alfa Romeo) fighting off Ruggeri/Balestrero (Talbot) and last finisher Klinger/Ghersi in a stricken Maserati. The race was overshadowed after the popular Arcangeli crashed fatally during practice the day before the race.Show Article
The VII Reale Premio di Roma was held on the new high speed Littorio circuit around the airport. The contest was divided into four 100 km Heat races for the various classes and a 240 km Final to decide the overall winner. Heat 1 for cars up to 1100 cc was won by Scaron (Amilcar), who led from start to finish ahead of Decaroli (Salmson) and Ardizzone (Delage). The race for cars up to 2000 cc had Biondetti and Savi with Maseratis in front and Castelbarco (Bugatti) in third place. Heat 3 for cars up to 3000 cc was won by Varzi (Bugatti) with Fagioli and Dreyfus in 2500 Maseratis, filling the first three places. In Heat 4 Ernesto Maserati was the easy winner in the large 16-cylinder Maserati against an old Itala. The Final developed into an entertaining battle between Varzi's leading Bugatti fighting the various Maseratis. Varzi's demise began after the first quarter, after which the hounding Maseratis dominated, conquering the first three places with Ernesto Maserati, Dreyfus and Biondetti. Balestrero in an old Talbot finished fourth while Fagioli was slowed down with problems. Nuvolari, Varzi and Minozzi retired their Bugattis.Show Article
For the ninth Eifelrennen, a mix of 16 race cars started at the Nürburgring. Three large converted Mercedes-Benz sports cars, a variety of 11 Bugattis, one Amilcar and a DKW raced around 40 laps of the demanding South Loop. The German press quoted this event as the most impressive and interesting race ever held on the Nürburgring. Caracciola in the Mercedes had a fantastic battle with von Morgen in an older single cam Bugatti. Once the Bugatti pitted at mid-race for tyres and fuel, the Mercedes had gained much time and did not have to stop. Von Morgen could only recover part of Caracciola's advantage and finished well over a minute behind the Mercedes-Benz. The young newcomer von Brauchitsch in another Mercedes-Benz ended up third, followed by Seibel's small Bugatti, Winter's Mercedes-Benz, Zigrand, Risse, Kortylewski and Städtgen all in Bugattis with Theisen's small DKW last in tenth place. Six drivers retired, amongst them Burggaller and Leiningen who in the early part of the race were near the front.
The XVII Grand Prix of the AC de France was run to the 10-Hour International Formula, demanding two drivers per car. Three strong official factory teams from Alfa Romeo, Bugatti and Maserati provided the main battle. The early leader was Fagioli in the 2800 Maserati until Chiron in the twin-cam Bugatti passed him. After one hour, Luigi Fagioli was again in first place next came Louis Chiron, Rene Dreyfus, Albert Divo, William Grover-Williams, Marcel Lehoux and Giuseppe Campari, the fastest of the 2300 Alfa Romeo drivers, in seventh place. For the first time since WW I, there was a German entry in the French Grand Prix, the independent team of Rudolf Caracciola/Otto Merz in a huge Mercedes-Benz. They held eighth place after the first lap; then fell back to 13th before retiring later. The Rene Dreyfus/ Pieto Ghersi pair twice held second place, but maintained third position during most of the first half of the race.Out of 23 starters only 12 finished the long race. The independent drivers were the first to retire. Jack Dunfee (Sunbeam) broke down at the start. Ivanowski (Mercedes-Benz) and Lehoux (Bugatti) disappeared before the the second hour ended. Scott's 1920's Delage broke down during the third hour to be followed by the Caracciola/Merz Mercedes-Benz in the fourth hour. The first factory car to retire was Fagioli/E.Maserati with the 2800 Maserati during the fifth hour. Five Bugattis retired over the next laps, all caused by mechanical failures. Chiron/Varzi (Bugatti) dominated the race and won three laps ahead of Campari/Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo) and five laps in front of Clemente Biondetti/Parenti (Maserati). Henry Birkin/ George Eyston (Maserati) an idependent entry finished fourth. A total of 12 cars were classified but only 10 were still driving at the end while Divo/Bouriat and Tazio Nuvolari/Giovanni Minozzi made it on distance alone as their cars broke down near the end.
Chiron and Varzi pitting at the 1931 French Grand PrixShow Article
Count Max Hardegg (Austrian) in a Bugatti was killed at the 10 km climb of Baden-Baden–Geroldsau-Plättig–Bühler Höhe in Germany.Show Article
The Tunis Grand Prix on the Carthage road circuit opened the international racing season of 1932. From a mixed field of 21 starters, the 12 grand prix cars battled right from the beginning with Varzi holding first place. Von Morgen, Wimille and Fagioli retired early, while Chiron and Dreyfus fell back after lengthy pit stops. Accordingly opposition was limited to Lehoux, Etancelin and Czaikowski. By winning the race, Achille Varzi in a Bugatti T51 successfully defended his title as the winner of the previous year's race. The independent Algerian, Lehoux came second.Show Article
The second Bugatti Royale Type 41 was delivered to Armand Esders with a 2-seat roadster body designed by Jean Bugatti - the car was a rebodied as a Coupe de Ville by Binder of Paris in the late 1930s.Show Article
The Rome Royal Gran Prix was run. The Maserati works team and Scuderia Ferrari each started with two cars at Rome's autodrome, the Littorio airfield circuit. The 33 entries were divided into three categories. Heat 1 for 1100 cc cars was won by Decaroli's Salmson and Heat 2 by Minozzi's 2-liter Bugatti. Heat 3 and 4 were run together, won by Varzi in the 2.3-liter Bugatti and followed by Fagioli in the 5-liter Maserati. Then the monotonous Repechage was won by Dreyfus with ease against weaker cars. In the Final Fagioli had no serious opposition with the 16-cylinder Maserati, the only heavy machine. Without question the 5-liter Maserati was one of the fastest cars in Europe. Taruffi's Alfa Romeo finished second, followed by the Bugattis of von Morgen and Varzi, both slowed down by tire problems.Show Article
The Oran Grand Prix, run over 42 laps (5.6 mile) of the Arcole circuit in France, was won by Jean-Pierre Wimille in a Bugatti T51.Show Article
Louis Chiron was the only foreigner in the 23rd Targa Florio where just 16 cars arrived for the race, two from the Maserati works, five Scuderia Ferrari Alfa Romeos and two Bugattis, entered privately by Chiron and Varzi. Seven other independents with Bugatti, O.M. and Fiat completed the field. Nuvolari who led from start to finish and Borzacchini with their Alfa Romeos dominated the race, which went over eight laps of a new shortened 72 km circuit. On the third lap Varzi's Bugatti dropped out after which he shared Chiron's car, bringing it home in third place behind Nuvolari and Borzacchini in Alfa Monzas. The 2.8-liter Maseratis had stayed in mid-field and while Fagioli retired his car after the first lap, Ruggeri was able to complete the entire distance and finished fifth. Only six cars were able to complete the hardest circuit race in the world on a very hot day.
Targa Florio - 1932Show Article
The first Finnish Grand Prix was a race between five Finns and five Swedes run at Eläintarharata. Per-Viktor Widengren in his Mercedes SSK took the lead early in the race and then dominated it totally. Ebb in another SSK was unable to keep up with Widengren's speed and also lost his second position to Sundstedt's Bugatti but when the latter struck problems late in the race Ebb was able to retake his position. Keinänen did a bad start but then worked his way up through all the field and was finally able to catch and pass both Sundstedt and Ebb to finish second. Even a lack of score boards and a mostly non functional public information system did not hinder the race from becoming a success for the spectators.Show Article
From the elite of 16 international drivers only five finished the AVUS-Rennen, the fastest high-speed race in Europe. Dreyfus was the first leader and had to stop his 16-cylinder Maserati after lap one. Divo in the 5-litre Bugatti then held the lead until lap five when his engine started leaking oil badly. World record holder Sir Malcolm Campbell in the 4-litre V-12 Sunbeam also retired early. From lap six onwards Caracciola with his 2.3-litre Alfa Romeo was in front. The young German von Brauchitsch in his strange looking streamlined 7.1-litre Mercedes-Benz SSKL followed closely. This duo provided an exciting battle for the lead until the end when von Brauchitsch came out on top as a surprising winner. Behind Caracciola were the Swiss Stuber (Bugatti) in third place, then the Germans Stuck (Mercedes-Benz SSKL) and Kotte (2.5-litre Maserati). The remaining drivers all retired their cars, which did not hold up in this high-speed chase. Lewy (Bugatti) crashed on lap one, as did Czechoslovakian driver Prince Lobkowicz who died shortly thereafter in hospital.
The tenth Eifelrennen at the Nürburgring was a mix of 23 cars comprising three different classes of which only six cars started in the class over 1500 cc, where Rudolf Caracciola in the factory Alfa Romeo was the favorite. Louis Chiron and Rene Dreyfus came from France, the former in a works Bugatti and the latter with an independent Bugatti entry, courtesy of Chiron. German colors were defended by three independently entered 7.1-liter Mercedes-Benz driven by Manfred von Brauchitsch, Hans Stuck and Albert Broschek. Caracciola's Alfa led from lap one followed closely by Dreyfus throughout the race. Chiron and Broschek both had to make several pit stops and finished at the rear while Caracciola remained in front throughout the race, followed by Dreyfus in second place, von Brauchitsch third and Stuck fourth. The monotonous race was overshadowed by the fatal practice accident of the famous German driver Heinrich-Joachim von Morgen.
Achille Varzi in a Bugatti T51 won the VII° Gan Premio Di Tripoli run over 30 laps of the purpose built Autodromo Di Mellaha road circuit.
Bugatti T51Show Article
Clashes in the calendar meant that the Targa Florio entry list was the weakest in many years with only 14 Italian drivers and with Scuderia Ferrari as the only team. What looked to be a foregone conclusion turned to a surprise when Borzacchini who was dominating the race crashed, handing the victory to his Bugatti team mate Pietro Ghersi.
Targa Florio - 1933Show Article
The third (and last to be sold) Bugatti Royale 41 was delivered to Capt Cuthbert Foster in London, England with limousine coachwork by Park Ward & Company Ltd.Show Article
English Racing Automobiles, the name by which E.R.A. was known until it was changed in 1954 to Engineering Research & Application Ltd., was founded in late 1933 by Humphrey Cook, a wealthy young Oxford graduate who had a passion for motor racing and was determined to construct a competitive British car to compete successfully on the international circuits. British successes in the Grand Prix road racing of the day had been few and far between. There had been no major British victory since Seagrave in the French Grand Prix in 1923 in a Sunbeam. By 1933 the huge investment being poured into Grand Prix racing by the major works teams of Auto Union, Mercedes Benz and Alfa Romeo made it more or less impossible for a small newcomer to compete successfully. A decision was therefore made to concentrate on the 1.5 litres supercharged voiturette class. Raymond Mays, one of the most successful amateur racing drivers of the day, became a director of the Company and, together with Cook, the works driver. The new Company relied on the engineering experience of Murray Jamieson and Peter Berthon, the former an engineer in the Austin racing department, the latter a gifted natural engineer. The first 1.5 litre ERA racing car was shown to the public on 22 May 1934 and competed at Brooklands in the British Empire Trophy race on 23 June. Several more races were entered in 1934 and numerous wins were recorded, often against more exotic Maserati and Bugatti opposition. Over the next five years, the A, B and C type ERA 1.5 litre and 2 litre supercharged cars became the most successful voiturette racing cars in Europe. As well as Raymond Mays, they were driven and owned by drivers such as Dick Seaman, Pat Fairfield and Earl Howe and, perhaps most famous of all, Princes Chula and Bira of Siam with their team of two ERA’s ‘Romulus and Remus’. During the war, racing came to an end, the Company site in Bourne was sold for aircraft component production and Company closed. In 1946, ERA Ltd was officially re-registered in Humphrey Cook’s home town of Dunstable, and premises occupied on the towns London Road. Development started on a new Grand Prix car, the ERA ‘E’ type, to compete in the new 1.5 litre formula. Three cars were built, GP1, 2 and 3, and showed great promise. However the promise was never really fulfilled, and the technical effort necessary proved too much for the small Company to overcome before the 1.5 litre formula was abandoned. An ‘F’ type Formula 3 car failed to get off the drawing board but the G type Bristol engined ERA began to show great potential in the hands of Stirling moss and others. In 1953 the project was sold to Bristol Cars who subsequently developed it into the successful Bristol 450 Le Mans car. Thus ERA’s connection with motor racing ended. The successful 1.5 and 2 litre A, B and C type ERA’s all survive intact today and many are regularly used in historic racing. They are often faster than in their pre-war days and compete remarkably well against 1950’s Maseratis, Ferraris and Aston Martins. After the sale of the G type cars to Bristol, ERA Ltd was sold to Zenith Carburettor Ltd. In turn Zenith was bought by Solex Carburettor, the name was changed to Engineering Research and Application Ltd, and for many years ERA became the Research & Development centre for these carburettor and fuel system companies.
"Eric Lora" and 6 spectators died, many more were injured, when his Bugatti ran into the crowd at Fontainebleau in France.Show Article
Mercedes and Auto Union teams withdrew from the Belgian Grand Prix after customs asked the teams to pay BF180,000 duty on their alcohol based fuel. The race was won by René Dreyfus in a Bugatti T59.Show Article
Joseph Cattanéo driving a 1500 cc racing Bugatti skidded into the crowd at the Château-Thierry hillclimb, just 100 metres from the finish, killing 7 and injuring 18. Later that year, Cattanéo was acquitted in court while the organiser of the event, Victor Breyer, had to pay a fine of 200 Francs and hundreds of thousands of Francs compensation to the survivors as well as to relatives of those killed.Show Article
Brian Lewis in a Bugatti T59 won the III Mannin Moar held in Douglas, Isle of WightShow Article
Robert Cazaux (29) in a Bugatti T35B, won at Sézanne, France. On a climb of honor his car overturned and he was killed.Show Article
Rudolf Steinweg (45) in a Bugatti died at the Guggerberg Hillclimb, near Budapest, during practice.Show Article
In the largest motor race event in Finland thus far, a clash between the Alfa Romeos of Rüesch and Bjørnstad was expected in the GP class. But to the disappointment for the 40000 spectators the Norwegian started with his troublesome ERA instead, leaving the Swiss to take the pole position. Rolander crashed his Bugatti against the sand bags in the greenhouse curve. The Bugatti turned over and Rolander scratched his hands against the asphalt so the doctor forbid him to start. Carlsson had oil pressure problems with his Monza so when the new oil pump was delayed at the customs Carlsson took over Rolander's Bugatti. Rüesch took the lead at the start. He was followed by Bjørnstad, Ebb, Patama, Carlsson, Sundstedt, Hallman (Ford) and Elo (Bugatti). Bjørnstad was clearly blocking Ebb and was about to get a warning when the Finnish Mercedes driver finally was able to pass on lap 15. Rüesch had already opened up a 14.5 second gap and soon it became clear that he had no real opposition from the rest of the field. The race turned into a rather monotonous event, where the only real action was on lap 15 when Carlsson passed Patama. After 10 laps Hans Rüesch's lead was 26 seconds, after 15 laps 36 seconds, after 20 laps 41 seconds and at the finish 47.5 seconds. Local hero Karl Ebb finished second and last year's winner Bjørnstad third.Show Article
Jean-Pierre Wimille and Robert Benoist won the Le Mans 24-hour race in a Bugatti Type 57G, becoming the first to exceed 2000 total miles during the event. Both men would go on to become active members of the French Resistance during WWII. Benoist did not survive the war. Wimille resumed his racing career, to become arguably the greatest driver of the immediate post-war era. This race saw the death of two drivers in a single accident. Briton Pat Fairfield and Frenchman René Kippeurt collided on lap 8 of the race and were killed.
LeMans 1937 - Bugatti T57GShow Article
The first hillclimb event at Prescott, Gloucestershire, England was staged, on what is now the Short Course (880 yards). As announced in Motor Sport: "The Opening Rally on April 10th will comprise an assembly at Cheltenham for lunch, followed by a run to Prescott and possibly timed runs up the hill, followed by tea at the Prescott club-house. Prescott will be ready for the first official meeting on Sunday, May 15th." Unofficial fastest time in April was set by I. Craig in a 4.9-litre supercharged Bugatti in a time of 55.58 seconds.
Prescott hillclimbShow Article
The fastest time of the day at the inaugural Prescott Hill Climb, Gloucestershire, run over what is now the Short Course (880 yards) was set by Arthur Baron in a 2,270 c.c. supercharged Bugatti in a new record time of 50.70 seconds. Sydney Allard set the sports car record driving Hutchison's V12 Lincoln-engined Allard Special in a time of 54.35 seconds.
Prescott Hill ClimbShow Article
The Bugatti Royale Binder Coupe de Ville was completed.
Bugatti Royale Binder Coupe de Ville - 1939Show Article
The Coupe De Paris (Paris Cup) held over 30 laps of the Montlhéry circuit was won by Jean-Pierre Wimille in a Bugatti T59.Show Article
While testing the Type 57 tank-bodied racer which had just won a Le Mans race, not far from the factory on the road near the village of Duppigheim (France), 30-year-old Jean Bugatti was killed. He lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a tree while trying to avoid a drunken bicyclist and is interred in the Bugatti family plot at the municipal cemetery in Dorlisheim. There is a monument to him at the site of his accident.
Jean BugattiShow Article
Rene Dreyfus in a Delahaye won the 'Million Franc' challenge run at the Montlhery (FRance) circuit, beating a Bugatti and a Sefac.Show Article
Ettore Bugatti married Genevieve Delcuze as his second wife after fathering two children by her.Show Article
Ettore Bugatti, the Italian-born and naturalised-French car manufacturer, died at the age of 65. Bugatti specialised in racing and luxury motor vehicles and his factory in Molsheim, France, turned out some of the most expensive cars ever produced. The best-known Bugatti car was Type 41, known as the ‘Golden Bugatti’ or ‘La Royale’. It was produced in the 1920s, meticulously constructed and very expensive – only a few were ever built. After Bugatti’s death, the firm failed to survive, at least in part because Ettore’s eldest son and chosen successor Jean died before Bugatti himself.
Ettore BugattiShow Article
Stirling Moss made his racing debut driving his 500cc Cooper in a hillclimb at Prescott, England, sponsored by the Bugatti Owners Club,.Show Article
Sir Malcolm Campbell, legendary racing driver and land speed record holder, died at his Reigate (Surrey, England) home at the age of 63 after a series of strokes. He was one of the few leading drivers of his era, especially those who featured in speed-record attempts, to die in his bed. Campbell became a national celebrity as he broke the land speed record nine times between 1924 and 1935 - on his last attempt he became the first person to drive a car at more than 300 miles per hour. He also set the water speed record four times. As a grand prix driver he won the 1927 and 1928 Grand Prix de Boulogne driving a Bugatti T39A. He stood for Parliament without success at the 1935 general election in Deptford for the Conservative Party, despite his links to the British Union of Fascists. Reportedly, he once adorned his car with a Fascist pennant of the London Volunteer Transport Service, though there has been no photographic evidence to support this claim. His son Donald continued the Campbell legacy setting records on both land and water until he was killed in 1967 in a crash on Coniston Water.
Malcolm CampbellShow Article
The completed Bugatti Type 251 race car made its first test run at the aerodrome in Entzheim, France, with Pierre Marco at the wheel.Show Article
The radical Bugatti 251 GP racer, with a straight-8 engine mounted transversly behind the driver, made its press debut.Show Article
Peter Collins showed his win at Spa was no fluke with a thrilling victory over Ferrari team-mate Eugenio Castellotti at the French Grand Prix, a result which gave him a four-and-a-half point lead in the drivers' championship. This was the first time a Briton had led the World Drivers Championship. The self-effacing 24-year-old admitted afterwards he only raced for the fun of it. "My father gave me a motor business so I don't have to race … but I like it and I like the money. I don't think I'm as fast at Stirling [Moss] but my car today was. I always have a go." There was a lot of local interest at Reims in the return of the famous Bugatti name but Maurice Trintignant had to withdraw with throttle problems after 18 laps. And the man who went on to mastermind Lotus, Colin Chapman, was entered in a third Vanwall but a practice crash saw him on the sidelines for the race. It turned out to be an all Ferrari front row with Collins, on the crest of a wave, on pole position ahead of team-mates Juan Manuel Fangio and Castellotti. The three Ferraris swapped the lead early on, but they were duly caught by Harry Schell, in the Vanwall started by Mike Hawthorn who had withdrawn as he had been taking part in an all-night race earlier. A mechanical problem on the 38th lap ended the team's challenge if not its race and it finished down the field with a misfiring engine.Fangio, who had struggled since his win in Argentina, also had to pit, leaving Castellotti in the lead, but he was soon overhauled by Collins, and the pair crossed the finish line with 0.3 seconds separating them. Fangio came home fourth, narrowly failing to hunt down Jean Behra despite setting a lap record on the final circuit.
Peter Collins, French Grand Prix 1956Show Article
Francis Richard Henry Penn Curzon (80) racer for Sunbeam and Talbot in the 1920s and later a Member of Parliament, died in Buckinghamshire, England. Curzon, better known as Lord Howe, made his race debut at the comparatively old age of 44, in the 1928 Irish TT with a Bugatti Type 43. After leaving the House of Commons he pursued his driving career with increasing vigour. During the 1930s he became a well known driver, competing in many national and international races, most notably the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where he gave Ala Romo their first victory at the event. He entered the endurance classic six times between 1929 and 1935, only missing the 1933 event. For the first year he was entered as a part of the Bentley factory team, but latterly he entered his own cars. It was in his own Alfa Romeo 8C that he won the race in 1931, driving in partnership with Henry Birkin.Show Article
The Bugatti Revival Car concept, built by Ghia on the last Bugatti Type 101 chassis was shown at the Turin Motor Show in 1965, but it failed to spark another revival of that marque.
1965 Bugatti Type 101C GhiaShow Article
Jack Brabham in a Brabham-Repco BT24 won the first French Grand Prix to be held in Le Mans since the first ever running of the race in 1906. The new Bugatti circuit at Le Mans used the main pit straight at Le Mans, which back in 1967 did not have the Dunlop Chicane, but then turned right at "La Chapelle" into an infield section comprising the third gear "Le Musée" left hander and the second gear "Garage Vert" corner which led onto the back straight, whose only distinctive feature was the "Chemin Aux Boeups" left hand kink (now a left-right chicane) some two-thirds along, before heading back to the pit straight via the "S Bleu" and "Raccordement" corners near the entrance to the pits. Graham Hill was on pole and led away for the first lap until Jack Brabham took over. On lap 7 Jim Clark took the lead and Hill passed Brabham to make it a Lotus 1-2. Hill then retook the lead until his crown-wheel and pinion failed on lap 14. The same problem caused Clark's retirement from the lead on lap 23, leaving Brabham ahead of Dan Gurney, Chris Amon and Denny Hulme. On lap 41 a fuel line broke on Gurney's car, making it a Brabham 1-2 and Amon's throttle cable broke several laps later. Brabham drove home serenely to win his first race in eight Grands Prix by 49.5 seconds from team mate Hulme, and over a lap in front of the BRM of Jackie Stewart.
BRM was finally ready for action and at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone the team had three cars available for Mike Hawthorn, Tony Brooks and Ron Flockhart. Lancia-Ferrari ran Juan-Manuel Fangio, Peter Collins, Eugenio Castelotti and the Marquis de Portago, while there were 10 Maseratis in the field, including the works cars of Stirling Moss, Jean Behra, Cesare Perdisa. Vanwall fielded Froilan Gonzalez alongside Harry Schell and Maurice Trintignant (back after his brief interlude with Bugatti at Reims). Also in action was Connaught with cars for Desmond Titterington, Archie Scott-Brown and Jack Fairman. Moss was fastest in practice and lined up alongside Fangio, Hawthorn and Collins, while the second row consisted of Schell, Gonzalez and Roy Salvadori (Maserati).At the start of the race Hawthorn went ahead and Brooks was quickly through to run second, the two BRMs being followed by Fangio and the rest. Fangio challenged Brooks and moved to second but then he spun and Brooks retook the position. Moss then took up the challenge and harried Brooks and on lap 11 he got ahead. Moss closed up on Hawthorn while Brooks dropped back and fell behind Salvadori. Moss took the lead on lap 16 while further back Fangio moved back up the fourth by getting ahead of Brooks. Hawthorn's BRM began to fade and Salvadori moved to second (Hawthorn would retire soon afterwards). Brooks's BRM also stopped. It was repaired and Brooks set off again but the car spun and overturned soon afterwards. Brooks was thrown out but without serious injury but the car was burned out. Salvadori's good run was slowed because of a fuel line problem and so he dropped behind Fangio and Collins while Moss's lead was reduced when he called into the pits for more oil. Collins too hit mechanical trouble and retired but he then took over De Portago's car. Salvadori retired and Moss had to pit again because his engine lost power and that left Fangio in the lead. Moss rejoined but soon had to stop again and he finally retired a few laps from the finish when his axle broke. Fangio was a somewhat fortunate winner with Collins second (a lap down in Portago's car) second and Behra (two laps down) third.
Start - 1973 British Grand PrixShow Article
Charles Chayne (80), Chief Engineer of Buick (1936-51), died in Carmel, California. He is best remembered for saving the Bugatti Type 41 Royale Weinberger cabriolet and later donating it to the Henry Ford Museum.Show Article
Louis Chiron (79), the oldest driver who has ever taken part in a Formula One Grand Prix, aged 58 years, died. The son of the maitre díhotel at the Hotel de Paris in Monaco, Chiron was born in the Principality in 1899 and received a ride in a Type 35 Bugatti funded by Alfred Hoffmann. He promptly beat the works teams at the Grand Prix du Comminges, before joining the Bugatti works-team for a few successful years, most notably winning his home Grand Prix in Monaco in 1931. He continued winning for the works Alfa Romeo team, then Mercedes before focusing on sports car racing with Lago-Talbot. After the war Chiron returned to Grands Prix with Lago-Talbot, winning the French Grand Prix in 1947 and 1949. He continued racing when the new Formula 1 World Championship was created and in 1955 he finished sixth in a Lancia D50 at the 1955 Monaco Grand Prix. It would be his last point scoring result as he failed to qualify for his home Grand Prix in 1956 and 1958. After retiring from the cockpit he became the Clerk of the Course for the Monaco Grand Prix up until the late 1960s.
Louis ChironShow Article
L'Ebe Bugatti (76) died in Milan, Italy, having spent the last years of her of her life working to ensure the legacy of hEr father Ettore Bugatti.
L'Ebe BugattiShow Article
Mariette Hélène Delangle (83) died. A postmaster's daughter who moved to Paris and became a famous dancer. HellÈ Nice, as she was nicknamed, became involved in motor sport, becoming a very competent Bugatti driver. Denounced as a Gestapo agent by Louis Chiron after the Second World War she died in abject poverty in Nice in 1984.
Mariette Hélène DelangleShow Article
All six Bugatti Royales were exhibited at the Pebble Beach (CA) Concours, the first and only time that the celebrated cars have appeared together. The Royale was designed and built by Ettore Bugatti with the sole purpose of being sold exclusively to royalty, unfortunately it was produced at the time of the onset of The Great Depression and as a result only 6 of the planned 25 cars were made, none of which were sold to royals.The Bugatti Royale used a 12.7 litre straight-8, the engine block was 4.5 feet long and 3.5 feet tall (a world record to this day) and was later used to power railway trains. The car was 21 feet in overall length, it weighed 7,000 pounds and had a 3-speed manual transmission. It’s said that King Zog of Albania wanted to buy one but after Ettore had dinner with the king he refused to make the sale stating “the man’s table manners are beyond belief!” Ettore Bugatti had one of the Royales made for himself, he had it fitted with the larger 14.7 litre engine and used it as his personal car, in 1931 it’s said that he fell asleep at the wheel and crashed the car, requiring a new body to be fitted.
Bugatti RoyaleShow Article
A 1931 Bugatti Royale Kellner Coupe was sold for $8.7 million at a much-hyped Christie's sale at the Royal Albert Hall in London, to an anonymous bidder.
Bugatti Royale Type 41Show Article
London dealer, Nicholas Harley paid £5.5 million for a 1931 Bugatti Type 41 Royale Sports Coupe at an auction held by Christies at the Royal Albert Hall, London.The Bugatti Royale was an incredible display of wealth. Built more like a train than a car, the Royale had a 12.7-litre straight-eight and weighed 3,175 kilograms. Designed to be the most luxurious car ever, even royalty struggled to cough up the asking price for the Bugatti and of the six built, only three were sold.
1931 Bugatti Type 41 Royale Sports Coupe
1931 Bugatti Type 41 Royale Sports CoupeShow Article
A 1931 Bugatti Type 41 ‘Royale’ Sports Coupe was sold by Nicolas Harvey of Great Britain to the Meitec Corporation of Japan for $15 million (£8.45 million).Show Article
The Musee National de l'Automobile in Mulhouse, France unveiled the 'seventh' Bugatti Royale, a recreation of the Armand Esders roadster mounted on a chassis made largely from spare parts.
Chassis no.41100, known as the Coupé Napoleon, at home in the Musée National de l'Automobile de MulhouseShow Article
The Bugatti EB110, an exclusive supercar from Bugatti Automobili SpA, the 1990s successor to one of the most celebrated marques in automotive history was unveiled in both Versailles and in front of the Grande Arche at La Défense in Paris, France exactly 110 years after Ettore Bugatti's birth. The car has a 60-valve, quad-turbo V12 fed through 12 individual throttle bodies, powering all four wheels through a six-speed gearbox. The 3.5 L (3499 cc) engine has a bore of 81 mm (3.2 in) and a stroke of 56.6 mm (2.23 in) and is capable of 560 PS (410 kW; 550 hp) at 8000 rpm. Acceleration to 100 km/h (62 mph) takes 3.2 seconds, and the GT has a top speed of 213 mph (343 km/h). The car uses a double wishbone suspension, with the chassis built by Aérospatiale, an aircraft company, and made from carbon fibre. Equipped with Gandini's trademark scissor doors, it has a glass engine cover that provides a view of the V12 engine along with a speed-sensitive electronic rear wing that can be raised at the flick of a switch.
Bugatti EB110Show Article
General Motors sold its Group Lotus subsidiary to Bugatti International SAH, the new Bugatti group's financial holding company headquartered in Luxembourg.Show Article
General Motors sold its Group Lotus subsidiary to Bugatti International SAH, the new Bugatti group's financial holding company headquartered in Luxembourg.Show Article
Eliška Junková (93) born as Alžběta Pospíšilová and also known as Elizabeth Junek, one of the greatest female drivers in Grand Prix motor racing history, died. However with communist rule in Czechoslovakia she was largely forgotten by the motor racing world until recently. Eliška Junková (also known as Elizabeth Junek) was raised in Olomouc on the outskirts of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. A passion for world languages drew her to traveling, and she fell in love with racing cars after spotting a Bugatti in Paris circa 1921. She began taking driving lessons in secret and earned her license a year later. Eventually, she took up with a Czech banker named Cenek Junek, an aspiring professional driver who, because of a wartime injury to his hand, was unable to shift gears. She came on as his riding mechanic, tasked with wrenching and swapping cogs for her husband. It wasn't long before she won her class at the 1924 Lachotín-Třemošná hill-climb driving a cigar-shaped Bugatti blue Type 30 and championed the sobriquet 'Queen of the Steering Wheel.' With riding mechanics banned for the 1925 Grand Prix season, Madame Junek began racing the Bugatti solo and, the following year, took second place at Klaussenpass in Switzerland. While she was physically undersized (something Emilio Materassi and other male drivers ridiculed her for), Junek was diligent and exceptionally cunning. Before the 1927 Targa Florio, she took to the 67-mile route on foot, noting the terrain, envisioning a line, and taking pace notes—the first-ever driver to "walk the course." Still, she wrecked out of the '27 Targa Florio after just two laps. The documented reason was steering malfunction; Junek always maintained that somebody moved a rock into a corner as she was clipping the apex in order to sabotage her run. She endured, though, winning her class at the German Grand Prix later that year and returning to the Targa Florio in 1928, where she started from fourth in her supercharged Bugatti Type 35B. By the second lap, she was leading the race.At one point, Junek held multiple-minute leads over a field of pre-war racing icons—Louis Chiron, Albert Divo, René Dreyfus, and Tazio Nuvolari, a man Ferdinand Porsche once called the "greatest racing driver of the past, present, and future." But the 2.3-liter's cooling system faltered, causing Junek to finish fifth (but in possession of the second-fastest lap and still just nine minutes behind the victorious Divo).A mere eight weeks after the '28 Targa Florio, Cenek Junek was killed after crashing his Type 35B during the Grand Prix of Germany. Her husband's death at the Nürburgring cast a pall over racing; Madame Junek never drove competitively again. In a career that spanned just five years, Elizabeth Junek ran wheel-to-wheel with the world's best drivers, revolutionized race-day preparation, and became the first (and only) woman to win a Grand Prix. What might she have achieved had she kept racing into the 1930s? For her contribution to motorsport alone, Junek deserves more credit than she's received.
Eliška JunkováShow Article
The Ford Motor Company was awarded Car of the Century (COTC) for its Ford Motor Company and creator of the Model T, was named Automotive Entrepreneur of the Century. The Car Designer of the Century award was given to Italian Giorgetto Giugiaro (Maserati Bora, BMW Z1, Ferrai GG50), whilst Austrian Ferdinand Piëch (Chairman of VW who influenced the development of numerous significant cars including the Audi Quattro, Volkswagen New Beetle, Audi R8, Lamborghini Gallardo, Volkswagen Phaeton, and notably, the Bugatti Veyron) won the Car Executive of the Century award. The election process was overseen by the Global Automotive Elections Foundation.Show Article
After favourable public reaction, Volkswagen officially incorporated Bugatti Automobiles SAS with former VW drivetrain chief Karl-Heinz Neumann as president. The company purchased the 1856 Château Saint Jean, formerly Ettore Bugatti's guest house in Dorlisheim, near Molsheim, and began refurbishing it to serve as the company's headquarters.
Bernd Pischetsrieder succeeded Piëch as chairman of Volkswagen AG. At Volkswagen, he directed Bugatti Automobiles SAS to reengineer the Bugatti Veyron 16.4, delaying an expected launch. He continued moving the Audi and Volkswagen marques upmarket to some controversy.Show Article
The spectacular quad-turbo, V-12 powered, mid-engine Chrysler ME Four-Twelve super car was introduced at Auburn Hills, Michigan, US - the most advanced Chrysler ever built. The name was rooted in the Mid-Engine with Four turbochargers on a Twelve-cylinder engine. Powered by a very light, aluminium V12 engine coupled with the four turbochargers, it could accelerate from 0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds, 0-100 mph in 6.2 seconds, and a top speed of 136 mph (219 km/h). These numbers resulted in an estimated top speed of 248mph, just 5 mph slower than the original Bugatti Veyron.
Chrysler ME Four-TwelveShow Article
The final version of the mid-engined Bugatti Veyron, with a top speed of 407 km/h (253 mph), was presented at Château Saint Jean, France It was named Car of the Decade and best car award (2000–2009) by the BBC television programme Top Gear. The standard Bugatti Veyron also won Top Gear's Best Car Driven All Year award in 2005. The Super Sport version of the Veyron is recognised by Guinness World Records as the fastest street-legal production car in the world, with a top speed of 430.9 km/h (267.7 mph), and the roadster Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse version is the fastest roadster in the world, reaching an averaged top speed of 408.84 km/h (254.04 mph) in a test on 6 April 2013. The Veyron's chief designer was Hartmut Warkuss, and the exterior was designed by Jozef Kabaň of Volkswagen, with much of the engineering work being conducted under the guidance of engineering chief Wolfgang Schreiber. Several special variants have been produced. In December 2010, Bugatti began offering prospective buyers the ability to customise exterior and interior colours by using the Veyron 16.4 Configurator application on the marque's official website. The Bugatti Veyron was discontinued in late 2014.
Bugatti Veyron (2005)Show Article
The new Bugatti Veyron 16.4 was presented in Madonie in Sicily, an area known throughout the world as the setting for one of the most illustrious motor races, the Targa Florio. It had a top speed of 407 km/h (253 mph) and was named Car of the Decade and best car award (2000–2009) by the BBC television programme Top Gear. The standard Bugatti Veyron also won Top Gear's Best Car Driven All Year award in 2005.
Bugatti Veyron 16.4Show Article
It was reported that Volkswagen AG was getting ready for the 2006 US launch of its $1 million Bugatti Veyron, a 2-seater with 1,001 horsepower.Show Article
The incredible 1,000 bhp Bugatti Veyron made its first appearance at a UK event when it roared up the Goodwood hillclimb during the annual Festival of Speed press launch. There were also debut appearances for the Maserati GranSport Spyder, Prodrive P2 and Range Rover Sport Supercharged HST.
Bugatti VeyronShow Article
In an episode aired on this day, BBC 2's Top Gear, presenter James May reached 253 mph (407 km/h) in a Bugatti Veyron at Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft’s (VAG) test track facility in Ehra-Lessien, Germany.Show Article
SSC tested the top speed capability of the Ultimate Aero TT on on a 12-mile closed stretch of US Route 93 in Nevada. Their goal was to replace the Bugatti Veyron as the fastest production car ever produced, which at the time could achieve 254.3 mph. Simulation and testing at NASA's Virginia facility had shown that the Ultimate Aero TT should be capable of approximately 273 mph (439 km/h).The attempt failed to break the record, apparently due to sub-optimal conditions. Test driver Rick Doria reported "wheel-spin" at speeds above 190 mph (306 km/h). Despite the failure of the attempt, the car still reached 242 mph (390 km/h).
SSC Ultimate Aero TTShow Article
Guinness World Records verified that the Shelby SuperCars (SSC) Ultimate Aero was officially the ‘Fastest Production Car’ in the world. It was the first time the production speed-record title had been broken by a US car since the Ford GT40 in 1967. Chuck Bigelow drove SSC’s Ultimate Aero on a stretch of Highway 221 in California, clocking 257.44 mph on the first pass and 254.91 mph on the second, to yield an official record speed of 256.18 mph. This broke the official record held by the Koenigsegg CCR by 15.09 mph and the Bugatti Veyron’s unofficial record by 3.63 mph.
SSC Ultimate Aero TTShow Article
SSC announced they had broken the speed record for the world's fastest production car with the Ultimate Aero TT at 256.15 mph (412.23 km/h) in West Richland, WA. The reported record speed came from an average of two runs in opposite directions, in accordance with Guinness Book of World Records rules. The first run clocked 257.41 mph (414.26 km/h) and the return trip 254.88 mph (410.19 km/h), with the average beating the Bugatti Veyron's top speed of 253 mph (407.16 km/h).
SSC Ultimate Aero TTShow Article
Shelby Supercars (SSC) reported a world record 257 mph run in speed testing of its 1183bhp, twin-turbo V8 Ultimate Aero TT. The first pass was recorded at 257.41mph (414.31kmh) and the second pass was recorded at 254.88mph (410.24kmh) in testing on a temporarily-closed two lane stretch of public highway in the company’s home state of Washington for an average top speed of 256.15mph. The feat broke the current official record held by the Koenigsegg CCR at 242mph and the Bugatti Veyron's unofficial speed of 253mph. SSC overcame the lack of a dedicated test site in achieving the speed and the result could have been faster if not for the road’s slight elevation changes and an S-bend 1.5 miles before braking was required according to test driver Chuck Bigelow: "if there was additional straight pavement on which to accelerate, the top speed would have been considerably higher”.
SSC Ultimate Aero TT
SSC Ultimate Aero TTShow Article
A rare unrestored 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante Coupe that had been found in the garage of a British doctor a month earlier, was sold at a Paris auction for some $4.4 million. The black two-seater was one of just seventeen 57S Atalante Coupes ever made by Bugatti. English orthopaedic surgeon Harold Carr had owned the car since 1955. Carr, who died in 2007, reportedly had kept the rare vehicle parked in his garage since the early 1960's and hadn't driven it in five decades. When the car was built in May 1937, the 57S Atalante Coupe was capable of reaching speeds of more than 120 miles per hour at a time when the average car couldn't do more than 50 miles per hour. It was also notable for its low-slung frame and V-shaped radiator and featured pig-skin upholstery. At the time of the auction, Carr's car was said to be in good condition and had 26,284 miles on its odometer.
1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante CoupeShow Article
Gabon President Omar Bongo, the world's longest-serving president, died at a hospital in Spain. His 42-year rule reflected an era when Africa was ruled by "Big Men." He left behind at least 66 bank accounts. The first family owned 45 homes in France, including at least 14 in Paris and 11 on the French Riviera. And they boasted of 19 or more luxury cars, including a Bugatti sports model that cost the Republic of Gabon $1.5 million.Show Article
Media outlets reported that a rare unrestored 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante Coupe had been found in the garage of a British doctor. A month later, on February 7, the car sold at a Paris auction for some $4.4 million. The black two-seater, one of just 17 57S Atalante Coupes ever made by Bugatti, had been owned by English orthopedic surgeon Harold Carr since 1955. Carr, who died in 2007, reportedly had kept the rare vehicle parked in his garage since the early 1960s and hadn’t driven it in five decades. The car was built in May 1937 and originally owned by Francis Richard Henry Penn Curzon, the 5th Earl Howe. Curzon was also the first president of the British Racing Drivers’ Club and a winner of the 24 Hour Le Mans race. When it was built, the 57S Atalante Coupe was capable of reaching speeds of more than 120 miles per hour at a time when the average car couldn’t do more than 50 miles per hour. It was also notable for its low-slung frame and V-shaped radiator and featured pig-skin upholstery. At the time of the auction, Carr’s car was said to be in good condition and had 26,284 miles on its odometer.
Bugatti Type 57S Atalante CoupeShow Article
One of the most popular exhibits at the opening of the Chicago Auto Show was the new Bugatti Veyron 16.4, a 21st-century, mid-engined super sports car that generated a whopping 1,001 horsepower and $1,487,640 price tag. In voting conducted over the 10-day public run of the show, the Bugatti Veyron was voted “Vehicle I’d most like in my driveway.” Showgoers selected the 2015 Ford Mustang as the “Best All-New Production Vehicle," and the Cadillac Elmirjah hardtop " Best Concept Vehicle."
The Bugatti Chiron, a mid-engined, two-seated sports car, developed and manufactured in Molsheim, France, by Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. as the successor to the Bugatti Veyron, was first shown at the Geneva Motor Show. The car is named in honor of the Monegasque driver Louis Chiron. The Chiron has 1,103 kW (1,500 PS; 1,479 bhp) of power and 1,600 N·m (1,180 lb·ft) of torque starting from 2000 rpm. Like its predecessor, the Veyron, it has a carbon fibre body structure, independent suspension and AWD system. The carbon fibre body has a stiffness of 50,000 Nm per degree. The Chiron will accelerate from 0–97 km/h (60 mph) in under 2.5 seconds according to the manufacturer, 0–200 km/h (120 mph) in under 6.5 seconds and 0–300 km/h (190 mph) in under 13.6 seconds. The Chiron's top speed is electronically limited to 420 km/h (260 mph) for safety reasons. The anticipated full top speed of the Bugatti Chiron is believed to be around 463 km/h (288 mph). Its predecessor (the Bugatti Veyron SS) makes almost 220 kW (300 bhp) less than the new Chiron. The Chiron was an instant success when it was released, with 200 units having been sold before the first delivery of the car. The base price is €2,400,000 ($2,700,000 at the August 2016 exchange rate), and buyers are required to place a €200,000 ($226,000 at the August 2016 exchange rate) deposit on the car before retrieving it.
Bugatti ChironShow Article