Mullin Automotive Museum steps closer to bringing classic Bugatti coupe to life

1939 Bugatti Type 64 Coupe – Click above for high-res image gallery

Peter Mullin is nuts for classic French cars. His Mullin Automotive Museum is a beautiful shrine to a very specific period of automotive history. One particular vehicle in his collection is Jean Bugatti's unfinished 1939 Type 64 Coupe. Jean was Ettore's oldest son, and he died while test driving the Le Mans-winning Type 57 C. His Type 64 Coupe chassis never got the body that Bugatti hoped to have built for it... but Mr. Mullin is going to change that.

Using Jean Bugatti's sketches as a guide, Mullin has partnered with Stewart Reed Design to develop a vision of what the car should look like. Now, that pair is joined by Mike Kleeves of Automobile Metal Shaping Company, which means that team officially have someone on their team capable of bringing this bit of conceptual art into the physical world.

For more on the Type 64, check out the up-close look at the car we experienced during a field trip to the Mullin Museum in 2010.

1939 Bugatti Type 64
1939 Bugatti Type 64
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Photos copyright ©2011 by Drew Phillips/AOL

[Source: Mullin Automotive Museum]
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Celebrated Southern California Collection Partners with Renowned Coachbuilder To Complete Jean Bugatti's Masterpiece

Oxnard, Calif. (April 27, 2011) – The Peter Mullin Automotive Museum Foundation, organized to support nonprofit public charities that are dedicated to the study, preservation and public display of classic automobiles or public education regarding classic automobiles, today selected Automobile Metal Shaping Company (AMS), to construct the body for Jean Bugatti's famed 1939 Bugatti Type 64 Coupe Chassis #64002.

Originally designed and constructed by Jean Bugatti (Ettore Bugatti's eldest son), the 1939 Bugatti Type 64 chassis was never completed, as Bugatti tragically died while test driving the Le Mans winning Bugatti Type 57 C "Tank". In celebration of Bugatti's legacy, the Peter Mullin Automotive Museum Foundation, Art Center College of Design and Stewart Reed Design collaborated to produce a concept based upon Jean Bugatti's original drawings. AMS has been entrusted with the great honor of completing this revolutionary work of art based on their depth of experience in automotive restoration and prototype construction.

Peter Mullin, Chairman of the Board of the Peter Mullin Automotive Museum Foundation and Chairman and Founder of the Mullin Automotive Museum states, "We are delighted to announce the appointment of Automobile Metal Shaping Company as the coachbuilder to complete this historic automobile. AMS is known among top collectors and manufacturers for their extraordinary work with exceptional cars. Similar to the Type 64, Mike Kleeves and his team at AMS have one foot in the past and one foot in the future – with all the skills of old-world craftsman and the imagination of the modern automotive design industry. Jean Bugatti would be happy to see this car completed."

Stewart Reed, Principal of Stewart Reed Design states, "While we want to respect the Type 64's evolution from the Type 57 as a dramatic new coupe, Bugatti was clearly pushing design into new materials use as evidenced by the lovely all-aluminum chassis reminiscent of aircraft construction. Kleeves' proven reputation with the best technologies and his deep appreciation for quality automotive development are key to our realizing what Bugatti was intending for the Type 64."

Mike Kleeves, Director and Owner of Automobile Metal Shaping Company is honored and excited to help finish Jean Bugatti's Type 64 for the Peter Mullin Automotive Museum Foundation.

Bugatti's Type 64, designed as a successor to the Bugatti Type 57, was originally constructed with a wheelbase of 130-inches and a 3.3-liter DOHC engine with 135 horsepower and was able to reach 120 mph at top speed. AMS will honor the original concept and design of the vehicle incorporating the vehicles' originally-proposed papillon door, slightly different in its architecture from a gullwing door – which Jean Bugatti designed in 1939, fourteen years before Mercedes-Benz produced their similar, famous 300SL gullwing door.

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