Ettore Bugatti (1881–1947) is perhaps most famous for his racing cars of the ’20s and ’30s which, as well as winning races, have been acknowledged as works of art. Having produced several car designs from 1899 for other companies, Ettore Bugatti set up a small factory in France in 1909.
From there for more than 30 years he invented, designed and produced, with awesome variety, not only cars – which ranged from his innovative and successful tiny racing car in 1911 to the luxury limousines and grand touring cars of the ’20s and ’30s – but also engines, machine tools, railway rolling stock and many other examples of twentieth century industrial design.
Ettore Bugatti was not formally trained in engineering but he developed a style and method of working seemingly based on his talents and self-confidence.
He suffered some spectacular failures but all his work is marked by an uncompromising design integrity allied to a simple and logical use of materials. He described his works as ‘thoroughbred’ (Pur Sang).
Using his extraordinary collection of photograph albums and quiet sense of humour Jack takes us on an amusing journey through an unusual life; early childhood growing up in Kilburn, North London; the relationship with his generous and doting father; the huge live steam garden railway; his introduction to Bugatti cars; motor racing at Brooklands; pre and post-war amateur hill climbs and sprints. He was a founder member of the Bugatti Owners Club, and one of the biggest Bugatti dealers of the time.
A rare glimpse of the J Lemon Burton hand written stock book gives an insight into his long career, where many Bugattis in Britain were to pass through his hands.
The rare opportunity to interview this rather shy, modest and private man occurred in 1989 whilst HG Conway and David Weguelin were filming for 'Bugatti by Conway'. Jack died in 1994 aged 83.Jack Lemon Burton owned, completed and dealt in practically every type of Bugatti. He is one of the rare Bugattists not only to possess one of the legendary Bugatti Royales but to use it on a regular basis.