A Bugatti EB110 SS - an official 1993 'prototype' featuring unique factory modifications - from the period when the famous brand was for a short while revived by Italian businessman Roman Artioli and building supercars in Modena, is coming up for auction.
This EB110 Prototype will be one of the most distinctive lots at RM Sotheby's high profile sale at the "Rétromobile" classic car show in Paris next month and the auctioneers have estimated the price as between 850,000-1,100,000 euros.
The story of the revival of Bugatti with the EB110 model goes back to the middle of the last century as after nearly half a century of success, the original Bugatti company suffered badly during World War II and fell on hard times before ceasing production completely in 1956.
After passing through the hands of several owners, the Bugatti name was purchased in 1991 by Italian businessman Romano Artioli, seeking to revive the fabled marque to its former glory with a new supercar assembled in a brand-new, purpose-built factory at Campogalliano, Modena.
Artioli’s Bugatti Automobili S.p.A. produced just 139 total examples of the quad-turbo 3.5-litre V-12 EB110 and a later variant called the EB110 Super Sport (shortened to SS), boasting even more performance with a top speed of 216 mph of which only 36 were built. The car offered here, chassis no. PCD39006, is a factory prototype of the SS variant and is, consequently, an ultra-rare and hugely significant automobile fit for any Bugatti connoisseur.
Manufactured in early 1993, the car was intended to be used for body developments and was used in April of 1993 for homologation testing.
Completed in June of 1993 with two-wheel drive and fitted with engine number 009, the car was used for fuel consumption homologation testing and afterwards, was later fitted with the standard four-wheel drive system and received a new and very special Super Sport engine, engine, no. 0026, the unit previously fitted to the prototype C7 (serial no. MCD39006 deconstructed) that was used to set the EB110’s world speed record in 1992 at 342.7 km/h.
Further to this, it was used as a test bed for the evaluation of several other modifications. The factory-spec EB110 had a significant issue with fuel delivery. The car had two separate fuel tanks and fillers, one for each bank of the 3.5-litre V12 engine. This caused the engine to run on only six cylinders if one tank ran dry before the other. The prototype introduced a dual tank with a single filler to eliminate this problem, and also featured a revised gear shifter and lightweight carbon fibre engine cover, modifications not seen on other EB110s.
Artioli’s ambious venture soon came to nothing and the Italian based company went into administration in 1995 (the Bugatti name would go on to be sold to VW Group three years later) and this particular car was sold to its first private owner in 1997.
It was part of the Marin De Rijn Collection in the Netherlands until 2015, when it was purchased by the consignor. With him the car was shown at Salon Privé, where it received 'Best in Class' honours.
Presented in concours condition in stunning light grey metallic, this rare and all-original EB110 SS prototype shows just 3,300 km on the odometer and is arguably the finest EB110 in existence. The car was recently fully serviced by HR Owen Bugatti of London, is UK registered and is ready to drive and enjoy. It also retains its original books and tools.
RM Sotheby's reckon this is a stand out example of the short lived EB110 breed. "Considering its exceptionally low mileage, its use as a factory test bed and known ownership history from new, it is plain to see that this EB110 SS prototype is a remarkable automobile in every sense and one truly fit for inclusion in the world’s finest collections," the auction house summarises.
Photos: Bugatti EB110 SS Prototype