This could be the forgotten hero of 1990s supercars. And before you judge, just consider the facts. Launched in the same era that gave us such automotive exotica as the McLaren F1, Ferrari F40, Lamborghini Diablo and Jaguar XJ220, the Bugatti EB110 hardly stood a chance in the bedroom wall poster contest, with its boss-eyed front-end, slab sides and stubby rear. And then there was its price tag. In 1991 you’d have to fork out a whopping £285,500 for one. That’s about £100,000 more than an F40 at the time. Big money, then.
Plus, what badge did it wear? Did the name Bugatti hold much sway against the established big-hitters any more? Back in the 1930s it did. But Bugatti had been long defunct after the death of founder Ettore Bugatti in 1947 forced the company to wind up in the early ’50s.
So what on earth was it doing back? And just to add insult to injury, it wasn’t even technically French. It was now Italian. Funded, built and sold out of Campogalliano, Modena. Surely the EB110 had just about every roadblock to desirability laid out in front of it. Yet fast forward some 30 years and Bugatti is well and truly back at the top of the tree after its Veyron and Chiron success stories. But neither of those would have happened were it not for one Italian’s gamble.