Every year in September, a (small) Alsatian village celebrates the birth of one of its most illustrious inhabitants. The latter build a car factory. Brilliant designer, he holds more than 1000 patents in his name. Born in an artists’ family, for him “nothing is too beautiful, nothing is too expensive”, I am obviously talking about Ettore Bugatti. As a tribute, the club of the enthusiasts Bugatti Alsace organized this year the 34th Bugatti festival. Is it as good as the previous years? Let’s find out! Text &
Images: Thomas Z. ©

The Festival

The Bugatti festival is a small automobile rally allowing the participants to visit various parts of Alsace (France) as well as historic places of the Bugatti’s brand. Every year the program changes to allow the participants to discover new locations. This year’s key points are:

  • Private viewing of the exhibition in the Chartreuse and tribute to Scotty Wilson
  • Visit of the Météor’s brewery
  • ”La route des vins”
  • Laps around the Ring of the Rhine and the participation of the ”500 nocturnes”

A beer under the rain

After a rainy arrival in Molsheim the first participants were able to visit the Chartreuse of Molsheim. Inside of it, the organization made an exhibition which contains certain objects and documents belonging to Ettore Bugatti.

Type 38/43 R Grand Sport
Type 38/43 R Grand Sport de Caroline Bugatti

When the last participant arrived in Molsheim, the departure for the brewery was launched. Unfortunately the rain was back. The participants were able to shelter inside the brewery while visiting the villa Météor, leaving their cars with their sad fate. Alone with the most beautiful creations of Ettore, who would complain?

La route des vins

The next day began with a good weather, which could be only a good news for the participants. Starting from Molsheim , the participants headed to the South to borrow one of the most beautiful road of Alsace: ‘La route des vins’ (in English: the wine trail). Vineyards, mountains and sinuous roads, what more can you ask?

After the lunch, the program of this year had the peculiarity to take the participants of the festival to the ring of the Rhine, a circuit situated in the South of Alsace. They were able to participate at the ‘500 nocturnes’, in the program: race between every models, race between the GP only (with Le Mans departure) and finally laps of the Chiron.

Type 35B R Grand Prix, replica by Pur Sang Argentina (RA)
Type 35B R Grand Prix, replica by Pur Sang Argentina (RA)

On the paper, the program was very exciting but again, the rain joined us. During the race between every models, the prototype 5.1 of Veyron and a Chiron accompanied their older sisters. During the GP’s race, it was impressive to see the drivers, which were amateurs, fighting in the rain (roofless) and without losing the control of their racing car. At the end, the Chiron also made the formation lap for the race of ‘500 nocturnes’ (besides being the name of the event, the ‘500 nocturnes’ is also an endurance race of 500km, the categories represented are GT3 and GT4). We shall not forget to mention the presence of Caroline Bugatti during this event, hearing her experiences through the cars made by her grandfather was interesting and full of anecdotes.

Bugatti Chiron

Certainly one of the most expected cars of the young audience of this 34th edition: the Bugatti Chiron. As the places for the ‘500 nocturnes’ were expensive, most of the spectators were only able to discover this car on the Sunday’s noon in Molsheim. How do you know when the car has arrived? Easy. Just follow the dense crowd that rushed when they saw this black and gold car. Why so many people rushed for this car? Was it its outrageous price or the recent world record? Even the arrival of the EB 112 in 2015 did not attract that many people (video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7YBOQAQAwM). The answer is easy. The crowd was mainly composed of young people, the car they know the best and probably make them dream is this one. Able to break any record, to go quicker than 400 km/h with ease and which cost ‘only’ 2.8 million euros, without any options. But do they know that the car next to it, the Bugatti Type 35, is the car that accumulated the most victory in motorsport? That this car from 1924 is able to reach 210 km/h? What would happen if the type 41 ‘coupé Napoléon’ had followed the Chiron? Could we expect the same amount of people rushing to it? We hope to have an answer in the next edition of the Bugatti Festival!

Despite the rain, the edition of this year was again a great success, the event at the ring of the Rhine was a real change with regard to the other Bugatti festivals. New cars were present this years which is very pleasant, however we note the absence of an EB110, which besides the Chiron and Veyron stresses the contrast of the various years. We had high expectations for this year, for an event which is free it for the public, but they manage to exceed them! We cannot wait for the next edition.

Bonus: Baby Bugatti

Next to Chiron we were able to observe 4 Baby Bugatti. These small-scale models, most of the time based in the scale 1:2 of the real models are built by enthusiasts to transmit their passion to them children / youngs children. We were able to discover 3 model Grand Prix and one type 13. The concern of the detail of its miniatures is incredible. To reach such a result, the creators of those spent several years (some almost ten) to build them. But did you know that the first man to make Baby Bugatti was Ettore himself? He named this car: the Type 52.

You may also like:

Festival Bugatti 2016: https://a-e.li/reports/bugatti2016
Festival Bugatti 2015: https://a-e.li/reports/bugatti2015

Less chitchat and more picture ? Feel free to see our gallery of that event at: https://a-e.li/reports/bugatti2017/2