Home Luxury Lifestyle Romano Artioli and the rebirth of Bugatti

Romano Artioli and the rebirth of Bugatti


Image credit: Courtesy of Classic Trader magazine

When people think of the name Bugatti, the conversation often shifts The spirit of promoting the brand’s boundaries and design, pioneered by Ettore and Jean Bugatti. That or modern supercars like Veyron or Chiron. Few people mention that Bugatti’s dark period lasted several decades after World War II (WWII). Even less represents the determination, blood, sweat and tears of Romano Artioli, who revived the brand, added a bit of her own personality and brought the Bugatti back to the world headlights.

Childhood dream

Romano Artioli was born in Moglia, 1932, near the city of Mantua. From an early age, Artioli was fascinated by the world of racing and high-speed cars. In one Interview with Classic Driver magazineHe recounts how he consumed a driver’s license book when he was a 12-year-old boy, saying that was when he found his call. In his own words, “after that, it became clear to me that my life would be dedicated to cars and engines.”

Their passion for fast cars and what made them mark the road that Artioli took. After his family moved to the town of Bolanzo, he took a course in mechanical engineering in a professional academy, constantly dedicating himself to researching various technologies and machines every day for maximum. Eight o’clock. After graduating, he started repairing cars that were greatly damaged after World War II ended.

Bugatti’s Dark Era

Despite the abundance of resources on the internet, little is known about Bugatti’s history during World War II and the years that followed. The dark clouds of war heralded the beginning of this murky age in Bugatti’s legacy. The fighting devastated much of Europe, leaving the Molsheim plant in disrepair and touching the company’s workers. Founder Ettore Bugatti, still reeling from the death of his first son Jean Bugatti, was particularly hit. The end of the war only added to his emotional turmoil as he lost many friends and family members, turning the great innovator into a shattered man. Ettore passed away in 1947, and without the steering wheel, the brand fell into disrepair. Bugatti tried to keep it going, but its post World War II production was only a fraction of what it was before. This brand continued to decline, before stopping production entirely in 1952.

Bugatti Type 251; Image credit: Courtesy of DriveTribe

Later this decade, Ettore’s second son, Roland Bugatti, tried to bring the brand back by teaming up with Gioacchino Colombo to build the Type 251. However, it did not meet expectations. and production is again shutting down.

This brand was eventually sold to Hispano-Suiza in 1963, another second-hand automaker and focused primarily on manufacturing aircraft parts.

Revive slowly

When Bugatti stopped production in 1952, 20-year-old Romano Artioli was fired. He has always admired the brand’s refined designs, innovative ideas and technical innovations. Upon hearing this horrifying news, he swore that “if no one responds to the situation at Bugatti, I will work as long as I can one day bring the brand back.”

As she got older, Artioli shifted her focus from the mechanical side of the industry to the business. The Italian businessman started his career as an agent and later as a distributor for many famous brands such as Ferrari, GM and Suzuki. He is known as the first importer of Japanese cars to Italy, and as the leading Ferrari distributor in the Enzo Ferrari era. He spent the better part of three decades developing his auto dealership empire that covered much of Italy and southern Germany.

In the mid-1980s, negotiations about the Bugatti’s soul began. Artioli is determined to revive the name Bugatti and restore the former glory. He secretly entered the negotiations with the French government, using the sizable capital he had earned from his automotive empire. After two years, he successfully acquired the Bugatti brand and founded the Bugatti Automobili SpA in 1987.

Ettore Bugatti’s original guesthouse in Molsheim Chateau St. Jean, back in the early 1900s, where he entertained guests and clients; Image credit: Courtesy of Bugatti
The original factory in Molsheim, Alsace, where Bugattis was built between 1909 and 1939; Image credit: Courtesy of Bugatti

His first business goal was to set up a new manufacturing facility to rebrand. Molsheim, the brand’s historic home, would be the perfect place to revive the company, but it presents a series of challenges that make it difficult to formulate.

“Molsheim is comparable to Maranello in Italy or Hethel in England. It was Bugatti’s mecca, but at that time there were no production rooms and engineers in the area, ”says Artioli of the proposed plan.

Since Molsheim was not suitable for rebuilding, Artioli took notice of the Modenese province of Campogalliano.

Outstanding performance

When building its new factory, Artioli expressed her desire to have a more favorable working environment. His new factory designed by his cousin, Giampaolo Benedini, is open and air-conditioned, allowing his workers to feel comfortable and free. His new facility was so radical that other brands soon took comments from Bugatti when they reviewed their manufacturing processes.

Romano Artioli in Paris during its EB 110 showcase; Image credit: Courtesy of GT Spirit
The launch event drew crowds so massive that hundreds of security personnel had to be deployed; Image credit: Courtesy of GT Spirit

From this advanced facility came a state-of-the-art car. The EB 110 epic was originally conceived on a blank sheet of paper by Marcello Gandini. Originally envisioned with a more classic wedge shape, Benedini changed the design, smoothing it out to create a sleek, modern and still revolutionary look to this day. The EB 110 has broken all conventions of what is considered the pinnacle of automotive excellence as well as numerous speed records with top speeds in excess of 351 km / h. It is the first mass produced carbon undercarriage supercar and boasts a host of innovative features like four turbochargers and a new 3.5-liter V12 engine. EB 110 was launched in Paris on the occasion of Ettore Bugatti’s birthday, honoring the brand’s legendary founder and demonstrating the brand’s rebirth under the leadership of Artioli.

IImage Credit: Courtesy of GT Spirit

Romano Artioli’s role in bringing Bugatti back into the war is an example of his passion and determination. But beyond his creative contributions, we humbly believe that his legacy with Bugatti is best represented by compassion. Hoping to bring better working conditions to his workers, he designed a completely new factory, where his employees mourned when he filed for bankruptcy in September 1995. Despite his financial situation, he paid the salaries of all of his 220 employees until the end of the day. In short, Bugatti would never have been born without Ettore Bugatti’s vision, but without the determination and compassion of Romano Artioli, the brand in its modern embodiment, could never have been. exist.

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