Little Bits of History

I Feel the Need for Speed

Posted in History by patriciahysell on September 15, 2010

1910 Bugatti

September 15, 1881: Ettore Bugatti is born into an artistic family in Milan, Italy. His father was a furniture and jewelry designer in the Art Nouveau style while his younger brother was a sculptor. Ettore designed cars. Fast cars. Racing cars.

Before he founded his own automobile manufacturing company, Ettore designed engines and chassis for others. Although Italian by birth, Bugatti opened his eponymous car company in 1910 in Mosheim in the Alsace region – now part of France. Bugatti designed the engines and chassis of some of the world’s finest racing cars as well as sleek street machines. His car was the first ever to win the Monaco Grand Prix.

During World War I, Bugatti developed many airplane engine concepts for France. In 1921 at the Voiturettes Grand Prix race in Brescia, Bugatti’s cars took first, second, third, and fourth place. In 1927, Bugatti built the “Royale” which was the most expensive automobile of all time. He sold three. His son was killed in 1939 at the age of 30 while testing a Type 57 race car. This disaster along with the onset of World War II caused the company’s decline.

By the end of the war, Bugatti was out of business. The company has been resurrected twice since that time. In the mid-1950s, Roland Bugatti, Ettore’s son, tried to resurrect the company but even with help from Ferrari’s designer Gioacchino Colombo, the effort was futile. In 1998, the Volkswagen Concern purchased the Bugatti trademark rights. The cars are sleek, beautiful, fast, and expensive. You can buy one for around €1,160,000.

“The best car safety device is a rear-view mirror with a cop in it.” – Dudley Moore

“Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.” – Albert Einstein

“I drive way too fast to worry about cholesterol.” – Unknown

“Walking isn’t a lost art – one must, by some means, get to the garage.” – Evan Esar

Also on this day, in 1916 tanks were first used in battle.

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