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1994 Bugatti EB110 GT

  • Fewer than 11,500km from new
  • Unique specification, fitted from new with Super Sport features
  • One of 84 EB110GTs produced
  • Fresh from a major overhaul at B Engineering, the foremost EB110 specialists
  • The most powerful production car of its day, with a dizzying 553bhp

The Bugatti EB110

“Nothing is too beautiful, nothing too expensive.” After waiting four decades for the opportunity to resurrect Bugatti, which had shut up shop in 1952, the charismatic Italian businessman Romano Artioli followed the philosophy of the great French marque’s founder Ettore Bugatti to the letter when the time finally arose.

In setting out to create the world’s fastest and most technologically advanced supercar, Artioli cut no corners. He negotiated with the French government for two years to buy the Bugatti trademark, spent a billion lire building the most magnificent avant-garde factory in the heart of Italy’s so-called ‘Motor Valley’, and poached the most talented designers and engineers from his new automotive neighbours in order to create his masterpiece from scratch and almost entirely in-house.

The resulting EB110 (so named because it debuted on 14 September 1991, Ettore Bugatti’s 110th birthday) was a true technological tour de force. Its sleek body was started by Marcello Gandini and, bizarrely, finished by Artioli’s architect cousin. Beneath the theatrical glass engine lid resided a 3.5-litre, five-valve-per-cylinder, quad-turbocharged V12 that developed 550HP. And beneath that was an aerospace-grade carbon-fibre chassis.

Refinement and useability were given equal priority to the dizzying performance (0–100kph in 3.2sec and 343kph flat-out), which gave the EB110 real-world versatility its rivals could only dream about. But despite its worldwide acclaim, the EB110’s star was only allowed to shine for a desperately short period of time.

Amid a global financial downturn and, as Artioli claims, industrial sabotage, Bugatti Automobili was driven into financial ruin. Just 115 cars (including two racers) were completed before the company was declared bankrupt and the factory was sealed on 23 September 1995. It’s arguably one of motoring history’s biggest ‘what could have beens’ and Italy’s greatest forgotten supercar.

 

This Bugatti EB110 GT

The EB110 we’re offering is chassis 39065, one of the 84 road-biased GT variants which left the Campogalliano factory between 1991 and 1995. It is notable in that it was fitted from new with the lightweight wheels and carbon-fibre front bumper from the rarer track-focused Super Sport model, illustrating the bespoke nature of these exotic supercars.

This EB110GT was completed on 30 March 1994, finished in Grigio Chiaro with a dual-tone grey leather interior. Two weeks later, on 13 April, the Bugatti was delivered via Autexpo in Bolzano to its first owner, who assigned the car the Italian registration ‘AB 110 GT’. The following January, the car was serviced by the factory’s Servizio Assistenza Technica arm, when the mileage was noted as 1,470km.

Chassis 39065 passed through the hands of two further Italian owners over the course of the next four years, during which time it was spotted parked outside the Metropole Palace in Monte-Carlo during the 1998 Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix weekend. A suitably glamorous supercar for a suitably glamorous location. In 1999, the Bugatti left its homeland, winding up in Belgium, where it was serviced by the marque’s official concessionaire Alvan Motors.

A French collector in Aix-en-Provence by the name of Didier Cazeaux was this EB110’s next owner. He registered the car on 24 December 2003, just in time for a Christmas-morning blast. And said blast clearly made an impression on Cazeaux, because he kept chassis 39065 for the next 17 years. It wasn’t until June of this year that Cazeaux parted with his beloved Bugatti, selling it to a Monaco-based collector who had the car registered in the world-famous principality.

This last owner’s first port of call was B Engineering in Italy, the foremost Bugatti EB110 specialists, whose staff comprises many former Bugatti Automobili employees who worked at ‘La Fabbrica Blu’ assembling Italy’s greatest forgotten supercar, and R3 Rally Racing. The extensive maintenance work commissioned included rebuilds of the engine, gearbox, torque tube and EPROM electrical system.

In the absence of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este this year, the Italian fashion guru Guglielmo Miani took his Fuori Concorso event on the road in October for a turbo-themed rally across northern Italy. We could think of no better place to send the chassis 39065 for its post-overhaul maiden outing – after all, it is one of the most mind-bending turbocharged cars ever produced. As the photos in our history file show, the Bugatti was in esteemed company. 

The technological ingenuity, rarity and, let’s face it, romance and mystery of its maker’s rise and spectacular fall have earned the EB110 great desirability among today’s collectors. More so now that the current Volkswagen-owned Bugatti has finally officially acknowledged Romano Artioli’s daring dream. Centodieci, anyone? With its unique specification and low mileage, this car – chassis 39065 – is a truly fantastic example of the breed. Suffice to say, the EB110 isn’t forgotten anymore.

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