The Cursed Beauty

The story of the eccentric Bugatti that drove 2 companies out of business

Most of you know the name Bugatti and that’s because of the Veyron or the Chiron, 2 of the fastest production cars ever existed but I am sure you know very little about -in my opinion- the greatest Bugatti car ever built. It was so good that it bankrupt 2 companies, oh and Schumacher owned one, YES that Schumacher.

The car in question is none other than the EB 110 which is beautiful in a very weird way but unique in a very obvious way. Designed by Gandini it is certainly like no other before (or after) it and I would bet good money you haven’t seen any of these on the road, no matter where you live. Whilst it was in production, the technical director of Bugatti went by the name Nicola Materazzi, an engineer who had previously worked for Lancia, Ferrari and Cagiva whilst being the chief engineer for the Stratos GR5, GTO Evoluzione, F40 and C589. Not a bad resume if you ask me!

Well, Mr Materazzi thought the EB 110 was way too complex and it’s easy to see why. It had a 12 cylinder engine and 4 turbos boosting 555bhp in the standard car, and 612bhp in the Super Sport model with 4 wheel drive, mind you that’s in 1991. All these gave it the title of the fastest series-production car of its time with a 0-100km/h time of 3.26 seconds, extremely fast even by today’s standards. It was also the first series-production car to be made of carbon even though it was quite heavy.

Mr Materazzi has said the car was very unpredictable, unusually heavy and well it broke down a lot, leading Bugatti to have built only 136 units by 1995. In 1995, not only production of the EB 110 ended but the company closed altogether due to financial problems caused by the car itself. The VW group bought the naming rights and relaunched the Bugatti brand with the Veyron and well the rest is history but another company fell victim to the beautiful beast that is the EB 110, long before the Veyron was built.

While VW bought the naming rights, a german company bought all the unsold cars and spare parts left behind. That company’s name was Dauer Sportwagen GmbH which was known for its Porsche 962 based Dauer 962 LM. The Bugatti EB 110 was now called Dauer EB 110 and the company wanted to become the worldwide specialists for these cars but after just 10 examples, Dauer fell victim to the car’s curse, just like Bugatti did some years prior.

(Source: Benjamin Marjanac)

Looking back, it seems crazy that such a car was built and although the curse it carries might be great for story writing and makes it more desirable and valuable today, it did drive 2 companies out of business.

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