Not The Carchive: To finish on a bright note.

It’s been a good day. I was going to fill the 15:00 slot with a visit to The Carchive, and I had photographed – and you’re gonna love this – a 1987 brochure for the Mercury Topaz. But one thing lead to another and I’ve run out of time to write it up. So lets finish up on something a bit different, and a whole lot more yellow.
Here’s a car that the world doesn’t tend to mention very often any more. It’s fallen off many radars, living firmly in the shadow of two more recent cars from the same Germano-French-Italian brand – as it would later become. It’s a bit of a favourite of mine.

This road-registered example was was on display in the concours section at 2015’s Goodwood Festival of speed. I took a bunch of photos and was going to write it up, but I realised that I didn’t actually get a single one that showed the whole car.
But now, looking at these photos, I realise that doesn’t matter the slightest. This is a car whose details make up rather more than the sum of its parts.
dsc_0710Those intakes for the mid-mounted engine are about as pornographic as engine air intakes can possibly get. They were reserved for the limited run SS version of this squat purposeful and somewhat pricey machine.
No concealed headlamps here, just good old fashioned halogen and projector units, faired behind a flat pane of clear glass.
I’ve always found its rear lights fascinating, too. On the face of it there’s nothing at all special about them – they’d be at home on any shopping hatchback and. But on the SS they’re trimmed by this body-coloured grille, which is itself clamped in behind a clear lens. It’s a really strange setup, and one that can’t possibly have any purpose, other than that the designer thought it was awesome. Which it is.
That designer was Marcello Gandini, of course, who brought a set of scissor doors to the party, although only the prototypes were entirely his own work.
EB110 was the name, Super Sport was the variant. Best of the Best. Or best of the nearly best. Life was hard for the EB110, despite a quad-turbocharged V12 and more carbon-fibre than a SWAT convention. And that the monocoque was produced by French Aerospace firm Aerospatiale was a pretty cool boast.
It had 550bhp to start with, but the SS could muster 611 bhp. The big problem it had was the McLaren F1, with 627bhp, greater acceleration and a higher top speed. Rather sadly, the EB110 was few people’s favourite supercar. It became one of the very finest also-ran’s the world has ever seen.
I reckon it makes the Veyron and Chiron liook somewhat overplayed. Neither of those are supercars. They’re investments. Portfolios. Bearer bonds on wheels. Their owners couldn’t care less how they drive – it’s irrelevant.
The EB110 isn’t like that. It was never an ultimate, and it’s certainly overshadowed, but it simply oozes soul from every surface.
(All images Chris Haining / Hooniverse 2017. Follow me at @RoadworkUK if you like  )

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15 responses to “Not The Carchive: To finish on a bright note.”

  1. PowerTryp Avatar

    If only the front end didn’t look like a Muppet as imagined by a 4 year old…

  2. mdharrell Avatar

    “…the same Germano-French brand….”
    Possibly Ettore himself and certainly Romano Artioli would ask that “Italo-” be added to that.

    1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

      Quite right. Apologies to all concerned.

    2. nanoop Avatar

      Don’t forget “austro-” since the owners of the company that’s owning most of the owner of the brand are from Austria, partly.

    3. outback_ute Avatar

      It also wasn’t Germano back then either right?

      1. mdharrell Avatar

        That’s something of an awkward subject. Ettore Bugatti settled in Germany to build his cars but, as a consequence of WWI, the border shifted and his land became part of France (as it had been before the Franco-Prussian War; again, awkward). He continued to build cars in this same, now French, location, but kept his own Italian citizenship until 1947, shortly before his death. Thanks to WWII, this was also, as an understatement, awkward towards the end.

  3. Mikeado Avatar

    Fantastic. The red interior (tasteful combo…) makes me think this is the one C. Harris drove for a video once.
    Also, depending on when in the day you took the photos, I wouldn’t be surprised if a full-car shot wasn’t taken because standing far enough back for one when it’s busy would’ve lead to someone wandering in front of you too often…

  4. Batshitbox Avatar

    All that yellow, all those black rubber sealed lenses, the round intakes… without a full image of the whole car I could be convinced I was looking at an ROV.

      1. cap'n fast Avatar
        cap’n fast

        nicely sculpted and faired headlights and smooth running lower suspension

  5. smokyburnout Avatar

    are we sure that the extra taillight grille and lens aren’t just a very successful attempt to hide the partsbin origins of the actual taillight?
    also: wow

    1. nanoop Avatar

      Eight GBP?! That must be the Bugatti tax, those are no more than six GBP. Quite a niche, I wonder if owners really browse ebay for spares.

  6. wunno sev Avatar
    wunno sev

    when i was a child and the intertube wasn’t so useful, finding information on this car was so hard. i knew nothing about it besides a few snippets of information, and i so desperately wanted to know more.

  7. Rover 1 Avatar
    Rover 1

    Michael Schumacher had a Bugatti EB110 Sport in yellow.(PMY?)
    I wonder if this is the same car?

    1. dr zero Avatar
      dr zero

      With a blue interior if I remember correctly.