Honoring a company with a centuries-old history is a reason to be proud. That is the case of Bugatti, which has decided to celebrate its 105-year history of automotive greatness with a tribute dubbed “The Legends of Bugatti”. This is a special-edition series based on the Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse, which pays homage to relevant facts and heroes from the glory years of the automobile company founded by Ettore Bugatti in 1909.
The first of the legends is the Bugatti Veyron “Jean-Pierre Wimille” presented last summer at the Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach, California, to mark the 90th anniversary of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The object of this tribute was Jean-Pierre Wimille, the Frenchman who managed two wins in the legendary Gallic resistance test. He did it first with a Bugatti 57G in 1937 and later in 1939 with a 57C. But this special edition is inspired in the 57G, whose carbon fiber finishing shows the iconic blue of the historic French racecars.
Bugatti Veyron «Jean-Pierre Wimille».
The second legend, based on the 1,200 hp convertible is the Bugatti Veyron “Jean Bugatti”, which was presented at the latest edition of the Frankfurt Motor Show, in Germany. This is a tribute to the founder’s firstborn, Jean Bugatti, and especially to one of its most valued jewels: the Bugatti Type 57 Atlantic, of which only four units were manufactured. At present only two survive, putting them among the most coveted in the classic car market. The owners of these gems are the designer Ralph Lauren and the billionaire car collector Peter Mullin.
Bugatti Veyron «Jean Bugatti».
The third legend is the Bugatti Veyron “Meo Costantini”, first shown at the Dubai Motor Show in the United Arab Emirates in November 2013. This time the reason was more personal than meritorious, because it was a tribute to Meo Costantini, a close friend of Ettore Bugatti. This special issue stands out for its looks, with aluminum in certain parts of the car—such as the sides and the doors— in marked contrast with the blue carbon fiber.
Bugatti Veyron «Meo Costantini».
More recently, during the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, the brand introduced its fourth legend: the Bugatti Veyron “Rembrandt Bugatti,” a tribute to Ettore`s younger brother, the celebrated sculptor Rembrandt Bugatti, whose work Dancing Elephant was adopted as a symbol of the mythical Bugatti Type 41 Royale. Since copper is one of the materials most used by the artist in his works, Bugatti decided to use brown tones in the carbon fiber bodywork of this special edition.
Bugatti Veyron «Rembrandt Bugatti».
Finally, just a few weeks ago, the fifth legend was presented at the Beijing Motor Show: the Bugatti Veyron “Black Bess”, a car that pays homage to the Type 18, of which only seven units were manufactured between 1912 and 1914, and which became a myth in the competition circuits of the time. But it was on the climb up Mont Venoux, in southeastern France, where the vehicle made history with Ettore Bugatti behind the wheel, the Type 18 won the test, impressing the pioneering aviator Rolland Garros, who bought one of the seven units, one of the three that still remain. The Bugatti Veyron “Black Bess” is also built on a carbon fiber body painted black and adorned with 24K gold details.
Bugatti Veyron «Black Bess».
But there is still another Bugatti legend to be revealed, and it is expected to be a very special tribute. Like the rest of the legends (all sold), its production shall be limited to three units, and the estimated cost of each will exceed $2.7 million. ■