High bid of $570,000 at 2015 RM Auctions. (did not sell) The mid-engine Bugatti EB110 sports car was unveiled on September 15, 1991, in both Versailles and in front of the Grand Arch at La Défense in Paris, exactly 110 years after Ettore Bugatti's birth. Power was from a 60-valve, quad-turbo V12 which sent its horsepower to all four wheels through a six-speed gearbox. It produced 560 PS at 8000 RPM and could race from zero-to-sixty mph in 4.2 seconds. In 1992, a lighter and more powerful version was introduced, with 612 PS and dubbed the EB110 SS (SuperSport). This car was capable of 216 mph and had a zero-to-sixty mph time of just 3.2 seconds.
The Bugatti history began in the pre-war era, with a legacy that was formed in its racing prowess and engineering. Ettore Bugatti produced some of the most incredibly engineered vehicles of their time. They were known for their incredible performance cars and their lavish street cars, which often incorporated lessons-learned from the company's experiences on the track.
Unfortunately, the Bugatti Company closed its doors in 1952. Italian Ferrari dealer Romano Artioli dreamed that the brand could be revived through the construction of a new supercar. Artoli established Bugatti Automobile SpA in October 1987, and the following year, construction of a new, state-of-the-art factory in Campogalliano, Italy, began. After four years of planning, designing, and construction, they introduced a supercar that was worthy to carry the Bugatti name.
The newly formed company had to create a vehicle that was not only worthy of the Bugatti name, but could also compete with the Ferrari F40, the Porsche 959, and Lamborghini's new Diablo. The 3.5-liter V-12 Bugatti EB110 was given four turbochargers and had 550 horsepower at its disposal. The angular and aggressive styling was courtesy of Giampalo Benedini and Marcello Gandini. It had exotic 'scissor doors', breath taking styling, and equally impressive performance. Inside, the cabin featured leather and wood trim in similar fashion to the luxurious road cars of Bugatti's heritage.
Artioli's dream, however, for the new Bugatti was short-lived. In 1995, the manufacture went bankrupt due to the effects of a worldwide economic recession, and the assets of the company were sold to Jochen Dauer. Dauer had enough spares at his disposal to create an additional 11 production cars before Bugatti closed its doors in Italy for good. By that time, a total of 139 examples had been produced.
This particular Bugatti EB110 is the sixth production example built by Bugatti. Work was the car was completed in 1993, and was sold new to Yutaro Okamoto, a Japanese-based collector, and it was originally finished in dark green over a grey leather interior. Mr. Okamoto enjoyed the car on the Italian Bugatti rally in June 1994. After the rally, the car was shipped back to Japan. Later, the car was refinished in its current shade of Bugatti racing blue and the dashboard and transmission tunnel were re-trimmed in grey alcantara. Recently, the car has been imported into the United States from Japan under the Show and Display Law. By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2015
Sold for $605,000 at 2017 Bonhams. The Bugatti EB110 was in production for only a short period of time, from 1992 to 1995, yet left a lasting imprint in supercar history. The mid-engine coupe was developed by an accomplished and experienced team that outfitted the car with cutting-edge technology resulting in world-beating performance with record-breaking top speeds.
The Bugatti legacy in the automotive community dates back to 1909, when Ettore Bugatti opened shop in Molsheim (now France, then in Germany territory). Over the following three decades, Ettore gave the world some of the most noteworthy, elegant, and competitive cars ever built.
The Ettore Bugatti Company founded in the early 1900s is a different company from the one that built the EB110. When Ettore passed away in 1947, his company struggled on but in 1952 they ceased building street cars. They dabbled in aerospace for a period of time, helping to keep the firm alive before it was purchased first by Hispano-Suiza and then by French aircraft supplier Snecma, which in turn created the company Messier-Bugatti in 1977 that produced Bugatti replicas until 1987.
With the Bugatti nameplate long gone from the automotive marketplace - yet not forgotten - a group of Italian car industry notables decided to resurrect the company. The group consisted of former employees of Lamborghini as well as Ferruccio Lamborghini himself, who had been in retirement but was seeking yet another challenge. The former Lamborghini head Paolo Stanzani, the 'father' of the Miura and Countach, and designer Nuccio Bertone were also among the list. In 1986, Italian businessman Romano Artioli and branding expert Jean-Marc Borel purchased the rights to the Bugatti name. Thus was established, in October of 1987, the firm of Bugatti Automobili, S.p.A. Upon purchase, the Bugatti Company moved from French soil and returned to the country of Ettore Bugatti's birth - Italy.
The new facility was located at Campogalliano and had been designed by Artioli's couisin, architect Giampaolo Benedini. The grand and massive 140,000-square-foot facility would later contributed to the company's eventual financial ruin.
The new plant was opened on Ettore's 109th birthday in September of 1990. By this point, the list of individuals involved with the project had grown significantly, and included racecar designer and engineer Mauro Forghieri, whose experience with the Diablo's V-12 would emerge with the EB110's 12-cylinder powerplant. Gandini had penned the Countach, Miura and Lancia Stratos and had invented the scissor doors on the Countach and on the EB110. Ex-Lamborghini test driver Loris Bococchi was a critical components in the EB110's suspension tuning and excellent road manners.
A design contest was launched, and of four proposals - from Paolo Martin, Giorgetto Giugiaro, Bertone, and Gandini — the Bertone version was clay modelled. The shape was further enhanced with wind tunnel testing. However, Artioli and Stanzani were not in agreement over the design, prompting Bertone to abandon the project. Artioli's cousin Benedini was brought back in once again, this time to complete the car. With this, Stanzani left and was quickly replaced by Nicola Materazzi of Ferrari F-40 fame and former Audi Quattro engineer Pavel Rajmis to finish the engineering.
On September 15th of 1991, the 110th anniversary of the birth of Ettore Bugatti, the Bugatti EB110 was launched. In May of 1992, two EB110 prototypes were brought to Italy's Nardo test circuit, primarily for homologation tests but also for an assault on production car speed records. Frenchman JP Vittecoq was tasked with driving duties and with putting the car through its paces. Prototype C7 set impressive numbers including 0 to 100 km/h in 3.46 seconds and a top speed of 342 km/h, a world record. In May of 1993, with Jean Philippe again performing driving duties, a modified SS (Supersport) prototype raised the bar even further, to 351 km/h while reducing the 0 to 62-mph time of 3.26 seconds.
On December 1st of 1992, the first production EB110 (GT39018) emerged and was sent to a Swiss buyer. This car, GT39034, was one of the press cars for Great Britain and was included in many publications of the day.
Following the success of the EB110 came several ill-advised financial decisions, including the purchase of Lotus, investment in the promising development of a second model (the EB112 four-door coupe), and the launch of a racing program.
A 600-horsepower, lightened race version was prepared for the 1994 edition of LeMans. It qualified 17th and ran in the top ten despite the usual racing issues and teething problems. A tire failure put it into the barrier with just one hour left of the twenty-four. Several other racing ventures were attempted, notably by the Monaco Racing Team, which ran the BPR and IMSA. As late as 1996, a Bugatti EB110 SC entered the 24 Hours of Daytona, but the team that included Derek John Hill, son of Phil Hill, and Olivier Grouillard managed only seven hours before retirement.
Initial plans had called for an annual production of 150 cars, but after four years Bugatti had managed just 140 EB110s sold. A poor world economy and the lack of the American market were to blame and the firm eventually declared bankruptcy.
This particular example came off the Campogalliano line in 1993 in Bugatti Blue livery and with a gray leather interior. The aluminum bodywork conceals the carbon-fiber chassis supplied by Aerospatiale. Suspension is double A-arms and coil springs. The short-stroke all-alloy 3.5-liter V-12 is mounted longitudinally and features five valves per cylinder and four IHI turbochargers in two sizes, and it's fed by fuel injection. The 552 horsepower is sent to all four wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox. Lubrication is dry sump, and curb weight is 3,567 pounds. Running gear consisted of BBS alloy wheels measuring 9x18-inch in front and 12x18 in back, encased by specially built Michelins: 245/40 and 325/30, front and rear.
After this car's press duties had been performed, it was purchased by Nick Lancaster of HR Owen in London, the official importers of the Bugatti to the UK, who drove the car along with 113 other Bugattis of all ages in a five-day rally through Italy to the Campogalliano factory.
The car was later sold to a second owner who used it sparingly. It is currently titled in the state of Nevada and is subject to the NHTSA Show or Display statute, which limits on-road use to 2,500 miles per year. By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2017
When Ettore Bugatti died in 1947, the Bugatti Company ceased production. The long, historic, and prestigious lineage of the famous Bugatti Company was no more. That is until 1989 when an Italian entrepreneur named Romano Artioli purchased the rights to the Bugatti name and began automobile production in an area north of Modena, Italy.
To honor Ettore Bugatti, the EB 110 was created. 'EB' was short for Ettore Bugatti. Launched on Ettore's 110 birthday, 09-15-1991, the naming EB 110 was formed. It was first shown to the public at the Grande Arche at La Défense in Paris, France.
The powerplant is one of the most advanced and complex engines ever created while the chassis and design is just as superb. Marcello Gandini of Bertone was tasked with creating a unique and stylish body that would be a modernized tribute to the glorious designs of the past. The result was an aerodynamic masterpiece with a horse-shoe shaped grille and an aluminum body. Aluminum was chosen because of its lightweight but sturdy characteristics. Aerospatiale, a French aviation company, was commissioned to aide in the production of the body, due to the metals being difficult to shape. The body panels were bonded to the carbon fibre monocoque chassis, one of the first road going vehicles to use this design and technique. In the front were push-rod operated shock absorbers while the rear featured dual shock absorbers on each side.
Mounted mid-ship was a 60-degree 3.5-liter V12 with dual overhead camshafts and producing an impressive 550 horsepower. Four IHI turbochargers aided the engine in producing its impressive power. This power was sent to all four wheels, 73% going to the rear, with the help of a six-speed manual gearbox. Zero-to-sixty was accomplished in about 3.6 seconds while top speed was achieved at 209 mph. Ventilated Brembo disc brakes brought this monster to a stop.
The scissor doors were truly exotic. The engine was visible through a glass cover, and the rear wing was speed sensitive. Five pre-production prototypes with aluminum chassis were constructed, followed by eight with composite.
If this wasn't enough, an EB 110 SS version, meaning Super Sport or Sport Stradale, was created. The interior was void of an unnecessary amenities and luxurious. In total, more than 150 kg was stripped from the vehicle. The four-wheel drive system could be replaced with a lighter, rear-wheel drive configuration, decreasing the weight even further. The turbo boost was increased and the compression was dropped to 7.5:1, resulting in a rise in horsepower to around 615. Further modifications set the horsepower rating to as high as 650. Air holes located behind the side windows and seven spoke alloy wheels helped distinguish the standard GT car from the SS.
The Bugatti EB110 SS made an appearance at the 1994 24 Hours of LeMans race. This was their first appearance in 55 years. Positioned in the GT1 class, vehicles with horsepower up to 600, the Bugatti was the fastest during training, outperforming the Dodge Vipers, Porsche Carrera RSR's, DeTomaso Pantera's, and the rest of the competition.
Right before the race, a fuel leak was discovered. Araldite was used to seal the leak but it meant that the Bugatti had to use a half tank of gas for the first couple of shifts. After the Araldite dried, a full amount of fuel could be used. The Bugatti quickly showed its potential, cracking the top-ten. A problem with the turbochargers sent the team scrambling to replace them. The problem was fixed and the Bugatti was back on the track. Near the close of the race a tire failure sent the Bugatti into the barriers and the EB110 SS was forced to retire.
Since that time, the EB110 SS has raced at Watkins Glen, Daytona 24 Hours, and other races. Gildo Pallanca-Pastor drove an EB 110 SS on the frozen sea in Oulu in Finland, in 1995, capturing the World Speed Record on Ice with an speed of 296.3 km/h.
Produced from 1991 through 1995, only 95 GT's and 31 SS's were produced. One of the SS's was purchased by Michael Schumacher. It is unfortunate that the EB110 was introduced just when the supercar market crashed. The $350,000 SS model was expensive but well worth the money. The Bugatti Company was forced to file for bankruptcy while the remaining materials were sold to B Engineering and used for the use of their sports car, the Edonis.
During the close of the 1990's, Volkswagen AG secured rights to the Bugatti name, again reviving the nameplate.
The EB110 is a car Ettore would be proud to wear his name. It successfully captured the lineage of Bugatti and modernized it into a 210+ mph road going sports car. The four-wheel-drive system was heavy, meaning it was not as fast as other supercars of the day. In wet and rainy weather, the EB110 could easily outperform the rest of the class. By Daniel Vaughan | May 2009
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