Back in May history was made when an unnamed buyer shelled out a record $30-$40 million for a 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic. Regarded as one of the most beautiful cars in the world, this particular 57SC Atlantic is just one of three built and one of only two still in existence. The sale, done through the Gooding & Company auction house, is the second time this exact car exchanged hands for a record sum. The previous owner, Dr. Peter Williamson, purchased the car in 1971 for the unheard of price of $59,000. The car competed in the 2003 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance and was easily declared the Best of Show.
While the 57SC Atlantic rarely made public appearances outside prestigious concours events, the Mullin Automotive Museum has announced that they will have the car on display at its Oxnard, CA facility starting on August 10th. "I am honored to have the opportunity to display the Bugatti Atlantic at our Art Deco museum," said Peter Mullin. "In the historic pantheon of automobiles the Atlantic is without peer."
Those interested in seeing the car in person can head over to the museum's web site. Tickets must be purchased in advance for select viewing days. Follow the jump for the full press release.
[Source: Mullin Automotive Museum]
Over the past four decades, the Bugatti Atlantic has seldom been seen publicly, so its presence at the Mullin Automotive Museum will provide a rare insider's view at the legendary vehicle for generations of enthusiasts.
"I am honored to have the opportunity to display the Bugatti Atlantic at our Art Deco museum," said Peter Mullin, founder of the Mullin Automotive Museum. "The Art Deco Movement was driven by people who were fascinated by invention and innovation - by the exotic nature of new technology and materials, by art and design, by speed and by the machine - no automobile captures this spirit more than the Bugatti Atlantic. In the historic pantheon of automobiles the Atlantic is without peer."
The Atlantic was an automobile derived from Bugatti's prototype "Aerolithe Electron Coupe", a vehicle that caused a sensation when unveiled at the 1935 Paris Auto Salon. From its inception, the Atlantic defined exotic. It was radical both in its design and engineering. Jean Bugatti produced the Atlantics spectacular sculpted appearance using riveted aluminum panels that he mounted on Bugatti's most sophisticated, powerful and revolutionary Type 57S chassis. While only three Atlantics were built, this car (chassis #57374) is the first in the series, widely believed to be the most original and correct in form. It was built in 1936 and many suggest that parts from the Aerolithe prototype were used in its production. This car's first owner Lord Victor Rothschild of London, ordered the car in light blue, with dark blue interior.
In 1939, the car was sent back to the Bugatti factory to be fit with a supercharger. Bob Oliver of Los Angeles was the second owner. Dr. Peter Williamson then purchased the car in 1971, for $59,000, a world record price at the time. Over many years, he respectfully restored the car to its 1939 specification. In 2003, the car made its debut at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance where it was awarded the prestigious honor of "Best in Show".
The vehicle was recently purchased again in 2010 through a sale brokered by Gooding & Company.
"This car is an icon - representing the apex of all automotive design and engineering," said Julius Kruta, Head of Bugatti Tradition.
The Mullin Automotive Museum opened its doors to the public April 15 and focuses its collection on French art and automobiles of the 1920s and 30s. Central to the Mullin Automotive Museum's mission is Peter Mullin's belief in the importance of sharing his collection with the public outside of the confines of a closed private collection.