Saturday, March 12, 2016

Jean Bugatti

  • The car was especially designed for Dr. Armand Esders, a clothing manufacturer, who ordered a car without any headlights as this would impair the beautiful design. He had, as he said, no plans to drive after sunset anyhow.
  • Bugatti even refused to sell one to King Zog of Albania, claiming that "the man's table manners are beyond belief!"
  • Only six were made; today, one might be worth in excess of $40 million.

Jean Bugatti with the Bugatti Royale ‘Esders’ Roadster - 1932

Ettore Bugatti’s son, Jean, was a talented car designer who worked with his father. He died in 1939 at the age of 30 while testing a Type 57 car. Ettore Bugatti died on August 21, 1947, and was buried in the Bugatti family plot in Dorlisheim, France, near his brother Rembrandt and his son Jean. The Bugatti company had experienced difficulties during World War II and after Ettore’s death, the business went into decline and was sold.

In the late 1990s, Volkswagen purchased the Bugatti name and incorporated Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S., basing the new company once again in Molsheim. In 2004, the company began production of the Bugatti Veyron, a super sports car that carried a price tag of over $1 million and was capable of reaching speeds of around 250 miles per hour, making it one of the world’s fastest production cars.

Like Bugatti automobiles, Rembrandt Bugatti’s sculptures are sought out today among art collectors. He was best known for his sculptures of animals; a replica of a dancing elephant he designed was featured as a hood ornament on a 1920s Bugatti Royale auto. At the time of his suicide in 1916, Rembrandt Bugatti was reportedly experiencing financial troubles and suffering from a depression spurred on by the events he’d witnessed as a volunteer paramedic aide during World War I.

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