August 22, 2008
VIDEO: Pebble Beach Auction - 2009 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 Grand Sport
Jumping from the sublimely capable to the ridiculously unobtainable, we wrap up this week with a clip from last weekend's auction at the 2008 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance.
This year, the much-anticipated targa version of Bugatti's Veyron hypercar stole the headlines.
Self-evidently, a removable polycarbonate and carbon fiber roof panel replaces the fixed roof. And while the top speed has dropped to a dawdling, languid 224 miles per hour, the exclusivity of al-fresco motoring in chassis number one pushed the opening bid to $1.7 million.
And far, far beyond by the time the gavel fell.
At a time when many are struggling to make ends meet, it may seem a little disingenuous to waste time watching plutocrats bid for the newest, biggest toy. Ignoring the car's function as a monument to net worth, the Veyron remains a technical marvel. Bugatti's blend of titanic power and consummate luxury may be a ludicrous spectacle, but as automotive art it stands alone.