History and heritage are important to automotive companies, more so with brands that go as far back as Bugatti. Founded by Ettore Bugatti, the French marque has made historic bikes since the beginning of the previous century – and five of them were in the hands of one avid Bugatti collector, Hans Matti.
And now, Bugatti announces that it has bought back five irreplaceable, historic cars from Hans Matti's collection. Their first trip? The Château Saint Jean in Molsheim, the home of Bugatti Automobiles. With the place just a stone's throw away from where they were originally made, we can say that these cars have made a full circle.
Gallery: Five Historic Bugatti Cars Return Home
The historic cars returning home include a Bugatti Type 51, thought to be one of the most original in existence. It was a factory Grand Prix racer, driven by Louis Chiron himself – the namesake of the super sports car that everyone knows about. There's also a Type 49, which was the personal car of Jean Bugatti himself (with the initials 'JB' on the doors). These two shared a transporter during their delivery to their respective first private customers, marking a reunion dating all the way back to 1930.
A remarkably preserved Type 37A is also part of the collection, one of a long lineage of supercharged Bugatti cars. A Type 35B is also here which houses the original engine from the Type 51 before it got a new advanced twin-cam engine. Meanwhile, a Type 35A here comes with the original engine, gearbox, and rear axle of a Type 36 that competed at the Montlhéry track in France.
Bugattis In Collections:
Hans Matti, the former owner of these one-of-a-kind cars, dedicated decades to this collection. It involved gathering relative original photographs, magazine features, books, and factory communications. Beyond just collecting them, Matti also researched their stories. He is one of the most knowledgeable experts in the world on Bugatti Grand Prix cars.
Matti was reluctant to let go of his precious collection, and understandably so. The discussion between him and Bugatti went on for two-and-a-half years, which involved Caroline Bugatti, the granddaughter of Ettore Bugatti.