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Automobiles Ettore Bugatti was a French car manufacturer of high- performance automobiles, founded in 1909 in the then German city of Molsheim, Alsace by Italian-born Ettore Bugatti. Bugatti cars were known for their design beauty (Ettore Bugatti was from a family of artists and considered himself to be both an artist and constructor) and for their many race victories. Famous Bugattis include the Type 35 Grand Prix cars , the Type 41 "Royale", the Type 57 "Atlantic" and the Type 55 sports car . The death of Ettore Bugatti in 1947 proved to be the end for the marque, and the death of his son Jean Bugatti in 1939 ensured there was not a successor to lead the factory . No more than about 8,000 cars were made. The company struggled financially, and released one last model in the 1950s , before eventually being purchased for its airplane parts business in the 1960s . In the 1990s , an Italian entrepreneur revived it as a builder of limited production exclusive sports cars . Today, the name is owned by German automobile manufacturing group Volkswagen .