The very nature of speccing something like a Bugatti means every single one is going to be special - the choice and quality of the materials will see to that. But merely special will never do for some, which is when we get the bespoke commissions, of which there tend to be a couple each year. With not that many Chirons left (and with plenty of ideas already explored in various W16-engined one-offs), Bugatti and its clients are having to get creative. Which is how we arrive at this, the Chiron Super Sport Golden Era.
Story goes that a very important Bugatti customer said the 8.0-litre quad-turbo engine represented ‘a landmark moment in the world of the automobile’, which it’s pretty hard to argue with. To celebrate the fact, Bugatti went through its back catalogue to identify similarly momentous occasions. And, well, a company like Bugatti doesn’t really do cars or launches or anything that’s much less than momentous. This is how the Golden Era Chiron ended up with 45 sketches of iconic Bugattis drawn directly onto the car itself.
No, really, look. On the passenger side, there are 26 cars covered, including the Type 41 Royale and Type 57SC Atlantic, while the driver’s side has 19 that focus on the era from 1987 onwards: EB110, Veyron, Chiron. Plus, of course, there’s a sketch of the W16 engine - wouldn’t be complete without it. The unique gold paint is called Doré, with a graduated colour split into Nocturne Black. Then the paintwork was drawn directly onto, by hand, using pencil. Presumably the ones with the rubbers on the end in case of a mistake.
Bugatti says it had to ‘find a process’ that would allow this to work, but doesn’t elaborate any further on what it is. Presumably adding to the stress of a commission that even Bugatti termed ‘extremely intimidating’ for the designers involved was, predictably enough, the involvement of the very lucky owner. Apparently, he made ‘countless visits to the team to see the vision come to life’. Talk about pressure. Just the outside alone took more than 400 hours.
Then there’s the inside, which features three Bugatti legends on each door card, again hand applied and this time with a special paint that could go directly on the leather. ‘The EB110, Veyron and Chiron, legends of the present day, are facing the icons of the past that had inspired them: the Type 35 – the world’s greatest racing car – Type 57 SC Atlantic – the most beautiful car in the world – and Type 41 Royale – renowned as the most luxurious car ever created – applied to the opposite side of the interior.’ It’s a proper celebration alright. In addition, both ‘Golden Era’ and ‘One-of-One’ motifs adorn the inside. In case the paintings aren’t enough.
Bugatti Managing Director, Hendrik Malinowski, said: “Sur Mesure literally translates as tailored and it is this complete ultra-luxury customer-centric approach to car design that really sets it apart. Our teams will work hand-in-hand with our customers to craft exactly what they want, and then work closely with them over the course of months or even years to transform it into a reality. Each step, every decision and – in the case of the Golden Era – every stroke of the pencil, was completed with the close oversight and input of the owner to exceed his expectations in a way that no other brand is able to do.” Even by the standards of one-off Bugattis, the Golden Era does rather take the biscuit. Unsurprisingly, Monterey Car Week was considered the perfect place to show it off. Makes you wonder what one earth they’ll come up with next…
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