Out now: the Autocade Yearbook 2024
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Out now: Autocade Yearbook 2024

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Founded by Milano-born Ettore Bugatti in 1909, and based in Alsace (then part of Germany and, from 1919, France), Bugatti was known for both racing and some of the most exclusive vehicles in the world. The cars themselves were beautifully designed, some equating them to works of art, and they were brilliantly engineered. Of the original Bugattis, only 7,900 were made, by hand, with the Type 35 and Royale (so called because it was only ever sold to royalty) being the company’s most famous.

World War II saw the factory destroyed, while Ettore Bugatti died in 1947. The company exited automobile manufacture in the 1950s and continued producing airplane parts. That business was absorbed into Hispaño-Suiza in 1963.

In 1987, Romano Artioli bought the rights to the Bugatti name and started production of supercars near Modena, but by the time the cars were launched, an economic recession had taken hold and the new Bugatti venture only lasted till 1995. During this time, Artioli had acquired Lotus from GM, which was subsequently sold off. The rights to produce cars under the Bugatti name then fell into Volkswagen hands in 1998, and the marque was successfully reintroduced, again as a maker of very exclusive cars, with a factory in Molsheim, back in the Alsace.


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Out now: Autocade Yearbook 2024