Do you know the savior of Bugatti?

Do you know the story of Romano Artioli? This Italian entrepreneur, who celebrates his 90th birthday, established himself in the 1980s as the savior of Bugatti and father of the mythical EB110. tribute

In 1952, a young technician 20 years olds attended amazed from Italy toBugatti production stopped in Molsheim, France. Three decades later, this same technician, then 59 years old and at the time a brilliant businessman, laid the foundations of the brand’s modern era. That man, Romano Artiolicelebrating it now 90th anniversary

Artioli was always set to play a major role in the automotive industry. In his childhood, a simple book about getting a driver’s license captured his attention to such an extent that he could read it over and over from cover to cover.

In 1987, he fulfilled his dream by purchasing a Bugatti

He first studied themechanical engineer before boarding the car repair, then created a business that sells and imports cars. By the mid-1980s, this company was so successful that Artioli was able to begin discussions with french government to buy a Bugatti. In 1987, his dream has finally come true.

Molsheim is still the beating heart of Bugatti and Romano Artioli also recognized at that time the importance of the Alsatian city. He saw in it the symbolic cradle of the brand but he quickly realized that the engineers and designers he needed to create something unparalleled. left the place. He finds new talents Modenain Italy.

Thus was born the “blue factory” of Modena

From the end of the 1980s, following intensive planning on a site of 240,000 m² – the production plant built by Artioli comes out of the ground not far from the Ferrari, Maserati, DeTomaso and Lamborghini.

The site includes a administrative building, a design studio, an area dedicated to engine development and testing, production workshops, a test trackan elegant refectory and a exhibition space. The affectionately called “The Blue Factory” unfortunately that has changed.

Romano Artioli has set up a very close teamled by engineers and designers belonging to best of their generation. It was impossible to assemble such a team in Molsheim, but it was important to him to copy it. community spirit and the sense of pride instilled by Ettore Bugatti.

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The EB110, the resurrected legend of Bugatti

When it was released, the EB110 was equipped with first mass-produced carbon chassisall wheel drive, four turbos and a 3.5 liter V12 with five valves per cylinder power of 560 hp (Listen to him sing in the video).

Announced on the day of 110th Ettore Bugatti’s birthday, it woke up admiration and doubt in its design and proportions.

“Romano Artioli loves Bugatti, but more than that, he understands it deeply within himself”, comment Achim Anscheidt, Bugatti Design Director. “When he bought the brand, he knew that it was not a question of simply reproducing what was done elsewhere in the automotive sector, it was not in the spirit of the founder. »

While everyone was building racing cars for the road, his idea was to create the ultimate GT and above all to do it with technologies never before seen in a road car and with a design of timeless beauty. It is, in every sense of the word, a true Bugatti. »

Her biggest fan? Michael Schumacher!

Quickly, the EB110 became a iconsynonymous with the dream and object of desire of connoisseurs who now want to participate in it new page in the history of Bugatti.

But the biggest fan of EB110 in time is probably a definite Michael Schumacher whose impressive collection of vehicles includes a EB110 SS yellow purchased in 1994. Unfortunately, the model is a partial victim of the flood that hit Germany in 2021.

However, one that sketches the coming era of supercars and hypercars in the industry could not cope with the severe global economic recession who will crack. that is why Romano Artioli needed filed for bankruptcy on September 23, 1995.

Centodieci preserves the memory of EB110

Years later, the EB110 inspired a new Bugatti from the tradition of coachbuilding : The Centodieci. Revealed in 2019, only ten copies were made, the first two resurrecting the EB110 and EB110 SuperSport myths.

Among those ultra-exclusive selection of clientsthe football player Cristiano Ronaldo was recently seen at the wheel of his example in white livery.

In the research phase before the design of centodieci, The Bugatti team met a number of original creators of EB110 and many shed tears remembering the experience.

Naa Fabbrica Blunowadays, tools are always placed on workbenches and the calendars still hung on the walls; the idea that they would leave this place for the last time did not even enter the minds of the employees, because they believed in the company and its vision.

“Now, at Bugatti, we owe a lot to Romano”summarizes Achim Anscheidt. “He is a warm person who expresses great passion for our brand. Through his generosity in reviving Bugatti in the 1980s and in defining the vision for the brand’s modern era, he helped lay the foundations for to the creation of the Veyron and the character of Bugatti today. »

Happy birthday, Romano Artioli!

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