For many, Château Saint Jean – the historic home of Bugatti – represents something of a pilgrimage. As well as being the one and only site of assembly for all modern Bugatti hyper sports cars, it is also the brand’s historic site and provides an inextricable link to Ettore Bugatti, who bought and renovated this Château as a place to welcome customers and introduce them to the lifestyle of Bugatti. Today, it continues to welcome a few fortunate individuals from all over the world, and recently one very loyal Bugatti owner paid an extraordinary visit.
The last world record car, the Chiron Super Sport 300+, was built to celebrate the first production series car to travel at more than 300 mph (482.80 km/h). In 2019, a variant of the 300+ travelled at 490.48 km/h at the hands of Bugatti Pilote Officiel and Le Mans 24 Hours winner, Andy Wallace, who then became the first person to drive at more than 300 mph in a production series car. Andy himself made the journey to Molsheim to meet again with the lucky owner of this collection and be a part of this historic reunion.
This dedication to achieving incomparable speeds in the modern era of Bugatti can be traced back to June 2010, almost 13 years ago. At the Ehra-Lessien test track that day, a Veyron 16.4 Super Sport – powered by a development of the W16 engine with 1,200 PS – set a record of 431.07 km/h, smashing the previous holder’s speed. The man behind the wheel that day was Pierre-Henri Raphanel, Bugatti Pilote Officiel and former racing driver, who welcomed the collector to Molsheim and shared with him the thrill of his own world record experience.
Three years after the Veyron 16.4 Super Sport set its record, Bugatti would create another benchmark, for the world’s fastest open top car with the Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse, which travelled at 408.84 km/h with the roof down. Both would be immortalized in Bugatti history with a very limited run of cars immortalizing the world records. Such is the passion of this collector that he not only wanted to own these record-breaking hyper sports cars, but he nourished that dream of gathering them at the place they were created. A great moment and a great emotion for the whole Bugatti team.
Christophe Piochon, President of Bugatti Automobiles, said: “For one owner to curate his own collection of all three of these vehicles, alongside an additional limited edition Veyron Pur Sang and the coachbuilt Divo, shows an incomparable passion for the Bugatti brand, its history and its achievements. But a owner with this level of dedication to our brand knows that Bugatti ownership is about much more than the vehicle itself. We were really honored to welcome him and his cars home to Molsheim and creating an experience that he will never forget.”
To celebrate this special day, all his cars were hand signed by Bugatti Design Director, Achim Anscheidt – with a special note for the three world record cars that read: ‘In recordbreaking friendship. Molsheim, 26/4/23’. To immortalize this once in a lifetime moment, record-breaking drivers Andy Wallace and Pierre-Henri Raphanel both signed the Chiron Super Sport 300+ and the Veyron 16.4 Super Sport World Record Edition.
In return, the customer delivered a special gift from his collection, to be kept in Molsheim. Late in 2022, Bugatti worked with Champagne Carbon to develop the unique La Bouteille Noire, a hand-crafted carbon fiber case in the style of La Voiture Noire, which housed within its leather-lined interior a 15-liter bottle of fine vintage Champagne. This one-of-one creation – bought by The Singh Collection, Punjab, India and now adorned with a personalized inscription – will be temporarily housed at Château Saint Jean, available for visitors to admire.
“Every time I come to Molsheim, I not only feel part of the Bugatti family, I feel part of Bugatti history. With these cars reunited where they first came to life, I felt an even stronger connection to the brand’s incredible legacy. My cars returned home, but the team made me feel as if I had also returned home – it’s a truly incomparable feeling,” said the customer.