€POA from Girardo & Co, Bergamo, Italy
THE MARKET / Showroom Stars
Few cars have boasted a more extravagant use of forced induction than the Bugatti EB110. Its exotic, bespoke 60-valve V12 was boosted by a total of four IHI turbochargers, with 550bhp the result. Unlike so many blown engines, this one is especially pleasing to look at – specifically the 12 individual throttle bodies and their beautifully over-engineered linkages.
When it was launched in 1991, the EB110 was one of the fastest and most advanced supercars on the market with its four-wheel drive and active aerodynamics. The company’s rebirth was bankrolled by Italian businessman Romano Artioli, and it was engineered and built in Modena: not only the heart of supercar country, but also employing some of the best engineers and designers in the business.
There is still French DNA in the EB110. It was the first car in the world to feature a carbonfibre superstructure, built by Aérospatiale. It wasn’t long (1992) before a more hardcore Super Sport version was launched. Its increase in power to 610bhp was achieved by the removal of two catalytic converters, fitting bigger fuel injectors and remapping the ECU. Further carbonfibre panels, magnesium wheels, fixed aero and many other weight-saving measures trimmed around 150kg from the original car’s weight.
This was the EB110 that finally encapsulated the spirit of Bugatti. So much so, that Michael Schumacher famously bought (and later crashed) one. Bugatti’s problem was the difficulty of selling supercars in the early 1990s, and financial problems for the company led to the end of production in 1995. Just 84 GTs and 30 of these lightweight Super Sports were built. Although a small number of improved ‘continuation’ cars were built by Dauer from the remaining spare parts, this example offered by Girardo & Co from its new showroom near Milan is believed to be the last Super Sport to leave the Campogalliano factory. Originally registered to Bugatti Automobili S.p.A, it was auctioned by the company’s liquidators in 1997. It was bought by a company in Luxembourg, then sold to its first and only private owner in 2003. Registered in Italy, this EB110 has covered minimal mileage and had its most recent major service in 2015. Although no price has been quoted, the last Super Sport to sell at auction made a little over €2m. girardo.com