“The national day on July 14 is something truly special to our French employees and to me personally,” said Bugatti’s President Stephan Winkelmann. “This is why we want to commemorate it this year with an exceptional tricolore.”
The company was founded back in 1909 by Ettore Bugatti, who chose Molsheim, in Alsace, as their official home. The first car produced there was the Type 13, and they became known in the world of motorsport for their lightweight sports models, like the Type 35.
From 1920 to 1935, the automaker made a name for itself by taking part in numerous international races, and winning many of them. Vehicles such as the Type 30, Type 38, Type 44, and Type 49, were appreciated by connoisseurs for their design and eight-cylinder engines.
With a length of 6.4 meters (252 in) and a 4.3-meter (169 in) long wheelbase, the Type 41 Royale became the longest and most luxurious vehicle in the world when it came out in 1926.
Ettore was particularly fond of France, and opened the first showroom in the heart of Paris. He used to constantly travel to the capital, and besides designing cars, engines, and airplanes, he also signed boats, trains, and even surgical tools.
Following his death on August 21, 1947, Bugatti’s operations ceased, only to be resurrected in the 1960s by Hans and Fritz Schlumpf. The brothers had manage to set up the biggest Bugatti collection, thus preserving the brand and its legendary status. Subsequent to their insolvency, the French state took over the collection and opened a museum that exhibits 400 extremely rare vehicles, including around 100 Bugattis.
The company was again brought back to life by Romano Artioli, in the late 1980s, and took the automotive realm by storm with the EB 110 in the 1990s. Bugatti returned to Molsheim a few years later and started shaping up to become the brand that we all know today, carrying Ettore’s legacy into the 21st century and beyond.