Molsheim is a small town that was serendipitously picked by Ettore Bugatti to start his company. This town in the Alsace region in France was the place where he built his cars and welcomed his guests. It is also the town where he and his family have chosen as their final resting place. So, it is not a surprise that to pay tribute to Ettore Bugatti and the company he built, every year, Molsheim celebrates the Bugatti Festival which is still currently the home of the iconic brand.
The Bugatti Festival is always celebrated on the weekend that is closest to Ettore Bugatti’s birthday which is September 15. On those days, Molsheim and Bugatti enthusiasts take to the street to celebrate Ettore and his legacy.
Organized by Enthousiastes Bugatti Alsace (EBA), the event traditionally starts with a visit to the final resting place of Ettore Bugatti in Dorlisheim Cemetery, paying tribute to the man who changed the automotive landscape.
For this most recent Bugatti Festival, it started on Friday with 56 vintage Bugatti models lined-up including five customer-owned Bugatti hyper sports cars. They gathered in Molsheim for the first driving tour around Alsace. Bugatti enthusiasts know that one of the best ways you can pay your respects to the founder of the fastest, most luxurious, and most advanced cars in the world is to use and enjoy them in the region he called home.
The cars that attended represented some of the best models that Bugatti released like the Type 13, Type 35, Type 44, Type 49, Type 57, and Type 101. Many of the cars are Grand Prix legends with impressive racing history, while the others are equipped with cutting-edge engineering hidden under the most elegant coachbuilt bodies handcrafted for the elites from the early 20th century.
Since the beginning, Bugatti Automobiles has worked together with the EBA to honor the company’s founder and his legacy. On Saturday morning, Bugatti Festival participants were invited to the home of Bugatti in Molsheim, Château Saint Jean so that they can explore the final resting place of Ettore Bugatti and to also explore the birthplace of the beloved brand. President of Bugatti Christophe Piochon, who has participated in 16 editions of the festivals – with ten of them as a jury member – happily welcomed the guests on site for a private breakfast.
After breakfast, at around 10:30 am, the convoy drove out of the Château to start the second day of driving. From Alsace, they went to the Vosges mountains as they drove through different types of landscapes and roads. It was then that six Bugatti customers joined the ride with their amazing vehicles: a Chiron Sport, a Veyron Grand Sport, a couple of Veyrons, a Type 101 Antem, and a rare EB110 America which was specifically designed for the US market. Bugatti Automobiles also delivered as they supplied two more exciting vehicles: a Chiron Pur Sport and a Chiron Super Sport. What is surprising is that it was not even the most exciting day of the Bugatti Festival.
On Sunday morning, the roar of legendary Bugatti engines thundered around the Parc des Jésuites in Molsheim signaling the start of the public display of historic Bugatti vehicles and their modern-day hyper sports cars.
These same cars were displayed in the morning for both the Bugatti enthusiasts and the local Molsheim residents to admire, giving them a closer look at the cars that created the Bugatti brand. Later in the day, the cars were paraded through the streets of Molsheim.
The cars then stopped in front of a panel of judges that included Christophe Piochon. Each car was meticulously examined by the judges as they tried to search for a car that was worthy of the Coupe Bugatti Automobiles. After careful deliberation, the coveted prize was given to a Type 57C Cabriolet Corsica which honored Bugatti’s open-top legacy which can still be seen today with the recently unveiled W16 Mistral.
Other awards were also given out including the Trophée Fondation Bugatti which was given to a Type 46 Petite Royale by Gangloff. The winner was given an intricate trophy which was built from the same materials that were used to create the Bugatti cars, and then crowned by a piece of Lalique crystal.
Other prizes that were awarded on that day included the Grand Prix Enthousiastes Bugatti Alsace, Trophée Lalique, Trophée Cul Pointu, and Prix de la Meileure Participation Internationale.
All the new participants were also given a prize by the Enthousiastes Bugatti Alsace as a gesture of appreciation for being part of the 39th edition of the Bugatti Festival, and also to encourage them to be part of the Festival in the future.
Those who were not able to join the festivities during the Festival, they have until the end of September to see the Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse World Record Edition, which is being displayed in a transparent cube in the city center of Molsheim.
President of Bugatti Automobiles Christophe Piochon stated, “When we call Molsheim the home of Bugatti, we mean it in the truest sense of the word. Yes, the cars are handbuilt here, but it’s a far deeper connection than purely that. A visit to Molsheim is like a pilgrimage for enthusiasts of the Bugatti brand, delivering a greater understanding of the man that began this journey and the cars that have written it into the pages of history. We’re proud to be continuing this legacy by supporting the Bugatti Festival and maintaining the home of Bugatti in Alsace”.