History and heritage are important to automotive companies, even more so with a brand originating from Bugatti. Founded by Ettore Bugatti, the French marque has been making historic bicycles since the beginning of the previous century – and five of them are in the hands of one of the avid Bugatti collectors, Hans Matti.
And now, Bugatti has announced that it has repurchased five irreplaceable historic cars from the Hans Matti collection. Their first trip? Château Saint Jean in Molsheim, home of Bugatti Automobiles. With a place just a stone’s throw from where it was originally built, we can say that these cars have made a full circle.
Historic cars back home include the Bugatti Type 51, considered one of the most original, factory Grand Prix racer driven by Louis Chiron – the namesake of the super sports car everyone knows. There is also the Type 49 which is Jean Bugatti’s own personal car (with the initials JB on the door). The two shared a transporter during their delivery to each other’s first private customers, marking a reunion since 1930.
The well-maintained Type 37A is also part of the collection, one of Bugatti’s long line of supercharged cars. The Type 35B is also here which houses the original engine from the Type 51 before getting a new, state-of-the-art twin-cam engine. Meanwhile, the Type 35A comes with the original engine, gearbox and rear axle of the Type 36 which is raced at the Montlhéry track in France.
Hans Matti, the former owner of this unique car, dedicated decades to this collection. This involves collecting relatively original photos, feature magazines, books, and factory communications. Apart from collecting them, Matti also researched their stories. He is one of the world’s most knowledgeable experts on Bugatti Grand Prix cars.
Matti was reluctant to part with his collection, and that was natural. The acquisition discussions lasted for two and a half years, involving Caroline Bugatti, granddaughter of Ettore Bugatti.