Bugatti Grand Sport Vitesse

Ettore Bugatti, Pierre Veyron and Jay Leno will be there — and Bugatti Beverly Hills.

Especially built for 2012 Pebble Beach, the 2013 Bugatti Grand Sport Vitesse reaffirms, with power and panache, the legendary craftsmanship and innovation of Bugatti (1881–1947), the company founder who vetted buyers for their qualifications to own his extraordinary cars.

What’s more, the 1200-horsepower 16-cyclinder hard-top convertible — the world’s fastest production car — reprises the blue-and-white livery of the supercharged 1928 Bugatti Type 37A owned by Leno, known as widely for his passion for cars as his comedic gifts.

Leno’s classic two-seater, with its signature horseshoe radiator, raced to victory eight decades ago at the Geneva Grand Prix, driven by Veyron, who later won the 1939 24 Hours of Le Mans in a Bugatti Type 57 with Jean-Pierre Wimille.

A member of the French Resistance in World War II and recipient of the Cross of the French Legion of Honor in 1945 for this service, Veyron was honored by Bugatti by having its recent supercar model honor his memory. He died in Èze, on the French Riviera, in 1970.

Bugatti Beverly Hills, owned by the O’Gara Coach Company, will display the Grand Sport Vitesse Friday, Aug. 17, at the Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley, and Saturday, Aug. 18, at the Casa Palmero Inn at Pebble Beach and, possibly, on the lawn at the weekend’s climactic 62nd annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Sunday, Aug. 19. Leno plans to show his Type 37A at Quail as part of the annual summer festival of automotive activities in the Monterey/Carmel area.

“Bugatti Beverly Hills is proud to debut in North America the new Grand Sport Vitesse at this year’s Pebble Beach Concours Week,” says Tim O’Hara, General Manager of Bugatti Beverly Hills, the factory-authorized new and pre-owned Bugatti dealer for Greater Los Angeles.

Issued in limited numbers by Bugatti, the Grand Sport Vitesse (loosely, French for “at the greatest speed) is priced at $2.5 million.

“With this outstanding car,” O’Hara adds, “we are dedicated to continue delivering the legacy and engineering innovation of Ettore Bugatti to our uniquely discriminating clients.” Bugatti Beverly Hills has been the leading retailer in North America for the past six years, specializing in new and preowned Veyron models.

Bugatti Beverly Hills also offers new and certified preowned Aston Martin, Bentley, Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce automobiles as well as specialized financing and leasing tailored to each client’s needs.

Two Great Cars, One Road to Excellence

In 1928, the Type 37A, with its supercharged 1.5-liter 1496-cc four-cylinder engine revving to 5,000 rpm, could exceed 120 mph — rare environs in those days, even by cars with twice or more cylinders. And, it was durable on the track.

By this time the Milanese-born entrepreneur, born into a family of sculptors and artists (his dad excelled as a furniture designer), was well-known for building purpose-built racers — Bugatti’s art, his sculpting.

He built his first car at 19, in 1900; seven years later, while working in Cologne for Deutz he moonlighting by building a four-cylinder eight-valve car — the “Pur Sang” or “Pure Blood.” Two years later, he opened his Molsheim workshop in the Alsace area of France. Just a year after opening, one of his cars won the inaugural 1911 Monaco Grand Prix. So the legend began.

Leno was attracted to this 37A because of its verifiable track experience and Veyron’s ownership. The third Bugatti on the American Bugatti Registry, it was owned by the former president of the group, Robert Dunlap, from whom he acquired it. Leno’s famed Big Dog Garage has added just a few contemporary items, such as an efficient radiator and drive-shaft-driven alternator so that he can enjoy it on Burbank streets and Los Angeles highways.

To affirm the continuity between Leno’s 37A and the Grand Sport Vitesse, Bugatti’s historian Julius Kruta coordinated with the company’s engineers. They ensured that the new car not only reproduced the same blue-and-white color scheme of the racer but its craftsmanship, sculptural beauty and the racing legacy it represents.

After handcrafting by Atelier Bugatti in Molsheim, driver Pierre Henri Raphanel pushed the new car on track, as Pierre Veyron had once with the 37A, allowing the engineers to fine-tune the vehicle for peak performance — again, as Bugatti engineers had done for the legendary racer.

“The Grand Sport Vitesse may not be destined for Grand Prix,” O’Hara says, “but it is an automotive experience that Pierre Veyron would instantly recognize were he to climb behind the wheel today and enjoy its 21st-century performance. He would still say the experience was undeniably Bugatti — a love of speed, a passion for automotive engineering and a dedication to the marque.”

Celebrating Bugatti’s personal and professional fine-arts heritage, the 2012 Pebble Beach Bugatti Grand Sport Vitesse is kinetic sculpture — artistry on wheels. The aluminum and steel of the 37A is now carbon fiber and titanium, and parts that were hand-milled are today designed and fine-tuned digitally.

“The fundamental commitment to craftsmanship and attention to detail has not changed since Bugatti himself began crafting his inimitable cars 100 years ago,” O’Hara says.

O’Gara — Bespoke Service for Your Bugatti

Owning a Grand Sport Vitesse or any super-luxury vehicle delivers not just sheer piloting pleasure, however great that is. A Bugatti also offers an exclusive automotive lifestyle shared only by a very limited group of motoring enthusiasts. After all, a century after the car’s debut, fewer than 8,000 vehicles have been produced as Bugatti’s.

In addition to having floor models of vehicles offered for sale, Bugatti Beverly Hills has accessories, gifts and apparel and can special-order exclusive pieces from the Bugatti Collection.

Bugatti ownership also requires the personal service your extraordinary vehicle deserves. Since opening, the Bugatti Beverly Hills has been satisfying some of the world’s great car collectors as well as discriminating first-time luxury and supercar owners. Led by its founder Tom O’Gara, the O’Gara Coach Company has established records in luxury and performance sales and service continuously from 2004–2011.

“Our specialists can expertly navigate our clients through every option, from quality pre-owned automobiles through the special commissioning program,” says O’Hara, explaining that this allows you to choose color combinations, leathers and other options for personalization.

The company also offers vehicle consignment, fair vehicle trade-in values and vehicle locating throughout the dealer network.

Assisting him are three specially trained Bugatti technicians to handle service and provide OEM parts for the Bugatti Veyron, Grand Sport, Super Sport and the phenomenal new Grand Sport Vitesse.

“Our supreme customer satisfaction scores reflect the professionalism and dedication to the products that O’Gara Coach Company has become renowned for,” O’Hara says. “If you haven’t experienced O’Gara Coach Company, it’s time to treat yourself to the best.”

O’Gara Coach Company — (800) 556-4986, www.ogaracoach.com or e-mail inquiries to [email protected].