The whole of Route 66. In a Veyron Issue 259 – this month in 2014
Hey, we like to say goodbye in style. So to send the Veyron off properly as it reached the end of its decade-long production run, we convinced Bugatti to let us drive one the length of Route 66. Chicago to Los Angeles, 2,404 miles (3,869km) along the most storied road of them all.
Obviously we went for the faster Veyron: the two-million-quid Veyron Grand Sport Vitesse, one of few convertibles in history good for a 10-second standing quarter, and a 418kph top speed.
Against long odds, we escaped any speeding tickets. However, we did suffer appalling sunstroke, being licked by a donkey, and getting lightly threatened by a gang of bikers. Standard US roadtrip fare.
It was, for the most part, an exercise in self-restraint. There’s a gauge on the Veyron’s dash, telling you exactly how many of the W16’s 1,200 horses you’re deploying. Most of the time, we barely tickled 50.
But there was the odd chance to open it up. And when you open the Veyron up, boy, does it kick. It is thrust at its most primal, speed almost beyond comprehension. Once you’ve felt full throttle in a Veyron, nothing ever seems quite the same again.
But, even more than the brain-frying Bug, the real hero was Route 66 itself. Still ossified in its Sixties prime, it remains the original roadtrip road, a timecapsule metaphor for the freedom of America’s west. The freedom of the automobile.
The greatest road, the greatest car. We’ve had worse trips.
This year, the world’s greatest car magazine celebrates its 25th anniversary