Chinese New Year is just around the corner, and in case you weren’t up on your zodiac, it’s the Year of the Dragon. The perfect excuse, then - just in case you needed one - to pick up an appropriately themed car.
During its 10-year lifespan, the Bugatti Veyron was no stranger to the world of hyper-exclusive special editions and wild one-off commissions. You had the Pur Sang, the Sang Noir, the L’Or Blanc, the Bleu Centenaire… at some points, it felt like there were more specials and one-offs than regular production cars.
In 2012 came this: the Veyron Grand Sport Wei Long 2012. It was introduced at that year’s Beijing Motor Show, in celebration of the previous Year of the Dragon. There are two themes that run throughout this car: dragons and porcelain. The latter has been used to make inserts on the oil and fuel filler caps, the wheel centre caps and a relief sculpture of a dragon that sits on the firewall, between the two bright red seats. Oh, and the body colour is called Porcelain White. All that porcelain comes from German company KPM, which is one of the most revered manufacturers of the fragile white stuff in the world. Apparently.
Dragons, meanwhile, can be found on the aforementioned sculpture and filler cap inserts. It also has the Chinese character for ‘dragon’ carved into the porcelain centre caps and embroidered on the headrests.
The Wei Long was number 50 of the 58 convertible Veyron Grand Sports built using the car’s famous 8.0-litre, quad-turbocharged W16 in its original state of tune. In case you needed a reminder of those at the time game-changing numbers, they are 987bhp, 922lb ft of torque, a top speed of 253mph and a 0-62 time of around 2.7 seconds.
A one-off car, it’s spent its life gallivanting around Europe. It was delivered new to Switzerland, before being registered in the UK in 2016 and then heading to its current home of Monaco at some stage after that. It’s been used pretty sparingly in that time, with the equivalent of 5237 miles showing on its odometer.
The Wei Long is being sold on Collecting Cars, with the auction ending on 18 February. At the time of writing, with 10 days to go, the highest bid is €300,500, which is around £256,000. Given that the absolute minimum entry point these days for a, ahem, ‘basic’ Veyron 16.4 coupe is around £1 million, expect that number to go up by the end of the auction. A lot.