www.carrozzieri-italiani.com

The ultimate italian coachbuilder site

1965 Exner Bugatti Type 101-C Roadster by Ghia, an attempt to revive Bugatti

The origin of the Bugatti Type 101-C Ghia

The Bugatti factory in Molsheim, left in ruins after WWII, was finally confiscated by the state and not given back until 1947 when Ettore Bugatti died. Roland, Ettore’s youngest son tried to produce new models based on prewar prototypes which were not much of a success, like Type-101. It was developed by Pierre Marco, former Race Driver and the postwar General Manager of Bugatti, based on Type-57 using the remaining parts buried to survive WWII. So how was the Bugatti Type 101-C born ?

The car was exhibited at 1951 Paris Motor Show but not well received, mainly for the outdated technology and high price in the postwar depression. It was also RHD which couldn’t be exported to the US. Just 5 were made and sold with 2 other modified T-57 chassis to be bodied by different coach-builders. A 6th made but never bodied chassis (no. 101506) was later sold to the great designer Virgil Exner.

The revival car

After Exner left Chrysler, he started working as a freelance designer with his son, Virgil Jr. in Michigan. He sketched some “Exner Revival Cars” for an article in American “Esquire” magazine, imagining what the modern cars by great defunct manufacturers would look like if they existed, including designs for Stutz, Packard, Duesenberg and later the Bugatti Type 101-C .

He styled the body with his signature shapes & curves adding the Bugatti horseshoe grille, his son designed the interior and finally Ghia built the body on Exner’s modified Type 101 chassis in 6 months. The Bugatti Type 101-C Ghia was shown at the 1965 Turin Motor Show but couldn’t attract any investors.

Tecnical specifications

The Bugatti Type 101-C Ghia was built on the shortened 112” chassis with an old fashioned suspension of Solid Axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs in the front, and Live Axle with reversed quarter-elliptical leaf springs in the rear, both with telescopic shock absorbers, also featured with hydraulic drum brakes. It was powered by a modified T-57 engine used for T-101C which was a Supercharged Straight-8, DOHC (driven by chain, not gear), fed by 2 Weber carburetors, with a bore/stroke of 72/100mm and a total displacement of 3257cc able to produce around 190hp @ 5200rpm delivered by an up-to-date silent 4-speed gearbox with overdrive.

5 1 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
AGTZ Twin Tail

In a groundbreaking collaboration, the renowned Italian coachbuilder Zagato and the innovative La Squadra have joined forces to usher the art of coachbuilding into a new era. Unveiled at Zagato’s historic Milan atelier, the AGTZ Twin Tail represents a daring fusion of art and engineering, seamlessly blending heritage with cutting-edge technology. Andrea Zagato, whose grandfather founded Carrozzeria Zagato in 1919, emphasizes the importance of telling the stories of iconic cars from the past to inspire future generations.

The AGTZ Twin Tail draws inspiration from the A220, a car that, despite falling short of its Le Mans victory target in the late 1960s, left an indelible mark. The designers, refusing to accept defeat, transformed the A220 by slicing its bodywork and creating a 30cm-shorter tail. This decision redirected the car’s focus to shorter circuits and rally stages, resulting in podium finishes that solidified its place in automotive history.

Zagato’s modern reinterpretation, the AGTZ Twin Tail, breathes new life into the A220’s tenacious spirit. Built on the chassis of the Alpine A110 berlinette, a contemporary mid-engine icon, this thoroughly modern GT car offers a dramatic twist. The car’s design allows owners to choose between a longtail for tailored elegance or a shorttail for a muscular punch. Limited to just 19 units, production has already begun, with prices starting at €650,000 before taxes.

The AGTZ Twin Tail celebrates its racecar ancestor’s legacy through groundbreaking innovation. The car seamlessly integrates the original A220 longtail’s stunning aerodynamics with the muscular intent of the shorttail. What was once a destructive transformation is now repeatable at the owner’s whim, thanks to a removable longtail that transforms the car into a piece of exquisite automotive sculpture. This bold vision propels the world of coachbuilding forward with renewed vigor, showcasing the seamless marriage of heritage and progress.

The collaboration between Zagato and La Squadra has given birth to the AGTZ Twin Tail, a modern masterpiece that pays homage to the iconic A220 while pushing the boundaries of coachbuilding innovation. With its limited production and the ability to transform between longtail and shorttail, this unique GT car invites automotive enthusiasts to be a part of a historic narrative that seamlessly bridges the past and the future.