In every company in the world, there are people that have helped elevate it to supremacy and some companies see it fit to celebrate its heroes. Bugatti is doing just that by preparing a series of six individual Veyron models, specially developed to pay tribute to the people that "have played a crucial role in its history and which have helped creating its mystique."
The first from this special series is called Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse "Jean-Pierre Wimille" Edition and, as its name suggests, it pays tribute to Jean-Pierre Wimille — a racecar driver that brought two Le Mans victories to Bugatti.
This special edition was inspired by the Bugatti 57G Tank that won the Le Mans in 1937. It comes with a two-tone paint job that features blue clear-coated carbon fiber and a light Wimille Bleu. Under the hood, this Bugatti Veyron stays bone stock, leaving it at the amazing 8-liter W-16 engine that delivers 1,200 horsepower and 1,100 pound-feet of torque.
The model will be making its world debut at the US The Quail/Pebble Beach set to take place from 16 to 18 August.
Click past the jump to read more about Jean-Pierre Wimille.
Jean-Pierre Wimille was one of the longest-serving test drivers at Bugatti. He was born on February 26, 1908 in Paris and drove almost exclusively for Bugatti throughout his racing career.
Wimille was only 22 years old when he made his Grand Prix debut, driving a Bugatti 37A at the 1930 French Grand Prix in Pau. Then, in 1932, he won the La Turbie hill climb, the Grand Prix de Lorraine and the Grand Prix d’Oran - all of them while driving a Bugatti T51. In 1933 Ettore Bugatti invited him to take up the position of official test driver for the brand.
In his very first year he came first in the Algerian Grand Prix, then in 1935, he collected the title in the then-famous hill climb at La Turbie near Nice driving a T 59, following this with a second place in the Tunisian Grand Prix and fourth place in Spain.
In 1937 and then in 1939 he won the 24 hours of Le Mans, first while driving a Bugatti T57G with Robert Benoist and second a Bugatti T57C with Pierre Veyron.
Jean-Pierre Wimille died at the wheel of Simca-Gordini during practice runs for the 1949 Buenos Aires Grand Prix.
Bugatti, a brand with a rich history unique in the car industry, is celebrating its heroes. The French luxury marque will bring out an exclusive edition, “Les Légendes de Bugatti” (Bugatti Legends), to commemorate the renowned names which have played a crucial role in its history and which have helped creating its mystique. In the 90th anniversary year of the 24 Heures du Mans, the first Legend is dedicated to a personality who is central to the history of motor sports and intimately linked with the Bugatti company: Jean-Pierre Wimille, who garnered two victories for Bugatti at Le Mans. The Bugatti Legend “Jean-Pierre Wimille” will make its début in the eyes of the world at the US The Quail/Pebble Beach weekend taking place from 16 to 18 August. The next twelve months will see the launch of six individual Bugatti Legends based on the Bugatti Grand Sport Vitesse.
Dr. Wolfgang Schreiber, President of Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S.: “This brand has been in large part defined by outstanding personalities and historically resonant moments. We want to tell the story of the brand through these Bugatti legends, and at the same time create a link between its past and presence.”
The Bugatti Legend “Jean-Pierre Wimille” relates to the successes of the eponymous racing driver who won Bugatti two victories at the 24 Heures du Mans: in 1937, driving a Bugatti 57G Tank co-piloted by Robert Benoist, and repeating the feat in 1939, this time supported by Pierre Veyron in a 57C Tank.
The winning race car from 1937 is the inspiration behind the design of the “Jean-Pierre Wimille” Bugatti Legend. For the historic race the 57G Tank appeared in the racing blue finish that habitually identified French racing cars. Accordingly, this Vitesse now shines in blue clear-coated carbon fibre and a light Wimille Bleu paintwork finish.
The colour scheme is continued in the supercar’s interior, as Achim Anscheidt, chief designer at Bugatti, explains: “The materials and colours selected, as well as a host of details, all reference the essential characteristics of the classic models driven by those figures to whom our edition pays homage. In each case, this care has resulted in vehicles in which the authenticity of the past is combined with the modern design, the sportive superlative and the luxurious comfort of Bugatti as an icon of the present. With these Bugatti Legends we are giving history a modern makeover.”
The six Bugatti Legends are all based on the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport Vitesse. This super sports car, launched in Spring 2012, is officially the fastest series roadster in the world since achieving 408,84 km/h with the top down in April 2013. Centred round an eight-litre W16 engine delivering 1,200 PS, the Vitesse produces unequalled maximum torque of 1,500 Nm (at 3,000 – 5,000 rpm), and accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in a lightening 2.6 seconds.
The production run for the Bugatti Legend “Jean-Pierre Wimille” will be limited to three vehicles.