The forgotten Bugatti EB110 and its incredible avant-garde Italian factory

For many, particularly Gen Y and Gen X motorheads, the name Bugatti is synonymous with only one thing, the Veyron.

However, prior to VW’s revival of the Bugatti brand in 1998 and the subsequent creation of the Veyron in 2005, there was Romano Artioli’s Bugatti EB110.

The fastest car of its time with a top speed of 209mph, the EB110 began production in 1992. The EB110 — called that to commemorate the 110th birthday of the company’s original founder, Ettore Bugatti’s — was manufactured from start to finish at the company’s impressive avante-garde factory in Campogalliano, a little town in the suburbs of Modena, Italy.

One of the workers who was a part of the EB110 team described the experience of working there as “the most beautiful experience of my life”.

But economics and external pressures were not on the side of such an audacious project and despite the passion of its owner and the staff, the project lasted just five years before collapsing spectacularly with a debt $220m and the loss of over 200 jobs.

Today, the deserted factory is the workplace for only one man — a caretaker hired by local authorities who now manage the area. The Italian government had hoped a new investor from the automotive industry would revive the factory and so everything has been left intact. Twenty years on and no investor has been forthcoming.

The Bugatti EB110 on film

Despite it’s unfortunate demise, a brilliant video created by Kidston, an independent ’boutique’ advisory firm for motor car collectors, has brought the story of Artioli and his Bugatti EB110 back to life with a mixture of file footage, fresh interviews and some incredible new footage of the old factory.

Two versions of the video have been released. The first below is a short version, around four minutes, which was released two years ago.

The second, a much longer and in depth affair, clocks in at 19:31 and was uploaded just two weeks ago. It’s well worth the watch when you have the time.

Top image courtesy of Lothar Spurzem via Wikicommons