The Bug that time forgot

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If you want a modern Bugatti but can’t stretch to a Veyron, an EB110 might be just the ticket

Few would deny that VW has done great things since acquiring Bugatti, first with the Veyron and now the Chiron. But what Italian entrepreneur Romano Artioli achieved during his short ownership of the marque was perhaps even more remarkable, in as much as he was simply an individual pursuing a dream – and it more or less came true in the creation of a supercar that was way ahead of its time.

With a 3.5-litre, mid-mounted, quad-turbo, 60-valve V12 engine that produced 561bhp in original ‘GT’ guise and 603bhp in the later ‘Supersport’ version, the EB110 was considerably more powerful than a Ferrari F40 and offered an XJ220-goading top speed of 210 mph.

Yet after Artioli’s Bugatti went bust in 1995, barely more than three years into production and with only around 140 cars built, collectors showed little interest in the EB110 for more than a decade. In 2005, for example, Gooding and Co sold one at its Pebble Beach auction for ‘just’ $282,500 (these things are always relative).

In recent years, however, the growing focus on modern classics, combined with publicity achieved by the present-day Bugatti, has brought the EB110 back into the spotlight and sent prices accordingly skywards, with some cars breaking through the milestone million-dollar barrier.

But few are as interesting and original as this GT version being offered by Bill Noon of Symbolic International in California – not least because it has retained its original, hand-written factory build records detailing every significant operation carried out during its construction prior to being completed on September 29, 1993. The many pages of notes show, for example, that the monocoque was finished on February 19, that the car was ordered on May 31, that the engine was completed and tested on June 22 and that the official sale was made on November 6.

“This particular EB110GT was a standard, mid-production example, the 30th of 85 units completed,” explains Noon.

“It was originally ordered and completed for a client in Germany, but the order was cancelled and the vehicle instead sold new to Japan. Prior to that, on at least one occasion, it served as one of the 1993 Bugatti show stand vehicle, as evidenced by official Bugatti photos prior to it being invoiced to a collector with a private museum in Japan.”

According to Giuseppe Negri, the master technician at HR Owen’s Bugatti service centre in London, the EB110 engine is ‘pretty much bombproof’ if properly maintained – so any potential buyer of Noon’s grigio chiaro car will be pleased to hear that it comes with a complete record of ownership and a full and comprehensive service history.

“All servicing has been carefully carried out and performed based on regular maintenance intervals and schedules regardless of mileage,” says Noon. “This is also a completely accident-free vehicle with all of its original paint and interior and without modification or alteration of any kind. I also believe it to be the sole known example to be offered complete with the full Bugatti internal assembly records, owner’s manual, warranty card and even a complete, untouched travel, spares, tool and tyre kit.”

If you’re in the market for an EB110 – and can live with the fact that this isn’t an arguably more desirable ‘S’ version – we reckon you’d be hard-pressed to find a better example. And the icing on the cake, by the way, is that it has covered fewer than 9,000 miles from new…

www.symbolicinternational.com


An unusual Triumph

Stand out from the crowd with a rallying Vitesse

Despite its robust and silky-smooth six-cylinder engine, the Triumph Vitesse has rarely been chosen as the basis for a competition car (probably because of the dreadful rear suspension, improved on the MKII) – so it was a surprise to discover this early, 1600cc example up for grabs in Finland.

It is being offered for sale complete with a historic passport

Being a 1963 car it features a 1600cc engine rather than the later two-litre and is said to have competed successfully in historic rallies in Finland, Italy, the Czech Republic and Estonia, with multiple class victories to its credit. With a balanced engine that has been only lightly tuned (perhaps in order to maintain reliability), the car is fully fitted with an FIA-approved roll cage, competition seats and belts and a Sparco extinguisher system.

The car also has a comprehensive array of spotlights, a hefty engine bash plate, Perspex side windows and a useful ‘rally kit’ (spade etc) that’s securely mounted in the boot. The deal also includes a second intake manifold, air filter and Solex carburettors to replace the standard Zenith-Stromberg set-up.

In fact, this car looks entirely ready to take part in its next event – with the fact that its paintwork is both battle-scarred and of a decidedly amateurish standard somehow adding to its appeal.

For the money being asked, £7999, it would be difficult to replicate. And the chances are that whoever buys it might be the only Vitesse driver on the entry list.

www.koskinimport.com

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