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Vintage Bugatti Type 57SC named the Best of the Best

1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic

This stunning 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic has won the prestigious Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award.

The ceremony brought together eight of the world’s finest classic cars – all ‘best of show’ winners from the top 2017 international concours events – to compete for the title of the most exceptional motor car in the world.

Staged at The Peninsula Paris hotel and now in its third year, the winner of the Peninsula Classics Best of the Best Award was chosen by a panel of 24 automotive experts, designers and celebrities.

The Bugatti Type 57SC is co-owned by the Mullin Automotive Museum – and Rob and Melani Walton from California – and was named “Best of Show Concours d’Etat” at the 2017 Chantilly Arts & Elegance.

1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic

Powered by a supercharged engine and considered by many to be the first supercar ever made, the winning Bugatti is one of four Type 57 Atlantic models ever produced, with only three in the world remaining.

This model, chassis number 57374, was the first Type 57 Atlantic produced and is the only surviving “Aéro Coupé” – a designation given to the first two cars that were mechanically very similar to the Aérolithe.

The car was delivered new in 1936 to Britain’s Nathaniel Mayer Victor Rothschild, third Baron Rothschild, and has since passed through a few owners in its 82-year history. It’s also been displayed internationally, most recently at the Los Angeles-based Petersen Automotive Museum for the “Art of Bugatti” exhibit.

The vehicle was designed at the height of the art deco movement by Jean Bugatti, Ettore Bugatti’s son. Jean based the car on his other design, the 1935 Aérolithe concept car, which was famously riveted externally, for fear of the magnesium-alloy body parts catching fire. Jean kept this signature riveted seam on the all-aluminium body of the Atlantic.

1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic

“The Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic is the crown jewel of the automotive circuit,” said Bugatti Head of Tradition Julius Kruta. “This car was Jean Bugatti’s masterpiece with its beautiful and breath-taking lines, plus its unmatched performance for the time. Today, it remains the ultimate expression of the Bugatti legacy: unparalleled power and beautiful design.”

“The Atlantic represents the pinnacle of everything I adore about French automotive styling and is widely described as the Mona Lisa of the automobile collector world,” said Peter Mullin, Founder and CEO of the Mullin Automotive Museum. “From its signature curves to its aviation-inspired rivets, to the Jean Bugatti designed sleek all-aluminium body, the car is truly a remarkable piece of art. I’m very honoured to have shared it with the world amongst other worthy ‘Best of the Best’ contenders.”

Photo credits: Cedric Canezza

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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