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Bugatti maintains strict production line in legends series

November 6, 2013


French automaker Bugatti is unveiling its third model Nov. 5-9 in its "Les Legendes de Bugatti" series that honors former Bugatti race factory head Bartolomeo Costantini at the Dubai International Motor Show.

The Meo Constantini model will be limited to three vehicles and is priced at $2.82 million before taxes and and transport fees. Although inspired by the two-time Targa Florio, Sicily-winning model, the Bugatti Type 35, the Meo uses the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse as its base like the other models in the series.

"As a race driver, winning several important races for Bugatti, Meo Costantini was a great representative and ambassador of the brand and its values," said Manuela Hoehne, head of media relations at Bugatti, Molsheim, Alsace, France.

"The Legends Edition got lots of interest when we launched it at Pebble Beach, reached its first climax at the Frankfurt Motor Show and continues successfully in Dubai now," she said.

Clean rise

Mr. Constantini first encountered the Bugatti brand while modifying a Bugatti Type 13, which he would go on to drive in races during the early 1920s.

The young driver's success earned him the attention of company founder, Ettore Bugatti. The pair formed a strong bond and Mr. Bugatti appointed Mr. Constantini a position as a racing driver and advisor for the factory team.

Meo Constanini model

It was during this period in the mid-1920s that Mr. Constantini achieved two victories at the Targa Florio, a victory at the Spanish Grand Prix and a victory at the Grand Prix of Milan. Following his racing career, Mr. Constantini became the head of the factory until 1937.

The Meo model's "Bugatti Dark Spot Blue" color has been specifically created for this vehicle, but recalls France's classic motor sport color. Clear-lacquer contrasts the blue on the car's aluminum wings.

Meo Constanini model

A silhouette of the Targa Florio race course appears on the underside of the rear wing and on the cover of the rear console box.

Mr. Constantine's signature is laser-engraved in silver into the car's aluminum tank and oil caps. His signature also appears in the interior on the head rests.

Laser-engraved silhouettes of racing scenes and vintage car motifs can be seen on the leather trim of the doors.

Meo Constanini model

The Meo model has reached a top speed of 253 miles per hour and can accelerate from 0-62 miles per hour in 2.6 seconds.

Close kin

Although the Legend models are joined under the same umbrella, they each have a distinctive personality.

The Bugatti legend Jean-Pierre Wimille began the celebration in August. Mr. Wimille’s story is intertwined with the 24 Heures de Mans race where he won in 1937 and 1939. The Bugatti 57G Tank driven by Mr. Wimille during his 1937 victory was the inspiration behind the commemorative vehicle’s design and its blue shades. (see story).

Bugatti unveiled its second “Bugatti Legend” at the Frankfurt International Motor Show to honor the founder’s eldest son who played a pivotal role in the brand’s early development.

Jean Bugatti is known for his pioneering engine, chassis designs and concepts for vehicle bodies. The Type 57SC Atlantic is one of his most celebrated designs and acts as the inspiration for the commemorative model. The Legend vehicle unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor show recalls an Atlantic “La Voiture Noire” model that was driven by Jean Bugatti himself (see story).

As the remaining models roll out of the factory, the series will likely benefit from cumulative popularity. However, this mounting excitement will gild the brand with reputational merits rather than sales, due to the limited production lines.

"We look forward to the remaining three Legend cars and their fascinating stories following next year," Ms. Hoehne said.

Final take
Joe McCarthy, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York