Italian born Ettore Bugatti produced his first car in 1899 at the age of 19. In 1909 he started his factory in Molsheim, Alsace. Bugattis were known for their advanced engineering in their premium road cars. The company's success culminated with driver Jean-Pierre Wimille winning the 24 hours of Le Mans twice (in 1937 with Robert Benoist and 1939 with Pierre Veyron). Volkswagen AG purchased the rights to produce cars under the Bugatti marque in 1998.