Ettore Bugatti, Milan, 15 September 1881 – Neuilly-sur-Seine, 21 August 1947, was an Italian-born French motor car designer and founder of Bugatti.
Ettore thought himself an artist as much as an engineer.
He was also a very keen horseman and would often ride around his factory on horseback, overseeing the work of the mere mortals ‘who had the great privilege of working for him.’
He made his presence and feelings well known, with an unwavering belief that his way was the only way. He was well known for his strong faith in his ability.
He was also a marketing genius, always one to take advantage of every opportunity for profit.
He would pour Castrol oil into a Bugatti logo emblazoned oil tank and sell it as Bugatti oil at over three times the price.
He designed and constructed alloy wheels, not only for their strength and lightweight, but Bugatti was the only firm that could mend them and then determine the cost of repair.
Mr B was considered to have a haughty and arrogant demeanour.
He was widely known for his dismissive attitude towards prospective clients he didn’t deem worthy or wealthy enough to own one of his distinguished motor cars.
Following the death of his son, Jean Bugatti, in a car accident, he became somewhat reclusive and focused on his work designing all manner of items from Trains, Aeroplanes, Coaches, Boats and Sculptures.
An amalgam of elegance, innovation often distinguishes his designs and diligent attention to detail.
While his arrogance alienated many, it was arguably the driving force behind his pursuit of excellence and change.