It's the first 16.4 Grand Sport prototype, returned to its original 2008 condition.
In-house restoration services from high-end automakers are becoming a thing. We've seen more than a few old Porsches resurrected into glorious machines with like-new precision, and before COVID-19 smacked the world down last year, Bugatti announced its own group called La Maison Pur Sang. Roughly translated to English it means pureblood house, but we'll stick with the French pronunciation because it sounds way better.
In short, Bugatti's La Maison Pur Sang programme is all about making old cars new again while maintaining extreme attention-to-detail and period-correct accuracy throughout the process. Now, the first classic Bugatti to receive the benefits of this programme is revealed, and if we're honest, it's not so much with the classic. At just 13 years old, this 2008 Bugatti Veyron is barely over the average age of cars currently on the road, and it's not like Veyrons are mass-produced runabouts for the masses. But as with most things Bugatti, there's a bit more to it than that.
Gallery: 2008 Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport Restoration
This 2008 Veyron is actually a 16.4 Grand Sport, but it also happens to be the first one and by that, we mean the first prototype. This car originally debuted to the world in 2008 at Pebble Beach, so it's certainly timely that Bugatti reintroduces this rare machine just ahead of the 2021 Pebble Beach extravaganza. Exactly what happened to this Veyron during the years in-between is unclear; Bugatti says it toured the world following its debut, but once that tour was over, apparently it left the automaker's care as it was reacquired by Bugatti just last year.
Back at the automaker's home in Molsheim, the La Maison Pur Sang team set about the restoration process. For Bugatti, that means more than just new paint and fresh leather. Verifying the authenticity of the vehicle is the first step, and that means confirmation not just from the VIN but through stampings on various parts throughout the car. We suspect such steps are much easier on a modern car versus truly classic machines from the 1930s, but the intensive process of ensuring accuracy and authenticity is the same regardless of age.
With the Veyron thus confirmed, it was stripped down and returned to its original launch configuration, right down to an original centre console for the interior. It wears a white silver metallic finish with a Cognac leather interior, and it looks like a brand new vehicle. It took the team four months to finish the project, though we suspect the same procedure for a properly old Bugatti would take longer. However, we suspect classic Bugatti owners wouldn't find a better, more specialised service anywhere in the world.