It's been an interesting few weeks for the hyper niche world of record-setting hypercars. First we had a new record, then we had admission of a 'mix-up' which cast doubt on that record; the internet evidently being a more observant viewer of the Tuatara's 331mph footage than the team who recorded and edited it. SSC has since suggested it will re-stage the run to eliminate any doubt. Whatever the outcome, it's clear that silly-speed cars still hold considerable appeal.
Certainly that was true of the Veyron. Arguably no-one had ever gone for the flat-out jugular in a road-legal setting like Bugatti did in 2005. The car stunned the world with its 253.81mph v-max, removing the McLaren F1 and its 1998 240mph run from the top spot. Not only did it smash the record, it did it in purpose-built style; everyone waxing lyrical on just how composed the quad-turbo W16 machine was when closing in on terminal velocity. It wasn't just fast either, it was reputedly easy to drive and luxurious - and thanks to the quality assurance of a multinational conglomerate, it offered turn-key usability and reliability.
All that history and reputational heft is packed into the panels of the first Veyron bound for Britain, said to be the fifteenth car to exit the factory. As a 2006 build, it was delivered when the victory of the record was still fresh, complete with 'UK1' in its chassis code to signify its unique rank. In fact, the car was so early in the model cycle that is was apparently given pride of place on the Goodwood Festival of Speed lawn that year.
We hardly need to delve into the Veyron's specialness any deeper, its status as an eccentric, ego-satisfying experiment is well established, as is the engineering know-how which delivered its remarkable specification. As ever, gaining access to the four banks of cylinders in the W16 motor, an engine quite like no other, is probably worth the price of admission alone.
In the original car, it delivered 1,001hp and 922lb ft of torque, enabling a 2.5 second 0-62mph time as well as that maximum figure from the all-wheel drive chassis. The Veyron weighed 1.9-tonnes, of course - but power is power. Especially when the boost hits at its hardest from around 4,500rpm; those to sample it first-hand have likened the feeling to riding on an afterburner. Something we'd like to think the former owners of this particular car have experienced a few times, given the 10,100 miles of use in 14 years. Not bad for a car that cost one million euros when new.
The next custodian of UK1 won't exactly be making a killing on the depreciation either - the current asking price is £875,000, after all. Still, at least said buyer can make the purchase safe in the knowledge that the 'service and tyre package' was undertaken at H.R. Owen Bugatti in 2017 (costing £31,716) and that an annual service a year later replaced the front radiators, prop shaft, air con condenser, left-hand heat deflector and front handling flaps for £35,310. Epic running costs by any measure. But an epic car, too.
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