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Valentine’s Day: The cars made as loving tributes to their inspirations

Love letters to their forebears.
  • These cars were all created as a tribute to classic icons from the past
  • They’re all rare, and expensive
  • Bugatti stands out on the list, as the French automaker created three separate cars, all three harkening back to the same model

Published on Feb 14, 2024 at 6:15PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Feb 16, 2024 at 3:02PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones

Automakers absolutely love going through their back catalog to recreate modern and updated versions of their icons.

From Bugatti to a lesser known boutique brand you may have never heard of, these are times automakers decided to celebrate their own version of Valentine’s Day with love letters to the past

Bugatti La Voiture Noire and Atlantic

The La Voiture Noire, a one-off whose buyer was never revealed, was unveiled at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show and it absolutely made everyone’s jaw drop.

Beauty is, of course, in the eye of the beholder but this is arguably one of the best-looking modern Bugattis.

More to the point, it is a Valentine’s Day love letter to the Type 57, a limited-edition (710 units) car created in the 1940s.

Bugatti used later iterations of the Type 57 for the Bugatti Chiron ‘One of One 57‘ and for a concept car named Atlantic.

Unlike the La Voiture Noire and the Chiron, the Atlantic was just a concept car and it never made it to production.

However, the Chiron is in fact the reason why Bugatti scrapped the Atlantic program in the first place.

Back then, Bugatti was already quite busy with the Chiron development, so they decided to prioritize that and put the Atlantic project in the back burner.

It was probably a good call, wasn’t it?

Grassi 044

Unveiled at last year’s Italian Motor Show in Milan, the Grassi 044 is a tribute to the Delta S4.

The original shapes of the S4 have been reworked while maintaining some of the key stylistic features.

Following the layout of the original S4, the Grassi 044S adopts a four-cylinder in-line engine in a longitudinal rear central position.

It’s a 650 bhp 3.0-liter twin-turbo engine combined with four-wheel drive with three differentials, with both six-speed manual and sequential gearbox options available.

It’s purported to reach 62 mph (100 km/h) from standstill in 2.9 seconds, and go on to reach a top speed of 186 mph (300 km/h), which in’t hard to believe considering the thing has a dry weight of 1,200 kg.

It’s really hard to find something to dislike about the Grassi 044S, other than the fact it’s limited to 44 units (a reference to its name, perhaps).

MAT New Stratos

The New Stratos, the name gives it away, is a modern-day tribute to the Lancia Stratos engineered and designed by Manifattura Automobili Torino (MAT).

Built using the chassis and the engine from a Ferrari 430 Scuderia, the New Stratos delivers 540 horsepower, but it only weighs a hair over 1,200 kg, which means it does 0-60 in just 3.3 seconds.

It also features some quirky Easter Eggs.

If you want to blow the horn, for example, there’s a button marked ‘Levati’, which is Italian for ‘get out of my way’.

Kimera EVO37

The Kimera EV037 is a homage to the second of three Lancia icons, the 037.

Unveiled to replace the Stratos, right before the Delta Integrale, the 037 is one of the most iconic rally cars ever built.

The Kimera, by contrast, is a road car.

Built in italy and powered by a 2.1-liter twincharged engine, it delivers 505 horsepower but only weighs one ton.

As you can imagine, it’s pretty quick, with a 0-60 time of just 3 seconds.

It’s beautiful, too. A fitting tribute to its spiritual ‘dad’.

Bugatti Centodieci

Inspired by the Bugatti EB110, the Centodieci (Italian for 110) is an iconic hypercar derived from the Chiron.

It’s powerful, nearly 1,600 horsepower from its W16, very expensive and super rare.

Only 10 units were built, including one for Cristiano Ronaldo, as it turns out.

Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4

Unveiled in 2021 to mark the 50th anniversary of the original Countach, this modern hypercar, also called Countach, is an engineering masterpiece.

The powertrain combines a 6.5-liter V12 with an electric motor, putting out over 800 horsepower in total.

It does 0-60 mph in just 2.8 seconds and it carries on until it reaches its top speed of 355 km/h – 221 mph.

Only 112 units are available.

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