Ettore Bugatti, the amazing and genius inventor of the world’s fastest and most luxurious cars
Synonymous with luxury, elegance, speed, mechanical and aerodynamic innovation, often described as works of art or “thoroughbreds”, Bugatti cars have always been prized, sought after, admired and desired. A man inseparable from this stylistic and technical saga, Ettore Bugatti.
Born in Milan on September 15, 1881, the son of the famous designer sculptor and jeweler Carlo Bugatti, and the brother of the famous sculptor Rembrandt Bugatti, he was immersed in artistic circles. He studied at the famous Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan, but it was racing cars that fascinated him. He apprenticed by building and racing tricycles. He very quickly designs new ones, develops them and produces his first car at only 19 years old. Chosen by manufacturers for his talent, Ettore Bugatti settled in Alsace and developed his industry there after numerous alliances and collaborations with the Alsatian company De Dietrich. He somehow survived the economic difficulties of the two world wars and the chaos of the 1930s.
A man in the image of a historic factory in Alsace
Cars and a man in the image of the historic factory in Molsheim (Bas-Rhin). A place where we have a gag reflex because it’s exquisite and still greet any car buyer. A private salon, a place for design, production, reception… A must for those who want to “understand the work of Ettore Bugatti”, explained in one article. Paris evening In 1929.
“You must have visited the Molsheim factory, which cannot be compared to any other factory in the world,” the newspaper assures. The harmony that guides its creation, the mood that reigns there, and where we at least feel the intervention of the “boss”, his search for order, meticulous cleanliness, extreme mechanical precision. In short, probity has been pushed to the highest point. »
He is not yet 20 years old when he is mentioned in the press. Whom Gazzetta dello Sport In 1921, as the newspaper reported in 1923 Economic and financial information. It is written that it is already “widely recognized in the automotive world”. The curious, he adds, “studied all the different types of engines, analyzed them, noted their flaws, envisioned changes, envisioned a perfect car.” Newspaper. But it was the Bugatti Type 35 that celebrated its first commercial success at the turn of the 20th century, also in competition with a racing car with 2,000 wins. He sells the car to wealthy private racers. He is the only one who can run on the circuit or on the road. With this, he embarks on a car adventure. Even today, in the disappearing ranks of the Chiron or Veyron, we still feel the beat of Ettore Bugatti, his son Genie, who was also his partner before he died in a tragic accident. . The sobriety of the line, the precision of the curves, the mechanical precision remain.
Passionate about speed, he lived with the times, but he was always concerned about the future and a certain way of life. Interestingly, for example, in 1931 he created an electric car, the Type 56, a two-seater coupe originally intended only for driving around the factory premises and his home. The model he finished production at the insistence of his customers. “Am I a genius mechanic because he didn’t study mechanics? gallic In June 1927. Is he considered one of the best balanced minds animating the industry today just because he appears to be a pure hobbyist driven by his own imagination and constant search for originality? »
He was visionary, but also demanding: when an everyday object did not suit him, he improved or fixed it. “A technical product was perfect only when it was aesthetically perfect,” Bugatti reminds the house on its website. So, he built a spaghetti-making machine with a steering wheel, created custom table service layouts, and had his own cutlery made with his initials EB. He also designed surgical instruments, five-toed shoes, a chicken coop on wheels, “automatic door handles, a walking stick with an advanced system” for a professor friend at a Strasbourg hospital, the newspaper detailed. DawnAugust 23, 1947.
“At first glance, this man is a constant paradox, because he puts art in the materiality of things, realizes the idea born from his dream with optical precision,” he analyzes. gallic. The editor of the article, Georges Bruni, emphasizes Ettore Bugatti’s “beautiful sense of the possible”, “a surprising power of anticipation”: “He finds without looking. Guesses before checking. He has the status of matter, its virtues and weaknesses. »
This genius inventor and builder keeps the dream alive even today. After his death on August 21, 1947 at the age of 66, late Frenchman Ettore Bugatti left a legendary mark with over a thousand patents for inventions. According to the newspaper, the trail in the car legend that reminds Dawn another legend of Henry Ford in a chronicle published the day after his death: “Both of them were not content with signing their cars, and their activities extended far beyond the automotive field. They invented everything. Inventions yes, but always with style.