Celebrating 30 years of the Bugatti EB 110

The birthday party was held in the brand's former Italian factory

17w ago
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1991 saw the launch of the first Bugatti presented again since 1956, the record-breaking EB 110, so this year marks the 30th anniversary of one of the most renowned supercars ever. For the occasion, Bugatti enthusiasts joined Romano Artioli, Gianpaolo Benedini and Loris Bicocchi, fathers of the EB 110, in the exact birthplace of what was the fastest car of its times: the former Bugatti factory in Campogalliano (MO), Italy.

The party took place with minimum delay on the exact date, September 15th, which in 1991 also would have been Ettore Bugatti’s 110th birthday. That wasn’t coincidental: Artioli, the entrepreneur who acquired the Bugatti brand in 1987 after an almost secret negotiation with the French government, is a great admirer of Ettore Bugatti’s genius, to the point he had incorporated into the EB 110 production plant, the Fabbrica Blu (Blue Factory), an antique wooden door coming from the earlier factory in Molsheim, through which Ettore had walked.

The plant was inaugurated on September 15th, 1990 and closed in 1995 as the Italian adventure of the brand came to an end. However, the site hasn’t been completely abandoned: the administrative building, the engine and test development area, the production halls, and the test track are still standing, guarded by former facility manager Ezio Pavesi and his son Enrico; the EB emblems can still be seen today so that the factory has turned into a lasting monument to the car that marked the brand’s renaissance.

Ten of the approximately 134 EB 110s made took part in the celebrations: among them, the one-offs EB110 SC GTS-1 and EB 110 LM, developed for endurance racing, and the "number zero", the prototype unveiled in Paris in 1991 which Artioli confessed was completed overnight in the truck travelling through France.

When asked to name a modern car that embodies the essence of the EB 110 nowadays, Artioli couldn’t mention a specific one. Instead, he offered a digression about electric cars, explaining how he does not see electrification as a feasible solution in the long term; Artioli has professed himself a supporter of natural gas as a more viable choice for fuelling cars, citing the world record the EB 110 SS had set in 1994 as the fastest natural gas-powered car, reaching a speed of 344.7 km/h.

Romano Artioli speaking to the attendees

Romano Artioli speaking to the attendees

The same record has been recalled by Loris Bicocchi, the test driver who has helped develop the EB 110 and many other supercars, including the Lamborghini Countach, the Pagani Zonda, and the Koenigsegg CXX, to mention but a few. "The EB110 was my best life and work experience, which I still enjoy remembering with affection", Bicocchi had said in a previous interview.

Gianpaolo Benedini, the designer of both the EB 110 and the same Fabbrica Blu, declared himself proud of the still modern-looking design of the supercar. Many of the stylistic tropes of Benedini’s work can be easily spotted in the Bugatti Centodieci, the homage to the EB 110 presented in 2019, that was attending the event.

A Bugatti Centodieci has specifically arrived from Molsheim for the event

A Bugatti Centodieci has specifically arrived from Molsheim for the event

The future of the Fabbrica Blu was announced during the same event: the site is going to become a multi-purpose area focused on historic cars, combining shelter, maintenance and restoration services with an exhibition and educational centre. The future of the EB 110 is not hard to imagine.

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Comments (24)

  • You never fail to post great articles featuring beautiful cars - thank you

      3 months ago
  • Great article and pictures. Truly an unforgettable event for you. The classic blue is of course iconic but I really like the metallic red one

      10 days ago
    • The red one puzzled me a bit as it had traces of blue paint under the logo... perhaps it would have been interesting to investigate its history.

        10 days ago
    • That is interesting 🤔

      One thing that adds to the mythical feel of the EB110 era are things like that. Records were not the best and somethings puzzle you like that. But that's what makes them so interesting

        10 days ago
  • Growing up collecting collecting album pics of cars we had back then, my first encounter with Bugatti is EB110.

    I found it ugly, disproportioned, but amazed about its performance. Shifting 25 years into present, now I think it's the Bugatti to have. I love it. It still is weird, but I'd probably take it over a Veyron. It doesn't speak wealth, it speaks analogue engineering, rarity and perfection of the era.

      3 months ago
    • I agree, I may be biased, but in my opinion, the fact that Artioli is an enthusiast before an entrepreneur somehow comes through in the car's characteristics. During the interview, Bicocchi praised the car's personality several times...

      Read more
        3 months ago
  • Rigth... isnt this the car that trashed the McLaren F1?

      3 months ago
  • Any idea what happened to Schumi's 110? IIRC it was the only yellow 110 ever made.

      3 months ago
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