Every once in a blue moon, there are opportunities that seem so absurd and tempting at the same time that you just can‘t pass.
One of the most recent example was the invitation by a young lady called Elisa to meet her grandfather.
The name of the family I‘m talking about is Artioli.
They origin from the northern part of Italy and some real experts might now the name as one of the worlds‘ biggest Ferrari distributor in the area back in the mid 19. hundreds or even as the first importer of Suzuki vehicles into Italy.
But what makes this story really special is the way how Romano Artioli pursued his life long dream from the 1950ies until this day and to hear about what happened along the way first hand.
As the 20 year old car distributor experienced the demise of the French Bugatti brand back in the 50 ies, which he loved and adored, he forged the dream of reviving this traditional sportscar brand in the motor valley, close to Modena in Italy, the home of Ferrari, Maseratti and the like.
It took him more than 40 years to receive the rights from the French government to use the Name Bugatti and to be able to revive it with the creation of the EB110 supersportscar in the 1990ies.
The building of „The fabrica blu“ and the most innovative, technically advanced and most powerful reincarnation of the brand was so awefully expensive that just 139 cars were ever built in Campogalliano before all the investments were used up.
Even the acquisition of the British Lotus brand could not compensate for all the unfortunate happenings around Bugatti at that time.
The result was a living testament to his very special relationship to his granddaughter Romano, since he named his first and only Lotus creation under his aegis „Elise“ in regards to Elisa.
Until today Elisa and Romano are a wonderful team and invited together to listen to his story, backed up by witnesses as for example the designer of the fabbrica blu and the EB Giampaolo Benedini, the current owner if the factory Enrico Pavesi and the current Bugatti head of Design Achim Anscheidt.
The day turned out even more epic than anybody, even Elisa, had envisioned: 29 of 139 ever built EB110 showed up, which made it globally the biggest EB110 meet ever.
Numerous Lotus Elise and Exige lined the green lawns in font of the factory.
The combination of the main characters of the story, the factory and the vehicles made this a true once in a lifetime event, impossible to ever reenact and for which we will be thankful forever.
The trip to the event provided the icing to the cake: the Drive’n Coffee group was formed by drivers from Zurich, Augsburg, Munich and Landsberg which all met up in Mantua the night before. The route there took us along seasonally beautiful landscapes such as the Lago di Iseo and very scenic roads such as the Stelvio.
So the drive, the Coffee and the event made this the perfect way to end the season and to already dream of even more spectacular things to come in the next year.
Thanks to all that joined us this season on the road, on the Drive’n Coffee Events and helped us make all this become reality.
Hope to see again next season and keep driving it like it was meant to be driven.
If the story about Romano, Elisa, the fabbrica blu and the EB110 intrigues you just as much as us, go to our friends at Classic Driver which have written wonderful detailed pieces on the history and the achievements at that time: