One-Off Bugatti Strikes White Gold

In the prewar days of automotive yore, well-heeled owners of the day’s finer touring sedans and coachbuilt towncars often had their cars equipped with elegant name-brand dining sets, allowing for luxury picnics away from home.  It appears as if the present-day Bugatti S.A.S. has seized upon that idea, though with a typical 21st century twist.  You can still take your Bugatti out for a picnic featuring the finest bespoke porcelain tableware, but in today’s version, the journey is taken in a 200+ mph convertible.

Less than a week after announcing that production of the benchmark Veyron supercar has reached its conclusion, Bugatti revealed the creation of a one-off version dubbed L’Or Blanc, French for “the White Gold.”   No, the car has not been finished in gold, but the high quality porcelain inlays and components provided by Berlin-based partner Königliche Porzellan-Manufaktur (KPM) are probably just as expensive.

Claiming to be the world’s first automobile equipped with porcelain, L’Or Blanc is based on the open-top version of the 1,000 horsepower Veyron, the convertible Grand Sport, and features twelve specially designed and produced porcelain components, including inlays for the center wheel badges, the fuel filler cap (above), and the oil filler cap.  KPM’s contribution to the project also included two items very particular to the Bugatti legacy, an inlaid version of the EB monogram badge that has long represented founder Ettore Bugatti, as well as a relief of an elephant mascot that is placed on the rear panel behind the seats.  Bugatti enthusiasts will no doubt recognize the image as a reference to the hood ornament (below) cast by Ettore’s sculptor brother Rembrandt for the Type 41 Royale of the late 20s.  The exorbitantly expensive Royale, of which only six examples were produced, is generally considered to be one of the world’s original supercars.

“The impulse for [the] partnership came from Rembrandt Bugatti’s renowned elephant,” said KPM owner Jörg Woltmann in a press release.  “At the beginning, we wanted to integrate the sculpture in our product range, then we thought about the potential for a comprehensive service and finally the synthesis of ideas led us to this outstanding Grand Sport.”

At 1.65 million euros (almost $2.36 million USD), the price of the one-off Grand Sport is undeniably outstanding.  At that price point, a picnic set should be included, and for that, one needs to look no farther than the top of the car’s center console, which houses a removable porcelain dish whose edges have been diamond polished.  The elegant plate is just one piece of a larger picnic set that KPM designed exclusively for the car.