In the south of France, Provence, appears a nearly two-kilometre high mountain, the slopes of which for 240 days a year are tanned by the wind, the speed of which is equal to 90 km/hr and even exceeds this limit. When Mistral blows at the top of the mountain, it reaches the speed of 300 km/hr and even more. Standing in this place one can feel what it is like to be Grand Prix driver in a racing track. Mont Ventoux is the name of this mountain and for the last fifty years it has been a Mecca for cyclists. One of the three ways to the mountain is always necessarily included in the race route of the Tour de France, and at various times of a year all kinds of cycling enthusiasts pound the pedals toward the top.
In the second and third decades of the twentieth century, Ventoux had been popular among car enthusiasts. While going to the Blue Shore to swank their new “toys”, a number of them used to turn sideways and enjoy the bursts of adrenaline in the winds of serpentines.
The interests of customers have been noticed, and Ettore Bugatti with his son Jean named the series of their produced cars with a specific bicuspid Coupé type body after Mont Ventoux. Although the cars given such a name mostly had the Type 57 chassis, for the first time the unique features of the body occurred in the creation of Jean Bugatti – BUGATTI Type 50T Coupé profilé.
So what was the development of the genes of this titled predecessor of its kind, the proportions of which can be observed in the top-class sports coupé even after decades? Well, it could be observed in the race. A citizen occupying a superior social position or trying to achieve one and seeking to demonstrate his uniqueness is not satisfied with simply having a car. As well as in the passing four-foot drive era, the social situation of the owner is shown rather by a hot-blooded Arab or the quartet of Orlov trotters harnessed in the carriage than by a Percheron fairly pulling a plough or a cart. The more racing prizes can be observed in the history of the breed, the faster its representatives find themselves in the stables. Similarly, the victories of different car brands at Le Mans and Grand Prix races also increase the sales of these cars; however, power is necessary to win a race. The easiest and best known way to raise it is to increase the raw power of the engine. At the start of the race, cars with eight, twelve or even sixteen-cylinder engines, the raw power of which exceeds twenty litres, can be observed. Engines are big and heavy. In proportion to the engine power, the weight of the chassis is also increased. A driver space very often occupies only one-fifth of a car length.
Bugatti also follows the beaten path of marketing. Coupé profilé body is placed on the Type 50T racing chassis and maintains the dimensions of the engine compartment and inter-axis dictated by the composition of the “combat” car. However, the lines created by Jean Bugatti turn the fighter’s brutality into the “charme” of the party animal and not only increases its sales but also for a very long time have remained the standard for the developers of the elite sports coupe.
Today it is difficult to imagine a sports coupe the size of Toyota Landcruiser. Currently only two of these are produced, namely Rolls-Royce Pfantom Coupe and Bentley Brooklands Rolls-Royce. Even the Americans, who have always been particularly concerned about the size of a car, in the seventies said goodbye to Cadillac Coupe Deville, Lincoln Mark and similar cars and turned to the pickups supporting the illusion of practicality. However, those who paid the attention to speed and beauty rather than to size, repeated the proportions of Bugatti Type 50 Coupé profilé in their works, or simply re-discovered them again in their search for perfection. It has become a success formula for such cars as Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, Jaguar E Type, or Ford Capri. And, if one placed the side projection drawings of Rolls-Royce Pfantom Coupe, Bentley Brooklands and Bugatti Type 50 Coupé profilé on each other at the proportions 1:1...
© 2014 Original text by Artūras Kupstas. © TYPOART.