LOOK: One-off Bugatti Chiron Golden Era is a painstakingly detailed work of art

Published Aug 12, 2023


This, says Bugatti, was the most challenging bespoke commission that the company has ever created.

Commissioned by an unnamed Bugatti collector with a deep passion for Bugatti’s heritage, and particularly its W16 engine, the Chiron Super Sport1 ‘Golden Era’ took two years to create, and necessitated some entirely new techniques.

“Our customers can be incredibly creative and we take great pride in helping them realise what they dream of, but extensive special commissions such as this are exceedingly rare – we usually see no more than one or two creations on this scale each year,” said Achim Anscheidt, the former Bugatti Design Director who was in charge of this project.

“Given the vision and exacting nature for this project – and the fantastical ideation we wanted to realize – ‘Golden Era’ is probably the most demanding piece of tailored personalisation work that my team and I have ever worked on.”

The customer in question said the Chiron Super Sport and its W16 engine were landmarks in the automotive world, and thus Bugatti started looking back through its history to find other landmark moments to celebrate, including those in the early years of Ettore Bugatti, Jean Bugatti and Roland Bugatti.

The team then proposed a concept featuring 45 sketches of the brand’s icons that would be hand-drawn directly onto the car itself, and the owner immediately fell in love with the idea.

“The implementation may sound quite straightforward, but achieving a perfect finish, and one that would last the test of time, took more patience and craftsmanship than you could ever imagine,” Anscheidt said.

On the passenger side of the car, 26 hand-drawn sketches reveal icons like the Type 41 Royale – lauded as the most luxurious car when revealed in 1926 – and the Type 57 SC Atlantic, widely regarded as the most beautiful car ever designed.

On the driver’s side, 19 sketches portray the rebirth and enduring success of Bugatti since 1987, tracing from the EB110, through the Veyron and Chiron 2. A beautifully simple representation of the 3,712 individual components that come together to create the legendary W16 engine – the most advanced automotive engine ever built – rightfully takes its place as a part of the masterpiece.

A bespoke color, a timeless and celebratory shade of gold named ‘Doré’, was created and applied to the car with a gradiented colour split into a special metallic variant of ‘Nocturne Black’, creating the perfect base for the designers to begin the daunting process of sketching directly onto the car.

Anscheidt and his team felt right from the start that they could only achieve an authentic finish for these sketches if they actually used the pencils that they use for sketching on paper. Anything else, they felt, would result in something looking fake or low in quality. The then had to find a process that would allow them to use pencils and do all of the sketches by hand, directly onto the paintwork.

Inevitably, this took a great deal of time, over 400 hours to be precise, and involved some setbacks along the way.

On each of the door panels, three Bugatti icons were hand-applied with a bespoke paint and fine paint brush that would allow one of the design team to draw directly onto the leather.

Bugatti Managing Director Hendrik Malinowski added: “Our teams will work hand-in-hand with our customers to craft exactly what they want, and then work closely with them over the course of months or even years to transform it into a reality.

“Each step, every decision and – in the case of the Golden Era – every stroke of the pencil, was completed with the close oversight and input of the owner to exceed his expectations in a way that no other brand is able to do.”

This truly bespoke Bugatti will be handed over to its lucky owner at the Monterey Car Week this month.

IOL Motoring

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