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The space-age new factory produced Veyrons from 2005, until that 450-strong supercar cohort was replaced by the new-for-2016 Chiron, planned for 500 copies. The brand also produced more limited runs of various special specifications of these two supercars. But, for the truly rich and discerning collectors, Bugatti produced very limited runs of bespoke new models such as the Divo and Centidici. This uber-exclusivity trend reached its logical conclusion with the one-of-one 2019 Bugatti La Voiture Noire model.
“La Voiture Noire is a far more than a modern interpretation of Jean Bugatti’s Type 57 SC Atlantic,” said Bugatti president Stephan Winkelmann. “It is a feast of aesthetics.” Winkelmann describes the supercar as a “coupé with the comfort of a luxury limousine and the power of a hyper sports car”, and compares it to “the haute couture of exclusive Paris fashion designers.”
The car pays homage to the art deco design of the Type 57SC Atlantic, one of the most coveted classic cars in the world. Designed in 1934 by Jean Bugatti, eldest son of company founder Ettore Bugatti, only four were made. Three are accounted for while the fourth one, which was lost in World War II, would be valued at well over $100 million if found today. The new La Voiture Noire packs 1,500 horsepower and 1,180 pound-foot of torque that propels it from 0 to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds. It has a Chiron-derived quad turbo W-16 engine giving it a top speed of 261 mph.
Bugatti debuted its one-of-a-kind $18.68 million La Voiture Noire, which translates to The Black Car, at the Geneva International Motor Show in March, 2019. “It’s not just a car anymore, it’s really more like a piece of art in line with the highly exclusive fashion and luxury brands in France” said Bugatti’s Achim Anscheidt. Designed by Etienne Salome, at its debut in March, Bugatti reported it still needs about 2½ years to finish and deliver the car.
La Voiture Noire represents another step in the return to that ultra-exclusive heritage. How exclusive? Well, Bugatti only approached one customer with the sketches and idea for the car. The company says he bought it on the spot. Neither the company, nor the buyer, have identified who the lucky rarefied collector is, or where they will take delivery. This has generated much speculation in the car collector community.
Bugatti has been making one-of-a-kind machines for its ultra-wealthy clients for more than 100 years. The average modern Bugatti buyer owns roughly 42 vehicles, five homes, three private jets, three helicopters and a yacht, according to Bugatti. “When you’re wealthy, the thing that you want most after your wealth is to feel special and unique — and someone who pays $18 million for a car gets to claim ‘I bought the most expensive car ever, see how special I am,’” said Karl Brauer, an analyst for Autotrader.
Given the car’s name includes the French word for “black” (Noire), it is a given the stone will be black. The name of the stone I selected includes the same word, Belge Noire.
This is as pure a black marble as one can find. I’ve long used it for tires and trim, though more recently for complete car bodies. Belgian Black is a very hard stone, demanding on tools, fingers, and patience. I think you’ll agree, once completed it looks completely worth the time and effort invested.
This particular Belgian Black sample has very occasional white veining, letting the viewer know it is stone, rather than some other material. I decided to pick up on that veining in the stand, where the black quartz I selected has more prominent white veining. The kite shape appealed to me for the stand, with seven kite-shapes comprising the multi-tier stand.