The fabulous Bugatti cars

Now, what’s really that special about Bugatti cars?

The history of the automobile's general development is full of pioneers who devised the many small steps and the fewer major leaps in developing the mechanical components. Technicians and engineers were then – as now - typically specialists in one or more fields of engine technology, transmission, braking, suspension, bodywork and so on.

Ettore Bugatti, on the contrary, was a creative and artistically influenced multi-genius, who preferably followed his own ways. Bugatti constantly had ideas about how to improve the technical solutions and thanks to his unique perception and understanding of form and function, he quickly penned down his ideas in small sketches. Through skilled employees, the sketches were then the basis for later technical drawings and final production.

An early masterpiece among Ettore Bugatti's car constructions was the prototype - Type 10 - which he designed and built himself in every detail during 1908 - 09. The car was an exceptionally beautiful piece of fine mechanical craftsmanship as well as an excellent state-of-the-art construction. Bugatti kept the little two-passenger wonder of a car for the rest of his life. It still exists, now in the United States.

Bugattis engines had - in addition to their clean design and high quality - some typical common features right from the first car built in Molsheim in 1910 and until the last ones left the factory in the late 1930s:

  • cylinder block designed as 'monobloc', i.e. without a removable cylinder head
  • valves activated by one or two overhead camshafts, often with multiple valves per cylinder
  • widespread use of aluminium, primarily in the cast crankcase and camshaft housings.

Ettore Bugatti utilized throughout his professional career a simple and continuous numbering system for his projects, - cars as well as other types of design. There is not complete clarity on all numbers, but the following list includes most of the well-known Bugatti car types from the Molsheim period.

Read about a selection of Bugatti types HERE>