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Bugatti - Type 50B series

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units: metric UK US

About Bugatti

Bugatti was founded in France as a manufacturer of high performance automobiles by Ettore Bugatti, a man many describe as an eccentric genius. The original company is legendary for producing some of the most exclusive cars in the world as well as some of the fastest. Like many high-end marques however, the original Bugatti brand failed with the coming of World War II and the death of Ettore's son Jean. The company struggled financially into the 1960's eventually being purchased for its airplane parts business. Today the name is owned by Volkswagen AG who have revived it as a builder of very limited production supercars.

Under Ettore Bugatti

Founder Ettore Bugatti was born in Italy, and the automobile company that bears his name was founded in Molsheim a town in the Alsace region of France. The company was known for both the level of detail to its engineering in its automobiles as well as the artistic way in which the designs were executed, not surprising given the artistic nature of his family. The company also enjoyed great success in early Grand Prix motor racing, winning the first ever Monaco Grand Prix. The company's success culminated with driver Jean-Pierre Wimille winning the 24 hours of Le Mans twice (in 1937 with Robert Benoist and 1939 with Pierre Veyron).

Design

Bugatti's cars were as much works of art as they were mechanical creations, with engine blockshand scraped to ensure that the surfaces were so flat that gaskets were not required for sealing to engine turned finishes on many of the exposed surfaces of the engine compartment, and safety wires threaded through almost every fastener in intricately laced patterns. Rather than simply bolt the springs to the axles as most manufacturers did Bugatti's axles were forged such that the spring passed though a carefully sized opening in the axle, a much more elegant solution requiring many fewer parts. He regarded his arch competitor Bentley's cars as "the world's fastest trucks" for focusing on durability. According to Bugatti, weight was the enemy. Bugatti’s inspiring creations attracted many people from other fields of interest; like Arlen Ness who created a motorcycle, called “Smooth-Ness”, with the Bugatti style. He was inspired by the smoothness of a bronze casting of a Bugatti automobile.

Bugatti's disdain for his customers is as legendary as his devotion to his creations; in one probably apocryphal incident, upon greeting an unhappy customer returning to the factory with "What, you again?", he replied to the subsequent tale of automotive mechanical woe with "Well, see that it does not happen again!" and strode away.

Models

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S8 16v 4.7L         
              
   

Bugatti Type 50B (1940)

petrol (gasoline) 8-cylinder 16-valve straight (inline) engine, 4739 cm3 / 289.2 cu in / 289.2 cu in

Infobox

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