Sold for $2,420,000 at 2014 RM Auctions
The Bugatti Veyron supercar was the first new car to wear the Bugatti name following the brand's acquisition by the Volkswagen Group. It had a claimed to have a top speed of over 248 mph and zero-to-sixty mph in less than three seconds. While it was an incredibly fast road-going car, it also provided its driver and occupant with uncompromising luxury.
The Bugatti Veyron was the brainchild of Ferdinand Piëch, the chairman of the Volkswagen Group and a former engineer who worked on many automotive projects, including the Porsche 917 and the Audi Quattro. The car was built without compromises; Volkswagen instructed its engineers to design a car capable of reaching a top speed of over 400 km/h and have a horsepower rating above 1,000.
Five years after the Veyron went into production, Bugatti introduced the Super Sport, which replaced the Veyron as the fastest car ever made. The Super Sport had 1,200 horsepower and 1,500 Newton meters of torque. Zero-to-sixty mph took a mere 2.5 seconds, arriving at 186 mph in 16.6 seconds, and had an electronically limited top speed of 275 mph. The additional 199 horsepower came from the addition of two fuel pumps, as well as four larger turbochargers and air coolers. The engineers were able to reduce its exhaust back pressure, resulting in a car that could both inhale and exhale more easily. The reduced exhaust back pressure also improved the vehicle's fuel economy over the standard Veyron. Stability at high speeds was increased with the help of improved aerodynamics.
The topless version of the Veyron Super Sport soon followed, called the Grand Sport Vitesse. This car made its unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show in March of 2012. Performance remained remarkable, with 0-60mph in 2.6 seconds and a top speed of 255 mph, making it the fastest production roadster ever built.
The Le Ciel Californien
has had only one owner from new. It was not immediately delivered to its owner, as it was retained by Bugatti themselves for promotional purposes, more specifically to be the first Grand Sport Vitesse officially shown in the United States. The car's color scheme was taken off a grand-prix-winning 1928 Type 37A that was raced by Pierre Veyron and is currently owned by Jay Leno. The car was finished in a two-tone exterior scheme of white over light blue. The interior was given Cognac leather with contrasting Light Blue Sport stitching and blue carbon fiber trim. The Vitesse-specific polished-aluminum wheels were also finished in a matching light blue.
The car was shown during the festivities surrounding the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and its delivery tag lists its location of delivery as 'Pebble Beach, 2012.' The car was displayed by Bugatti alongside the Type 37A from which it gained its inspiration at The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering. It was shown at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance on the concept lawn.
The car has bespoke 'Le Ciel Californien' script on the doors.
After being shown in Pebble Beach, the car was returned to its native France, where it was displayed once more, at the Volkswagen Group Night during the Paris Motor Show on September 26th.
After the show circuit, the car was delivered to its first and only owner, who resides in California. Bugatti was still very proud of the car, and showed it once more at the Qatar Motor Show in January of 2013.
In September of 2013, the owner brought this Bugatti to a road rally in Sun Valley, Idaho, where owners were allowed to test the top speed of their cars. This car reached a top speed of 230.6 mph, resulting in a new event record that bested the previous one by 0.2 mph, which was set by Bugatti's factory driver and former two-time 24 Hours of LeMans class-winner Butch Leitzinger, who previously drove another Grand Sport Vitesse on the same course.By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2014