A legendary brand with a strong motorsport pedigree, Bugatti’s story began in 1909. The company quickly became known both for the level of detail of its engineering in its automobiles and for the artistic flair in which the designs were executed. Amongst many examples, rather than bolt the springs to the axles as most manufacturers did, Ettore Bugatti's axles were forged such that the spring passed through a carefully sized opening in the axle, resulting a much more elegant solution requiring fewer parts. According to Bugatti, "weight was the enemy". He famously described his arch competitor Bentley's cars as "the world's fastest lorries" for focusing on durability.
Bugatti enjoyed great success in early Grand Prix motor racing, including victory in the first ever Monaco Grand Prix, the 1926 Grand Prix World Manufacturers’ Championship and winning the Targa Florio for five years consecutively between 1925 and 1929. Bugatti arguably reached their peak between 1937 and 1939, winning Le Mans twice. After this, Bugatti’s fortunes began to change for the worse. Ettore’s son Jean died testing the very car that had won Le Mans only a few weeks later. A few days after that, the Second World War began, in which Ettore was forced to sell his factory to German entrepreneur Hans Trippel. Ettore himself died in 1947.
Ettore’s death proved fatal to the Bugatti marque, which could only manage to survive until 1952. It was revived by Volkswagen in 1998 after a previous attempt in 1987 by Italian entrepreneur Romano Artioli. Backed by the financial muscle of the German powerhouse, Bugatti’s first production car was the legendary 1,001bhp Veyron in 2005. Powered by a 8-litre W16 engine with four turbochargers, the Veyron took the world by storm and between 2005-2007 and 2010-2017, the Veyron was the fastest production car in the world. Bugatti continued to produce the car (in various editions) until 2015. Its successor, the 1500bhp Chiron, is the fastest, most powerful and exclusive production sports car in Bugatti’s history.