THE BUGATTI BROTHERS
Most people know the name Bugatti, but here are some interesting facts behind the name. Sadly, in 1916 Rembrandt Bugatti, a sculptor and younger brother
of Italian auto designer and manufacturer Ettore Bugatti, committed
suicide at the age of 31.
The Bugatti brothers were born in Milan, Italy; Ettore in 1881 and
Rembrandt in 1884. They came from a creative family that included
artists and architects. Their father, Carlo Bugatti, was a successful
furniture and jewelry designer. In 1909, Ettore founded the Bugatti car
company in present-day Molsheim, France; the business became known for
its stylish, high-performance automobiles. During the 1920s and 1930s,
Bugatti made a name for itself in the racing world, taking first place
at the inaugural French Grand Prix at Monaco in 1926 (and going on to
win a number of later Grand Prix races) and claiming victory at the 24
Hours of Le Mans in 1937 and 1939.
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.
In February 2009, a rare unrestored 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante
Coupe that was found in the garage of a British doctor sold at a Paris
auction for some $4.4 million. The black two-seater, one of just 17 57S
Atalante Coupes ever made by Bugatti, had been owned by English
orthopedic surgeon Harold Carr since 1955. The vehicle was built in May
1937 and originally owned by Francis Richard Henry Penn Curzon, the 5th
Earl Howe and the first president of the British Racing Drivers’ Club
and a winner of the 24 Hour Le Mans race. At the time of the auction,
the car was said to be in good condition and had 26,284 miles on its
odometer. When it was built, the 57S Atalante Coupe was capable of
reaching speeds of more than 120 miles per hour at a time when the
average car couldn’t do more than 50 miles per hour.
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.
Clancy's comment: Mm ... I've been fortunate enough to have been in and driven a few Bugatti's, only because friends of mine owned them. However, there always seems to be an element of sadness behind success.
Post a Comment