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1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic – Click above for high-res image gallery

Want to know what $38 million sounds like? Well you're not likely to find out. That's the reported value of the highly coveted 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic recently sold by Gooding & Company from the Peter Williamson collection. But while we got a rare chance to stop by the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California, for an up-close-and-personal between the world's most valuable car and our own Drew Philips, actually seeing it start up and drive would be a rare sight indeed.

Fortunately, onlookers had the chance when the Bugatti came down to the Pasadena Art Center Car Classic and fired up its 3.2-liter straight-eight – lest we forget that this is an actual functioning automobile, and not a stationary sculpture consigned to a pedestal. What's more is that he caught it on camera in a pair of videos after the jump.

Photos copyright ©2010 Drew Phillips

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Mmmmmm, nothing beats the baritone of a straight eight, overlaid with supercharger whine!
      • 4 Years Ago
      wtf..private video
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah, WTF?! Private video?!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Lovely classic car.

      The videos are "Private" and unviewable ?

      • 4 Years Ago
      Wasn't this the third most aerodynamic car of all time? Right behind the GM EV1 and the Honda Element.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Fantastic example of progressive design for that time which is what I think Bugatti should be doing today. If Ettore was alive today, I think he would hate the retro styling of the veyron.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Private Video"?

      The youtube uploader is a d*uchebag.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is the #3 Atlantic arriving at Pebble Beach http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1u7xSsLVbI
      • 4 Years Ago
      So it's a bugatti, does it cost $20,000 to replace the wheels and tires? :)
      • 4 Years Ago
      Sounds cheaper than that.
        • 4 Years Ago
        These trophy cars are kind'a like the female/male modeling business. They may look terrific posed but as soon as they make "noises" and move expectations suddenly become huge disappointments.
      • 4 Years Ago
      For a modern take on this design see http://www.allpar.com/cars/concepts/atlantic.html

      from the link:

      "Legend has it that, in 1994, one-time Chrysler design chief Tom Gale and then Chrysler president Bob Lutz served together as judges for the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

      The classic cars to be judged were located on the 18th fairway, but arranged on the lawn around the club house were a number of concept cars, old and new, not included in the judging. They decided that next year, Chrysler was going to have a concept car that would put all the other concepts “back on their trailers.”

      The legend says that Lutz sketched his ideas on a napkin which he gave to Gale. Gale gave his design staff the assignment but without the sketches, explaining that he didn’t want to give his designers any preconceptions which would stifle their creativity. They were told to use ideas and features of the curvaceous French coupes of the thirties (Bugatti, Talbot-Lago, Delahaye and Delage) to come up with a knock-out retro design that would mix the best of the old with the newest of the new. The result, designed by Bob Hubbach, is the 1995 Chrysler Atlantic."

      At the bottom of the page are pics of scale models of the Bugatti and the Chrysler concept making it easy to see the similarities and differences between the two.
      • 4 Years Ago
      A car valued at this high a price should sound like laser beam kittens flying out of the very face of god. It should also look as amazing as that. It doesn't.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Here is a black one, driving from a petrol station somewhere in Brussels. That is in Belgium a small country in Europe. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXjDAnnNAcA&NR=1
        • 4 Years Ago
        From wikipedia: Just two supercharged Type 57SC cars were built new, but most 57S owners wanted the additional power afforded by the blower. Therefore, most of the original Type 57S cars returned to Molsheim for the installation of a supercharger, pushing output from 175 hp (130 kW) to 200 hp (150 kW) and 120 mph (190 km/h). The Type 57SC {#57374} is also the most expensive car ever purchased at auction, when an anonymous bidder spent an estimated 30 million dollars. That car is in the Oxnard, CA museum called Mullin Automotive Museum.

        1938 Type 57SC Atlantic from the Ralph Lauren collection.

        1938 Type 57SC Atlantic engine from the Ralph Lauren collection.
        Considered by some to be the most beautiful pre-war car, the Atlantic body Type 57S featured flowing coupe lines with a pronounced dorsal seam running front to back. It was based on the "Aérolithe" concept car of 1935. Like the Type 59 Grand Prix car, the Aérolithe used Elektron (a magnesium alloy) or Duralumin (an aluminium alloy) for its body panels. Therefore, the body panels were riveted externally, creating the signature seam.
        The production Atlantics (just four were made) used plain aluminium, however. But the dorsal seams were retained for style, and have led to the car's present fame.
        Only two of the cars survive. One is in the collection of Ralph Lauren, the second was owned by Dr. Peter Williamson, and won the 2003 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Williamson's car (#57374) was sold for between $30 and $40 million at an auction in May 2010 to the Mullin Automotive Museum located in Oxnard, California.
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