After Ettore Bugatti’s death his family decided to keep his car-making company alive. Their creation of the Type 101 was a daring wager on the appetite of the post-war world for a grand tourer in the image of the pre-war Type 57 Bugatti.
If there were a 1930s equivalent of the 250GT Ferrari it was certainly the Type 57 Bugatti. The 250GT’s chassis lent itself to gorgeous bodies by the world’s finest coachbuilders; so did the Type 57’s. The Ferrari was among the fastest sports cars of its day; so was the Bugatti. The 250GT was the basis of race-winning competition cars; so was the Bugatti, versions of which won Le Mans in 1937 and 1939. Both were manufactured in reasonable volume; from 1934 to 1939 Bugatti made 687 of its Type 57. Thus when the announcement came after the war that Bugatti would produce a new and improved version of its Type 57 there was no little excitement in the world of cars in general, and the world of Bugatti fanatics in particular.