The Type 55 Super Sport – Bugatti’s Motorsport Legacy

The Bugatti Type 55 Super Sport is the perfect example of engineering and style combined.

Launched with a 2.3-litre straight-eight engine, a direct descendant of the Type 51 racing car, this model changed the world.

Designed by the brilliant Jean Bugatti, the Type 55 introduced the two-seater roadster body and set the standard for all future Super Sport models. It redefined grand touring by combining unparalleled comfort with 180 km/h.

Jean Bugatti’s thinking went beyond mechanics and he introduced a two-tone paint scheme that would inspire Bugatti’s modern colour splits.

The Type 55 Super Sport: A Testament to Bugatti’s Motorsport Legacy

The most sought-after Type 55s are in black and yellow, a nod to Bugatti’s heritage. Only 38 were ever made, the Type 55 Super Sport is a rare gem, and its scarcity makes it a highly sought-after collector’s item.

This car not only enabled Grand Prix cars for the road but also captured the imagination of Bugatti enthusiasts and influenced modern interpretations and tributes like the Chiron Super Sport ‘55 1 of 1”

Jean Bugatti’s Visionary Design

Jean Bugatti’s influence on the Type 55 was total, he combined style and function. His introduction of the two-tone paint scheme was groundbreaking and would influence Bugatti’s design for years to come. Black and yellow became the signature look, elegance and performance.

The Type 55 Super Sport, the only 38 ever made, is a rare gem. Its scarcity makes it a highly sought-after collector’s item. As the first Grand Prix car for the road, the Type 55 captured the imagination of a Chiron Super Sport customer and the Sur Mesure team and so a unique tribute was born.

The ’55 1 of 1′ Commission

For the customer and Jascha Straub, Manager of Sur Mesure and Individualization at Bugatti, the ‘55 1 of 1’ commission was a chance to pay tribute to Jean Bugatti’s pioneering work. These were the cars that combined style and engineering and have had a lasting impact on the modern Bugatti brand.

The Type 55 Super Sport: A Testament to Bugatti’s Motorsport Legacy

“Even 100 years after his time, we have remained totally connected to Jean and his designs,” noted Straub. “And inspiration for us today still comes from Jean because he understood proportions better than anybody else and was the first to offer cars combining comfort and sheer performance. Imagine, almost 100 years ago, the Type 55 was able to reach 180 km/h.”

Design Process

Straub worked with the customer and the Bugatti partner in Dubai to dig into the Bugatti history. Together they captured the essence of the Type 55 Super Sport and brought it into the design of the Chiron Super Sport, a modern interpretation of the original car’s key features.

The Sur Mesure team focused on the two-tone paint scheme introduced by Jean Bugatti. The black and yellow combination, so loved by Ettore Bugatti, not only conveys dynamism but also breaks up the surfaces of the hypersports car. The design was a fine balance between colouring specific areas and keeping the overall design cohesive.

Design and Aesthetic

The focal point of the Chiron Super Sport is the black centreline inspired by the Type 55. This is reinforced by the grille design with a black line around the famous Bugatti central air intake and a yellow line that flows from the back of the rear side of the car to the fenders.

This detailing is the essence of the old car with a modern twist.

During the design process, Bugatti worked hard to evolve and modernise the Type 55 elements. The goal was to create a car of this century while respecting the early work of Jean Bugatti. This is the DNA of a Bugatti Sur Mesure project where past and present meet.

The ’55 1 of 1′ and Its Unique Features

The ‘55 1 of 1’ commission uses a very precise approach, a hand-applied fading ‘55’ pattern above the headlights and over the fenders. This narrows the front end and gives the shape of the fuselage of the old car, elegance, strength and speed.

“From a distance, the ‘55’ pattern ensures that the fender appears to be black like on the original car,” said Straub. “On the original historic car, where you have some parts that end at a certain point, you can just paint until the shut line. But with the Chiron Super Sport, it had to fade into zero. It was a long and intricate process, but it was the right approach.”

The ‘55 1 of 1’ commission has bold styling and minimalist black 10 spoke wheels. A yellow ‘EB’ badge in the centre connects the alloy to the body of the Chiron Super Sport. The underside of the rear wing has a subtle link to the design with ‘55 1 of 1’ written in cursive, a nod to the original car that inspired this piece.

Interior Aesthetic and Details

Jean Bugatti’s attention to detail went beyond the exterior, the interior is also influenced by the Type 55 Super Sport.

The Type 55 Super Sport: A Testament to Bugatti’s Motorsport Legacy

Featuring sleek black leather that accentuates the exterior aesthetic, the cabin includes unique accents such as embroidered headrests displaying a unique ‘55 1 of 1’ inscription. The fading ‘55’ motif continues, skillfully hand-stitched into the door panels in vibrant yellow.

As a tribute to Jean Bugatti’s genius, his signature is on the door sill and the car plate. These interior details make the Chiron Super Sport even more beautiful and link the driver to the Bugatti heritage.

The Type 55 Super Sport: A Testament to Bugatti’s Motorsport Legacy

“At Bugatti, our commitment to bespoke craftsmanship is epitomized by our Sur Mesure program. Our team perfectly manages to reinterpret our brand’s iconic classic cars, creatively blending the past with a contemporary approach and innovative techniques. Our latest commission, inspired by the timeless elegance of Jean Bugatti’s iconic black and yellow Type 55 Super Sport, pays homage to a car that represents a milestone in the history of the brand. The ’55 1 of 1’ infuses the spirit of one of Bugatti’s most pioneering models and is a testament to the fact that Jean’s vision not only continues to shape our entire design and engineering ethos to this day but also inspires our customers worldwide, and in this case in the United Arab Emirates.”

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