About Jean-Pierre Wimille

Focus of SWFL - - Art News -

Jean-Pierre Wimille was one of the long­est-serv­ing test driv­ers at Bu­gatti. The son of a jour­nal­ist, he was born in Paris on 26 Fe­bru­ary 1908 and drove al­most ex­clu­sively for Bu­gatti through­out his rac­ing ca­reer. With a num­ber of vic­to­ries al­ready un­der his belt, in 1933 Et­tore Bu­gatti in­vited him to take up the po­si­tion of of­fi­cial test driver for the brand. He joined Bu­gatti at a point when its last great rac­ing tri­umphs lay a few years in the past, mak­ing the string of vic­to­ries he brought home to Mol­sheim over the fol­low­ing years even more sig­nif­i­cant. In his very first year he came first in the Al­ge­rian Grand Prix, then in 1935 he col­lected the ti­tle in the then-fa­mous hill climb at La Tur­bie near Nice driv­ing a T 59, fol­low­ing this with a sec­ond place in the Tu­nisian Grand Prix and fourth place in Spain. And it was Jean-Pierre Wimille who brought Bu­gatti what was to be its last ever rac­ing num­ber one, in 1947 at the Bois de Boulogne, be­hind the wheel of a 4.7 litre Mono­posto Type 59/50 B. Wimille was a world-class driver, who played a key role at Bu­gatti, es­pe­cially as the brand’s rac­ing era came to an end. His great­est rac­ing achieve­ment was with­out doubt his twin vic­to­ries for Bu­gatti at Le Mans. He died in a car crash in 1949 in Buenos Aires.

The fac­tory driv­ers “Wil­liams“, Vey­ron (from left) and Wimille (far right) with Jean Bu­gatti (be­tween them) in front of the Type 57G Tank. 1937 – Jean-Pierre Wimille and Robert Benoist af­ter win­ning Le Mans for Bu­gatti for the first time.

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