Did You Know The Bugatti Veyron Was Named After A Le Mans-Winning War Hero?

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We shine the spotlight on the Veyron one last time.

Unfortunately for the Bugatti Veyron its time in the spotlight has come to an end. Its successor, the Chiron, is now ready to take center stage as the world's craziest supercar. The Veyron will be remembered for a lot of things, one of which is having an awesome sounding name. By now you probably know that the Veyron was named after Pierre Veyron, a racing driver. But did you know that Veyron the man was as badass as the car named after him? Hell, he is actually a bit cooler.

Pierre Veyron was born in France in 1903 and did not originally want to be a racing driver. He enrolled in university to study engineering but was persuaded by a friend, Albert Divo, to try racing. In 1930 Veyron met a rich industrialist named Andre Vagniez who agreed to sponsor him. Vagniez bought Veyron a Bugatti 37 A for him to race. (That's one hell of a college job.) In 1932 Veyron met Jean Bugatti, son of company founder Ettore, who offered him a geahead's dream position at the automaker: test driver and development engineer. Throughout the 1930s Veyron won races while piloting the Bugatti Type 51 A and helped develop the Type 57, the car that made the company a ton of cash.

The high point of Veyron's racing career came in 1939. He teamed up with Jean Pierre Wimille to win the Le Mans 24 Hours in a Bugatti Type 57C. The following year brought war to France, and Veyron answered the call of his conquered country by joining up with the French Resistance. His group was led by fellow racing drivers Robert Benoist and William Grover-Williams. Both Benoist and Williams were captured by the Nazis and died in concentration camps but Veyron survived the war and in 1945 was awarded the Legion of Honour. After the war, Veyron continued to race but eventually switched focus to his business (oil-drilling tech) and family. Veyron died in 1970 in the French town of Eze.

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A lot of cars are named after people, but the Bugatti Veyron may be the most fitting homage to the man whose name it bears. Like Veyron the man, the Bugatti Veyron wasn't afraid to push the limits of speed. Pushing the supercar to the limit required a ton of courage, not unlike the endless well that racing driver turned resistance fighter Pierre Veyron drew upon during World War II. I could continue to wax poetic a bit longer, but I think you get the gist by now: This name is frickin' sweet for a variety of reasons.

Source Credits: www.webcitation.org

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