At Pebble Beach on 19th August 2022, the first copy of the recently launched book ‘The EB110 & The Last Bugatti Racing Cars’ sold for a staggering £39,000 ($46,000).
Written by Johann Petit and Pascal van Mele, and edited by Julius Kruta – Bugatti historian and former Head of Tradition at Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S – this ground-breaking 440-page work contains 700 period photographs, historic images and original sketches, the majority of which have never before been published.
Says Julius Kruta, “It is the pictures, as much as the text, that transport the reader through the extraordinary tale of the EB110 – the birth, growth and abrupt end of that remarkable supercar, and the revolutionary factory behind it. The story of Romano Artioli’s burning ambition to create a world-beating car in a futuristic factory – and the tragic ending to those dreams – reads like a Hollywood film script. This is a car that set benchmarks and broke world records – an instant automotive icon – yet the only references available to the public tend to be period articles in motoring magazines.”
The springboard for this seminal book was a shorter work on the last Bugatti racing cars, launched at Rétromobile in 2020. But such was the enthusiasm it generated, the editor and authors decided to start again from scratch, as Kruta explains:
“When our earlier book on the last Bugatti racing cars caused a tsunami of interest, we realised there was a pent-up need for a comprehensive work on the whole Bugatti EB110 story: something that captured the dream, the birth, the development, the dazzling success of the no-expense-spared fairytale. And, too, its abrupt and tragic end.
So we ‘pulled the handbrake’ and started again. It struck us at the time that this was wholly in keeping with the EB110 itself, which was fully developed and finished as an original design with an aluminium chassis – only for Romano Artioli to ‘pull the handbrake’ and develop a totally new car, this time with its famous carbonfibre chassis.
“So this is exactly what we did with our book, 30 years later. We worked tirelessly to acquire many hundreds of never-before-seen period images of Artioli and other key protagonists, the car and the goings-on at the factory, and painstakingly crafted the text to tell the full – at times shocking – tale.
We have now proudly launched the book: The EB110 & The Last Bugatti Racing Cars. The fact that at Pebble Beach, a buyer bid £39,000 for book 001 in the limited-print run of 330 copies, is overwhelming, and more than vindicates all our hard work.
“We genuinely believe there will never be another book like it. As Ettore Bugatti once said, ‘‘if comparable… it is no longer Bugatti.’’’
Book 001 was sold at auction, at the exclusive Chairman’s Dinner at Pebble Beach, for £39,000 sterling – with all proceeds going to the Pebble Beach charity. It was bought by the owner and curator of The Pearl Collection.
The book can be bought from Hortons Books Limited