Pierre Veyron

Born in 1903,Veyron’s initial career plan did not include racecar driving – instead, he enrolled in the university to study engineering. But his friend Albert Divo, himself an ardent motor sport aficionado, persuaded him to give racecar driving a try. Divo introduced Veyron to the industrial magnate André Vagniez, who offered him financial support. In 1930, Vagniez made true on his promise and purchased a Bugatti 37 A for Veyron, which the young driver raced to his first big victory in the Grand Prix at Geneva.

In 1932, Ettore Bugatti’s son Jean, by now director of the construction team, offered Veyron a job – the ideal position for young Pierre, as it allowed him to combine his passion for racing and engineering. As test driver and development engineer, Veyron helped to optimize the racecars. He continued to enter races as a company driver, winning many of these including the 1933 and 1934 Berlin Avus races with the Bugatti Type 51 A. He applied his engineering skills in particular to developing the Type 57 car, which sold well and soon became a financial boon to the company. The zenith of Veyron’s racing career was his victory together with Jean Pierre Wimille in the 25-hour Le Mans race of 1939.

During World War II, like many of his Bugatti coworkers, Pierre Veyron joined the French Resistance against German occupation. His Resistance group was led by the racecar drivers Robert Benoit and “Williams”, both of whom were eventually captured by the Nazis and killed in concentration camps. In 1945, Veyron received the Cross of the French Legion of Honor for his meritorious deeds during the occupation. After the war, Veyron entered a number of races, but his main commitment now was to his family and a small company he owned which specialized in oil-drilling technology. In 1970, Pierre Veyron died in the small town of Eze, situated between Monte Carlo and Nice, and as a racecar driver was only remembered by a handful of experts and Bugatti enthusiasts – that is, until his name was selected to grace the company’s outstanding production-line vehicle.