As we’ve posted last August, on 5th October an epic meeting took place in Campogalliano, Italy. Scuderia Tazio Nuvolari Italia and Delightful Driving (by Elisa Artioli) teamed up to organise a meeting that had not been seen before: Bugatti EB110 and Lotus Elise owners and enthousiasts celebrated the connection between these iconic sportscars in La Fabbrica Blu (‘The Blue Factory’).
Romano Artioli is the connection mentioned and he wrote a book about it: ‘Bugatti & Lotus Thriller’. Next to meeting former co-workers, owners and enthousiasts of the brands the meeting in La Fabbrica Blu also marked an important stopover in the book-presentation-road-show in Italy for which his daughter Isabella was the driving force (next stops: Bolzano, Roma and Milano).
The book tells the story of a boy with a big four-wheeled dream. There are entrepreneurs who strive to find a brilliant idea to change the fortunes of a sector, but there are also men who, very young, fall in love with a dream and do everything to make it happen. Romano Artioli, founder of Autexpò, is an entrepreneur who has pursued the desire to revive one of the most prestigious car brands in the world, Bugatti.
And, with passion and dedication, he achieved this goal. Born in Mantua, later moved to Bolzano, the author, when he was just over eighteen, opens his first car assistance center, buys a hydraulic test bench and begins to overhaul the engines, immediately demonstrating great skill.
He creates dealerships, imports cars, and becomes president of the local Automobile club. He understands that the machines sell if there is adequate assistance, so he convinces Enzo Ferrari to let him manage the brand not only in the Triveneto, but in southern Germany. After years of experience around the world, the time has come to realize his dream as a child: he convinces the French government and ends up buying the Bugatti brand. Later, to enhance the business, he also acquires the Lotus group.
We are in the mid-nineties and, while the Bugatti EB 112 is named “the most beautiful sedan in the world”, when everything seems to have taken the right “curve”. But then, as in the most classic of thrillers, comes the twist, sneaky and unexpected, that changes everything. Among endless ups and downs, bankers traps, lawyers scams and ravenous businessmen, ‘Bugatti & Lotus thriller’ tells the beginning of a great Italian dream of genius and creativity. And its supposed ending.
Of course, the cars were the stars in Campogalliano. Motor1.com Italy reported about the meeting:
“The meeting was attended by 70 Lotus cars and as many as 16 Bugatti EB110s, the hypercar of which 139 were built in Campogalliano between 1991 and 1995. The EB110s not only arrived from Italy, but also from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland and the United States, to testify to the importance of this model for the automotive industry. The EB110 was among the most advanced cars of its era, thanks to the 3.5-liter V12 engine with four turbos (delivering up to 610 HP), to the monocoque frame in carbon fiber and to the permanent all-wheel drive.“
“In addition to Artioli and some former employees of the factory, Giampaolo Benedini, who signed the final design of the EB110, and Loris Bicocchi, the legendary test driver who oversaw the development of the EB110 on the road, also took part in the Bugatti & Lotus Meeting.”
Comments on social media made it clear; this meeting has been very, very special for all who were able to attend and has brought everything the Artioli family had hoped for, and more. History has been written on that sunny Saturday in October in the Emilia-Romagna region. This Bugatti video shows how.