APR 17th 2015

Techno Classica Gallery: Three Extraordinary Bugattis

As we’ve mentioned already, Techno Classica is big. Really, really big. It’s really popular, too. This presents quite a challenge for us trying to bring you the best stuff on offer, because when we see something achingly cool it is invariably surrounded by a hungry group of show-goers which makes photography difficult to say the least.

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Imagine our fevered glee then, when we wandered into one of the myriad of halls to find these three Bugattis line-astern, without too much of a crowd around them, just begging to be snapped. Our man behind the lens, Tom Shaxson, wasted no time and grabbed these stunning images.

So, in ascending order, starting with the earliest we have a Type 57C ‘Stelvio’ with cabriolet bodywork by Gangloff. Somewhat surprisingly, as many as 680 of these were built, and this was the only Bugatti created by Jean Bugatti. As you might guess from the body style, the idea was for the car to provide a challenge to the likes of Mercedes and Bentley. 

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Through a combination of fractured English and our downright broken German, we managed to establish with the people from Bugatti that this is one of the later examples which had the engine mounted on flexible arms as opposed to being bolted straight to the chassis rails. It’s gorgeous, and we don’t think we’re courting controversy by claiming it to be better looking than the Bugatti parked in front of it, although it’s a bit down on power by comparison…

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The story behind the EB110 Super Sport began in 1987 with the acquisition of the Bugatti brand licence by a Ferrari dealer called Romano Artioli, although we’re told that Ferrucio Lamborghini was also involved. The ‘110’ moniker was to celebrate Ettore Bugatti’s 110th birthday, and the car was the first to bear the Bugatti name since 1956. The numbers behind the car are mind-boggling. 611bhp is delivered at 8,250rpm from a V12 motor with five valves per cylinder (that’ll be sixty in total, then) and four turbos. Sounds impressive, until we come to the next car to bear the famous name.

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As a ‘Grand Sport Vitesse’ this is the Bugatti Veyron for which the standard car’s 1000bhp was deemed to be simply not enough. So Volkswagen, who’d bought the rights to build Bugattis in 1998, thought that 1200bhp should do the trick. The resulting top speed is apparently in the 255mph region, although trying to attempt this with the top removed might be a tad draughty. Bugatti were very keen to point out to us that this car is for sale, although their enthusiasm waned somewhat when we asked (with a dead-straight face) for a test drive. You have to try, don’t you?    

Lined up together and noting the quantum leap in technology and performance from one car to the other, we had fun mulling over what will bear the badge next. What are the odds that you’ll need to get clearance from MI6 before each time you start it up?

Photography: Tom Shaxson

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