This celebration of Bugatti history looks back on the brand’s racing roots.
In 1928, the Bugatti Grand Prix at Le Mans was a thrilling event where Ettore Bugatti showed off the racing prowess of his brand’s cars, and while the event was done again in 1929 and 1930, it went dormant until 1987 when the American Bugatti Club revitalized it. Now, the event celebrates its 11th iteration, which happened this past weekend alongside the American Bugatti Club Finger Lakes Rally, with Bugatti’s historic models showing off their still-impressive performance on the track.
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The race took place at Watkins Glen International circuit, and the lineup consisted of 15 historic Bugattis, including the Type 35, Type 37, Type 57, Type 59, and more. The pace car was a very special one: one of the 1933 works cars, a Type 59 Bugatti raced by Rene Dreyfus at the 1933 Spanish Grand Prix. The trophies, done by Corning Glass were reimagined versions of Rembrandt Bugatti, Ettore Bugatti’s brother’s “Dancing Elephant” sculpture, which is known for having adorned the hoods of the Type 41 Royale cars, Ettore Bugatti’s most luxurious creations.
After two days of racing and four classes, the victory for Class 1: Over 2.3 liters supercharged and 3.3 liters naturally aspirated, went to Brad Baker and his Type 51. The other winners were a Type 35 Bugatti for Class 2, a Type 37A Bugatti for Class 3, and a Type 35 A Bugatti for Class 4. The American Bugatti Club, founded in 1960 and dedicated to preserving the glory of Bugatti’s creations, is proud to host events that remind everyone of one of the most important parts of Bugatti’s history, which is racing.