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The Williamson Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic – Click above to enlarge

Widely regarded as one of the most beautiful automobiles ever created, it's not every day that a Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic changes hands. Only four of examples were ever made, and only two or three of them are still around today. One is owned by Ralph Lauren, and another belonged to the late Dr. Peter Williamson. Californian auction house Gooding & Company has now announced that the Williamson Bugatti has changed hands for a record sum, and though the buyer and exact amount paid remain undisclosed, reports place it between $30-40 million, easily eclipsing the $12.2 million paid for a 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa this time last year.

Until his recent passing, Dr. Williamson had amassed a considerable collection of classic Bugattis. Gooding had helped assemble the collection, and since his passing has helped his estate sell them off. But the Atlantic – the crown jewel of the collection and winner of the 2003 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance – was saved for last. According to reports, the car was acquired through Gooding by the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California, where we recently went to check out the soon-to-be-rebuilt Bugatti Type 64 Coupe, so with a little luck we might have the opportunity to bring you the Atlantic in due course. Follow the jump for the press release from Gooding.

[Source: Gooding & Company]
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SANTA MONICA, Calif. (May 5, 2010) – Gooding & Company, the internationally celebrated auction house that offers a wide range of services, including private and estate sales, is proud to announce that it has sold the unparalleled 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic to an undisclosed buyer. As the official broker for the Trust that formerly owned the Atlantic, Gooding & Company found a devoted connoisseur who will become the guardian of this treasured piece of automotive history.

"I am extremely pleased to have found the new buyer for the 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic, one of the world's most significant and valuable automobiles that has been in a private collection and rarely seen during the past four decades," says David Gooding, president and founder of Gooding & Company. "It has been a great pleasure to work with the Williamson Family and Trust in this important endeavor."

Formerly the coveted pillar of the world renowned Williamson Bugatti Collection, the Atlantic was the 2003 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance best in Show car.

The Atlantic was an automobile derived from Bugatti's prototype Aerolithe Electron Coupé that caused a sensation when it was unveiled at the 1935 Paris Auto Salon. Bugatti later built just three Atlantics, each one different from the next, but this 1936 car (chassis #57374) is the first in the series and its historical significance, originality and restoration has been revered by enthusiasts throughout the world.

About Gooding & Company
Gooding & Company, the official auction house of the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, will be conducting its annual two-day Pebble Beach Auction on August 14 & 15, 2010. Auctions are broadcast live from Gooding & Company's website on
www.goodingco.com/auction. Bidder registration forms, press credentials and additional auction information are also available on www.goodingco.com or by calling (310) 899-1960. For additional vehicle information and up-to-the-minute results, follow Gooding & Company on Facebook and Twitter @GoodingCompany.

Gooding & Company provides unparalleled service for those in the collector car market, offering a wide range of services, including private and estate sales, appraisals and collection management. Gooding & Company achieved two new world record sales at its inaugural Amelia Island Auction in March this year with the outstanding 1931 Voisin Mylord Demi-Berline at $2.75 Million and the 1961 Porsche RS61 Spyder at $1.705 Million. At its annual Scottsdale Auction in January, Gooding & Company topped Arizona's auction week charts for the third year in a row with the sale of the $3.74
Million 1956 Jaguar D-Type Sports Racer.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Take away the front pontoons (fenders) and it looks like a blue beagle head. To be able to afford a 30 million dollar car is not within the capabilities of my imagination.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That is one ugly car I wouldn;t give you 30 dollars for it
        My Master
        • 3 Years Ago
        Have to agree. Ugliest car I have ever seen in my whole life. And I dont care how advanced it was for its time, its just plain old butt ugly.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It might be an ugly car,but the engineering that was used in the body style alone at that time was remarkable.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is exactly why most people shall never appreciate true engineering and art. For once,keep the price aside and properly look at the automobiles design. It is aerodynamic and brilliant.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It is one of the few prewar vehicles which can exceed 115 mph. It is made with one of the most advanced chassis for the time. Its design is meant for perfomance and therein lies its beauty. Calling it ugly is like calling Picasso's or Van Gogh's works ugly. It can be compared to automobiles like Enzo Ferrari and McLaren F1 in modern times.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Easy to see the schools to date don't teach just how far ADVANVED THIS CAR WAS.. Makes me sick. O But Wate ,,,, They will tell the kids to remove and not show the AMERICAN FLAG. because it will UP---Set ..a mexican..
      • 5 Years Ago
      It is absolutely stunning. Not surprised by the price at all, it was Jean Bugatti's masterpiece. The GTO that traded hand went for an unconfirmed 28 million.
      • 5 Years Ago
      As long as the banks give you little to no interest for your money, people with money will be looking for a safe place to put their hard earned cash. Classic Cars have always done well through the test of time. There will be a huge Classic & Exotic car auction June 4-5 in St. Louis, Missouri with over 350 cars to choose from. Got to www MotoeXotica com or call 636*600*4600 for full details. Register to bid or turn your car into cash. Be there!
      • 5 Years Ago
      just makes me want to turn socialist and put that a-hole in jail.for the waste of money
      • 5 Years Ago
      The gift that keeps on giving.."a college education" not some stupid car.owner is tarded.and this is a good example ,cure some sick people,build another hospital and don't drive in my hood,because i might run a stop sign.OOPS !
      • 5 Years Ago
      wonder who really regards this as of the most beautiful automobiles ever created..
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm glad that the financial crisis hasn't impacted everybody...
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