Being successful in the car manufacturing world can be difficult, with a lot of marques going out of business. Bugatti is an example of a manufacturer that has had varying levels of success over the years, going out of business and then being revived. They’ve produced some amazing models, such as the Royale and Veyron. We’re including a five interesting facts that you might not have known about Bugatti.
Bugatti’s first car was a major success
Bugatti released its first car, the Type 13, in 1910, to a great reception. It came with a 1.4-litre engine that produced 30 hp. It had a long, elegant design that made it stand out on the road. Not only did it take second place at the 1911 Le Mans, it became the first of the pur-sang (thoroughbred) cars that Ettore Bugatti became famous for designing. The Type 13 created a formula for success that the company applied to future models.
A family of artists
Members of the Bugatti family were artistically gifted, with Ettore approaching car design with a keen eye for detail. His brother, Rembrandt, was also a famous artist who created ornaments and sculptures. One of the most famous examples of his work was a dancing elephant used on the bonnet of the Bugatti Royale.
The Veyron was named after a famous racer
As one of the most famous Bugatti cars, the Veyron has a history that stretches back to a racer. Pierre Veyron was a motorsport participant and test driver for the company. Ettore’s son, Jean Bugatti hired Veyron in 1932. He won many races, including the 1933 and 1934 Berlin Avus contests by driving a Bugatti Type 51A. An important victory occurred in 1939 when Veyron won the 24 Hours of Le Mans alongside fellow driver Jean-Pierre Wimille.
Bugatti also manufactured planes
As Bugatti prided itself on producing top-notch racing vehicles, they expanded into the aeronautical sector in the 1930s. The company designed a plane called the Bugatti 100P in an attempt to compete with the Germans for the Deutsch de la Meurthe prize. Although things got off to a promising start, the plane never flew.
Ralph Lauren owns one of two remaining Bugattis
One of the rarest Bugattis in the world is the Atlantic, as only two are left in existence. Fashion icon Ralph Lauren has an Atlantic in his collection and he’s described it as “the most beautiful car in the world.” The motor is made of a magnesium and aluminium alloy called Elecktron, which has been incorporated into an aerodynamic design.
Bugatti built railcars
In addition to manufacturing cars, Bugatti also produced railcars. In 1933, Ettore designed one of the earliest examples of a high-speed railway system, with the Autorail Bugatti being tested in France. Bugatti railcars were light, fast and comfortable to travel in. Bugatti incorporated the Royale engine into the railcars, with a total of 85 being produced.