In a further highlight on this year's agenda of centennial celebrations, Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. presented four Bugatti Veyron specials at Villa d'Este Concorso d'Eleganza. These one off models are reminders of Bugatti's glorious motor-racing history which played a central role in popularising and ultimately establishing the myth which the brand continues to enjoy to this day.
Fotos Carros: Bugatti Veyron Centenaire
2000 wins in ten years
The blue racers made their first appearance on the race track at the Grand Prix held by Automobil Club de France in Lyon in 1924. In the decade that followed, they remained practically unchallenged thanks to sophisticated manufacturing efforts, their lightweight design and easy handling. During that ten-year era, they won almost 2000 races, more than any other model ever has. Grand Prix races were highly fashionable events in those days, and Bugatti was not the only brand with considerable interest in substantiating the reputation of its products by winning races. In fact, in the 1920s, Europe was regularly host to a number of different races in different countries on a single weekend. The teams set up by different automobile manufacturers competed at popular race circuits such as Targa Florio, Le Mans, Monza and Spa as well as in Rome, Nice, Antibes and even a village in Alsace.
The main reason Bugatti won such an enormous number of races ¿ on the back of which successes the brand was also able to forge its image ¿ was the fact that Bugatti sold not only its normal sports and touring cars to private buyers, but its racing cars too. Thus it was that its automobiles took part in such a large number of Grand Prix events.
This bestowed upon Ettore Bugatti a double success. He was able on the one hand to sell his racing cars expensively to wealthy private buyers with a keen sporting ambition and, on the other, to capitalise on their successes on international racing circuits ¿ without actually having to make a single investment in these "marketing activities". This stroke of genius by "Le Patron" not only brought him immortal fame, but a substantial fortune as well. A total of 350 legendary Type 35-series automobiles were ultimately built ¿ in a wide variety of versions. Those that survived their racing days, accidents, World War II and all other risks over the years, have become coveted and highly priced collectors' items.