Past Gas #230: The Bugatti Queen: Sex, Drugs, & Racing in the Roaring 20s

Past Gas by Donut Media

25-03-2024 • 46 mins

With hands blistered by a red-hot steering wheel and a head still reeling from a long night of sex and champagne, Hellé Nice won the first all-female Grand Prix at Montlhéry. The next day, Bugatti invited her to their showroom to convince Nice to compete under their name. She signed a sponsorship deal with Lucky Strike cigarettes, and with her immaculate profile, Nice bought herself a yacht. Now a household name, Hellé Nice was then invited to show her skills on the board tracks of the United States. How did the poor daughter of a postmaster become one of France's most dazzling stars in the first place? Why did this cabaret dancer decide to become a racing driver? And how did one of Europe's most beloved and promising competitors fall so quickly out of favor? Today, we'll find out more about the woman known as The Bugatti Queen.  Shop now at and use code GAS for 10% off your entire order! More about Show: Follow Nolan on IG and Twitter @nolanjsykes.   Follow Joe on IG and Twitter @joegweber. Follow Donut @donutmedia, and subscribe to our Youtube and Facebook channels!   Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast for free wherever you're listening or using this link: If you like the show, telling a friend about it would be helpful! You can text, email, Tweet, or send this link to a friend: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit