January 15: Jean Bugatti, son of Bugatti founder Ettore Bugatti, was born on this date in 1909

January 15, 2014

Joining his father in the family business, Jean Bugatti, son of Bugatti founder Ettore Bugatti, crafted a name for himself as a car designer. By the early 1930s, Jean, born on this date in 1909, was shaping the design language of his father's automaker, undertaking the majority of the styling for the Type 41 Royale (pictured above) at the ripe age of 23. But perhaps his greatest achievement was the Type 57SC Atalante, a car known as one of the best touring Bugatti's ever made -- and today, one of the most expensive; Ralph Lauren and Jay Leno both bought one for their collections.

On August 11, 1939, while testing a Le Mans-winning Type 57 tank-bodied racer on a local racetrack near the company's factory in Duppigheim, France, a drunk cyclist slipped through the gates and onto the track causing Jean Bugatti to swerve and lose control. At just 30 years of age, the accident cost him his life. A Jean Bugatti Limited Edtion Bugatti Veyron was revealed at the 2013 Frankfurt auto show in honor of Jean's contributions to the legendary automaker.