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First Driving Report (1910)

In October 1910, The Motor magazine published the very first article about Ettore Bugatti’s automobile company, written by the English journalist W. F. Bradley:

„Those who judge the value of an automobile by its outer appearance and the quality of its surface, will most probably not be tempted to buy a Bugatti. The maker of this small car has, indeed, not made the slightest effort to compete with those popular and inexpensive car models that are 2 already to be found on the market. The fact of the matter is, that the price to be paid for a Bugatti is considerably higher than for any other car of the same category. The reason for this is that this production represents an entirely new class by itself.

Bugatti, a car designer in Alsace, who enjoys a very high reputation with German enterprises, has tried to manufacture a car, which could be called the ‘Poney’ of automobiles. But a ‘Poney’ that stands up to any comparison with the most expensive products of the most reputed companies and that – in spite of its small scale measurements and low weight – stays in no way behind other touring cars, when it comes to speed.

Well equipped with fenders, head-lamps, horn and other accessories of a touring car, we have undertaken a test ride in the surroundings of Paris. After having been reminded twice, that our speed would not be permissible on the straight roads of the Bois de Boulogne, we drove on to the Paris suburbs, where fate brought us together with a heavy Prince Henry Benz, loaded with four passengers and a pure touring car body. This car was driven by a temperamental young man of the sportive type, who – on these most neglected streets between Paris and Saint-Germain – accelerated the car to a point, which the road holding of the vehicle seemed just to endure. Even then, the little Bugatti allowed us to permanently hold a distance of less than forty five meters to the other car, this exercise being accompanied by considerably less inconvenience than it would have caused in many another, three times as large and heavier cars.

The manufacturer warrants that the Bugatti can drive as fast as a hundred kilometers. When driven in the city, the small car shows the same amazing qualities as it does on long, straight routes, since its measurements make it possible to sneak by in situations, where heavier vehicles are forced to stop. It accelerates impressively fast and yet remains in the first gears on a very low noise level.”