Words: Nathan Chadwick | Pictures: 110% Publishing
The first copy of a book dedicated to one of the wildest hypercars of the 1990s sold for £39,000 ($46,000). The EB110 & The Last Bugatti Racing Cars is a 440-page tome that features 700 period photographs, historic images and original sketches, most of which are being brought to light for the very first time. It’s the work of Johann Petit and Pascal van Mele, and edited by Julius Kruta, Bugatti historian and former Head of Tradition at Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S.
“It is the pictures, as much as the text, that transport the reader through the extraordinary tale of the EB110 – the birth, growth and abrupt end of that remarkable supercar, and the revolutionary factory behind it,” says Julius Kruta. “The story of Romano Artioli’s burning ambition to create a world-beating car in a futuristic factory – and the tragic ending to those dreams – reads like a Hollywood film script. This is a car that set benchmarks and broke world records – an instant automotive icon – yet the only references available to the public tend to be period articles in motoring magazines.”
Work began after the book following a shorter book on the last Bugatti racing cars launched at Rétromobile in 2020. Buoyed by the enthusiasm for the book, the editor and the authors decided to start again from scratch.
“When our earlier book on the last Bugatti racing cars caused a tsunami of interest, we realised there was a pent-up need for a comprehensive work on the whole Bugatti EB110 story: something that captured the dream, the birth, the development, the dazzling success of the no-expense-spared fairytale. And, too, its abrupt and tragic end,” says Julius. “So we ‘pulled the handbrake’ and started again. It struck us at the time that this was wholly in keeping with the EB110 itself, which was fully developed and finished as an original design with an aluminium chassis – only for Romano Artioli to ‘pull the handbrake’ and develop a totally new car, this time with its famous carbonfibre chassis.
“So this is exactly what we did with our book, 30 years later. We worked tirelessly to acquire many hundreds of never-before-seen period images of Artioli and other key protagonists, the car and the goings-on at the factory, and painstakingly crafted the text to tell the full – at times shocking – tale. We genuinely believe there will never be another book like it. As Ettore Bugatti once said: ‘‘If comparable… it is no longer Bugatti.”‘
Book 001 was sold at the Chairman’s Dinner at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, to the owner and curator of The Pearl Collection. All proceeds will go to the Pebble Beach charity. Three versions of the book have been published: 110 copies of the GT Edition with a black cover; 110 copies of the LM Edition with a blue cover; and 110 copies of the IMSA Edition with a silver cover. There are 700 images over 440 pages, and it costs $900 via 110% publishing. More details here.