Bugattis were well-known for the beauty of their designs (Ettore Bugatti was from a family of artists and considered him to be both an artist and constructor) and for the large number of races they won. The death of Ettore Bugatti in 1947 proved to be the end for the marque, and the death of his son Jean in 1939 ensured there wasn't a successor to lead the factory. No more than about 8000 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. Today the name is owned by Volkswagen Group, who has revived it as a builder of limited production exclusive sports cars.
Bugatti's cars were as much works of art as they were mechanical creations. Engine blocks were hand scraped to ensure that the surfaces were so flat that gaskets were not required for sealing, many of the exposed surfaces of the engine compartment featured Guilloché (engine turned) finishes on them, and safety wires threaded through almost every fastener in intricately laced patterns. Rather than bolt the springs to the axles as most manufacturers did, Bugatti's axles were forged such that the spring passed though a carefully sized opening in the axle, a much more elegant solution requiring fewer parts. He famously described his arch competitor Bentley's cars as "the world's fastest lorries" for focusing on durability.
According to Bugatti, "weight was the enemy".