Bugatti

Bugatti was founded in Molsheim, France, as a manufacturer of high performance automobiles by Ettore Bugatti, an Italian man described as an eccentric genius who was in conjuctions with Italian sports car manufacturers, Ferrari and Lamborghini.

The original company is legendary for producing some of the most exclusive cars in the world as well as some of the fastest. The original Bugatti brand failed with the coming of World War II, like many high-end marques of the time. The death of Ettore’s son Jean was also a contributory factor. The company struggled financially and released one last model in the 1950s before eventually being purchased for its airplane parts business in the 1960s. Today the name is owned by Volkswagen Group who have revived it as a builder of very limited production sports cars.

Founder Ettore Bugatti was born in Milan, Italy, and the automobile company that bears his name was founded in Molsheim, a town in the Alsace, in those days a part of Germany and after 1919 a region of France. The company was known both for the level of detail of its engineering in its automobiles, and for the artistic way in which the designs were executed, given the artistic nature of Ettore’s family (his father, Carlo Bugatti (18561940), was an important Art Nouveau furniture and jewelry designer). The company also enjoyed great success in early Grand Prix motor racing, winning the first ever Monaco Grand Prix. The company’s success culminated with driver Jean-Pierre Wimille winning the 24 hours of Le Mans twice (in 1937 with Robert Benoist and 1939 with Pierre Veyron)