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Another Bugatti Chiron Sur Mesure, the Super Sport T50S Hommage

Production of the fabulous Bugatti Chiron is quickly reaching an end, and while the successor is eagerly awaited, the very special Sur Mesure department of Bugatti created an absolutely stunning homage to one of the most famous Bugatti race cars in history, it wasn’t the winning car of the 1937 24 Hours of Le Mans, but a car they entered six years earlier, the Type 50S, and this special car that raced with number 5 on the side was the inspiration for this new Bugatti Chiron Super Sport ‘Hommage T50S’.

The car was a special request by a customer who approached Jascha Straub, Bugatti’s lead Sur Mesure designer, with the wish to have a bespoke-built black-on-black Chiron Super Sport that would be an appropriate celebration of Bugatti’s history, during the following conversations the story of the Type 50S enchanted the customer, or should we state ‘the legend of the T50S’, Bugatti entered three separate chassis into the 1931 race, each one finished in black instead of the traditional French racing blue.

All three cars showed enormous potential, with thunderous speed down the long straights. With a victory looking possible, one of the entries suffered a tire failure at high speed and tragically crashed off the circuit. The two remaining cars, including chassis no. 50177 which inspired this modern-day Super Sport homage, were retired by Bugatti to avoid any further accidents. The story of 50177, which was graced with the number ‘5’ as it raced at Le Mans in 1931, was the catalyst that sparked the basis of a creative journey for both the customer and Jascha as a vision for the Chiron Super Sport formed in their minds and began to come to life on paper.

Following the philosophy of the original 1931 car, this Sur Mesure creation is finished in a dark and lustrous black, with a contrasting ‘5’ painted on both sides of the car. ‘Le Mans 1931’ script sits just ahead of the rear wheel arch, and a representation of the Circuit de la Sarthe, with every twist, turn, and straight laid out exactly as the Type 50S would have seen it in 1931, is hidden on the underside of the rear spoiler, both meticulously designed and applied by the Bugatti experts.

Core to the Type 50S experience was its innovative dual-overhead cam engine, housed within an engine bay almost as beautiful as the car itself. Completed with an engine-turned ornamental pattern known as “Perlée”, this kind of attention to detail was a hallmark of the Bugatti brand, and Ettore Bugatti himself. Jascha and the customer-obsessed over this detail, perfectly embodying the ethos of the brand – beauty in every detail. The process of recreating the engine-turned look to a standard that satisfies the Sur Mesure team’s no-compromise approach to quality was far from straightforward. Each circular pattern had to overlap to exactly the same extent, every aspect of its design had to be perfectly proportional and designed to withstand extreme heat and everyday wear for not simply years, but decades and generations. As with every aspect of a Sur Mesure commission, what seems to be simple is actually the result of a long and complex process that ensures a perfect finish time after time.

The black interior, highlighted by flashes of aluminum and “Perlée”, is brightly illuminated by the optional Sky View glass roof, giving occupants a taste of the open-air thrill of the original Type 50S. That same original car is recreated in a hand-applied representation of its exploits at Le Mans on each of the door panels, while ‘Le Mans 1931’ is hand-stitched into both driver and passenger headrests.

“The Type 50S lineage helped established Ettore and Jean’s pioneering vision in the early 1930s for powerful, large-engine-capacity Bugatti race cars operating at the extreme end of high-performance,” said Jascha Straub, Lead Designer Sur Mesure. “The Type 50S – and particularly chassis 50177 – are core parts of our history. Having a customer so passionate in his desire to pay homage to this racing legend is a real privilege. He and I spoke for hours, over many months, about the ways that we could create an authentic tribute, obsessing over every detail to ensure it was consistent with the Type 50S story, but also completed to the incomparable standards of the Bugatti brand.”

Hendrik Malinowski, Managing Director, Bugatti Automobiles, said: “It may not have the reputation of the Atlantic, the Royale or the Type 35 but we managed to share our excitement for this car with the customer who recognized the importance of the Type 50S. Once again, the Sur Mesure team led by Jascha Straub has delivered an exceptionally personal project of co-creation, utilizing the passion of our customer, the insight of our experts and the skill of our craftspeople in the creation of a love letter to the iconic Type 50S. It’s not just a modern-day design homage but a continuation of a story that began nearly a century ago.”