Auctions and Brokerage
The Veyron 16.4 Upon the revival of the celebrated Bugatti marque, great speculation arose as to what kind of car the company would produce with the backing of a major automotive conglomerate and the support of the industry’s best engineers. Bugatti possessed no lack of experience with performance and luxury cars, fueling anticipation of a hypercar on par with none other.
By 2000, amid growing anticipation, a prototype for the eventual production vehicle emerged at the Paris Motor Show, a low-slung two-seat sports car powered by a W-16 engine with four turbochargers, which was mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission with all-wheel drive.
The $172,000 gearbox could execute shifts in less than 150 milliseconds, with one clutch dedicated to odd-numbered gears, and the other responsible for even-numbered ones. The hand-assembled engine, requiring 10 radiators for cooling, developed no less than 987 hp regardless of weather conditions, and up to 1,050 hp in optimal conditions. Ultra-lightweight titanium was utilized throughout the chassis components, including the front grille, while the specialized paint finish required two days of inspection before approval.
The Veyron is named in honor of Bugatti works driver Pierre Veyron who, with co-driver Jean-Pierre Wimille was victorious at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1939. The first production Veyrons were delivered to customers in 2006 after exhaustive stability and performance testing, and boasted the ultimate in technological engineering, with numerous onboard computers, an automatically adjusting suspension, and a self-deploying rear spoiler. The cockpit of the initial model was trimmed in leather and Alcantara with an engine-turned center console, recalling the great pre-war Bugattis. Performance was nothing short of astounding, with the W-16’s 922 lbs. /ft. of torque catapulting the car to 60 mph in just 2.7 seconds, and a top speed of 253 mph.
This Car At the 2008 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Bugatti S.A.S. presented a new variant of the Veyron, an open-top version dubbed the Grand Sport. In addition to providing the recognized joys of a convertible, removing the roof allowed the Veyron driver a vastly improved interface with the model, as the turbo intakes were now in direct earshot, a matter of inches from the driver’s head. The driving experience of a Grand Sport is an unforgettably visceral one, with each stomp of the accelerator cranking up the turbos’ whir, turning the otherwise demure Veyron coupe into a much more emotionally charged performer. As Motor Trend commented in their June 2009 review of the Grand Sport, “the open car feels faster because it sounds so much better.”
With performance numbers keeping pace with its coupe sibling, the Grand Sport delivers outrageous punch, and it is emblematic of the model’s mastery of engineering and aerodynamics that the windows automatically rise when the car hits 100 mph, for optimal airflow. With a powerplant stronger than a Formula 1 car, yet retaining docile manners when required, the Grand Sport is the ultimate open-top luxury/performance hypercar, made all the more exclusive by its planned production run of just 150 examples.
This magnificent Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport, tastefully finished in white over a navy blue leather interior, was purchased new by a well-respected collector in January 2010. The Bugatti has been well looked after throughout its life, garaged in the company of the consignor’s numerous exotic automobiles and blue-chip vintage Ferraris, and maintained as needed. According to service records, the Bugatti received software updates and an annual dealer service on July 11, 2012, displaying 8,451 miles. Displaying just over 8,600 miles at the time of cataloguing, this beautiful Veyron Grand Sport represents the zenith of modern hypercar technology in the mid-2000s, and would wonderfully crown the most accomplished collections.