Born in the west of the 19th century, Ettore Bugatti recorded an epic unlike any other. The son of a famous art furniture maker in Milan, Ettore took “free” design lessons. In the family atelier he polished his innate ability to distinguish the “beautiful and the well-made”, while cultivating an incredible freedom of spirit.
Curious about everything, he was quickly seduced by engineering, motorcycles and horse-drawn carriages. After his classical studies, he left the family environment to get a job as an apprentice in a workshop. There he acquired incomparable dexterity in his hands, while his intense observation allowed him to overcome his almost complete ignorance in technical knowledge.
Since then, artist and engineer in the person of Bugatti have become one. As a result, Ettore’s entire life would be plagued by two obsessions: authenticity and aesthetics. The first would lead him to frightening technical impasses, while the second would make him ignore the concept of efficiency and profitability. Early recognition for his early creations merely confirmed Ettore’s determination and natural self-confidence.
In a short time he began to suffocate working for manufacturers without imagination and vision, and with the support of a financier he founded in 1910 his own company in Alsace, in Molsheim. His studio was not just a craft / car industry, but an operating environment from another era. A manor where he reigned as a feudal lord. Elitist, proud, with a dose of intellectual arrogance, he was the “boss”.
Soon, his car victories at the world’s biggest races brought him money and fame. And socializing with the greats of this world. But then the wind stopped being strong. The Bugatti 35 with its two thousand victories was exhausted and the Great Crash of 1929 crushed the almost delusional Type 41, also called the Royale.
And as if that were not enough, Jean Bugatti, just as creative as his father, who was trying to get the company out of a one-dimensional, high-paying avant-garde course, was killed in a car crash in August 1939. A few days later war broke out. Bugatti, forced into exile, would never return to Molsheim, as Alsace was annexed to Germany by the occupiers.
In 1947, with a court decision, his property was returned again. Exhausted and ill from the long court process, he was defeated by a stroke and died a few weeks later.
The dates stations
1881 Ettore Bugatti is born on September 15 in Milan
1899 The first car, the Type 1
1910 Automobiles Ettore Bugatti is founded
1935 The Bugatti 35 dominates the Grand Prix
1937 and 1939 Victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans
[1945Last victory of a Bugatti in a race
1947 Ettore Bugatti dies in Paris on August 21