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1909–2009: The 100th anniversary of a myth

To fully appreciate the fascinating world of Bugatti, you need to look back in time. This automobile company has a one hundred year history with its founder, Ettore Bugatti, at its core.

His talent was to take the greatest innovation of the early 20th century, the automobile, and infuse it with uncompromising artistic aspiration, beauty, luxury and technical performance. A myth was born whose magic has endured for a century, even though fewer than 8,000 automobiles in total have emerged from the Alsatian factory in Molsheim. That’s because the fundamental values of the Bugatti name – elegance, power, exclusivity, quality and outstanding design – are as valid today as they were 100 years ago.

At the time of Bugatti’s birth, the era of the automobile had just begun. Hundreds of small companies were building their first motor vehicles, largely hand-made. Although they were already fitted with combustion engines, their forms were still strongly reminiscent of the horse-drawn carriage. And every drive was an adventure. The roads were often unsuitable and the local pharmacy was the only place you could buy petrol. This all changed in 1916 with the introduction of the assembly line. To meet growing international demand, Ford began the mass production of automobiles in the USA. The engineers of this transformational time were living legends. While many of them have long been forgotten, a few have become household names, among them Ettore Bugatti. The history of the automobile is inextricably linked with the lifetime achievements of these pioneers.