The Legend of Jean-Pierre

09 March 2023

On the evening of 11 August 1939, Jean Bugatti suffered a fatal accident test driving the same car that Jean-Pierre Wimille had won Le Mans just a few weeks earlier.

War started soon after, and Bugatti came to an untimely end, leaving the legacy of aerodynamics, especially in the world of racing.

Jean-Pierre was one of a hand-picked group of men known as the Grand Prix Saboteurs. An erstwhile group of racing drivers who worked with the Special Operations Executive operating Resistance cells in occupied France.

Fast forward to September 1991, the Bugatti EB 110 was launced, exactly 110 years after Ettore Bugatti’s birth.

Early in 1994, Formula One driver Michael Schumacher purchased a yellow EB 110 Super Sport, giving the company great publicity.

On 2 December 1998, Volkswagen Group acquired the Bugatti brand. Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S. commissioned Giorgetto Giugiaro of ItalDesign to produce Bugatti Automobiles’s first concept vehicle, the EB118, a coupé debuting in the 1998 Paris Auto Show.

Jean-Pierre Wimille became synonymous with Bugatti’s legacy, especially when it came to racing in the 1930s; he achieved the brand’s first win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1937 and then repeated the feat two years later.

In commemorating his impression on Bugatti’s history, the Grand Sport Vitesse’ Jean-Pierre Wimille’ was the first Legends edition model. It celebrated its world premiere in August 2013 in Pebble Beach, California.

Long live the legend.