Bugatti proved a car doesn't need wire wheels and a carburetor to be considered a classic by restoring an important part of its recent heritage. It purchased and renovated the first Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport prototype from 2008.
Finished in white silver metallic with a cognac leather interior, the topless hypercar was presented to enthusiasts at the 2008 edition of the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. It joined the Bugatti fleet after its champagne-soaked debut and became an unregistered demo car that logged miles in Europe, the Middle East, and North America. It then presumably ended up in private hands, and it largely fell off the radar until Bugatti spotted it in 2020.
"Following the official confirmation of the car's status as an important historic model and the prototype that helped launch the Veyron Grand Sport in 2008, the car rapidly attracted attention from a number of captivated collectors, and it was acquired almost immediately," explained Luigi Galli, the man in charge of La Maison Pur Sang, Bugatti's in-house restoration and certification program. He added the firm keeps details about past models in its archives.
Back in Molsheim, the picturesque French town where Bugatti's headquarters are located, the Veyron underwent a four-month restoration that brought it back to its 2008 configuration. The body panels were removed and repainted, the cabin was completely refurbished with leather upholstery and aluminum trim pieces, and a new center console was installed. There's no word on whether the quad-turbocharged 16-cylinder engine required an overhaul as well.
Bugatti's in-house restoration expertise extends far beyond relatively new cars like a Veyron. It has access to a wide range of documents, blueprints, period photos, and experts that can help it piece together a car's history, regardless of whether it's a 13-year old prototype or a dismantled 100-year old race car stashed in a barn since the 1980s.
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