When Bugatti unveiled its latest icon – the W16 Mistral – to the world at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering during Monterey Car Week 2022, timeless models from the French luxury brand’s rich history once again proved their desirability. eternal. Sleek and powerful pre-war Bugattis lined the lawns of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, and cars with the famous “macaron,” revered by car connoisseurs the world over, set auction records.
The Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is the most prestigious event of its kind, bringing together only the most extraordinary cars on the planet, judged for their originality and condition by a panel of extremely experienced automotive experts. This year, a line-up of seven Bugattis played a leading role in the gathering on the links of the Pebble Beach golf course.
Perhaps the most spectacular of all was the Bugatti Type 57G “Tank”, the only surviving example. This car won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1937, but also set several long-standing speed records, including an average of over 200 km/h over 24 hours. During the Second World War it was stored in Bordeaux before being restored by the factory, and then underwent a sympathetic and careful full restoration after the sale to a new owner in 1968.
Also at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, as part of a special celebration of the internationally renowned Swiss coachbuilder Graber, two extraordinary examples of the Bugatti Type 57 were presented: the 1934 Graber Roadster and the 1936 Graber Cabriolet. The first is a unique example on genuine two-seater bodywork on Bugatti Type 57 chassis, and would have been the first Type 57 bodywork by Graber. It has particularly light and flowing fender lines, accentuated by a low rear deck and discreet chrome trim.
Elsewhere at the event, visitors were treated to an appearance by one of the finest examples of automotive design of all time, the Bugatti Type 57C Atalante. A development of the supercharged Type 57 – or ‘Compresseur’, hence the ‘C’ – this two-tone Bugatti was originally delivered to a collector in France, but with the start of the war the car was quickly sent to be hidden. First appearing in 1950, it was acquired by Bugatti collector Paul Pittorino and has been maintained by a number of keen collectors ever since.
A particularly rare example of the Bugatti Type 38, of which only 54 were built, the supercharged Type 38A was runner-up in the European Classic Early Open category. These supercharged versions of the Type 38 had a slightly extended bonnet, increased brake diameter and various other subtle improvements. Powered by a 2.0-litre 8-cylinder engine, with a 4-speed manual gearbox, the Type 38 on display was the first Bugatti to be coached by renowned coachbuilder Giuseppe Figoni, eight years before he created the legendary coachbuilder Figoni and Falaschi. Next to it, in the same class, was a Bugatti Type 43A Grand Sport, the penultimate 43A ever built.
At the official Bugatti “Le Domaine” stand, the Chiron Super Sport, Chiron Pur Sport and Chiron were presented along with the latest news: the W16 Mistral roadster, which had been revealed at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering two days before.
While these Bugattis captivated visitors to the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, a number of other rare and historic Bugattis set record auction prices due to unprecedented demand.
At the Gooding & Company Pebble Beach auction, an extremely desirable Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante – one of only two fitted with a factory supercharger – fetched a price of $9,400,000 without premiums or taxes, making it the most valuable lot of the set. sale, and the second most valuable sold at auction during Monterey Car Week. This Atalante has several unique features, including its large Scintilla headlights, which give the car an exquisitely elegant appearance.
A more modern era of Bugatti was represented by the EB110 Super Sport, which achieved a record price for the model, selling for $2,850,000 without premiums or taxes. Only 140 examples of the EB110 were completed, and only 39 of these were Super Sport models, making them extremely rare and desirable. Bugatti engineers have taken the brilliant performance of the EB110 GT and improved it further by fitting a new ECU along with larger injectors and a less restrictive exhaust system to increase output from 53bhp to 603bhp. . The car’s weight was also reduced by 150 kg.
While these Bugatti icons fascinated collectors worldwide, Molsheim’s latest icon continued to garner attention following its unveiling at The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering. The new Bugatti W16 Mistral is the latest of its kind. The ultimate roadster and the last road-going Bugatti with the legendary W16 8.0-litre quad-turbo engine that has powered every model since the Veyron in 2005. It was revealed by Bugatti Rimac CEO Mate Rimac, at Bugatti stands alongside an example of The W16 drive unit.
Powered by the definitive iteration of this ground-breaking engine, the 1,600bhp unit first introduced in the Chiron Super Sport 300+, the latest Bugatti roadster draws inspiration from a host of elegant Bugatti roof models. The car’s bespoke design evolved from the 1934 Bugatti Type 57 Roadster Grand Raid, a sporty roadster that represented the pinnacle of automotive elegance.
The interior features finely woven leather on newly designed door panels. The material is carefully tested and produced to exemplary Bugatti quality standards, with a vision of regular use for over a hundred years into the future.
And as a nod to the W16 Mistral’s famous forebears, the gear lever – made from a solid block of aluminum – has a touch of wood and a groove insert with Rembrandt’s famous ‘dancing elephant’ carving. Bugatti locked up. Repetitions of this sculpture graced the hood of the legendary Type 41 Royale; the most luxurious roadster ever created.
Even before it was revealed to the world for the first time, the 99 examples of the W16 Mistral – priced at €5 million (net) each – had already been hailed by passionate collectors. As always, Monterey Car Week revealed that Ettore Bugatti’s brilliant creations, or those inspired by his vision, continue to capture the world’s attention.