The Bugatti Model 100 is a very sexy plane. Designed to compete in the 1939 Deutsch de la Meurthe Cup Race, it had great aspirations to break world records but like a lot of awesome things, it got waylaid by a fascist Germany and it never made its glorious debut.
When German soldiers marched towards Paris in June 1940, the Bugatti Model 100 was lowered out of the furniture factory where it was stored onto the street, and driven to the countryside where it would remain, hidden in a barn, for thirty years. Over time, it changed hands. The beautiful modified 50B engines were removed, and it was only in the 1970s that a restoration project got underway. Bugatti died before it ever had the chance to take to the skies.
All is not lost, however. In 2010, a pair of enthusiasts from Oklahoma set about making a working replica. This sexy beast will be in our skies later this year – and due to its light weight, it may still be a record breaker. The replica built will do something the original never could: it will fly. Better hope those Mayans aren’t right about the apocalypse.
Megan Orpwood-Russell is a writer and the Scientific Meetings Coordinator, ZSL London Zoo. She also has a magnificent blog.
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