Who was Elisabeth Junek, and why is Bugatti giving her a special Veyron?
The "Légendes de Bugatti" series kicked off with the Jean-Pierre Wimille edition last year, which was followed by the Jean Bugatti edition and the Meo Costatini edition (pictured above) just a few months ago. We would have expected that the next one would honor Jean's brother Rembrandt Bugatti – the artist behind the rearing elephant hood ornament that adorned the legendary Bugatti Royale – but the word on the street is that the next special-edition Vitesse will pay tribute to one Elisabeth Junek.
Also known as Eliška Junková, she was one of the earliest and most renowned of female racing drivers at the dawn of motorsport. She would often accompany her banker/gentleman-racer husband Cenek Junek on his motoring exploits in their Bugatti Type 35B and would sometimes take the wheel herself. Her most famous race was the 1928 Targa Florio, which she led until the final lap before mechanical troubles dropped her down to fifth place – but still ahead of Tazio Nuvolari.
The fourth of six Legend editions is likely to draw inspiration for its livery from the T35B that Junek drove, but isn't expect to carry any mechanical changes over the Vitesse roadster on which it will be based. But then, with 1,200 horsepower on tap, just what would Bugatti need to change?
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