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1935 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic Wins “Best of Show Concours d'Etat”

Photos: Mathieu Bonnevie    Video: PETER AUTO

The crown jewel of the Mullin Automotive Museum, a 1935 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic, won Best of Show at the 2017 Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille. The Atlantic was selected from a field of 100 classics including a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO, a 1929 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Grand Sport Spider Zagato MM, and a 1939 Delage D8-120 S Coach Sport.

Bugatti is known internationally for exceptional design and performance. One of three survivors and four produced, some have considered this Jean Bugatti designed Atlantic to be the most elegant automobile ever crafted, the “Mona Lisa” of the automotive world. The car’s riveted seam was initially included on the “aérolithe” prototype to protect its magnesium-alloy body panels from catching fire if welded. Ultimately, the seam was kept on the all-aluminum Atlantic for aesthetic reasons and remains one of its most striking features. This particular car is also the only surviving “Aéro Coupé,” a designation given to the first two cars which were mechanically very similar to the aérolithe.

Delivered new in 1936 to Britain’s Nathaniel Mayer Victor Rothschild, third Baron Rothschild, the Atlantic has had only a handful of owners in its 80-year history. Under the care of the Mullin Automotive Museum, the car has been shared with the public at numerous events and venues. The “beauty in blue” shone again in its country of birth this weekend, where it took top honors amidst some of the world’s finest automobiles.

“It was thrilling to be a part of this event and share this magnificent French automobile with the people of its home country,” said Peter Mullin, Chairman of the Board at the Petersen Automotive Museum and founder of the Mullin Automotive Museum. “To take home the top honor was particularly special, as I know how much this automobile means to French automotive enthusiasts.”

The Type 57SC Atlantic will now return to the United States, where it will again be displayed at The Petersen amidst the other jewels in the museum’s “Art of Bugatti” exhibit. The display also includes a Bugatti Royale, a Type 57C Atalante, a Type 35C and a Type 101C among others, as well as art, sculptures, furniture and artifacts from Bugatti’s history. The Atlantic will remain at the Petersen Automotive Museum through the closing of the exhibit this coming winter.