Oh Baby!

The Bugatti Baby II is a prestigious collectible that’s fun on wheels

Photos: Ian Skelton, courtesy of Gooding & Company 

About 100 years ago, a five-year-old got the ultimate cool-kid gift for his birthday. The little guy’s name was Roland Bugatti and his dad, Ettore, built him a miniature version of the iconic Type 35 Grand Prix Bugatti—one of the world’s most successful racing cars.

While the full-size model claimed over 2,000 victories between 1924 and 1930, the mini model turned heads too. Ettore Bugatti, legendary builder of elite racing and luxury autos, equipped Roland’s child-size model with a battery powered electric motor and called it Bébé. It could go about 18 kilometres an hour and was, as they say, “a sweet ride.”

Even though the half-scale model car was intended as a one-off present, soon the rich and famous of the day wanted the exclusive Bébé for their own youngsters so about 500 of the magnificent, driveable toys were produced for the junior moguls.

Now you can have one, too. Although the original Baby Bugattis were geared to the five-to-eight-year-old set and were actually raced by those well-heeled moppets in Monte Carlo, today there’s a version for the more mature auto enthusiast that’s anything but childish.

A tribute to Ettore’s original design, the Bugatti Baby II is a 75 per cent scale, electrified version of the famous Type 35. Top speed: 30 kilometres an hour.
An official Bugatti product, it has been developed using a 3D scan of the original 1924 Grand Prix car and it’s hand-built by The Little Car Company in England.  A one-of-one, 2023 Bugatti Baby II, finished in black-over-black with a gold-plated radiator and headlights, sold for $262,500 last August at Gooding & Company’s Pebble Beach Auctions.

Like the original, the Bugatti Baby II is a limited-edition collectible. Only 500 of these unique “babies” are being built.  You have the option to choose exterior paint finishes and interior leather trims. But each one is adorned with a solid silver Bugatti Macaron to symbolize exclusivity, luxury and craftsmanship.  bugattibaby.com