French automobile designer and manufacturer, Ettore Arco Isidoro Bugatti, who is best remembered as the founder and proprietor of the automobile manufacturing company Automobiles E. Bugatti, passed away on August 21, 1947. Born to an artistic family on September 15, 1881, Ettore, first created the Bugatti Type 1 in 1898 with Prinetti & Stucchi and in 1901 with the help of his father, developed a second prototype which was a prize-winning exhibit at the Milan Trade Fair. While Bugatti's design also caught the eye of Baron de Dietrich who offered Bugatti the opportunity to come and design automobiles at his car factory in Niederbronn, he left the company after he met Émile Mathis in 1904 in order to produce automobiles of their own, which were identified with the name "Mathis-Hermes (Licence Bugatti), an association that lasted till 1906. Bugatti established his eponymous automobile company, Automobiles E. Bugatti, in 1909 in the then German town of Molsheim in the Alsace region of what is now France.
Known for one of the fastest, most luxurious, and technologically advanced road cars of its day, a Bugatti was driven to victory in the first Monaco Grand Prix.
While the fortune of the family and the company dwindled after the death of Ettore Bugatti's son Jean Bugatti in 1939, the pioneer entrepreneur left behind a legacy of 8,000 cars and was subsequently purchased for aeroplane parts, an Italian entrepreneur revived it as a builder of limited production exclusive sports cars in the 1990s and today, the name is owned by the Volkswagen Group.
Over the years, Bugatti went on to produce several cars. Here’s listing some of the most notable vehicles the brand put forward during its heyday, before its decline with the death of Ettore Bugatti’s son Jean Bugatti.
De Dietrich-Bugatti: The Type 2 was a prototype built by Ettore Bugatti in 1901 and won an award at the Milan Trade Fair. This would go on to prompt his journey and fame in the world of automobiles. The car was followed by the Type 3 and Type 4, 100 of which were produced from 1902 to 1904 and in 1904, Ettore went on to design Hermes or Type 5.
Bugatti Type 35: Perhaps the most successful Bugatti racing models, it went on to win over 1,000 races in its time. Famed for its arch-shaped radiator, it would win 14 races per week.
Bugatti Royale: The Bugatti Type 41, better known as the Royale, is a large luxury car built from 1927 to 1933 and had only three of seven made sold. The car, built for royalty, found no takers during the Great Depression. Notably, the Royale is one of the largest cars ever built in the world.
Bugatti Type 57: Designed by Jean Bugatti, Ettore's son, it was a completely new car and was built from 1934 to 1940. The car had two basic variants, the original Type 57 and the lowered Type 57S/SC.
Bugatti Type 55: The sports car, produced by Bugatti from 1932 to 1935, was introduced at the 1931 Paris Motor Show. A total of 38 cars were produced and had bodywork designed by Jean Bugatti. The car wore the signature Bugatti eight-spoke aluminium wheels.