It took ambition to keep hypercars alive in the 90s
The year was 1952, and a 20-year old enthusiast heard Bugatti was done. The old brand that spurred him to study Mechanical Engineering was no more, so he dedicated his life to changing the course of history. After assembling an army of investors and engineers, he purchased the brand in 1987.
Moving the brand’s headquarters from France to Itlay infused it with energy. With the factory located in close proximity to Lamborghini, Ferrari, and De Tomaso, the 240,000 square meter shop was home to the EB110. An homage to Ettore Bugatti, the car was way ahead of its time. A carbon fiber chassis held a quad-turbo 3.5-liter V12 than sent 550 horsepower to all wheels. It brought Bugatti back into the public eye, and attracted high-profile customers like Michael Schumacher.
The car launched in 1991 and times were great until GM tricked him. After cooking the books to make Lotus seem profitable, Romano took the bait and paid £30 million for the struggling brand. Although his intentions were sincere, it drove him and Bugatti into receivership until his friend Ferdinand Piech decided to allow Volkswagen to absorb Bugatti as their flagship brand. The old man operated the largest Ferrari dealer in Italy, he was the first person to import GM and Suzuki, and he is happily retired at 88 years old. Without him, Bugatti would have been a page in the history books, so we applaud the brand for recognizing his efforts.
Images (C) Bugatti