Presented by RM Sotheby’s – Talk of a Bugatti revitalization, which would have returned the storied French marque to the prominence of its pre-World War II glory days, began not long after Ettore Bugatti’s death in 1947. Despite a noble revival effort undertaken in the late 1980s, which led to the fascinating EB 110, Bugatti would not experience a lasting renaissance until the Volkswagen Group purchased the rights to company in 1998—a strategic acquisition initially intended to realize Ferdinand Piëch’s vision of an 18-cylinder automobile of superlative power, performance, and prestige.
Piëch’s mandates for the car that would eventually become the Bugatti Veyron were refined with time, becoming even more ambitious: It needed to produce 1,001 PS (987 horsepower) and achieve a top speed in excess of 400 km/h (nearly 250 mph), yet also be entirely usable for daily driving and comfortable for both driver and passenger. Impressive today, these parameters seemed otherworldly around the turn of the millennium. The cost of the project was of little consequence; what mattered was resurrecting Bugatti in spectacular fashion while demonstrating the engineering prowess of the Volkswagen Group as a whole.
What is truly remarkable is that the production car that emerged in 2005 managed to meet, and even exceed, these lofty expectations, with 0-62 mph acceleration taking just 2.46 seconds en route to a top speed just over 408 km/h (nearly 254 mph). Built around a magnificent, mid-mounted, quad-turbocharged 8.0-liter W-16 featuring four valves per cylinder and mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, the Veyron stunned the world with its surefootedness at even the most extreme speeds—an ability enabled by a full-time Haldex all-wheel drive system. Even the car’s ancillary systems, including 10 radiators, are marvels of automotive engineering conceived to perform under the most demanding circumstances.
The stopping power was similarly stunning, as the Veyron was anchored by massive carbon-ceramic disc brakes with 15.7-inch discs and eight-piston, four-pad calipers up front, while 15-inch discs with six-piston, two-pad calipers were equipped at the rear. The alloy wheels, which were respectively 20 and 21 inches at the front and rear, were shod with special purpose-designed Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 PAX run-flat tires that provided superior grip.
The array of technology extended to three different drive modes: a Normal mode, at which the ride height was 4.9 inches; a Handling mode that deployed the rear spoiler and lowered ride height to 3.15 inches; and a special key-activated High-Speed mode that dropped ride height to 2.56 inches in front and 2.75 at the rear, while changing the spoiler position.
Equally captivating is the intricacy of the Veyron’s hand-crafted construction and the impact of its design. In its scale and proportions, the Veyron is unlike anything else: It is actually shorter in overall length than a modern Porsche 911, though it rides on a longer, 106.7-inch wheelbase, and it is noticeably lower and wider than that benchmark German sportscar. When experienced in person, a rare opportunity given its low production numbers and corresponding exclusivity, the Veyron has a presence all its own; it is a fitting inheritor of the Bugatti legacy and the world-renowned horseshoe grille.
VEYRON NUMBER 066
The 66th Bugatti Veyron completed, and the 20th delivered new to the United States, the car offered here has enjoyed a life of limited use and careful maintenance. The exterior is finished in silver metallic over bright silver, an effective two-tone pairing that subtly emphasizes the Veyron’s distinctive lines and complex curves. Like the Bugattis of old, this Veyron’s interior is elegant, simple, and purposeful, while being finely crafted of the highest-quality materials. This example is trimmed in the rare combination of Silk leather with Anthracite inserts; an engine-turned center console serves as a focal point while adding a dash of vintage spirit to the cabin.
With just 750 miles driven at time of cataloguing, this Veyron, now offered from the Fox Collection, has had only two owners from new. Under the care of its first owner in 2018, this car was serviced by Los Gatos Luxury Cars of Los Gatos, California; an invoice on file indicates over $51,000 in work performed, including an annual service as well as new front and rear tires. Given its limited milage and careful maintenance, it is hardly surprising that the car presents in excellent condition today.
Bugatti Veyron production ceased in 2015, at which point a total of 450 cars were produced; only 252 of these were Veyron 16.4 coupes, with only 76 in U.S. specification, meaning examples such as this are destined to remain rare and desirable. Accompanied by its special “speed” key with presentation box, owner’s manual, tools, and battery tender, as well as service invoices, this Bugatti Veyron 16.4 coupe represents a special moment the saga of the revitalized Bugatti marque, as well as the history of the modern supercar. It would make a significant—and not to mention exhilarating—addition to any serious stable.
With minimal production runs and maximized performance, the Fox Collection is filled with supercar selections that truly stand out from their contemporaries, with a combination of uncommon specifications, low mileages, and outstanding color combinations. The Fox Collection will be offered entirely without reserve at RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale, taking place 12-14 August 2021.