Bugatti Veyron Centenaire alternatives

Latest model: Bugatti Veyron Centenaire 2009
Bugatti Veyron Centenaire 2009In a further highlight on 2009's agenda of centennial celebrations, Bugatti Automobiles S. introduced four Bugatti Veyron specials at Villa D'este Concorso D'eleganza. These one off models are reminders of Bugatti's glorious motor-racing history which played a central role in popularising and ultimately establishing the myth which the make continues to enjoy to this day.

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The Bugatti make is almost inextricably linked to the Type 35. The Type 35 Grand Prix was by far the most successful racing model. The unmistakable radiator grille and eight-spoke aluminium wheels of the Type 35 have become defining features of the Bugatti automobile. In its day, the Grand Prix was also well ahead of its time in terms of engineering ingenuity. The front axle layout of this car, which, for reasons of weight minimisation, is hollow, is a true masterpiece of workmanship and was deemed nothing less than revolutionary. Its springs were passed via the axle to produce a high level of stability. The Grand Prix's brake drums were integrally fitted into its lightweight aluminium wheels. Unfastening the central wheel nut allowed the wheel to be easily removed within a matter of seconds and the brake to be exposed. This was a crucial advantage at the pit stop.

The blue racers made their first look on the race track at the Grand Prix held by Automobil Club de France in Lyon in 1924. In the decade that followed, they remained practically unchallenged due to sophisticated manufacturing efforts, their lightweight layout and simple handling. During that ten-year era, they won almost 2000 races - more than any other model ever has. Grand Prix races were highly fashionable events in those days, and Bugatti was not the only make with considerable interest in substantiating the reputation of its offers by winning races. In fact, in the 1920s, Europe was regularly host to a number of various races in various countries on a single weekend. The teams set up by various automobile manufacturers competed at well-known race circuits such as Targa Florio, Le Mans, Monza and Spa as well as in Rome, Nice, Antibes and even a village in Alsace.

The main reason Bugatti won such an enormous number of races - on the rear of which successes the make was also able to forge its picture - was the fact that Bugatti sold not only its normal sports and touring vehicles to private consumers, but its racing vehicles too. Thus it was that its automobiles took part in such a big number of Grand Prix events.