Every once in a while, an unexpected adventure unfolds, and this was one of those wonderful moments! While Valerie was holding down the fort, Jean was gallivanting around Montreal for the Grand Prix. After dinner at Daniel Boulud's newest restaurant, Maison Boulud in the Ritz Carlton, Daniel (yes, the Master himself!) and some of his Formula 1 friends stopped by our table to ask if we'd like to "go look at five Bugattis" in the hotel's garage. And so, the adventure began ... (Photo from a friend's i-phone.)
In the lobby of the Ritz, on the way to the garage, we spotted this Bugatti cake. Talk about a harbinger of good fortune -- rich dark chocolate, gorgeous red peonies and fast, gorgeous sports cars! What's not to love?
A Bugatti on the hoof, so to speak, is a rare sight even in New York City. Much to Valerie's chagrin and wonderment, Jean screams and points every time she sees an Astin Martin or a Bentley or a Maserati or a Ferrari or even a Maybach on the streets of the Big Apple. But we have never seen a Bugatti Veyron in the flesh. Five Bugattis all in one place - how divine! Even the simple front grill looks like a work of art.
The shape and design truly capture that Art Deco sensation of speed. Any one of the five would have fit in beautifully at the Japan Society's Art Deco Show. This red and black number is the modern Jazz Baby of the automotive world. E. Bugatti was a French car manufacturer founded in 1909 in Molsheim, Alsace as a manufacturer of high-performance cars by Italian-born Ettore Bugatti.
Only about 8000 cars were made before Ettore's death in 1947 and the last models were issued in the 1950s before the company was sold for its airplane parts business. Volkswagen Group revitalized it as a builder of limited production exclusive sports cars. Here is a 1937 Bugatti 57S. (Image from bornrich.com.)
This is a shot of the Bugatti Type 57C Atalante. (Image from world-viewer.com.)
Greg Farrington, Jean and David Russell on the night in question.
Brazilian banker Joao Penido and Pierre Siue, general manager of the New York Daniel, try one on for size. (Is Pierre flashing a gang sign?)
The engine looks like something out of Star Trek. This baby packs 1000 horsepower and combines two separate V-8 engines into a 16.4 engine. The power and speed are truly incomprehensible. It would be like driving a jet. When the Veyron (named after French race car driver Pierre Veyron, winner of 24 hours at Le Mans) was first manufactured in 2005, it was the fastest car in the world. It can go from 0 to 60 in 2.5 seconds and reach top speeds of 253 mph! (I can't remember what I had for breakfast, but somehow have retained all of these fascinating details about these automobiles.) Needless to say, the current models maintain and exceed those specs.
Nathan, who was our host and guide for the evening, shows Daniel one of the finer points of the gorgeous blue car. Among the 5 cars were a Veyron 16.4, a Super Sport and a Grand Sport, but I hesitate to say which is which at this point.
The rims on each of the cars were different. You can see the colorful Bugatti brake pad through the rim.
Jean and Ken Kurtz size one up at close range. Even though Jean's favorite color is black, the red and black automobile was the most visually arresting. It looked like a cartoon come to life -- like something out of Marvel Comics.
Construction in another part of the garage had coated this blue carbon fiber model in a thin layer of dust. The horror! This baby sports a 1200 horsepower engine!
The black Bugatti looked like a Batmobile. David Russell, Ken Kurtz and Daniel Boulud give it the once over.
Wouldn't this wheel mounted on a wall make a wonderful art piece?
Ken obviously approves.
Check this out. Doesn't it look like it's moving even when it is standing still?
Joao looks like he's about to jump in and drive one away.
Jean confesses that those Bugattis did make her little heart go pitter-patter! Even though she rarely drives and could never handle a 1000 hp high automobile, they never fail to rev her cardiovascular system. Ferraris too.
What can I say? As soon as we emerged from the garage, when I saw this Ferrari parked in front of the Ritz, I was drawn to it like a moth to a flame. Even if this Ferrari made my butt look like the size of Rhode Island, I wouldn't be able to resist if someone gave me the keys! A girl can dream, can't she? Of course, it goes without saying that every one of these cars could out-drive me. But I figure if I ever get a Bugatti or Ferrari, I should have no trouble finding somebody who'd want to drive me around in it, right?
Stay tuned for more scoops from Montreal and race highlights coming soon! Bon soir, mes amis!