Ciao Campogalliano: the second end of »La Fabbrica Blu«.

The building complex, once home to the Italian Bugatti intermezzo, will soon be converted - by an investor - into a museum with an adjoining workshop complex. Which, in turn, spells the end of a defunct but unique automotive monument. Remembering a special visit to Campogalliano. With Achim Anscheidt and the Centodieci.
Text Matthias Mederer & Marko Knab
Photo Matthias Mederer · ramp.pictures

Bugatti Centodieci. A Bugatti with an Italian name? An homage, of course. To the legendary EB110. To Ettore Bugatti. It's 2019 and we're in Campogalliano, the abandoned »La Fabbrica Blu,« in the middle of Italy's Motor Valley. Together with Achim Anscheidt, Head of Design at Bugatti, we walk through the halls. The sacred halls adorned by the peeling lettering on the blue façade that gives the company its name. We pass yellowed brochures and dockets on the wall and a few buckets collecting water. As round as the spacious and bright room in which they stand. The conversation turns to the Centodieci. Although it is officially considered a tribute to the legendary EB110, it can certainly be seen - from a deep-psychological point of view - as a coming to terms with the past.

»This topic of Italy, La Fabbrica Blu and of course the EB110 has been close to my heart for a very long time,« says Achim Anscheidt. And points out that the Centodieci was and is a clearly design-driven project. »Bugatti is French,« he tries diplomatically, adding: »But there has always been a bit of Italy in Bugatti - Ettore Bugatti was Italian by birth.« And »La Fabbrica Blu,« the blue factory, was set in the Italian village of Campogalliano in the early 1990s for the production of the EB110. It all began in 1989: that was when Romano Artioli's lifeless company was re-established as Bugatti Automobili S.p.A. and located in the neighborhood of Ferrari and Lamborghini. No, not in Molsheim, France, where Ettore Bugatti had rooted his company. The goal: the most advanced super sports car of its time, just in time for Ettore Bugatti's 110th birthday in 1991.

The coup succeeded and the EB110 rolled out onto the streets of the world. A certain Mr. Marcelo Gandini joined Bugatti, having previously been responsible for the legendary Miura and Countach at Lamborghini. The driving performance was also spot on. The only thing: There was no happy ending. In 1995, the company filed for bankruptcy. Since then, »La Fabbrica Blu« has stood empty. And time has stood still. Computers and telephones, almost thirty years old, bear witness to this chapter. What happens next? VW takes over. And goes full speed ahead. With the Veyron, later with the Chiron and the Centiodieci. The Italian chapter of the legendary brand, on the other hand? Ends in its present form here and now, at least in Campogalliano. Ettore Bugatti's Italian roots, however, remain - as does the Centodieci.


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