When someone says the word “Bugatti,” it elicits visions of insane speed, massive engines, unmatched styling, and, of course, the ever-famous, every-high Bugatti price. But the name comes from a family of prodigious talent across multiple generations and genres, and from the talent of a young Italian man named Ettore. Born in 1881, Ettore built his first car at the age of 19, with construction so remarkable he won international recognition.
He worked for various manufacturers before beginning production on his own line of cars in 1909. The first automobiles to carry his family name were the Bugatti T13s, an extremely lightweight car. Bugattis were constructed at an old dyeworks factory in Molsheim, France, with model after model gaining prestige and recognition for the quality of design and racing abilities. Sadly, in 1939, Ettore was forced by Nazi occupiers to sell his Molsheim plant not long after his son Jean was killed while test-driving the Type 57.
Ettore attempted to revive the brand and took one victory at Le Mans after the war ended, but the marque’s decline officially began after he passed away in 1947.
After decades of little-to-no activity, an Italian entrepreneur bought the Bugatti company in 1987, creating Bugatti Automobili SpA, and soon after, the EB110 was created. Bugatti was back, and ready to grow.
Volkswagen AG acquired the brand in 1997, and seven years later the Veyron was alive. Its first regular production car, the Bugatti Veyron was available for sale September of 2005. Today the brand is exclusively available, with only 11 Bugatti dealerships in the United States.