Lot 654: 1993 Bugatti EB110SS Super Sport Coupe
Forty years after Ettore Bugatti�s death in 1947, the once legendary but moribund marque, one of the most renowned in automotive history, was acquired by ambitious Italian businessman Romano Artioli, whose aim was nothing less than a resurrection of Bugatti in the form of a state-of-the-art supercar. Artioli chose Modena, home to Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati, as the place to build his modern factory from which the first completed production car rolled out in 1992. Designated �EB110� (signifying its debut 110 years after Ettore�s birth) the first new Bugatti since the 1950s was an advanced mid-engined supercar acclaimed as worthy successor to its formidable antecedents.
The Bugatti EB110 was designed by none other than engineer Paolo Stanzani and stylist Marcello Gandini, co-creators of the exotic Lamborghini Countach supercar to which the EB110, with its short nose, wedge-shaped body and gull-wing doors, bore a strong resemblance. Beneath the skin there were similarities too, the short-stroke V12 engine with forward mounted gearbox having been pioneered on the Countach. Had the EN110 stopped there it would have constituted a remarkable enough debut for a fledgling manufacturer, but to the already outstanding specification Stanzani added five valves per cylinder, four turbo-chargers, a bespoke six-speed gearbox and four-wheel drive! Despite the complexity, the EB110 worked well on the road, its compact dimensions combined with four-wheel drive making for exceptional agility with excellent grip and balance no matter what the conditions. The 3.5-litre V12 developed 561bhp, good enough for a top speed of 212mph, a figure recorded at the Nardi test track in Italy that placed the EB110 on a par with that other �World�s Fastest Car�, the Jaguar XJ220.
There was also a lightweight version, the even more powerful and expensive EB110SS Super Sport. For the Super Sport, Bugatti boosted power still further; published outputs varied but all had one thing in common - they were in excess of 600bhp - while the claimed top speed went up to 218mph. While, understandably, headline writers emphasised its performance to the exclusion of almost everything else except the price ($380,000 for the SS version) the EB110 was nevertheless a very well built product possessing a roomy and lavishly equipped interior.
Unfortunately for Artioli and his collaborators, the EB110 launched just as the early 1990s� recession took hold, and the company entered receivership in 1994. In addition to the five aluminium- and eight composite-chassied pre-production prototypes, a mere 126 of these exotic cars are believed to have been built (95 GT and 31 SS), Formula 1 World Champion Michael Schumacher and the Sultan of Brunei being perhaps the most high-profile owners.
This left-hand drive EB110S bears an affixed plaque stating that �Bugatti has the pleasure of producing for the Royal Family of Brunei the first of its model EB110S (sic) Super Sport car.� Accompanying documentation records that the vehicle was exported from Brunei to the UK in March 2002 and first registered in this country on 1st August 2005. It has enjoyed only two registered keepers since, both members of the same family. While in the UK the car has been maintained by Autobase, of Eccles, Manchester and comes with invoices for general servicing which has included replacing the radiator and re-gassing the air conditioning system. The most recent service recorded in the accompanying booklet was carried out on 31st October 2007 at 5,850 miles. Finished in silver with blue leather interior, �001� is presented in excellent order throughout and represents a rare opportunity to acquire one of the iconic supercars of the 1990s, the performance of which has yet to be surpassed.
Collectors' Motor Cars and Motorcycles|
Bonhams, Olympia, London,
|Hammer Price (inc premium)||£155500|
|Registration number||to be advised|
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