Bugatti Centenaire Revealed at Concorso d'Eléganza Villa d'Este 2009

Bugatti Veyron Centenaire Edition
Bugatti Veyron Centenaire Edition

Special-edition Veyron Centenaires displayed alongside classic Type 35 racers

Bugatti made headlines this week with a once-in-a-lifetime display at the Villa d'Este Concorso d'Eleganza in Cernobbio, Italy, this weekend. The company unveiled four one-off Centenaire Edition Veyrons and displayed them alongside the classic Type 35 racers that inspired them. The first public showing of the Centenaire was just the latest event of Bugatti's 100th anniversary celebrations this year.

The four unique Centenaire Edition Veyrons on display are named after four of Bugatti's race drivers from the 1920s and 1930s, and each is painted in the livery of that driver's home country. The blue car is named for Jean-Pierre Wimille (France), the red for Achille Varzi (Italy), the green for Sir Malcolm Campbell (England) and the white represents Hermann zu Leiningen (Germany). The Veyrons have been carefully color-matched to the classic cars, inside and out. They are also distinguished by polished aluminum fenders and doors, a mirror-finished grille and red brake calipers are visible through the new wheels.

The next event in Bugatti's centennial celebration is the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in California. Following that event, the company has planned an event in Molsheim, Bugatti's home, on 12 September.

See press release below for historic details.

Source: Bugatti

100 years of Bugatti at Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este

Bugatti Automobiles Pays Homage with four special Veyron models to Ettore Bugatti's Masterpiece: The Type 35 Grand Prix

Molsheim/Cernobbio on 26 April 2009 - In a further highlight on this year's agenda of centennialcelebrations, Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. presented four Bugatti Veyron specials at Villa d'Este Concorso d'Eleganza. These one off models are reminders of Bugatti's glorious motor-racinghistory which played a central role in popularising and ultimately establishing the myth which the brand continues to enjoy to this day.

The Bugatti brand is almost inextricably linked to the Type 35. The Type 35 Grand Prix was by far themost successful racing model. The unmistakable radiator grille and eight-spoke aluminium wheels of the Type 35 have become defining features of the Bugatti automobile. In its day, the Grand Prix was also well ahead of its time in terms of engineering ingenuity. The front axle design of this vehicle, which, for reasons of weight minimisation, is hollow, is a true masterpiece of workmanship and was deemed nothing less than revolutionary. Its springs were passed through the axle to produce a high level of stability. The Grand Prix's brake drums were integrally fitted into its lightweight aluminium wheels. Unfastening the central wheel nut allowed the wheel to be easily removed within a matter of seconds and the brake to be exposed. This was a crucial advantage at the pit stop.

2000 wins in ten years

The blue racers made their first appearance on the race track at the Grand Prix held by Automobil Club de France in Lyon in 1924. In the decade that followed, they remained practically unchallenged thanks to sophisticated manufacturing efforts, their lightweight design and easy handling. During that ten-year era, they won almost 2000 races - more than any other model ever has. Grand Prix races were highly fashionable events in those days, and Bugatti was not the only brand with considerable interest in substantiating the reputation of its products by winning races. In fact, in the 1920s, Europe was regularly host to a number of different races in different countries on a single weekend. The teams set up by different automobile manufacturers competed at popular race circuits such as Targa Florio, Le Mans, Monza and Spa as well as in Rome, Nice, Antibes and even a village in Alsace.

The main reason Bugatti won such an enormous number of races - on the back of which successes the rand was also able to forge its image - was the fact that Bugatti sold not only its normal sports and touring cars to private buyers, but its racing cars too. Thus it was that its automobiles took part in such a large number of Grand Prix events.

This bestowed upon Ettore Bugatti a double success. He was able on the one hand to sell his racing cars expensively to wealthy private buyers with a keen sporting ambition and, on the other, to capitalise on their successes on international racing circuits - without actually having to make a single investment in  these "marketing activities". This stroke of genius by "Le Patron" not only brought him immortal fame, but a substantial fortune as well. A total of 350 legendary Type 35-series automobiles were ultimately built - in a wide variety of versions. Those that survived their racing days, accidents, World War II and all other risks over the years, have become coveted and highly priced collectors' items.

Four Type 35 Grand Prix models - Four distinct personalities - Four Veyrons

Tradition being what it is, the Bugatti Veyron Specials built to mark the 100th anniversary of the brand feature the racing colours of the respective countries: blue for France, red for Italy, green for England and white for Germany. Each of the four new Veyrons has a specific "predecessor" in the form of an original Grand Prix Bugatti on which it was modelled. These four historic race cars represent the generation of legendary Bugatti Grand Prix racers which were piloted by world-famous race-car drivers and which scored countless racing victories in the 1920s and ‘30s. Each of the four Veyron Specials is named after a Bugatti race-car driver of the 1920s and 30s. Jean-Pierre Wimille has given the blue Veyron its name, Achille Varzi the red one, Malcolm Campbell the green one and Hermann zu Leiningen the white Veyron.

Jean-Pierre Wimille was one of the longest-serving drivers at Bugatti. He only joined the team in Molsheim in 1933, but subsequently remained loyal to the brand, ultimately driving home Bugatti's last-ever victory in 1947 at Bois de Boulogne in a 4.7-litre Monoposto Type 59/50 B. Wimille's many previous successes included winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1937 and 1939. Achille Varzi was a member of the official Bugatti team from 1931 to 1933. He had already achieved many successes since  1928 driving a private Type 35 C, then later went on to win the Monaco Grand Prix, an event on Berlin's Avus circuit and other races. As the setter of numerous world records for speed, the name Malcolm Campbell is firmly established in racing history. He also competed in countless "normal" races from 1911 and 1936, often piloting a Bugatti Type 39 A or Type 35, and he owned one of the legendary Type 57 S street sports cars. Prinz Hermann zu Leiningen's career driving Bugattis began in 1927 when he purchased a Type 40 chassis, for which he had a racing body built. He went on to win a number or races in a privately owned Type 37 A before eventually standing in the spotlight of the international racing scene in a 35 C for several years from 1930 onward.

"We have put a lot of effort into translating colour and material, the defining characteristics of our historic role models, into the designs of the modern-day Veyrons," explains Alasdair Stewart, Director Sales & Marketing at Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. "We have taken extreme care to match the original colours of the original race cars, exterior and interior"

On Sunday, the four historic racing Type 35s and the four modern-day Centenaire EditionVeyrons will be exhibited alongside each other in the park of Villa Erba for the first and only time.

Ahead of that presentation, Bugatti will on Saturday be prominently represented in the park of Villa d'Este by a special-display-class exhibition of models, which will serve to portray the 100-year history of the brand. Bugatti's participation in the classic Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este at Lake Como will  be the second highlight event to mark the carmaker's centennial celebrations after it took part in the International Geneva Motor Show in early March. This latest event will be followed by the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in California in mid-August and the main celebratory event on 12 September in Molsheim (Alsace), which has been the home of this unparalleled automobile brand for 100 years.


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Comments (16)

Vlad Vlad
How about a Chromed Mask to go with the next special edition???
Apr 29th, 2009 3:47am
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Vlad Vlad
Waiting for the next special edition which is due sometime soon!!! Bring it on!
Apr 29th, 2009 3:46am
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Geefiasco Geefiasco
Boo-gatti Bloou!
Apr 28th, 2009 5:58am
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N20_Purge N20_Purge
Wow, a scratch is the last thing you would want on the chrome beauties!
Apr 28th, 2009 5:48am
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muhaidib muhaidib
I call the green one :P ShinyG,,, I think the people who can buy those won't care that their money went from $30,000,000,000 to $25,000,000,000.... you know,,, buying one of those will only drop them to $24,995,000,000 (assuming a 5mil price tag) in fact the guy could buy all of them and still have $24,980,000,000
Apr 28th, 2009 5:26am
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scratchy996 scratchy996
i like how people whine about the price of hypercars. they can't even grasp that there are people in the world who buy cars, planes, yachts, houses and do not even know and care about the price, that's why they have accountants for :)
Apr 28th, 2009 7:03am
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zdenda20 zdenda20
well, theres not that many people around anymore...half of the russian billionaires disappeared in this crisis and most of the super rich people have assets, but you cant actually buy anything with that...sure, they have a couple mill in the bank, but most of the value they have is in stocks of their companies...
Apr 28th, 2009 5:17pm
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radmeister radmeister
In 2007 the US had 292 billionairs...Im guessing that $ went up. In economic crisis times the rich always get richer. With severe drops in property values and the near collapse of companies and the dollar remaining strong it's like a super sale for the super rich right now.
Apr 29th, 2009 1:17am
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scratchy996 scratchy996
@ zdenda20, money circulates , it doesn't disappear. besides , after every depression comes a boom , it's how the economy works. funny thing is that i see a lot more luxury cars in Eastern Europe since the crisis started. you shouldn't worry about the Russian billionaires, most of their wealth isn't declared anyway :)
Apr 29th, 2009 6:19am
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muhaidib muhaidib
What about the middle east? Especially the Gulf region,,, Saudi Arabia has the most number of Bugattis in the world, 9 Bugattis, I personally saw one and the others rarely exit their owners' garages... There are still many people in this world who can easily afford these cars,,, you just don't know them
Apr 29th, 2009 11:21am
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ShinyG ShinyG
All these anniversary versions scream "please buy our useless car, please, please, please! we're dying here in the recession!"
Apr 28th, 2009 5:21am
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scratchy996 scratchy996
actually VW loses money with every Veyron they sell, they don't sell them for profit.
Apr 28th, 2009 6:39am
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radmeister radmeister
That's a common misconception about the Veyron, they were losing $ on their original 50 as the R&D costs along with tooling and factory were incorporated into each unit and of course the cost of the car itself. Now at over 300 units sold they have paid off their R&D, tooling, and factory, i'm sure they are making profit. Also, a car like this needs special editions. One must understand how the rich think, they are always in competition, the Veyron is the BEST hypercar on the market so a rival rich man can't get the same car, he will get a more special edition than his neighbour. It's a vicious circle, and Bugatti know what they are doing.
Apr 29th, 2009 1:24am
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Anthropos Anthropos
Somthing chrome, something blue Something old, something new! ...I like the blue, but the silver grills look cheap, I'd much rather have them in black
Apr 28th, 2009 3:19am
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muhaidib muhaidib
haha,,, nice one :P,,, you're gonna need a huge diamond if you're gonna marry one of those hehe ;)
Apr 28th, 2009 5:27am
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dmanero dmanero
Now the burgandy one looks hot. suprisingly the polished metal look, actually looks good.
Apr 28th, 2009 3:05am
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