The eleventh annual pageant of French motoring excellence ‘La Vie en Bleu’ will take place once again at Prescott Hill Climb on 27 – 28 May. The two day event has always been a firm favorite in the motoring calendar, and this year will be no exception. Each of the 500 Bugatti Chirons that are set to be built will cost a cool 1.9 million pounds.
The star of the pageant is none other than the spectacular new Bugatti Chiron, which is set to make its first-ever appearance at Prescott. The Bugatti Chiron is the World’s most powerful, fastest, most luxurious and exclusive production super sports car. The 1479bhp hypercar is the successor to the legendary Veyron, and will be carrying out demonstration runs at the historic Prescott hillclimb over the course of the weekend. Paying homage to Louis Chiron, one of the leading lights in motor racing in 1920s and 30s at the wheel of a Bugatti Type 51, the Bugatti Chiron is capable of 420 km/h (261mph), and can accelerate from 0- 200km/h (0-124mph) in less than 6.5 seconds, thanks to a monstrous 8.0-liter W16 engine with four turbochargers.
New for 2017, ‘Chiron – The Man‘ opening at the Bugatti Trust on 27 May is an exhibition dedicated to the life and racing career of one of Ettore Bugatti’s most famous works drivers. Hugely successful in the 1920s and 1930s, racing Bugattis including the types 22, 35, 51 and 53, he had an extraordinary life which saw him compete in GP racing up to the age of 55. The exhibition will chronicle the start of his career and progress to becoming an official and celebrated team member of the Écurie Bugatti. The Bugatti Trust exhibition will include original GP cars from the period, photographs of seminal moments of his career and historic racing memorabilia. A small additional display will celebrate the renowned Bugatti Queen Hellé Nice who was a racing contemporary of Chiron.
Last year the popular event expanded to include ‘La Vita Rossa’, celebrating all things Italian as well as French – not only via the cars, but also musicians, dancers, entertainers and visiting car clubs. This year promises to feature even more French and Italian content on the hill with special competition classes for French and Italian marques, plus a round of the Ferrari Hillclimb Championship.
The paddock will be adorned with numerous iconic classic and supercars from the Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta chassis #2735, One of the most famous and recognizable 250 SWB’s in the world, formally raced by Stirling Moss, Graham Hill and Innes Ireland to a 1969 Lamborghini Miura S, which at the time of its launch was the fastest production car in the world with a top speed of 280km/h, and acceleration from 0-100km/h in 6.7 seconds. Designed by Marcello Gandini for Bertone, the two-seater vehicle with its central V12 engine and fascinating body redefined the concept of a sports car. The Miura S on display was originally delivered to the 1960s supermodel ‘Twiggy’ and in her chosen color scheme.
The other major attraction at the Pageant include the Fiat S76, the only surviving example of a pair of land speed record contenders, built before WWI. The Beast of Turin’ was built in 1910 with the express intention of beating the land speed record, held at the time by Blitzen-Benz. Its 28.5-liter Fiat S76 engine was capable of providing an impressive 300bhp, and a one-mile land speed record, in 1911. After WWI Fiat dismantled one of the two impressive machines to prevent rival manufacturers obtaining its technical secrets, while the other one was purchased by Russian aristocrat Boris Soukhanov. In 2003, engineer enthusiast and current owner Duncan Pittaway discovered the remains of one chassis in Australia and united it with the surviving S76 engine from the other car.