After two and a half years of negotiation, Hans Matti's Swiss Bugatti collection is returning to its origins in Molsheim, France, where the cars were built 90 years ago.
The five vintage cars are a Type 51, Type 37A, Type 35B, Type 35A and a Type 49 Faux Cabriolet with a Jean Bugatti body. The cars are very rare and valuable examples, only a handful of which were ever built. The Type 35A, for example, is fitted with the last surviving Type 36 engine, transmission and rear axle and the Type 51 was a factory Works Grand Prix car raced in the days of Louis Chiron. The cars have never been restored and are still in their original condition.
Hans Matti was reluctant to part with his unique collection and even Ettore's granddaughter Caroline Bugatti was involved in the negotiations. Bugatti is very happy about the return of the cars, as the carmaker attaches great importance to maintaining the car as a cultural asset. Bugatti's official statement was:
“Arguably nothing brings us closer to the vision of Ettore than seeing his creations in the condition in which they left the factory; the original rivets, paint and, in particular, the meticulous engineering that came to define his cars and ultimately his success. This collection of cars and the stories that have been gathered around them are absolutely priceless, and we’re honoured to have been able to welcome them to the home of Bugatti Automobiles.”
The car collection was photographed at the Chateau et Commanderie Saint-Jean Stephen in Molsheim. Ettore Bugatti bought the manor to greet and receive his customers.
Photos © Bugatti Automobiles