If Bugatti's founder was still alive today, he would've turned 142 years old on 15 September. As it were, Ettore Bugatti was only 65 when he passed away in 1947, but his legacy certainly lives on. For the last 40 years, the weekend closest to his birthday has become a festival and celebration of his life in and around Molsheim, and 70 vehicles bearing his name were on hand to partake in this year's Bugatti Festival.
For those who may have forgotten, Molsheim isn't just the location for Bugatti's modern-day headquarters. Ettore Bugatti set up his original factory in the modest French town back in 1908, though it was left in ruins after World War II. Bugatti the company died in the early 1960s, was revived in the 1980s, became part of Volkswagen in the late 1990s, and is presently still under the VW umbrella as Bugatti Rimac.
Gallery: Bugatti 40th Anniversary Festival In Molsheim
Now that we're up to speed, spend some time perusing the above photo gallery with highlights of the latest festival. Classic Bugattis from Ettore's era were plentiful, including vintage race cars like the Type 32 Tank, Type 35, and a Type 57G. Road-going classics included the Type 57C Stelvio and the Type 49 Long Wheelbase among many others, but the celebration featured plenty of modern Bugatti hypercars as well.
The EB110 – very much a modern classic in this collection – shared space with the Veyron and Chiron of the V16 era. The track-only Bolide, which we recently saw in all its carbon-fibre monocoque glory, represented the pinnacle of current Bugatti performance. Considering the Chiron Super Sport 300+ is capable of reaching 300 mph, that's saying something. Though admittedly, the Bolide is designed to corner instead of blasting flat-out down miles of straight asphalt.
The three-day festival brought Bugatti owners together, but it wasn't just an event for a fortunate few. Vehicles were on display in Molsheim for the public to enjoy, and for the final day of the festival, select roads were closed to traffic. That gave Bugatti owners a chance to showcase the performance of these special machines, much to the delight of everyone we're sure.
"Through the gates of Château Saint Jean, amidst the winding roads of Alsace, and throughout the streets of Molsheim, Ettore Bugatti’s footprints are everywhere," said Christophe Piochon, president of Bugatti Automobiles. "Each car, each roar of the engine, and every hand-assembled detail, tells a tale of passion, legacy, and an unyielding quest for perfection. Molsheim isn’t just a place; it is where the soul of Bugatti breathes and flourishes, and each year we are thrilled to participate, along with some of our most enthusiastic customers, in this celebration organised by our friends, the Enthousiastes Bugatti Alsace."